Companies in the IT sector are looking for employees outside the country and the best places to find specialists are in Europe, in countries like Italy, Greece or Spain. Good paychecks, cheaper life and the fact that they don not need a work permit makes Romania a good place for European candidates.
Romania has the highest number of IT employees from Central and Eastern Europe. With around 100,000 people working directly in this sector (as programmers, developers etc.) and another 84,000 in IT&C services, Romania was named the Silicon Valley of the region. In Poland, the closest competitor, are only 100,000 IT specialists, even though the country is quite larger than Romania.
But there are problems with the work force. It started a few years ago when the rising of tech companies realized they don’t find enough people. According to the calculations made by ANCOM the need is of 10,000 to 12,000 people every year. From the school and from universities there are around 8,500 graduates in IT and 1,800 in telecommunications.
The number of companies that work in this sector is over 20,000 of which more than 100 have over 200 employees. Most of them are in Bucharest, where are working around 51,000, followed by Iasi with 20,000, according to the number of employees reported by the companies in the Moldavian city. Iasi grew immensely in the past years due to the fact that the region is still under-developed compared to Bucharest, Cluj or Timisoara, so the companies went in the other side of the country and managed to create a new big hub of IT.
Cluj is already considered ”the small Capital” of Romania and registered the highest grow in the 2011 – 2016 period, of 81 percent, over that in Bucharest of 38 percent. According to the Romania Association of Electronics and Software Industry (ARIES) the number of companies in Cluj was 1,439 in 2016.
”The relative growth rate of the previous year (calculated as the difference of the number of companies, compared to the value of the previous year) had two dynamics of variation. In the period 2011-2014, the number of companies rose at a rate of 5 percent -7 percent annually, so that in 2015 the rate would be 10 percent -11 percent. As a result of Start-up Nation schemes, an even greater increase in the number of IT companies is expected, with the number exceeding 1717 companies at the end of 2017”, shows the report.
Apart from these cities, the main counties where we find IT centers are Timis, Dolj, Brasov, Ilfov, Bihor, Sibiu and Mures. These cities cover around 94 percent of the total IT industry in Romania and have a ratio in GDP of 6 percent (together with the communications technologies).
The turnover of the IT companies located in Bucharest was, in 2016, of RON 12.96 billion, followed by Cluj-Napoca with RON 2.62 billion, Iasi with RON 853.3 million, Timisoara with RON 819.9 million and Brasov with RON 600.3 million.
“It’s a very big fight over the labor force. Many companies based in Cluj start to go to other areas, while very large companies open centers in Oradea, Iasi, Serbia, Republic of Moldova. These are the centers to which they migrate,” says Cătălina Ciubotaru, project manager at ARIES.
Today, the search for specialists is moving in other countries and some agencies said that are going to Vietnam to bring workers. ”It is not a surprise to look for people in Asia; Romania has salaries equivalent to those in USA in this sector. But it is hard to believe that people from so distant countries will come to Romania since they can find good jobs closer to the home,” says George Butunoiu, head-hunting specialist.
”I know that companies in Romania are looking for candidates in European countries, like Italy, Greece or Spain. Or even France, as I was told by somebody in the field a few days ago. And it is easier to bring people from EU due to the fact that there is no limitation for workers, as it is with those from Asia,” Butunoiu told BR.