With Romania having become a business model from a management practices perspective, BR talked with Mihnea Spataru, head of Human Resources, APS Romania to find out how it could be replicated at the regional level.


Anda Sebesi


Back in 2015, you were appointed head of HR at APS Romania. What have been your main professional achievements that have had a direct impact on the results posted by the company on the local market?

I equally appreciate all the projects we’ve ran since June 2015, but if I had to choose one, it would be the implementation of development programs that have offered employees the opportunity to take a step towards a more complex activity or promotion. Of course, it would also be the internalization of the personnel administration, payroll or recruitment processes, which for many years had been outsourced, and implicitly managed by an external provider. This has generated jobs in the HR department and has given me the opportunity to promote young talent within APS. Other investments in the future are the partnerships we’ve signed with universities, the strongest at the moment being the one with SNSPA. We have internships, apprenticeships and presentations at the university.  As a result of these events, since January, 10 students have started their professional careers at APS.


You are part of a very young team of professionals that assures the management of APS in Romania. In your opinion, what are the advantages of a company that has young managers at its helm?

Advantages are multiple. Being very young, these managers have energy, an unstoppable dynamism and a hunger for performance; they do not set any thresholds or limits. Being part of this environment, my main advantage is that I enjoy their unconditional support in implementing new projects and exploring new approaches and methods in human resource management. Of course, this support also comes from previously successful experiences.


According to representatives at APS holding, the management practices business model in Romania is to be replicated at the regional level. What are the defining elements that recommend it for regional replication?

First of all, APS Romania operates like an academy. We take young employees, eager to stand out, at the beginning of their career and we create a framework in which they can grow quickly, become very productive and then transfer their accumulated knowledge and experience further. In this way, we ensure continuity of company performance and development even in times of higher staff turnover. At the same time, we monitor and extract good practices from ongoing projects and replicate them in the process of attracting and implementing new business.


Besides the HR activities in Romania, you also coordinate the recruitment process for APS offices in the Czech Republic, Croatia and Cyprus. From this perspective, what can you tell us about your professional experience in the region?

At the moment, we are recruiting for our new headquarters in Croatia and Hungary. Considering that the labor market in the two countries mentioned was unknown land for us at the beginning of the projects, we are proud to have covered the employee need – around 50 positions. Probably, given its success, we will continue to recruit for APS headquarters in these countries and most likely for others as well in the future. In the beginning, we took a market survey on the spot, identified the main recruiting channels, posted ads, done sourcing, met with many candidates and thus we were able to identify the profiles we were looking for.


How challenging is it for you to coordinate the operations of different specific markets at the same time?

It is very important to take the first steps in the right direction so that you do not have to start all over again after a while. You have to understand the differences between the business in Romania and the one in the country where you are going to recruit, the specifics of the labor market there and of the candidates, but also the cultural differences. The fact that you open a new company can be a double edged sword: it is an advantage because the world is attracted to new-ness in general, but it can be a disadvantage when candidates come with unrealistic expectations about benefits or career opportunities.


Mihnea Spataru, Head of Human Resources, APS Romania

Mr. Spataru’s main responsibilities include designing and developing the HR strategy and recruitment process in the organization, monitoring and constantly optimizing the costs of the recruitment process, building and developing relationships with internal customers and external recruitment agencies. Previously, he worked in various industries such as outsourcing, consumer goods and fashion.


The post Interview. Mihnea Spataru (APS Romania): ”We take young employees, eager to stand out, at the beginning of their career and we create a framework in which they can grow quickly” appeared first on Business Review.