A few months ago, I place an ad on TCN’s Facebook page looking for the next round of candidates for our intern programme. Minutes later, I received a very nice email from Ines Bokan from Posao.hr, offering to run my ad for free on the homepage.
The results were great – some 45 very high-quality applicants. Having planned on taking three, we ended up taking five interns, and they were the best crop in our programme so far.
Being self-employed for over 20 years, I have not had to look for a job for a long time, and I must confess that the Croatian job market fascinates me. Everyone is emigrating as there are no decent jobs with a good salary, while desperate employers are now looking abroad to fill positions. So what is the actual state of the job market today in Croatia? I am very grateful to Ines Bokan for finding time to give her thoughts on the job market. And, in a new weekly feature on TCN, Ines will be sending us 10 of the best job openings of the week, which we will be publishing on a weekly basis, as well as sharing in our newsletter – you can subscribe here.
We hear a lot about Croats emigrating as there are no jobs, and then on the other hand, businesses that cannot find staff. It can’t be both, can it? What is the current situation with the Croatian labour market? Can you give us an overview?
Some say that there are jobs, but not enough quality opportunities. Croats leave our country for different reasons, not only job-related ones. The current situation in the job market is not like it used to be – job seekers are running the show. Employers are facing different challenges in attracting and hiring candidates, as well as retaining employees. Whatever good activities employers used to do, now come to focus. Employment is an agreement, and both parties should agree on expectations. There is a huge gap between what the job market needs and the job seekers’ qualifications (just think how hard it is to find craftsmen, master craftsmen, and highly skilled and experienced managers). In the end, it is a known fact that great employees are hard to find, now just a bit harder. Being up to date with your competencies as a job seeker will help you find better opportunities. Being a good employer will give companies a bit of an advantage in the job market.
What types of job are most in demand?
The situation is similar every year – the job market is lacking, but not limited to, experts and workers in the hospitality, construction, craftsman and IT fields.
The IT sector is booming, and I have heard many companies having difficulty finding staff and even beginning to try and attract talent from abroad to fill the positions. What are your thoughts?
Croatia is a great country and recognized as a nice place to live; we finally could embrace expats and foreign workers. They bring new competencies, new knowledge and teachings which we could be missing without them. Remote work as well is offering our IT experts global recognition and the opportunity to expand their businesses even further.
Are you seeing much impact with remote work on job trends? If so, tell us more.
Remote work is a great option and many employers are open to this solution. After presenting remote work as a benefit, many companies shifted and are now presenting work from the office as a benefit and their EVP.
How would you compare the pre-pandemic job market to the job market in Croatia today?
The job market was much more in favour of employers before. Now, job seekers have an advantage to push employers to improve job opportunities and benefits. The pandemic gave people enough time to rethink their life choices and wishes, so many of them changed their jobs and careers. Globally, the great shift is happening and does not show signs of stopping. This is a great time for good employers to attract great candidates.
What about wages. What kind of salaries are being offered at the moment – are you seeing Croatian salaries becoming more competitive?
Salary ranges are raised in many industries and companies, if their business model can approve that. Unfortunately, not all businesses will be able to do that. Even with this increase, in many industries Croatian salaries are still below the European standard.
Which industries are in the highest demand?
Croatia is again facing increased demand in hospitality, IT, construction and retail workers the most.
There seems to be a marked increase in foreign labour in the hospitality and construction business, mostly from Asia. What can you tell us about that?
Job seekers are focused on looking for better opportunities, salaries, and benefits. If their own country cannot offer that, they will seek it abroad. So this shift shouldn’t be a surprise, as it presents Croatia as a good country to work in. If employers are forced to hire foreign labour, it’s best to give them a chance and show them how great our country is. As well, it is disheartening to see that we are losing our people who choose to look for better opportunities elsewhere.
How do you see the employment market in Croatia 12 months from now – how will it be different from today?
It’s hard to predict anything if looking at the global situation and expectations. Good candidates will always find new careers and jobs more easily, and good companies will find talent. We should all work on expanding our competencies and knowledge as this is a sure way to have a good position in the job market.
Many of them will confirm their job market position, and I hope that the rest do whatever is possible to improve their status. Although there is a recession to be expected, those times always bring new ideas, new businesses, and new successes. I am looking forward to new success stories being revealed and shared as motivation for all of us.
Ines Bokan has more than ten years of experience in Human Resources which she combines with experience from sales, advertising, IT fintech and the retail industry. Now she runs posao.hr, one of Croatia’s leading job sites.