The corporate working environment is an evolving area of trends.
More flexible work hours and freelance contracts, as well as practical and accessible corporate health initiatives, are on the rise. These are just a few of the current and anticipated workplace trends for 2022.
Cegeka has always had an entrepreneurial mindset and was already implementing some of these trends prior to the pandemics, but what happened last year? What trends are we observing, and how will they be implemented inside the organization? What other measures do we have planned for 2022 to close the gap between IT market offer and demand? What are our goals for 2022, and how will they impact the company's growth?
Andrei Pavel, Director of Engineering at Cegeka Romania, had the opportunity to talk with Dragos Gheban, Managing Partner Catalyst, about all of these.
- What was 2021 like and what does 2022 look like now?
It was a difficult year, as it was for many other market players, both from a client-project viewpoint and from a recruitment standpoint, as we sought to attract the best people.
We did, however, meet the goals we set for ourselves at the start of the year. We anticipate a similarly difficult year in 2022. In terms of turnover, we hope to increase by more than 25%, and in terms of colleague growth, we want to reach 1000 employees.
- Where you are now present and where you would see these colleagues coming from? Are there any major areas where you would like to recruit from? Or maybe some unexpected areas?
Last year, we introduced the concept of satellite cities in order to diversify geographically in Romania. A first step would be to broaden our geographical horizons by visiting several cities. We currently have two offices in Romania, one in Bucharest and the other in Iasi, and we want to open more.
We want to have an infusion of new colleagues directly from universities, at the junior level, we want to invest and even consider it a social obligation, and we have numerous programs that clearly promote this ambition, one of which is Cegeka Academy. We are in the third edition of this program, which aims to recruit talent from universities. As we did last year with our Cegeka colleagues, there is a three-month period of applied learning and practice. We do various streams, and following these activities, we will select the most qualified candidates for positions within our organization.
- What other trends do you see and how will they fit into Cegeka?
I definitely witnessed an acceleration of digitization and digital transformation with the beginning of the pandemic, even three months later. Due to government constraints, large, small, and medium-sized businesses have realized that digitalization is the only way to maintain and grow their businesses. We feel that the digitization trend will continue to increase. So on the side of potential new projects, things look very good from this perspective.
Another trend that has a significant impact is the way we work. On the one hand, working remotely, or in a hybrid manner, has its benefits. For us it has been quite easy, having some of our colleagues all over Europe and having a lot of tools to help us communicate with them and with our clients.
However, there may be issues on the engagement side, such as how to maintain engagement and how to build an organizational culture, and Cegeka has created a number of well-being and other projects to address this, in collaboration with other departments and with the assistance of HR colleagues.
In our opinion, it is still important to give space in the office for employees to meet, perhaps not as frequently as before, but maybe once a week or once a sprint if we work Agile, to see, talk to, and collaborate face to face.
- Can you tell us how satellite cities work?
The way we work, combined with the digital tools we have, makes things a lot easier and smoother. We already had the experience of working Bucharest-Iasi, Bucharest-Belgium, Holland, Germany, and other countries within the company, so it was extremely simple for us to work in this manner. There were also the practical and legal concerns with those working points; if you reach a certain number of colleagues in a particular area, we would provide them with an open space where they can work, depending on the size of the team.
In terms of the cities on the list, we are open to suggestions. We target big cities like Iasi, Bucharest, Craiova, Timisoara, Cluj-Napoca, Brasov, and Constanta, but we also target small cities. The important thing is to find the right people who want to work for us and with whom we can deliver quality.
If we are talking about technologies, of course, we are looking for people on the popular ones - .Net, Java, React, Angular, but we are exploring with other partners also the area of low code-no code.
- Which industries are the fastest growing in terms of digitalization and how is this reflected in your projects?
Our growth strategy and efforts are focused on the BFSI sector. We see a significant need for digitalization and innovation in order to stay and compete, and we feel we can help. We already have customers and experience in this field, and we want to build on that.
Another very interesting area where we have ongoing projects is real estate. This is another fascinating field in which we have ongoing projects. We believe that this is an area where digitization and digital transformation have been under-appreciated, and we are already in negotiations with various partners to identify those areas where digitalization would be helpful.
- You guys have also added another office in Bucharest, we have seen some movement recently. Am I remembering correctly?
Yes, in the north, called Miro. We are not moving completely, we are opening a new hub, basically, the satellite cities dimension is going to the next level and we will have more hubs, in the same idea of facilitating this hybrid way of working and it would be much easier for colleagues from different areas to go and meet in the office. And indeed there is a need and a demand in the northern area, which is one of the reasons why we are opening.
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