The fight for the people has started: you already have free lunch!

The Hungarian economy recovered so quickly from the coronavirus crisis that severe labor shortages reappeared. From construction to agriculture and hospitality to the logistics sector, there is a growing shortage of manual workers in almost every area of ​​the economy. Companies often no longer need highly creative solutions, not only to expand, but also to keep production at that level, from recruitment techniques to working time arrangements to designing a fringe benefits system. They have no choice, as keeping fluctuations low is now more important to them.

Developer and manufacturer of power transmission technologies Vitesco Technologies The number of blue-collar workers in its Debrecen plant is gradually increasing. The number of employees will reach 450 by the end of 2021, and after the factory expansion that is now underway, this number could double by 2025. “The proportion of white- and blue-collar colleagues is currently 50-50%, which will increase to 70% in the near future as production picks up and further improvements are made. Among them, technicians will also come to the fore, ”Réka Makray, the company’s HR manager, told Portfolio.

The involvement of blue-collar workers is facilitated by a recruitment system. This includes an internal referral system, ongoing contact, and consistent feedback on both successful and unsuccessful job applications. After enrollment, theoretical and practical trainings and personal mentors help with learning. One central element of this is the dojo.

In this practice space, built as a scaled-down copy of the factory, kobots (cooperating robots) can be used to master the given work phase and the corresponding hand movements.

It is also possible to return and practice here later. This kobot station is also about that increase employee confidence in the robots they work with in production processes.

“There are, of course, workers who prefer to switch when they have to take fewer shifts elsewhere, but that’s less visible in pay. In some areas, the introduction of a new 12-hour shift adapted to orders also caused problems and fluctuations, ”said Réka Makray. According to him, it is also noticeable that

time spent at home has become more valuable, and work-life balance has also become more important to blue-collar workers.

In addition, travel distance is also decisive when changing jobs. Nevertheless, fluctuations are kept well below the national average.

Vitesco uses several channels for recruitment. Recently, the focus has clearly shifted from the print media to online platforms, with advertising spaces in public spaces and vehicles once again proving to be prominent recruitment platforms. The impact of the latter is felt specifically in the jump in the number of applications. They are trying to attract skilled blue-collar workers within a radius of about 70 kilometers, an effort that will be supported by their soon-to-be-launched corporate bus service.

Szeged faces similar problems Florin Zrt. which operates in the domestic household chemical and cosmetics sector. The practice is for them to constantly rotate the employees between the individual production lines and production sites. In this way, they can achieve that they can flexibly adapt to the fluctuations of production by redeploying workers, as everyone knows several processes and production lines, so switching is not a problem for them if necessary. In fact, at Florin

white-collar workers also have to work regularly one day in production. In this way, colleagues can get to know the whole operation of the company better.

According to company manager Attila Barta, in addition to the salary or the number of shifts, working conditions, well-being at work and esteem also play a role in how long someone stays with a company. In addition, a satisfied worker is the best advertisement, as it brings the reputation of the factory – as it is the other way around. However, Florin basically finds new employees living in Szeged and the surrounding settlements, especially blue-collar workers, who can quickly “inform” the company from their acquaintances.

However, all of this cannot, of course, be a substitute for overpayments. When planning these, it is important to consider the financial and life situation of blue-collar colleagues. After the outbreak, for example, Florin had to be careful not only to have enough workers, but also not to get sick. Therefore, the company has the staff of a restaurant in Szeged that is closing out of necessity due to the epidemic organized the possibility of free meals for the workers three times a day and, in addition, provided free vitamins, for example, nutritional supplements for employees.

The possibility of free meals at work was also maintained with the epidemic.

Other industries are also left untouched by labor shortages. THE JCDecaux HungaryAt present, about 10 percent of existing positions are vacant, more than half of which are physical jobs. “We are almost constantly looking for poster placements, but it is also a serious challenge to recruit maintainers,” Zsuzsa Navratil, HR manager of the outdoor advertising company, told Portfolio. JCDecaux competes primarily for employees in the areas of shipping, logistics, construction and hospitality. However, where the candidate only has in mind the short-term and high net earning potential, they may not always be able and willing to enter the price competition.

In the case of blue-collar workers, in their experience, the most important retaining force is clearly wages.

For them, it means predictability, a secure background if, for example, they can request and receive a rent advance if they have an unexpected expense. However, there is not really a chance for this in a workplace where they are not reported – Zsuzsa Navratil draws attention. While during the most uncertain periods of the epidemic, entry and exit in the job market virtually ceased, as everyone was happy with their secure job, predictable pay, this summer activity has also increased among white- and blue-collar workers.

The intensity of the pandemic has long clearly determined the evolution of the level of fluctuation: at JCDecaux, this was extremely low last year, around 10 per cent. There were four consecutive months when no one voluntarily left the company. This stagnation was typical until spring this year, but in the summer the value jumped again.

However, in quantitative terms, we don’t currently see the labor shortage as critical as it did before Covid-19, we have a position that receives 75 resumes, he said. He pointed out that for physical jobs, this number is on average 10-15. What really hurts is the quality side of the labor shortage:

there are few people who are really well trained and have relevant experience, and really good candidates sell out in 1-2 days.

It is also not uncommon for us to call a candidate a few hours after applying to indicate that they have already found a job. Zsuzsa Navratil emphasized that we need to be lightning fast, so we screen the candidates every day and we will find the relevant candidates by phone the same day.

Cover image: The factory of Vitesco Technologies Hungary Kft. In Debrecen on the inauguration day, June 24, 2021. MTI / Zsolt Czeglédi

Source: – Gazdaság by

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