HR trends to follow in 2018

22 February 2018

The year 2018 comes with new challenges for HR departments in Romania, one of the most important being the alignment with GDPR requirements. Along with this change, the HR specialists call attention to the need to invest in process automation and to create new strategies to address staff shortages issues, to build a solid employer branding, and to increase efficiency and productivity.

We invite you to read the forecasts made by six HR specialists from Romania and appreciate the extent to which you should adapt the HR strategy according to the trends noted by them.



Managing Partner – HR Sincron

„If until now we had been accustomed to the frequent changes in Romanian labour law, we believe that in 2018 the HR market will suffer a rather high shock due to the GDPR.

HR departments manage an overwhelming amount of personal data – of employees and applicants – so they will be among the most exposed to the rigours of the new standards and policies for personal data management. As such, the 2018 HR strategy should have as its central pillar the project of alignment with GDPR requirements.

As the awareness of new standards for personal data protection and of data processors’ responsibilities increases, the trend will be to enter a race to automate and proceduralise the work of HR departments.

Given the very large amount of data (e.g. processing of hundreds of monthly CVs) that an HR manager needs to manage and the speed at which the data changes, it becomes impossible for these operations to be done manually and to ensure an adequate level of security. Automating the HR activity means using specialised HR software. The good news is that by implementing such software, you may solve multiple issues at the same time, such as re-arranging processes since the software also comes as a set with a roll-out of procedures.

Overall, 2018 will require more HR work to reorganize the business according to the new standards imposed by the GDPR, but in the medium and long-term, the quality of all HR activities will increase, and the processes are will run more efficiently. 2018 will represent a maturity test of the HR market in Romania – it’s like we’re preparing to pass the Baccalaureate!”

About Mihai Stanca

Combining Computer and History Studies, Mihai has over 10 years of experience as a consultant on HR and Business and Product Development processes in the IT industry. Mihai understands how to work with people and has been part of HR Sincron Romania since the start of the company. He contributed to the development of Sincron HR Software in an all-in-one HR platform and drove the business growth in Romania. History helps him to understand things from different perspectives and to clarify his own values in life. The passion for technology, people and history makes Mihai a visionary at the product level, anchored in the Romanian economic realities.


Founder of Academia de HR

„2018 will be another year of increased staff shortage because the context that has led to this situation has not changed (the exodus of the workforce abroad in the context of domestic economic growth). At European level, the number of employees has (re) reached the pre-crisis level in 2008, so the needs for staff are increasing both in our country and abroad – migration will continue. Therefore, it will be a be a new difficult year for companies looking for IT staff, various specialists and technicians, drivers, skilled workers, etc.

Against the background of staff shortages, recruitment costs will increase. Many companies will have to “try to put a quart in a pint pot” in order to find their candidates, which means they have to properly arrange their recruitment processes, diversify their sources of applicants and improve their Employer Brand.

The high costs of staff recruitment and retention will increase the focus on productivity per employee. After all, no company can pay more than it produces, and additional costs need to be recovered. Companies will be interested in and will invest in productivity-enhancing solutions, both from the technological area (software and better performing equipment) and from the workforce.

Last but not least, one of the major trends which are very impressive today is Digital Transformation. HR has remained a little behind here, being involved in paperwork and physical documents, besides some mentality problems. But this situation is changing; the direction is clear towards digitisation. In 2018, the companies will make greater efforts in this direction by deploying HR solutions and tools to simplify their lives, leaving them more free time for matters that really matter, and not for administrative tasks.”

About Sorin Faur

Sorin has over 18 years of experience in the Human Resources field and is the founder of the AcademiadeHR.roproject, a consulting company focused on delivering training programs and HR services such as attracting and recruiting talents, reducing fluctuation and securing talents, managing performance, increasing productivity.


Learning Facilitator & Publisher – Learning Network

„In short, 2018 will be about Employer Branding, Assessment, Gamification and Instructional Design, Efficiency and Productivity.

Employer branding is no longer a nice to have for companies, it is a must have and we can see how companies will invest more, beyond participation in recruitment fairs and talent-gathering campaigns. HR budgets will also be targeted internally in programs focusing on engagement.

Another sensitive issue in HR is that of the assessment – which, unfortunately, in many companies has not been/is not used properly, due to a lack of understanding of the instruments used and the failure to provide the corresponding budget – the post-assessment stage importance is often lowered – the follow-up by specialised consultants. This year, I think the market is maturing, the trend being to invest effectively in this segment.

We will invest more than in 2017 in learning & development, but organisations will carefully select programs and prefer long-term programs and gamified programs. As the L&D programs tend to be customised in Romania too, the focus on instructional design in developing training programs has a much higher share.

Increased efficiency and productivity is noticed, beyond the classical Time Management, the overall trend being to search for programs that ensure that work time is optimally used, that organisational processes are appropriate and that employees understand what they have to do.”

About Clementina Anghelache

Clementina is an entrepreneur in publishing and learning facilitator. In 1994, she began to work in sales, a pragmatic challenge for a person aspiring to study philosophy. She has learned that you can push back your limits and that what you set out to do is important. In 2000, she moved from sales to marketing, and in 2003 she took the step towards entrepreneurship, creating the following brands: Learning Network, Coaching Network, Business-Edu, Casual Friday, Workplace Psychology.


Talent Acquisition Leader CEE – IBM Romania

„I notice three main trends in 2018 for the recruitment area:

1. The Impact of Technology on Recruitment  – Many people are increasingly dissatisfied with the classical applicant tracking systems (ATS), or at least with using these systems as the only tool in finding and recruiting market talents. Other solutions that will reduce or even eliminate the administrative load from recruitment will be a concern for many companies. We don’t know yet to what extent these automation concerns will be implemented in concrete solutions. This will also depend on the cost pressure, and how dependent that company is on the use of recruitment agencies at the time. In any case, most specialists agree that the tendency to “crush” people from recruitment to administrative charges compromises the quality of recruitment. Absolutely fine, except that a change of mentality is necessary in parallel; many Recruiter jobs are still seen as the first growth step in HR after a purely administrative job, so many occupants, unfortunately, do not have the right profile nor the vocation of the “hunter-seller”. To track the emergence and/or multiplication of Recruitment Analyst roles that will extract key insights about trends, markets, candidates using different tools, and thus be able to focus their efforts where it makes sense, especially linked to marketing activity, employment branding.

2. Increasing the direct search of candidates is a direct consequence of the fact that the availability of talent in the market is less than the current need. Although at a declarative level many say that they are doing direct searching, at the level of concrete data, this channel is still under-dimensioned especially in terms of Seniors’ positions. There is still a ‘shyness’ of recruitment people to directly address specialists and senior managers. The concern about diversity in different areas is also a priority on the agenda of many companies looking for new ways of attraction. This does not include, however, other concerns such as generational obsession, see Millennials. In spite of popularity in the media and events, it is not a pressing preoccupation and priority at the moment, which is right – personally, I think we are wasting time building special plans for a generation that is not substantially different from the others.

3. Employment Branding – or better to say the entire EVP (Employee Value Proposition) area. We realised that, although we have been talking about this topic for years, the promotional activity is still rudimentary and highly focused on participation in career events or a bit of online and career site. All recruitment channels must be rethought, and the part of the attraction and positive feedback about the company, roles etc. will play an increasingly important role. Perhaps, in 2018, we will finally see that we are learning Marketing and we are starting to apply real techniques that already exist, are developed, and they just need to be adapted to Employment Branding. Ideally, everything would go hand in hand with the development of analytical capabilities and concentration of marketing effort on key segments that need to be identified. More roles dedicated to these activities may also appear here.”

About Radu Panait

Radu has 22 years of HR experience, accumulated in three areas: Consulting, FMCG and IT. Throughout his career he has had various roles: HR Director, Strategy, HR Systems at Europe level and Recruitment. Currently, Radu is the Talent Acquisition Leader within the IBM, working on the EEC region (a total of 28 countries).


HR Generalist Romania – Merck Group

„Just like in the past years, in 2018 we also have a number of challenges in the HR environment. In addition to legal disorders, we also need to be responsible for organisational development coming as a set with human development.

As for the HR trends for the current year, I believe that a very strong emphasis should be placed on organisational management in creating the right environment to operate in any competitive market, regardless of the nature of the organisation. People will always have to remain in the first place, continuously trained and maintaining high standards regarding the goals set.”

About Emanuel Ghencioiu

Emanuel has over 5 years of experience, occupying several HR functions within the companies he worked for. He puts great emphasis on the professionalism of people in the guild, looking to bring added value, being a rigorous person involved in creating HR processes that best meet the needs of the company.


Head of the National Association of Recruiters

„Like any human resources professional, we are constantly confronted with the issue of recruiting and selecting staff (qualified, appropriate, professional, etc.). Methods used until recently (print ads, employee recommendations, job platforms) do not provide quality solutions, and the problem of identifying and attracting talents to companies is becoming increasingly stringent.

Every recruiter we’ve been interacting with at NAR has specified the same thing. Job platforms indeed provide candidates, perhaps even more than before the economic crisis, but the problem is the quality of these applicants, which is declining. Less and less candidates identified by advertisements posted on job sites are interviewed. Instead, the costs of publishing such ads are rising from year to year. I do not want you to believe that I am against such platforms; on the contrary, they continue to play an important role in any recruitment strategy (even recently NAR has launched its own job platform dedicated to facilitating the contact between employers and young talents).

BUT, it is clear that the methods of attracting candidates need to be changed. We can no longer use traditional recruiting techniques waiting for different results, the trends are obviously different. Attracting talents in the company is not limited to posting ads on job platforms and praying that at least a suitable person will apply for.

The social media influence on the workforce has already forced and will still force employers to change the way of communicating and attracting talents to companies.

The trend that I think will have a major influence on recruitment in 2018-2019 will be SEO strategy planning. Regardless of the recruiting methods used, the optimisation strategy of the employer site is an “absolute must” when talking about effective communication of the company’s brand. A quick search on Google will indicate if the jobs you post appear in the search engines or are listed exclusively on the website without any visibility.”

About Marius Pănuță

Marius is involved in various activities, having skills in recruiting and selecting human resources, designing roads and bridges, he is a site manager with ISC (State Inspectorate in Constructions) accreditation, providing audits and energy performance certificates for buildings and he is also a trainer.


General Data Protection Regulation comes into effect from 25th May 2018. Is your department really prepared?
Inform yourself about the application of the General Data Protection Regulation in the HR department!