Ivana Milošević, Director, CityScope Belgrade:

Every Client Counts!

CityScope is a recruitment agency that primarily focuses on the executive search approach to its clients‘ demands

Every client, whether a current or a potential one, is considered equally valuable and important by CityScope. CityScope’s team of consultants is fully committed to an individual approach to each client, using tailor-made solutions and thorough analysis of the labour market.

What is your opinion of current trends on the HR market from the aspect of compatibility of the Serbian education system with employers’ needs?

Based on our many years of experience as employment agents, we can say that the situation on the labour market when it comes to the compatibility of our education system and what business needs is far better and brighter today than in 2004, when CityScope started business. However, further changes are needed and we believe that they will happen with the planned strategic steps towards dual education. At the moment, some segments of the labour market are too demanding for the current education system, while measures to synchronise supply and demand have had either insufficient or no effect on other segments. Yet professionals adapt quickly to employers’ needs and their willingness to undergo additional training helps bridge the gap quickly.

Each recruitment process involves using tailor-made solutions and comprehensive analysis of the labour market and current situation, with particular attention to the qualifications and certificates that a client specifies as critical for a particular job

An increasing number of international companies recognise the value of management trainee programmes. These programmes help young people find out what their interests and fields of study are worth, by giving them a chance to try out their skills and knowledge in the real business world and providing opportunities for the best ones to become part of the team.

With your core business of cooperation with top and middle management, how do you find potential candidates, given the obvious shortage of trained professionals?

Each recruitment process involves using tailor-made solutions and comprehensive analysis of the labour market and current situation, with particular attention to the qualifications and certificates that a client specifies as critical for a particular job. Our role is to give the client an insight into the market and, if there are no suitable or highly trained professionals, to offer an alternative solution, a fresh, different approach, and to find the best way forward in cooperation with the client.

Over the past 13 years, we have encountered difficulties in finding candidates that meet all requirements. As a recruitment company we see this as a professional challenge. Our priority is to offer our clients a suitable solution based on our experience and best practice, detailed analysis and labour market statistics, and to propose alternatives for successful completion of the process.

Do you get the same demands for qualifications from public and private companies?

CityScope’s portfolio consists mostly of international companies. There are of course different requirements from one industry or business to another when it comes to candidates’ qualifications and competencies. We have also worked with some state companies, always to our mutual satisfaction with how the process developed and with its end result.

In the selection and recruitment procedures that we manage, we use the SHL assessment method supported by CEB

Although it is ill-advised to talk about the differences between private and public companies, when establishing regional business centres their requirements do differ and we have to adapt our queries accordingly.

CityScope has expanded its business to the Middle East and Eastern Europe. What qualifications are most sought there and what tests do the candidates usually have to take?

CityScope was involved in a project for USA Homeland Security from 2010 to 2013. Our task was to search the labour markets in Serbia and the region and get in touch with potential candidates. The client was looking for IT professionals and mechanical and civil engineers. The process itself did not include testing ‒ the candidates were assessed in F2F interviews in Vienna and London. In the selection and recruitment procedures that we manage, we use the SHL assessment method supported by CEB.

Considering that this was a long-running and a large-scale project, client and candidate satisfaction was high and the project was successful.

A great number of top young professionals leave Serbia for better pay and lifestyle. Is there a way to reduce this trend?

As experts with years of experience we respect every professional’s right to choose their own career path. We believe that with motivation and hard work everyone can find a suitable position and build their career. Since we keep in touch with leading international companies in their respective industries, we can say that employers are actively looking for ways to motivate and retain their employees through professional training and by involving them in professionally challenging and interesting projects.

Do you think that dual education could help reduce unemployment in Serbia?

In times of rapid market change and job differentiation, dual education is a good step towards synchronising the formal education system with the demands of the labour market, i.e. employers, which should result in a reduced unemployment rate in the country in some categories. We believe that through cooperation and a joint and open approach of all parties to business demands, requirements and opportunities, schools can produce competent young people whose knowledge and skills will be useful to employers.