BULGARIAN BANKERS TORMENTED BY FINANCIAL STAFF DEFICIT
The qualified financial labour market is warming up this spring. While winter months are conducive to calm reasoning and less emotional management decisions, the coming summer and the more favourable economic conditions forced bank managers to start considering both expansion and variety of their financial services. Beside a winning concept, new buildings and office equipment, they mainly needed good banking experts for this purpose. Offers for attractive positions in the whole of the banking sector flooded the newspapers and the specialized Internet sites in the last month.
It turned out, however, that qualified financiers have left the country long ago or are working for foreign companies. Some banks were forced to extend the application term as their managers seemed not satisfied with the quality of the applicants.
Undoubtedly, the offer of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) was the most attractive one. The bank searched for a director in Bulgaria of the new programme supporting small and medium-size enterprises as well as consulting companies in this sector. Apart from Bulgarian citizenship and perfect knowledge of the English language, applicants should also have serious managing experience in a big financial programme.
EBRD is also looking for a manager to plan the activity on the programme and to collaborate with the interested companies. The third open position in EBRD was the one for administrative director. The deadline for submitting the documents expired on May 28. The procedure of choosing is expected to finish in a month and a half. The EBRD Sofia-based office informed that details on the programme could only be available after forming the Sofia office.
Another open position in the bank is for regional director for Southeastern Europe and Caucasus who will operate in Sofia. The substitute of the previous director, Mr. Olivier Descamps, will be chosen among top-qualified experts who have proved their bank qualification and possess managing skills. Applicants should have worked in a commercial or investment bank for at least 12 years, should have graduated from a prestigious university in their home country and should also possess a diplomatic and professional working style.
The open positions in Bulgarian banks are as attractive as they are in the foreign ones. The competition organized by the Bulgarian Post Bank (BPB) for head of the Corporate Banking Department finished in the end of May. The director is expected to optimize the customers' service and to develop investment banking products. Applicants should have at least two-year experience on a similar position, a solid financial or economic background and an excellent knowledge of the English language. The expansion of BPB in the country necessitated hiring more experts for auditing in three directions - the Liquidity and the Finance departments as well as for its branch office in Sofia and the country. The previous campaign for hiring auditors in BPB was carried out in the late 2000, but obviously the financial institution imposes serious requirements.
An announcement of SG Expressbank was the hit on the labour market in May. The bank needed to employ experts to work with customers in its newly-established branch offices. It required a university degree and experience in attracting clients.
The other banks in the country searched for qualified personnel for their offices, too. The National bank of Greece announced an open position for a crediting inspector. First Investment Bank needed currency and capital dealers, Unionbank spent a lot of time in estimating candidates for the position of an Internal Control officer, Teximbank was in need of an accounting methodologist, and Raiffeisenbank - of an accountant with at least 3-year experience in a foreign credit institution.
Despite the numerous free banking positions in the country, experts find this market niche extremely shrunk. Frequently, the banks announce open positions rather to advertise themselves. Eventually the experts they hire appear to be old fellows of key managers of the same banks. On the other hand, the high requirements posed to the candidates limit the number of experts who apply for these positions.