Konzum Thinks Up New Way of Dealing with Workforce Shortage

Lauren Simmonds

It seems that all we ever hear and read about (and indeed write about) is the shortage of qualified staff in Croatia. Although the issue existed to a much lesser extent before, ever since Croatia joined the European Union back in July 2013, meaning that freedom of movement of labour was adopted as one of the fundamental freedoms of the Union – the situation has grown into a burning problem.

Croats are leaving the country in their droves in search of a better life, higher wages, more job security and an overall better economic situation in richer Western European countries like the United Kingdom, Ireland and Germany. As the problem progresses and causes tremendous issues, especially during the busy tourist season, some Croatian employers are turning to employing third country nationals (those who are neither Croats or EU nationals), for which the red tape and paperwork is causing additional problems.

For a third country national to be able to work and be legally paid a wage in Croatia, their employer must request a work and residence permit for them from MUP. MUP are infamous for their slow pace and by the time they check the submitted documents and approve a work and residence permit, which can take two months, the employer no longer requires the services of the third country national they have hired. And so the cycle of senselessness continues inanely.

Konzum, one of the largest employers in Croatia, has come up with a fool-proof yet simple way of solving the issue of the staff shortage. As Poslovni Dnevnik writes on the 12th of August, 2019, this summer, Konzum has come up with an entirely new and unique model for tackling the workforce problem, according to a report from Lider.

In addition to hiring students, the staff in the stores are also made up of managers and other employees from Konzum’s actual management, who have the opportunity to work one week full-time in stores before or after their time off.

As many as fifty percent of employees from Konzum’s board have used this opportunity so far. This is also the best way for colleagues to become familiar with the processes and standards of business within the store itself, Konzum said in a statement.

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