November 18th, 2019, Bucharest
The turnover of the business services industry in Romania is 4.5 billion EUR.
- With 280 companies and 131.000 employees, the industry is one of the most dynamic in Romania.
- The number of employees will increase by 9.6% next year and the most wanted qualifications for employment in the industry are foreign languages (55%), foreign languages along with technical/IT skills (18%), IT (9%), financial knowledge (3%) and various other knowledge (soft skills, project management) (15%).
- Wages offered at the beginning of the career in the business services industry are 30% higher compared to the minimum wage, for employees with higher education.
Today is the seventh edition of the annual conference of the business services industry – “Every human step takes us to the digital evolution”, organized by the Association of Business Service Leaders in Romania (ABSL). On this occasion, the annual report of the industry is launched, presenting a summary of the sector and its trends. The event is attended by over 500 people and over 100 companies active in this industry.
According to estimates, in the last year, the business services industry generated higher incomes of over 4.5 billion euros, reaching over 2% of GDP.
The sector comprises 280 companies and over 131.000 employees. Thus, 2.4% of the total employees in the Romanian economy.
About 45% of the companies in the industry are SSCs (Shared Service Centers – companies which clusters certain activities, such as IT, accounting, purchasing, etc. in an entity specialized in shared services. 44% of active companies in the BPO industry (Business Process Outsourcing – specialise in providing services to external customers), the remaining 11% of companies are hybrid. Most companies which operate on the local market come from France, Germany, Romania and USA.
While a vast majority of SSC companies, 42% of them, will focus on optimizing and stabilizing services in the next year, 79% of BPO companies intend to increase the number of customers and therefore their turnover.
According to the participating companies in the study, the main services provided are IT (34%), financial and accounting services (28%), customer operations (26%), HR (21%), purchase (19%), Project Management (18%), business transformation (16%) and document management (15%).
The business services industry estimates a steady increase in the number of employees over the next two years.
About 85.000 employees of this industry work in Bucharest (about 8% of the total employees in the capital), 15.000 in Cluj (6% of the number of employees in the county), 11.000 in Iași (6.5% of the workforce available in the county), and 10.000 in Timișoara (less than 4% of the number of employees in the county), the rest of the employees coming from other cities such as Brașov, Sibiu, Galați or Craiova.
For 2020, the maximum increase for the number of employees is 10% and for 2021 expected increase is 6.5%, estimated by ABSL.
The average turnover generated last year by an employee in the business services sector is 31.000 euros per year, while the maximum value stands ar 119.000 euros per year, reflecting the tendency of ”industry players” to head for high added value services and complex pricing models.
Most employees in the industry provide customer services (32%), finance and accounting (24%), followed by IT (21%).
The average attrition rate is 26%, compared to the national average of 20% and the average attrition rate in the first six months is 17%.
60% of the employees of the industry are women (a decreasing percent compared to previous years), which is explained by the high share of services such as finance – accounting and customer service. Most of the employees in the industry are between 26 – 35 years old, 58% have an univeristy degree and 28% have also a Master’s degree or PhD.
45% of the participating companies in the study reported that the average level of employees experience is up to 3 years, 30% between 3-5 years, while in 25% of companies the level of employee experience exceeds 5 years.
The participating companies in the study reported that the most required qualifications for employment in the industry are foreign languages (55%), the mix of foreign languages with technical or IT skils (18%), technical knowledge (9%), financial knowledge (3%) and various other knowledge (soft skills, project management) (15%).
According to the report, 74% of the companies in the industry integrate solutions for repetitive tasks automation, at different stages of maturity, while 60% of them use personnel from the company to implement these projects.
”The clearly defined goal of automation in the Business Services Industry is to make our colleagues’ work more efficient. The immediate effects of implementing such solutions are relieving employees of repetitive and monotonous tasks in order to allow them to focus on that part of their activity where they need to be creative, to find original and innovative solutions. The benefits for the company, obviously, are not altruistic, because a better employment translates into lower operating costs. Moreover, because all these activities happen almost instantly, it will reduce the processing time of automated operations, while customer satisfaction rates will increase. In the medium and long term, we will be able to take over more activities from the clients and we will be able to invest more time in the professional training of the employees.” – Dragoș Ștefan, President of ABSL.
The wages offered by the industry and the benefits are very attractive for ”Millennials” and ”Generation Z”.
Starting wages in the business services industry are 30% higher compared to the minimum wage, for employees with higher education and there is a fast-track for career progression.
The ABSL report analyses seven processes/types of industry positions, as follows: Project/Process Management, Finance and Accounting, Human Resources, Customer Services, Supply and Procurement Services, Software Development (IT) and Management.
The average wage for a project management specialist with more than five years’ experience can reach RON 15.000 gross.
In finance and accounting, the starting wage can start from RON 3.900 gross, while the wage of a specialist with more than 3 years’ experience is between RON 4.800 and RON 25.000 gross, in the case of top managers who combine certain rare skills required on the market.
In customer service, the average gross wage for people with experience and middle management positions is around RON 8.600.
According to the survey, most companies offer language bonuses. French, German, Italian and Spanish are the most sought-after languages by employers, these being paid with bonuses (included or not in the basic salary) that can vary between RON 290 and RON 3.000 gross per month. Those who know less spoken languages (Dutch, Hebrew, Polish, etc.) can receive bonuses up to RON 4.700 gross/month, in certain situations.
Another benefit given to the employees is the extra free days, other than the mandatory ones, which can vary between 1 – 6 days per year.
Meal vouchers, private medical subscriptions and the option of having flexible working hours or being able to work from home are already common benefits in the industry.
The survey of the business services industry was carried out by ABSL in collaboration with KPMG. In the survey took part 42 companies which stands for 24% of the employees of the industry.