For decades now, thousands of people have been moving from the Balkans to Western Europe every single year. Especially since the turn of the 21st century and the end of the Yugoslav wars. The aim has always been to discover new working opportunities and to find better lives for them and their families.
The desirability of Balkan workers
Candidates from the Balkan region has long been highly desirable in European nations. They are known for their high levels of skill, trust and incredible work ethic. This determination to excel comes from an inner belief that they must provide more for their families. Nowadays, you see a good variety in the sorts of workers coming from the Balkan region.
You have highly qualified workers such as IT developers, doctors and scientists. As well as a whole wave of medical technicians, nurses and call agents. All in search of new opportunities and career development. However, what really makes labour from the Balkan region stand out is the quality of language skills they possess.
This largely stems from the wartime period when many people were forced to live all across Europe, in countries such as Switzerland, Germany and even up in Scandinavia. Over the last decade, this has led to a real diversification in the sorts of languages that those from the Balkans can speak.
Seeking a new life
For those companies looking to enhance the quality of their workforce, the Balkans is an increasingly tempting area to look. Similarly, there are plenty of locals happy to relocate to other parts of Europe in search of a new life. Especially amongst the growing level of university graduates who simply cannot find suitable working opportunities at home.
Though the government is making higher education increasingly affordable and accessible, their demand for jobs can't keep up. So you’re left with a large, overly skilled workforce in need of foreign companies to hire them and give them economic security. You find that most educated workers from the Balkans speak English, and many are fluent in German as well.
For those that are able to find work, wages are significantly lower than you'd expect to see elsewhere in Europe. Especially if you head to rural areas. This combination of low incomes, high unemployment rates and a multilingual workforce are what makes the Balkans such an attractive place for Western businesses to enhance their job seeking efforts and shift parts of their processes.
Common services being outsourced include customer service centres in English or German languages; back-office administration; and RPO (recruitment process outsourcing).