Romanian businesses have begun to import labour from Asian countries to ensure the needed human resources in areas with a deficit in this regard
Romanian companies in sectors such as the hotel business, public food, production, light industry, agriculture, constructions and services have hired in recent years foreign workers from outside the European Union, according to a survey conducted by Smartree, a company providing market research services with respect to salary and staff management. Most foreign workers in Romania come from the Philippines, Nepal, Vietnam, India, Indonesia and Thailand, countries with lower living standards than in Romania. According to the survey, the first initiatives to recruit workforce from abroad appeared in Romania 2 or 3 years ago.
The reasons for which Romanian employers resorted to this strategy vary and include the migration of certain social categories to more developed countries in the West, a drop in birth rates and the changing demands for various jobs caused by the new technologies and the inability of the Romanian education system to adjust in order to meet the demands on the labour market. The high costs of hiring workforce from abroad and the relatively long duration of projects are the biggest disadvantages, alongside cultural differences and language. The list also includes the integration of foreign workers into a new culture, the process of international recruitment and the volatility of the new workforce.
However, there are also many advantages for the countries with large numbers of foreign workers. These countries gradually become more cosmopolitan, more multi-cultural, allowing them to draw on a series of new skills that can contribute to the progress of society through innovation and creativity, the survey also shows. To be able to hire foreign workers, Romanian employers must follow several stages: obtain an employment permit, a visa for long-stay and the right to reside in Romania, and a stay permit for employment or posting. The employment permit is issued by the General Inspectorate for Immigration and its local branches, and the company that applies for it must meet certain requirements, such as not owing money to the state budget in the quarter before applying for the permit.
The benefit package for a foreign worker may include the payment of a flight ticket to Romania, shared accommodation, and in some cases also free transport to work and a paid flight to the country of origin after a certain amount of time. Also, foreign workers may benefit from meals and a cook to prepare dishes from their native area. To facilitate their settling in, employers sometimes also provide the group of foreign workers with a translator.
(Translated by C. Mateescu)