More than 700 job seekers turned out Oct 15 for the Jobspin.cz Job Fair powered by Prague.TV to meet with more than a dozen potential employers looking for people with language skills. The next edition of the fair will be held in April 2017, again on the campus of Anglo-American University (AAU).
The fair also offered some tips on how to improve your career. Pepper de Callier, senior-executive coach and founder and executive director of Prague Leadership Institute, led a session called “Creating Your Career Success: What You Need to Know,” and Paul Myers, general manager at People Matter gave a talk titled “What’s Wrong With Me? Why Don’t I Get Responses to My Job Applications?”
“The turnout was really good and so was the quality of the candidates. Many multilingual people showed up. It was really the audience we wanted to come,” Kateřina Kukrechtová from Jobspin.cz said. Social media plus working with partners like Prague.TV was part of the strategy to find the right people. Convincing companies to participate in this special multilingual job fair was not a problem. “They are really hiring. There is a huge demand, and Prague has a lot of people who speak different languages.”
Most companies were confident that they would be hiring from among the participants they had met. Iain Pike of Dorset Recruitment, which specializes in IT and multilingual recruitment, said the fair provided very good value in terms of the number of quality candidates it had provided, and that several would definitely get job offers.
“It has been a good day. We look for software developers and project managers. On the multilingual side we look for customer service people, finance and accounting, purchasing, HR and sales,” he said. Most of the companies work with English as a primary language and do not require Czech language skills. A second language besides English is very helpful, though. “All of the jobs we have are open to different nationalities. We have seen a nice variety of people with different backgrounds.”
Veronika Marková of business software company SAP was also satisfied. “It was really great here and we met a lot of interesting people. It's just perfect,” she said. Her company was looking for people who spoke English at a high level or other languages. “We have a shared service center, so we are looking for many languages: Turkish, Spanish, Portuguese, French, German. All European languages are needed.” she said. They have openings in administrative positions in HR and finance, as well as IT positions. Some of the software developer jobs are in Brno, which has become an IT hub. The company has seen about 300 people by the late afternoon and registered many in their database of potential candidates.
Amazon was looking for people for a variety of positions, since they have a corporate office in Prague as well as warehouses nearby. At the corporate office, the company was looking for people with HR skills. “There is also the fraud investigation team, a safety investigation team for our vendors on the Amazon website,” Hannah Kroeg, a recruiter from Amazon said. The warehouse has logistics and management positions both at entry level and for more senior candidates. They were looking for Czech speakers for the logistics positions and people with English and another European language for the other positions. Kroeg said they had a lot of interest in the HR positions.
DHL was looking for service desk agents to deal with basic IT problems. “If someone is multilingual it is an absolute benefit to us. We support DHL worldwide,” said Russell Webb, a team leader for the service desk at DHL. The company is trying to get the word out that it has more positions that just logistics, and that there are a lot of IT openings for example, especially in the Prague office. Other data centers are in Malaysia and Costa Rica, and sometimes there are job opportunities to travel to the other centers.
Not all of the companies were large multinationals. CDK Global is a smaller firm that provides software for the automotive sales industry. “We are the technology behind how car brands sell cars to customers,” James Borrett of CDK Global said. He and a small team had come from the UK just to attend the Jobspin.cz Job Fair. They have positions in technical support, finance and HR. “We are looking for people with languages, so English and another language. But we are looking for personality as well, so people who are passionate and enthusiastic, and who don't just want a job but a career,” he said. The positions are tailored for people to get involved and grow their skills. The jobs are based in the Czech Republic but many have international travel as well. In the future, there is also the chance to be based in other countries. “We are quite big on international careers,” he said. “We are an international company but we are quite small in terms of head count, which is great because everybody is still seem as an individual,” he said. The company had collected a number of useful contacts and said they would be following up with several candidates. “Our aim is to hire, and we have open jobs.”
A big employer in Prague is ICON Communication Centres, which does outsourcing for several large clients. “We represent over 21 different nationalities so we are looking for a whole range of languages, and people bringing their backgrounds and experiences,” ICON's Sara Brandejs-Cohen said. The company in particular was looking for German, French and Nordic language speakers, as well as other European languages. There are even openings in Hebrew and Turkish. The company handles a lot of technical support, customer service, inbound sales. “There is a lot more to it than just an outbound call center,” she said. “There is a lot of variation. The priority is being a good communicator and being fluent in the language you are applying for. We offer great training,” she said.
During the day, ICON saw interest from people with a several language backgrounds. “I have been positively surprised,” she said, adding that the company already had an idea where some people might fit.
Travel website Expedia was looking for people to fill positions in Prague and also Amsterdam in 23 different languages. “At the moment our main priority is for Italian and Portuguese speakers,” Jan Vorisek, a talent advisor for Expedia said. Many of the jobs were business-to-business (B2B) support and IT positions. Expedia handles several brands of travel-related websites. “We have a full scope of services, mainly hotels but also flight tickets and destination services,” he said. “We operate in every European market and that is why we have such a wide range of languages.” They were quite busy at the fair, and had found several potential people to fill existing openings.
Unemployment in the Czech Republic is the lowest in the European Union, according to the most recent statistics from Eurostat. It is at 3.9 percent, compared to the EU 28 average of 8.6 percent. Many employers across the Czech Republic report difficulty in filling skilled positions.
Pictures from the event on October 15, 2016: Facebook