Job hunting for foreigners in Bulgaria

If you are interested in job hunting in Bulgaria: Rumyana Lazar, Consultant, Bulgaria & Romania at TARGET Executive Search CEE provided us with her answers regarding the Bulgarian job market specificities.

Rumyana, is there demand for foreign managers in Bulgaria? What is expected of them?

The majority of foreign managers in Bulgaria have been sent by headquarters on assignments of limited duration.

The top manager positions of multinational companies are still widely held by foreigners.

Apparently, we’re speaking of the demand for specialists with valuable know-how attained on bigger markets, who would apply their expertise locally. These managers are naturally expected to have a competitive professional advantage to local managers who have in the recent years started to take up assignments abroad.

Generally, foreign managers wouldn’t come to Bulgaria to seek employment, but rather to start their own business. The trend is simply explained by the fact that, on the one hand, salaries remain lower than those in the other EU countries, and on the other hand, the market still offers potential for growth in various sectors, e.g. IT, agriculture, hospitality etc.

How important is it for job hunting managers to know Bulgarian language?

Provided that they’re coming to work on an assignment and English is the established language of communication within the company, the knowledge of Bulgarian language can only be seen as a great plus.

However, for any other foreigners who are seeking a job in the country, this requirement is of much higher importance and not speaking the language can become a barrier while job hunting in Bulgaria.

What skills or competencies do they have to demonstrate to be successful?

To be successful, managers should feel the pulse of the market they’re working in, to know their consumers’ needs very well and always keep an eye on the competition. A successful manager is a visionary leader who knows how to motivate their team, thinks strategically and is able to take important decisions independently. Last but not least, good managers should be prepared to challenge the status quo when needed and set a new direction in order to reach the company’s goals.

What are the specificities of the Bulgarian executive recruitment market?

Gradually, the executive search services are gaining ground in Bulgaria. They get understood better, yet even now they’re not 100% differentiated from the recruitment services that are more accessible.

Generally, the executive search in Bulgaria is still to a great extent a privilege of the multinational companies.

But what would be your advice to a manager that does not have an organization to be sent by… but he wants to move?

Before relocation, enhance your “virtual” network in the country, in the relevant field. InterNations (www.internations.org), LinkedIn (www.linkedin.com) and Xing (www.xing.com) can be a great help.

Address your request directly to the top 3-5 headhunting companies from that market. You are welcome to put TARGET Executive Search CEE on your list.

Analyze the most important relevant job boards:
Jobs (www.jobs.bg/index.php)
JobTiger (www.jobtiger.bg/#jobs)
Rabota (http://rabota.bg)
BulJobs (www.buljobs.bg) etc.

It can also be really useful to enter the relevant Chamber of Commerce – e.g. Austrian Chamber of Commerce, AmCham, French-Bulgarian Chamber of Commerce

Thank you very much, Rumyana, for sharing your knowlegde with us!

If you’d like to read more on Bulgaria:
DoingBusiness.org about Bulgaria
Kwintessential.co.uk about Bulgaria
EY.com about Bulgaria

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