If you aren’t from Bulgaria, you might find it difficult to recruit or look for work. Every country has its own job boards and a unique labour market. That’s why we go straight to the source to learn more about international recruitment: the local job boards! We had the pleasure of sitting down with Hristian Petkov, a Business Development Specialist from JobTiger, for an interview.
First things first: could you tell us about the history of JobTiger; who started the company?
The company was created in 2000 with the mission to help people find their start, grow and prosper in their career. In 2001 JobTiger.bg was the first Job Site in Bulgaria introducing the online job search on the market. In 2002 it expanded in creating the first and biggest students career forum in Bulgaria – National Career Days. To this day, this is still the biggest career forum in the country held in 8 academic cities and being visited by over 12 000 people annually. With the years, the company has implemented new services to its portfolio – recruitment, staff leasing and temporary employment, consulting, professional meetings and workshops as well as many one time initiatives to help businesses and jobseekers.
Currently the company has grown to become a provider of complex HR services and an organizer of a large array of career events.
Wow, the career forum sounds impressive. Moving on to the brand: why is the job board logo (and name) referring to a tiger?
It is not a commonly known fact, however the tiger is the biggest known cat on the planet. Many would consider this to be the lion, however it is scientifically proven that the tiger is bigger than a lion. The company was created having this in mind – we want to be the biggest cat on the labor market.
Love the backstory! What awards has JobTiger received over the years?
If you check JobTiger’s ‘recognitions’ page, you will notice that the company has received over 30 awards for different achievements throughout the years.
Of course we have to mention the “Best Web Site for On-Line Services in 2001” award which is JobTiger’s very first award and laid the foundation for the future.
We are exceptionally proud of our “Socially Responsible Business’ Award in the “Investor in the Human Capital” category in the annual 2005 awards of the Bulgarian Business Leaders Forum.
Our colleagues have won the Forbes Business Awards “Employee of the Year” for two consecutive years: 2013 and 2014.
All these awards are welcomed recognitions for our efforts; however, awards are won once a year, and our work is carried out every single day.
I read that JobTiger participated in the Labour Market project of 2005. Could you tell us about that project?
The project was done in cooperation with United States Agency for International Development (USAID) with one goal – the creation and development of university career centers in the country. The purpose of the career centers was to bridge the gap between business and education and facilitate the career start and development of young people in Bulgaria. Nowadays there are hundreds of career centers in almost every university and many of the high schools in the country.
All thanks to JobTiger! You have a number of partner websites, including JobTiger.TV. When did you launch your own channel and why?
JobTiger.tv was launched in 2011 with the main purpose to meet the market needs of providing an HR media where information in the sector can be shared and be of assistance to professionals throughout Bulgaria.
It sounds like something foreign recruiters could really benefit from. Now onto the jobseekers: How many candidates do you have in your database right now?
Currently we are servicing over 200 000 registered users on our website JobTiger.bg. Our career forums and other events welcome over 20 000 more people, who are not necessarily registered on the website.
Speaking of different registrations, you have a different website for temporary work; are the offers also present on JobTiger?
Temporary work and staff leasing are usually project based. Depending on the project, some positions may be mentioned on the website. In case the project requires another approach of recruitment, people may be recruited using alternative methods and those could not include posting jobs online.
How has the gig economy affected Bulgaria? Are there more freelancing jobs?
We wouldn’t say that there are more freelancing jobs. For sure, there are more tools and means to find a freelancing job, so many people can feel tempted to start the practice. However the majority of employers would prefer to lend the execution of their projects to their own staff or contractors so companies focus on hiring permanent employees instead of relying on external one-time assistance.
It’s interesting how countries react differently to gig work. In what way is recruitment different in Bulgaria compared to the US for instance?
We have no particular observations on the recruitment processes in the US. We have noticed that jobseekers in other countries are more inclined to trust a recruitment agency to be their best type of representation.
Recruiters in Bulgaria are yet to gain the trust of jobseekers and be able to persuade them that being represented by a recruiter in front of employers has its great benefits such as having more information about the employer and some bargaining power when the time comes to negotiate remuneration. This is a trend that is still present in the country and is something that we would consider as a noticeable difference compared to other countries.
Which are the most popular sectors at the moment?
We would separate the popularity of employment by regions.
For Sofia – the capital of Bulgaria and the biggest cities in the country, the most popular sectors are IT and Outsourcing. These are the businesses that are expanding the fastest and respectively hiring.
As for the rest of the country, it is slightly different. The most popular businesses are in the Manufacturing sector. This is also where it is most challenging to find the right people. The number of jobs in Manufacturing is expected to significantly grow in the next 3 years. However, employers are struggling somewhat to find the qualified manpower for these jobs.
Good news for jobseekers in Manufacturing. Time for one last questions: how has JobTiger remained one of the top job boards in Bulgaria?
Except for being an online job board, JobTiger is the biggest organizer of Career and HR events in Bulgaria. We constantly excel at our craft and are currently the market leader, thus keeping the company at the top.
We never stay in one place – we constantly innovate (sometimes successfully, sometimes not). We work with care for our clients – employers and jobseekers alike.
Our company’s vision has always been to create a world filled with purposeful and inspired people, for whom having a job is not only having the means to live, but having a fulfilling and happy life.
We strongly believe that as long we stick to this vision and put in all the hard work to make it happen – we will be among the top companies for HR solutions in Bulgaria.
We would like to thank Hristian Petkov for answering all our questions. Need more advice on recruitment in Bulgaria? Feel free to contact the Jobboard Finder team.
Author: Ali Neill
As the job board tester and blog editor for the Jobboard Finder, Ali works on job boards from all around the world and keeps a close eye on the recruitment trends thanks to a number of sources, including the website’s social media pages.
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