Yoana Madzharova is the Operations Manager at the leading recruitment agency in Bulgaria – HRS Bulgaria. She graduated Administration and management at the New Bulgarian University and is certified by Thomas International, Extended DISC, and McQuaig psychometric assessment systems.

Madzharova has been working in the HR business for over 12 years, 10 of which have been focused entirely on staff recruitment in various industries. She is experienced in building HR teams, as well as in training young specialists and guiding already established experts in the field.

1. Is there a demand for senior managers in Bulgaria? In which areas?

The pandemic negatively affected the development of the labour market in Bulgaria, which resulted in reduced demand for high-level managers. This was expected, considering the challenges a number of sectors faced and the cautious approach many companies adopted due to the Covid-19 crisis. The only exception are the IT and outsourcing industries, where the number of open management positions has remained high.

We at HRS are still optimistic and expect the demand for managers to increase again with the subsiding of the pandemic and the revival of the operations of the businesses that were most negatively affected.

2. How do you select the right managers that could be successful in their companies?

Finding the right managers is increasingly becoming a real challenge. I don’t mean reaching the right candidates, which is fairly quick and easy to do. The more difficult task is to retain these people. Recently, HRS has launched a new service – 360Insights, which achieves up to 96% success in hiring suitable new employees and, particularly, high-level managers. This is a unique for the Bulgarian market process, which is entirely based on evidence and scientific assessments. Thus, when searching for the right candidates, not only their skills and experience are considered, but also their personality, behaviour, and mindset. This helps us understand not only if somebody possesses the necessary professional qualifications but also if they fit in the company culture and adapt to the way it works.

3. What is the supply and demand ratio of high-level positions in the Bulgarian companies?

Our observations show that there is balance on the market. Currently, the supply of senior management positions is limited. The reasons are, of course, related to the current Covid situation. At the same time, the demand is also not so great, as people prefer to be on the safe side and do not actively seek a major career change.

4. Tell us more about the innovative platform HRS launched, which guarantees up to 100% success in hiring new people.

In April, our company launched 360Insights – an unparalleled service for the Bulgarian market that goes beyond the traditional approaches for seeking candidates. It significantly optimizes the recruitment process and helps businesses reach the most suitable candidates, who not only meet all requirements for a particular position, but also have the potential to stay at the company for long. All parties, involved in the process, are facilitated, as everything happens quickly and easily on an online platform, accessible from desktop, mobile and tablet devices. 360Insights achieves up to 96% success in recruiting the right employees. As part of the service, we have included replacement of an employee within the first 12 months of their employment, without charging an additional fee, in case they don’t fit in the company. This is an expression of our confidence that the new employee willbe retained at the company for at least a year.

5. What kind of losses do companies suffer from because of bad hires?

It is important to clarify, that a bad hire does not necessarily mean people, who cannot cope with their tasks. Bad hires might be those who are not retained at the company. The losses that a company can take on due to hiring employees that leave soon after they are hired, can be very big – around thousands of levs. This includes salaries, onboarding training costs, poorer team performance, due to the frequent employee turnover. To help companies improve the management of their human capital, we introduced a unique for the Bulgarian market calculator, which calculates the potential costs a business would lose due to hiring a candidate, who leaves the team in less than a year. In this way everyone can see how ineffective methods of recruiting employees can negatively affect the business.

6. What are your observations on the labour market – are there highly qualified specialists, who lost their jobs due to the pandemic, and what is their chance to find a suitable job when using your services?

Our observations are that highly qualified specialists rather kept their jobs. The reason is that, especially in difficult situations, such as the current one, companies strive to retain good professionals in their team, especially management staff, as they have the capacity to cope with difficulties. Of course, there are also some qualified specialists, who lost their jobs due to the pandemic, but their number is relatively low.

7. What qualities should a candidate for a management position possess, for example, in marketing? What do Bulgarian employers prefer – younger, less experienced candidates or more mature, with more extensive experience?

The qualities a candidate for a managerial position should possess can be considered in two directions. On one hand, it is important that candidates possess the required expertise in the field and also have the necessary years of professional experience. On the other hand, it is also important that they possess certain personal characteristics – leadership qualities, skills to motivate and inspire people, the ability to delegate tasks, organisational skills, and many others. We cannot answer unequivocally on the question whether younger or more experienced candidates are preferred. It all depends on the way a company operates, its policies and culture, as well as the specific requirements at that moment of its development.