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Published: 4 month

Wage competition and alternative working hours

Maintaining real wages will be a challenge again this year, but moderate economic growth is expected in the second half of the year, which will also bring a pick-up in recruitment. At the same time, finding engineers for the new positions that open up will continue to be a challenge, as there are no more engineers and workers are finding it harder to switch. So it is not all the same who can project an image and make a value proposition," says Gyöngyvér Budai, CEO of DVM Group Kft. HR Director of DVM Group, Ltd.

Budai Gyöngyvér, DVM Group-

How do you see HR challenges for the year?



We expect the second half of this year to be a period of moderate growth and economic recovery, which will bring with it a shift in recruitment away from last year's slowdown.



Inflation has moderated, but is still high, meaning that maintaining real wages will remain a challenge this year. The arrival of new staff on an already indexed wage can also lead to internal wage tensions, and these need to be managed consciously to retain staff, ensure well-being and prevent turnover or dissatisfaction.



What trends will prevail?



Wage increases announced at the end of last year and the beginning of this year will bring with them new wage competition, putting a lot of pressure on companies and having a big impact on financial planning.



In addition to the usual training, life skills training to support both work-life balance and mental health is becoming increasingly important

.

The expectation of many in relation to the home office was that it would be reduced and the five-day office presence would be restored after the outbreak of the coronavirus, but despite all attempts, a very small percentage of companies have been able to achieve this. In addition, alternative work schedules are emerging in more and more places and are starting to become a basic demand in the market. Flexibility is also prominent here, and no longer only affects a narrow group of workers, with young children or Generation Y, but is demanded by a large proportion of jobseekers, regardless of generation or social status, from their new employer.



What's the situation in engineering - has the shortage decreased? Or is recruitment still difficult in certain professions?



We expected that this shortage, this pressure, would ease somewhat from the construction slowdown that started last year. We also saw in the competitors that everybody was very attached to their staff and they were trying to keep everybody. We have also managed to keep the turnover at a very low level, which is good, and we can start the challenge with a very strong team. However, looking at the market, if we needed to expand the team, we would face a big difficulty, because there are no more engineers in the market and it is very difficult to move people out of a secure opportunity.



This is why it will become increasingly important who has a reputation in the market. The white collar engineering world is a very small and closed community. They know everything about a company before they apply and they go for interviews because they want to work there. Part of this is down to conscious employer branding, how the company presents itself, whether on its website or social media, how it portrays itself and what iconic buildings it has associated with its name, but the other part is word of mouth. I think that is as important as the conscious line. I think the quality of design and construction, the use of guidelines (e.g. sustainability), ethics and the reputation of the workplace atmosphere spread by word of mouth are just as important as the conscious strategies. As I mentioned, given the small size, everyone has a friend somewhere that they will ask anyway.



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How is the annual target setting process?



The process starts from two directions. One is a classic process, i.e. the owners set strategic goals years in advance. Which they start to break down into areas, in consultation with the directors, and then roll on to the managers and hence the company as a whole. We try to show colleagues where they are in the annual plan and how they contribute to the big picture, i.e. the overall operational process. The flip side of this is that employees also have goals. This can come from the previous year's performance review, individual career goals, life situations, whatever. We also provide the opportunity to incorporate these into the goals in consultation with your manager.



Both the employee and the employer need to be sufficiently flexible with each other, perhaps this is the primary key. Goals need to meet, while also being responsive to environmental changes and economic situations.



Does AI affect work, and if so, how?



AI is increasingly inescapable, shaping everyone's lives and impacting everyone. The key thing is not to be intimidated by new technologies, but to learn to live with them, use them and turn them to our advantage. As HR professionals, we need to support our colleagues in this, either by helping them to learn new skills or by helping them to see the opportunities. I predict that there will be areas mostly on the design, visualisation, operations and manufacturing side where entire workflows will be taken over by AI. With some retraining, positions can be developed further and this will allow time and energy to be freed up for new creative processes. In the long term, I think there is a competitive advantage in integrating this innovation into our everyday lives.



Photograph by Gyöngyvér Budai


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