Greek Crisis Cuts Deep Into Worker Recruiting

Greece’s economic crisis is putting a crimp in recruiting workers, especially in an economy with nearly 24 percent unemployment, according to the Recruitment Confidence Index (RCI) which is conducted every six months by the Applied Research & Innovation Department of ALBA Graduate Business School.

That showed there will be a decrease in finding skilled people. The main objective of the survey is to explore the perceptions and trends of companies regarding their recruitment processes and methodologies

The survey, done of the second half of 2011, was conductedwith the support of ECDL Hellas. More than 2,600 invitations were sent to Human Resource departments, Recruitment and Selection Managers, CEOs, etc. of companies in Greece.

The main findings of the survey were that:

  • 34% of the participating companies are expected to reduce the number of their employees in the next six months, while only 17.9% will proceed with recruiting new employees
  • 50.7% of the participating companies did not give any raises during that period, while 54% stated that they would freeze salaries for the next 12 months. Only 9.9% of the companies will give salary increases of more than 3%
  • 63.2% of the companies have been affected by the financial crisis, while only 1.4% stated that they have not been affected
  • 54.6% of the companies have decreased bonuses, while 41% have reduced employees’ executive training. The same trends are expected for the next six months and education is expected to be negatively affected (50%)
  • Although the financial crisis has affected most of the companies, one out of two is still optimistic for the future of the company (48%).
  • The industry sectors that are expected to increase their recruiting activities (more than 20%) are manufacturing, services, pharmaceuticals and the construction industry. Education, banking retail and tourism sectors seem to be more pessimistic on recruiting new employees
  • The tendency towards recruiting young employees and alumni is still high (32.6%)
  • Companies that will employ new personnel will mostly search for sales, customer service employees, accounting/finance executives and IT
  • 60% of the companies prefer personal interviews as the main employee selection tool, while 36.3% of the companies employ other tools as well, such as psychometric tests and assessment centers. Job Searching Websites are still the most popular method of finding new employees
  • 55.3% of the companies consider a post-graduate degree a crucial prerequisite for the selection of new personnel.
  • The majority of the companies believe it is important to have a certificate of PC knowledge, English or other professional skills, while the 50% of the respondents stated that they publish job ads for secretaries, IT and accounting employees, where they specifically require certificate of PC knowledge.

Of the 208 companies that participated in the survey, 51.1% were Greek, whereas 48.9% were multinational. The collection of data for the 1st half of 2012 will take place during December 2011-January 2012. The complete report and results can be downloaded, as well as the analysis concerning the repercussions of the financial crisis here.



  1. Its important to say despite the current economic chaos..

    There are phramacutial companies making millions developing new drugs. Companies like IMAX found an grwoth niche for building giant 3D theaters. Walk into Apple store and you’ll find lineups for new iphone.

    So any Greek that claims there is no opportunity… is wrong. There are tons and ton of opportunity out there but the thinking has to be outside the box of tourism and agriculture that has keep our economy second rate. We have to start focusing on industries like technology and manufacturing.

    Our companies don’t have to be super successful multinationals all at once. All the need to do is make enough profit to survive while they continue to improve their products year-in-year out .We can even utilize the China and Japanese model of starting with cheap low end products made by cheap labour and and work our way up to the good stuff.


  2.  Whist I agree that Greece has unbelievable potential and there are huge opportunities out there, if people would stop whinging, get their heads out of the past, realise that the free ride is over and begin to look around using a little imagination. But only focusing on technology and manufacturing would merely be making the same mistake again, the same logic but merely replacing two new industries over the previous two.

    Greece’s island and rural communities depend on tourism and agriculture and for them there is no other alternative, so cutting their two main lifelines would be making things worse for a great many, not better. And will only lead to a great influx of out of work people into the already overburdened citites.

    What we need are drives to increase industry and exports right across the board, the tourism industry needs to be overhauled, revamped and re-presented to the world. We also need to increase agriculture, a country that can’t feed itself, export its surplus and only survive on imports won’t last long either. Plus we need to increase the technology and manufacturing industries. There is great potential there for all, if only people would accept that the past is gone and open their eyes and ears. 

  3. You’ve missed my point here. Of course there needs to be other industries in a country but for decades our focus has been tourism. This was a giant mistake and it continues to be a mistake for politicians and business people to focus on investment in the tourism area. (as it only distracts our attention away from more sensible areas)

    There is no reason to focus on tourism because too much of our economy is already based on tourism.  It will happen anyway because people around the world are curious about Greek history and come for beautiful weather and scenery.

    Our focus (esepcially government) should be towards encouraging technology and manufacturing industries. This is the way forward.

  4.  24% of the population is unemployed. These people could try and open or work for a tourist related business or a technology and manufacturing related business.

  5.  We have to restructure our private sector economy just like we are doing our private sector one. Now is the perfect time to do it with so many unemployed. It will create a solid foundation for the future. If those people go back to just serving souvlakis and selling trinckets to tourists we will just repeating the same mistakes.

    Technology and manufacturing is not easy business to get into. IMO the best way forward is for unemployed to use their free time as an opportunity to get skills needed (vis-a-v-vis training in school or even internet). With privatization our government should also be focusing on offering best deals not to Casino and Hotel operators but to companies like Volkswagen and Intel to bring high tech and manufacturing jobs to Greece. (which will also give Greeks more skills)

  6. Incidentally…this is the Internet age not the middle ages.  Even putting aside most of Greece’s population lives in major cities even rural communities today have the  capacity to create and market technology (rural communities in Germany is living proof of this). It’s just a matter of will to make the difficult long term principled commitment.

    Tourism is money in ones pocket immediately whereas with technology one must put a great deal of effort beforehand before having something to offer in trade.  Hedonists look for the short term immediate pleasure. Epicureans look for the greater happiness by taking a longer term approach.

    The real answer is these people don’t want to take the harder route. They prefer things simple. However simple does not equate to better. It harms both them and our country by focusing on so many low skilled industries. Economics 101. The greater the demand and less the supply… the higher the pay.

    There are special cases but as a rule this is why countries that develop technology are all leading nations with high standards of living… and why ones that don’t tend to eventually turn into poor backwaters.



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