Who is Hiring during a Pandemic?

Despite the rising unemployment levels in Bulgaria, one sector is in need for more people, comments Stela Tocheva, Sales Director at Modis.

In times of pandemic and a recession knocking on the door, there is a wave of bad news concerning health crisis, damage on businesses, bankruptcies, and unemployment. However, in contrast to cutting staff and closing factories all around the world, there is a group of companies that are meeting stable demand for their business. Recently, Forbes announced some of the industries that are growing in the midst of COVID-19 and even a list of American companies that are still hiring like crazy, despite Coronavirus.

The situation in Bulgaria is not that far from this. In addition to the evident growth in demand for human resources in pharmacies, grocery stores and e-commerce, there are sectors like ITO and BPO, still offering a good number of employment opportunities. Here are some of the reasons for that explained by Stela Tocheva, Sales Director at Modis.

Mrs. Tocheva, what type of companies remain stable in today’s economy?
Most industries have been seriously hit by the Coronavirus pandemic. We have witnessed the closing down of thousands of factories and the lockdown of over a billion people around the globe – something that nobody expected. All this has narrowed the demand of consumers mostly to essential goods and services. As a result, very few other industries and companies have maintained the normal levels of production they had before. In my opinion, they have been flexible enough to adapt, to go online, to introduce home office workflow or to transform and enter new markets that are growing today.


Is this the case with the ITO / BPO sector?

Not everywhere in the world. However, Bulgaria is one of the most popular destinations for outsourcing IT support, service desk, administrative, HR, and other activities. The sector employs around 70 000 people in the country and is a significant contributor to the national GDP.


Why are companies outsourcing to Bulgaria?

Cost-efficiency is essential but is not the only factor. We are lucky to have so many talented people with good educational background and IT and language skills in Bulgaria. Thanks to them, we can provide quality service and support to our multi-national clients – automobile manufacturers, tech giants, financial service providers and so on. Many of them are in a difficult situation but are still in need for our service and even seriously consider to outsource greater part of their workflow to partners in Bulgaria. Our observations show that the sector remains stable and in our company we have even experienced increasing demand for managed IT solutions.


Does it mean you are hiring at the moment?

Yes, we are onboarding on average 20 new colleagues every week. Fortunately, we have kept the relationships with our clients and we will even launch some new projects in the next months.


What type of people are needed in the sector?

Currently we have open positions for people with one or more foreign language skills – German, English, Italian, French and Spanish speakers, software developers and technical engineers. Other companies in our industry are in need for people to support administrative, financial and HR operations for their clients.


How has the pandemic changed your business in Bulgaria?

The current situation has been a great challenge both for society and businesses. We showed instant reaction to the upcoming danger and organized the smooth transition from work at our premises to home office for all 1400 Modis employees in Sofia and Plovdiv. At the moment all business operations – recruitment, delivery, administration, etc. are being done online. My respect to all other companies who also managed to do so for their staff. Of course, the pandemic has changed our life and work but having in mind the feedback from our clients and employees, we have done a great job so far.


Your advice for keeping a business stable in the current situation

Take care of your people first. Make sure you do your best for their physical and mental health and safety. Only then should you think about business. I believe companies that are flexible and smart enough to adapt, would get out of this even stronger.