ManpowerGroup “COVID-19 South-Eastern Europe Business Impact Survey” Results:

Companies protect headcount and control expenses to face the epidemic

Leadership and reskilling/upskilling strategies crucial for business success

Sofia, Bulgaria, 2nd September 2020 – ManpowerGroup – the leading global workforce solutions company – announced today the results of its COVID-19 Business Impact Survey in South-Eastern Europe”1 in which over 1.000 respondents from Management roles share their vision and expectations on the future of business in a challenging landscape, as well as the companies’ priority concerns in adjusting to a new normal.

“The survey reveals that COVID-19 continues to have a significant impact on businesses in the South-Eastern Europe Region. Over 30% of the respondents consider that it will not be possible for businesses to return to normality after the epidemic before 6-12 months and most companies inquired will postpone or cancel new hirings in the upcoming months. While the short-term trend is to reduce costs and review and adapt the business models in order to bridge the most critical period, investing in strategic leadership will be crucial for the long term to drive companies and succeed after the epidemic. In addition, the survey suggests an increased focus on attracting and retaining talent, developing and re-skilling and up-skilling strategies”, said Ivan Sherbanov, Operations Manager, ManpowerGroup Bulgaria.

Key findings from the survey:

  • To face the COVID-19 epidemic most companies consider to implement actions to protect the headcount (55,3%) and control expenses (32,5%), as they mostly anticipate revenue losses and reduction of financial liquidity.
  • Considering COVID-19 immediate impact, companies are focused on limiting their headcount either through postponing or cancelling new hirings (50%).
  • Main actions that companies will take to face the period after the COVID-19 epidemic include: anticipation of clients’ needs, reskill people and retain talent, headcount reduction and strong focus on automation processes, speed up business digitization and cost control.
  • 65,9% of the respondents consider leadership needs to be mainly strategic to drive companies and succeed after the epidemic.
  • The main concern of companies during the COVID-19 epidemic are care for people, followed by communication, job security, leadership competency and company policies compliance. Other concerns registered by the panel include: economic recession, revenue loss, changes in consumer behaviors, lower financial liquidity, less buying power and risk assumption from clients, less in-person trade events due to switching to digital platforms, government restrictions for hiring, export and taxes, and decrease of orders due to logistics constraints.
  • 33% of the respondents consider the timeframe of 6 to 12 months to return to business normality after the epidemic, 41% expect to achieve it in 1-6 months, 11% in less than a month, and 15% anticipate to be back to normal in more than a year.
  • To stay competitive, the trend will be to reduce costs and review and adapt the business models, mainly taking short-term measures in order to bridge the most critical period. Companies with less than 10 employees and global presence consider most critical the cost reduction actions, the business model review and adaptation actions are mostly considered by companies with both 10 to 49 employees and/or 250 or more employees and a Regional presence.

You can find ManpowerGroup resources for managing through COVID-19 at https://go.manpowergroup.com/covid19 and https://workforce-resources.manpowergroup.com/worksmart-during-covid-19-resources/safelybacktoworkinthenewnormal.

1 Survey based on the replies of a sample of 1.138 respondents from Management roles in ManpowerGroup clients database who answered to a set of 11 questions – both multiple choice and rating scale. The data was collected between 13th May and 30th June 2020, via digital tools, in Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Hungary, Romania, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia and Turkey.

About ManpowerGroup

ManpowerGroup® (NYSE: MAN), the leading global workforce solutions company, helps organizations transform in a fast-changing world of work by sourcing, assessing, developing and managing the talent that enables them to win. We develop innovative solutions for hundreds of thousands of organizations every year, providing them with skilled talent while finding meaningful, sustainable employment for millions of people across a wide range of industries and skills. Our expert family of brands – Manpower, Experis and Talent Solutions – creates substantial value for candidates and clients across 80 countries and territories and has done so for over 70 years. We are recognized consistently for our diversity – as a best place to work for Women, Inclusion, Equality and Disability and in 2020 ManpowerGroup was named one of the World’s Most Ethical Companies for the eleventh year – all confirming our position as the brand of choice for in-demand talent.


About ManpowerGroup Bulgaria

ManpowerGroup Bulgaria is part of ManpowerGroup® and one of the leaders on the Bulgarian market in contingent and permanent recruitment solutions, staff assessment, RPO and career consulting. With branches in Sofia, Plovdiv, Burgas and Varna, ManpowerGroup Bulgaria has been providing organisations in the country with a continuum of staffing solutions for 12 years now, working with businesses from all industry sectors and giving them access to the people they need, fast. In 2019 ManpowerGroup Bulgaria was distinguished with Automotive Cluster Bulgaria special award Recruitment Company with the Biggest Contribution to the Industry. Find more information about ManpowerGroup Bulgaria at www.manpower.bg.

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