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Current Burning Issues
Employee Attraction

Over the recent weeks I spoke with some 150 C-Level Managers from the CEE region, yes some 150 of YOU, members of our nurtured knowledge community to listen, share and discuss views on the current “burning issues”, i.e

  • Inflation
  • Energy Prices/ availability
  • Sanctions and war in Ukraine
  • Employee Attraction and Retention
  • Rising personal costs
  • And some other topics you have currently on the table

So after all the discussions, what burns you the most?


The majority of you mentioned Employee Attraction as the main challenge. The reasons behind were however very different. There is a clear trend towards remote work, so called work-life-balance, ridiculous salary and benefits expectations, and some other topics.

The main issue of the employee attraction is “Attraction of Suitable Employees”.
Based on your feedback, the post-covid “new normal” looks something like

  • remote work = being at home taking mainly care of personal staff, or accepting side-jobs
  •  work-life balance = working a maximum of 3-4 days a week (hidden as extra holidays, sickness days, medical etc)
  •  massive management brain drain & outflow of managers and blue collars from the CEE & Balkan regions towards the western countries

Some of the “wow effects” that came during our discussions

  • We introduced 1 day per week presence in the office as a must, with 4 days remote option. The very same week 70 out of our 500 employees handed over termination letters. They were simply not willing to come back to the office once per week. It is very challenging for us to attract 70 new qualified employees.
  • We canceled working tables and issued a ban on bringing notebooks to the office. Instead of working tables we installed chess boards, table tennis, and similar “well-being” attractions throughout the office… We are simply happy if the employees come to the office at all.
  •  We couldn’t attract employees for our greenfield in Scandinavia, so we just hired 500 blue collars from the CEE region. We pay 19 Eur per hour on average, and they find it very attractive.
  • As we already have all the working instructions translated to Russian language, we started to attract blue collars for our manual processes from Kazachstan, Uzbekistan, Armenia and Kyrgystan
  • For our shared service center in Poland we are right now training 100+ employees from Mongolia
  • I interviewed 15 applicants, all were bellow 30 years old. Each one of them had a minimum salary expectations ranging from 110 – 150 kEur

What is your response?

    • Many projects are at a risk of being delayed or postponed with opportunity costs (costs of doing nothing) being enormous


    • Additional resources must be added to the existing projects to start/ continue and (again) to avoid opportunity costs


    • Huge (continuing) wave of relocations, off-shoring and re-shoring in all the directions, from west to east, from east to south


    • Turn crisis into an opportunity, and enter new markets to grow the top line (and sustain the increased costs structure)


    • Many “managers” are simply being laid off. To keep the personal costs under control, average nice-weather-captains are massively being laid off. It is a controversial issue, leading to the fact, that many managers are available on the market, actively looking for a job, and at the same time the salaries of top managers are rising dramatically.

But wait…

Where is the Executive Interim Management in these topics?

During the recent weeks we started several “new normal” projects in the CEE Region:

Human Resources

  • “Close the gap manager” – an interim HR Manager to close 2.400 vacant positions across Europe
  • “Avoid the gap manager” – an interim HR Manager to redesign the entire recruitment process, implement a pan-european software to ensure proper tracking of all the stages in the recruitment process from identification of suitable candidates to contract signature
  • Permanent HR Manager to harmonize and consolidate processes across the Central and Eastern Europe

Overall Responsibility

  • Interim Restructuring Manager (CRO) to lead a 12 – 24 months restructuring project. Key points: Absenteeism > 70%, Very low on-time, in-full deliveries, customer taxis…
  • Interim Turnaround Manager to relocate part of the production from Poland to Romania and reposition the remaining operations in Poland to be profitable
  • Interim Turnaround / Restructuring Manager with multi plant responsibility to initiate structural changes – lead supplier, customer negotiations; negotiate with workers council and first of all drive performance improvement initiatives in the productivity area
  • Permanent Plant Manager to take over after the former Plant Manager was not “fit for purpose” anymore, and laid off.

Do you have similar challenges and want to talk about them? Or are you available to jump into an interesting and challenging mission? Get in touch with us, we are happy to discuss it confidentially with you.

Bohuslav Lipovsky, Managing Partner
EIM Executive Interim Management CEE
Together we can find the solution you are looking for

About Bohuslav
Bohuslav leads companies and their managers through complex changes resulting from crisis, restructuring or post-merger integration. He focuses on working with private equity firms and international corporations. His strength lies in developing a transformation strategy and leading of multi-cultural teams.

Bohuslav has international experience, he has been active in interim management for several years, speaks several languages, and has extensive experience from numerous projects.