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Romanian recruitment companies in the long run

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Local training companies have decided that local market is not enough and have started to conquer Europe. Among the targeted countries there is: France, Austria and Netherlands.

Until recent the companies that gathered up courage and passed the borders have limited only to regional expanding on poorly developed markets. Adela Cristea, managing partner of Ascent Group says that the easiest was to develop our activity in Bulgaria and Moldova. Bulgaria has become a member of UE together with Romania so has many common views with us on an economical plan. In Moldova was the linguistic and cultural benefit. Concerning the strategy adopted for these countries, firstly we have addressed to brand new companies and that needed a local support. During the second phase we have passed to training programs, hereby the main problem was the linguistic differences. She says training is by excellence a job of communication. This is the reason why is difficult to develop and have a continuous belief that your training programs are accurately sustained in the local languages.

Things were not the same for Cyprus, the next country from Ascent list. Having dealt with a more mature market was natural that even the approach was a different one. There our target for clients were not foreign companies interested to develop their businesses in Cyprus, on the contrary the targeted clients were Cypriot companies interested to go national with their businesses in countries like Romania, Bulgaria or Moldova. In the near future Ascent has taken into calculation more Eastern European countries, such as: Serbia, Montenegro, Macedonia, Ukraine and Albany.

There are companies that want to reach more than this region. They explore the idea of launching themselves on Occidental markets due to the conviction derived from all the experience they gathered in the years of economic boom in Romania. Three factors lead to companies’ development: gathered experience, the opportunities appeared al least on regional level and the entrepreneurial spirit that characterize people working in this area, says Lucian Mihai, consultant in the company Interact. The time when the company took the decision to open abroad offices was when a Canadian partner from one of the networks we are affiliated with asked our assistance in marketing, says Mihai. And this is the main reason the company has already made first steps for opening in the near future some subsidiaries in Netherlands, France and even United States of America.

Also big plans have the company Trend Consult. We are in the phase of making market research and analysis but we have not made up our mind concerning the country where we will make the first step. In this moment we have taken into consideration three options, all in the Western Europe and the decision regarding a local subsidiary will be probably taken in 2009, said Anca Florea, senior consultant in the group.

Occasional contracts are a decisive test for development

One of the most important training companies on our local market, Ascendis, has never come out of the country, only together with our Romanian customers, which have opened subsidiaries in countries as Bulgaria, Hungary, Austria, Republic of Moldova and Poland, and with whom we have collaborated on the same programs as in Romania, says Costea Dumitrescu, one of the company’s founders.

As expected the programs promoted in the neighbour countries have never occurred any obstacles. On the other side there are Austria and Poland where our programs started up from the Romanian market challenges were confronted with obstacles because of purely behavioural reasons. For instance for a sales program the proactive we have promoted in Romania is not easily accepted by the Austrian or Polish markets. The fear of such challenges is the main reason why Romanian companies went out of the country only through occasional contracts. At least until now.

Things to do for a successful development

Adela Cristea, managing partner of Ascent, believes that for having chances on a new market the company must firstly emphasize on the feasibility study made according to following coordinates:

  • Legal and fiscal environment of that specific country
  • Specific rules from that country regarding the activity domain
  • Market and competition analysis on its activity area: what is the saturation grade on market? Who are the main competitors? What is the price policy adopted by these ones? What are the profitableness reserves in that activity area?
  • The appropriate location for starting up the business (country’s capital is not the best solution for all activity areas)
  • A company’s procedures, costs and registration duration
  • Establishing marketing strategy
  • Identifying a local consultant which will occupy of all bureaucratic procedures tided up with launching of activity in parallel with starting up the recruitment in parallel with strating off personnel recruitment.

Ionut Mogosanu, managing director of local subsidiary of Hungarian training company Develor, speaks from another perspective: that of foreign companies that entered the Romanian market. Coming from a similar society with the Romanian one, Develor had an advantage towards the Western training companies, that, even though proposed programs that had enjoyed enourmous success in their native countries, in Romania were seen as coming from outside and having no applicability in our country. According to Mogosanu, the success of entering a new market depends on:

  • The care that collaborators are chosen (employees or partners)
  • The ability to adjust messages. Translating into English and then in another language many times creates deviations from the initial message.
  • Understanding the business culture from those countries
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