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Firms shift recruitment strategies to combat labor shortages

Hungarian companies are spending more time and using an increasing number of channels when looking for new employees, while also aiming to retain current staff to combat labor shortages, according to research by online job portal Profession.hu.

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The price of "acquiring" a CV has increased 20-fold since 2012, with applications failing to match the requirements for a given position in 82% of cases. More than half of applications arrive via one platform in Hungary, according to the research.

More than half of Hungarian companies began 2018 with more employees than last year, with two-thirds of respondents expecting an increase in employee numbers in the next year. This also affects their recruitment habits, with 60% involving more channels, and nearly half spending more on recruitment than a year ago.

Some 92% of respondents try to fill empty positions through recommendations and reputation. An overwhelming majority (83%) use online job portals, or build databases (67%) based on spontaneous applications. Only 28% still use print media, according to Profession.huʼs research.

Despite deepening labor shortages, only about a quarter of firms have increased the number off staff working in recruitment, the survey shows. Tools to find suitable candidates have increased in number at 34% of firms, with 54% spending more time on recruitment tasks.

The main problems, according to the surveyed companies, are the low quality of applications (82%), and low number of applicants (53%) in 2018. One of the causes is that the number of applicants for a single job advertisement has decreased 20-fold, with the average value of a CV thus growing from HUF 279 to HUF 5,738. Around 52% of quality applications arrived via Profession.hu, with the value of a CV standing at HUF 2,536.

In 2011, less than a quarter of companies reported problems with retaining physical workers. Today nearly half have issues. Most named market vacuum forces, capital-strong competition, demotivation of older employees, a lack of patience among younger generations, and a lack of proper replacements as significant problems. However, wages topped the list, with 80% mentioning wage-related problems.

Around 75% of those surveyed have general wage policies, with salary increases standing at 9.4% last year, 8.4% this year, and 9.1% expected next year, due to the importance of retaining employees.

Fluctuation mostly affects those aged 20-29, with mobility willingness radically decreasing with age. In 2011, those with university degrees were the most mobile. This year, the most mobile group comprises people with high school diplomas, with willingness to change jobs also becoming more prevalent among those without a secondary education.

Some 83% of respondents are set to spend less than HUF 1 million on finding new employees this year, with most setting aside a budget of between HUF 50,000 and HUF 500,000 for the task. Around 57% of companies are looking for fewer than 10 new employees. The proportion of firms spending over HUF 10 mln on recruitment has decreased to 3% (compared to 7% in 2017), the study found.