Finding the right professionals is the key to success

31. 1. 2022

news from the group

How professionals are found 

‘There are no workers’ is a quote from a famous Czech movie. It’s also today’s reality in Czech companies and on the labour market, where there is currently a shortage of about 120,000 employees. However, the FWG atlantiso group continues to grow and employ quality professionals. Aleš Demjan, CHRO (Chief Human Resources Offficer) of the FWG group, explains why this is in our interview. 

What does it mean when there is a shortage of workers? 

I joined FWG in June 2021, and since then my primary job has consisted in finding candidates and recruiting them to our companies. We alternately have 15 to 20 open positions, from basic jobs to senior management, and I have to say we’re doing well. We hire around five people every month, which is a good number. Over the last six months we have hired 25 new workers, most of them for new job positions. 

Where are these open jobs coming from? 

They are the result of the growth of our companies. VICOM, a leading trader in Czech and foreign wine, for which we managed to recruit a sales team of three people at one point, is one example. I consider this a great success given the complexity of trading in the HORECA segment (hospitality and various types of food establishments – ed. note) during the Covid pandemic.  

What are the most commonly filled positions? 

That’s the most interesting part of my job. The positions we fill cover all industries: from call centre operators, chefs, warehouse workers and drivers to top management.  

How many newly recruited employees stay? 

Despite our thorough selection process and our effort to give candidates an accurate picture of what their job will be like, sometimes things don’t ‘click’, or an offer more tempting than ours shows up.  

We have seen that many candidates participate in selection processes with other companies as a way to improve their standing with their current employer, but most candidates are choosing between several attractive offers.   

How can you persuade these candidates to choose your company? 

That depends on a candidate’s specific motivation. Some people like the possibility of further progression, to others the salary is most important, and some are interested in the company’s corporate culture. In general, however, I can say that we are working to create a work environment that enables high performance with above-average remuneration, while also offering meaningful and fulfilling activities. We naturally also aim to promote healthy interpersonal relationships.  

How many people are leaving the companies? What is our fluctuation? 

Fluctuation is a number we calculate using multiple factors. Sometimes people leave because we have different views and values, sometimes their contract ends and they want to move on, they go on maternity leave, etc., so the question is what kind of fluctuation you have in mind. We are always sorry when knowledgeable, skillful people leave. I am still working on specific statistics, but the approximate number of people who leave for whatever reason is about 10% a year.   

Is this a good number?  

It’s comparable to other companies in the market. It’s neither good nor bad, but we have to keep track of it. It tells us how good our corporate environment, remuneration and the ability to attract and stabilise our employees are. 

How much does it cost to recruit a new worker? 

When I say the recruitment of one specialist costs us 100 to 200 thousand crowns, and even more for managerial positions, this may seem like a lot. But let’s calculate: placing an ad, the time it takes to select a candidate, interviews, candidate evaluation, contract preparation, training, reduced production due to the need to train the new workers… For some positions this includes agency fees and other costs. The recruitment of new candidates isn’t cheap. 

Can recruitment be made more cost-effective? 

Yes. The most important thing is making sure that the people we want to keep don’t leave us; ensuring the satisfaction of our employees is paramount to us.  

It is also about finding more efficient candidate sources and minimizing cooperation with agencies. One tool is the recommendation of current employees. 

How does it work? 

If someone says they know someone skilled who would be suitable for an open position and we end up hiring this person, the employee receives a reward for the recommendation. Because they were recommended, we know we are hiring good people. This entitles the employee to a reward, which currently ranges from 5 to 20 thousand crowns depending on the position.  

We only launched this programme three months ago, and we’ve already received recommendations for seven candidates; four of them are currently in the final round of negotiations. 

What is your outlook for the future? 

I’m an optimist. In terms of open positions, the situation will be similar in 2022, that is about 15 to 20 open positions. Candidates’ demands for wage, corporate culture and the method of communication will likely continue to grow, and the demand of companies for capable candidates will also grow. I’m also optimistic because of how quickly we managed to find quality candidates.