Guide to Hiring Developers in Romania

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Imagine embarking on a journey to discover a hidden gem in the tech world, a place where innovation meets talent, and where the fusion of skill and passion creates a vibrant tech ecosystem. Welcome to Romania – an emerging powerhouse in the realm of software development. This article delves into the intricacies of hiring developers in Romania, a country that has swiftly risen to prominence in the global tech scene. From the bustling tech hubs of Bucharest and Cluj-Napoca to the rich cultural and legal landscapes shaping the workforce, Romania offers a unique and compelling proposition for companies seeking top-tier tech talent. Here, we unfold the essential guide to navigating this dynamic market, offering insights and strategies to seamlessly integrate Romanian expertise into your tech endeavors. Let’s embark on this journey together, exploring how to effectively tap into Romania’s rich pool of tech talent and forge successful collaborations in this thriving tech hub.

Table of Content

What Does the Romanian Tech Industry Look Like?

Romania

Romania’s Tech Hubs

The Romanian technology sector is anchored by noticeable hubs in Bucharest, Cluj-Napoca, Timișoara, and Iași. These cities have emerged as key centers for technological innovation and talent.

Employment and Specialization in ICT

The Information and Communication Technology (ICT) sector in Romania has shown significant growth. In 2021, the number of ICT specialists employed was 198,440, accounting for 2.6% of the employed population. This demonstrates the increasing specialization and availability of skilled professionals in the tech industry.

Human Resources in Science and Technology (HRST)

As of December 2022, the HRST index stood at 31.40%. This figure indicates a robust pool of individuals engaged in science and technology, showcasing a strong foundation for innovation and development in the tech sector.

Software Market Revenue and Growth

The revenue in Romania’s software market is projected to reach US$375.80 million in 2024. With an expected annual growth rate (CAGR) of 6.25% from 2024 to 2028, the market volume is anticipated to increase to US$478.90 million by 2028. This growth trajectory highlights the expanding market opportunities in the software sector.

Dominating Technologies and Programming Languages

Developers in Romania have gained a notable reputation for their expertise in Java, .NET, PHP, Ruby on Rails, and Python, and they are increasingly showing interest in cutting-edge technologies like artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning (ML), and blockchain.

European Ranking and Industry Size

In 2024, Romania’s software development industry is ranked 12th in Europe among 26 EU countries. The country boasts 7,962 software development businesses, underlining the breadth and diversity of the industry.

Economic Impact of the ICT Sector

Romania’s ICT sector is a significant contributor to the economy. The share of ICT exports as a percentage of GDP rose from 2.15% in 2017 to 2.91% in 2021. ICT services exports, particularly computer services, have shown an upward trend, valued at 5.1 billion euros in 2021. This underscores the sector’s importance in Romania’s economic landscape.

Global Competitiveness and Educational Output

Romania ranked 6th in the IT Competitiveness Index in 2022, reflecting its strong position in the global tech arena. In terms of educational output, 2021 statistics show that 75% of ICT graduates completed bachelor’s and short-term degrees, while 25% attained master’s and doctoral degrees. This educational profile suggests a well-rounded and highly educated workforce in the tech sector.

English Proficiency

In EF EPI Romania is in 15th place out of 113 countries evaluated, showing a high level of population proficiency in English, which makes the country a perfect partner for international collaboration.

Legal Considerations

In Romania, there are two primary models of collaboration with developers: an employment contract (Contractual individual de muncă, CIM) and a business-to-business (B2B) contract (SRL/PFA). Each model has its own legal and fiscal implications.

Employment Contract (CIM)

Under an employment contract, a software developer is hired as an employee according to the Romanian Labor Code. This arrangement involves social security contributions from both the employer and the employee.

Employee contributions (35% of social contributions) include 25% for social insurance and 10% for social health insurance. Additionally, employees pay a 10% income tax on their salary.

The Romanian government offers tax benefits for the tech sector. According to law No 1168/2017, a 10% tax exemption is available for programmers if certain criteria are met, including holding a specified title, working in a specialized tech department, possessing relevant educational qualifications, and the company generating specific income from software development.

Companies must be registered with specific NACE codes and state “computer software creation” in their Statute to be eligible for these fiscal advantages.

However, this model requires tech companies to open an LLC, leading to additional financial and administrative responsibilities.

B2B Contracts

In a B2B agreement, a foreign software development company can collaborate with Romanian developers under a contract according to the Civil Code. Developers may register as SRL (Limited Liability Company) or PFA (Authorized Physical Person).

SRL: Developers act as a small firm and sign contracts for providing services. They must have a registered accountant for tax calculations. The income tax rate depends on the income and employment status within the company.

PFA: Developers operate as sole traders and are personally responsible for their tax calculations and payments. The income tax rate for PFA is 10%, with additional obligations for pension and health contributions based on minimum thresholds.

Regardless of whether a developer chooses SRL or PFA, the end-of-month procedures for the client company remain the same – receiving and paying invoices. It’s common for developers to start as PFA and switch to SRL after reaching a certain income limit.

Cultural Aspects in the Romanian Workplace

Cultural understanding is crucial when collaborating with Romanian programmers. Knowing the local workplace culture not only facilitates smoother interactions but also enhances team cohesion and productivity.

Communication Style

Romanians often exhibit a direct but polite communication style. Clarity and honesty in discussions are valued, but it’s also important to maintain a level of diplomacy and respect.

In professional settings, Romanians typically prefer formal communication, especially in initial meetings or correspondence. As relationships develop, interactions may become more informal.

Hierarchy and Decision Making

Romanian workplaces tend to have a clear hierarchy. Decisions are usually made by those at the top, although input from various levels may be sought.

Respect for authority is a key aspect of Romanian work culture. Employees generally expect clear directions and guidance from their superiors.

Work Ethics and Values

Romanians are known for their strong work ethic. They take pride in their work and are committed to delivering quality results.

Punctuality is important in professional settings. Being late for meetings or deadlines can be perceived as a sign of disrespect.

Team Dynamics

Teamwork and collaboration are highly valued in Romanian workplaces. Building a cooperative and supportive team environment can lead to more effective and successful projects.

Socializing with colleagues is common, and it can be an important aspect of building professional relationships and trust.

Adaptability and Innovation

Romanian developers are often adaptable and open to new ideas and technologies. This makes them valuable assets in dynamic and evolving project environments.

Innovation and creativity are encouraged in many Romanian tech companies, reflecting the country’s growing presence in the global tech industry.

Work-Life Balance

While work is taken seriously, there is also a strong emphasis on maintaining a healthy work-life balance. Flexibility in work schedules and an understanding of family commitments are increasingly common in the Romanian workplace.

Cultural Sensitivity and Inclusivity

Being culturally sensitive and inclusive is essential. Understanding and respecting Romanian traditions, holidays, and customs can greatly enhance interpersonal relationships and team morale.

Learning a few phrases in Romanian, even if communication is primarily in English, can be a good gesture to show respect and effort in integrating with the team.

Finding Romanian Developers

Romania, with its growing pool of tech talent, offers various avenues to find and hire software developers. This section explores effective strategies to locate and engage Romanian developers.

Local Job Portals and Recruitment Agencies

Utilizing local job portals is a straightforward method to reach a wide array of candidates. These platforms often provide access to a diverse range of tech professionals with varying levels of experience and expertise.

Recruitment agencies in Romania can also play a pivotal role. They specialize in understanding your specific needs and can streamline the hiring process by presenting pre-screened, qualified candidates.

Networking Events and Tech Meetups

Attending networking events and tech meetups in Romania is a strategic way to connect with potential candidates in a more informal setting. These events are not only great for finding talent but also for understanding the local tech community and its dynamics.

Participating in tech conferences, workshops, and seminars can also provide insights into the latest industry trends and introduce you to leading professionals in the field.

Partnering with Romanian Universities and Tech Schools

Establishing partnerships with universities and tech schools in Romania can be a long-term strategy for sourcing fresh talent. Such collaborations can include setting up internship programs, participating in job fairs, and engaging in collaborative projects.

These institutions are breeding grounds for new talent and can provide access to graduates who are up-to-date with the latest technologies and methodologies.

Collaboration with Offshore Tech Staffing Companies

Partnering with specialized offshore tech staffing companies like TurnKey Staffing offers a streamlined approach to hiring. These companies have access to the top 3% of talent in Romania and are proficient in local regulations, labor laws, and compliance.

TurnKey Staffing, acting as an employer of record, simplifies the process by handling the legal and administrative aspects of employment. This allows you to focus on integrating the talent into your team without worrying about regulatory complexities.

Finding the right developer in Romania can be achieved through a mix of local resources, networking, educational partnerships, and specialized staffing services. Each of these methods provides unique benefits and can be used in tandem to create a robust recruitment strategy tailored to your specific needs.

Enhancing the Hiring Process and Retaining Romanian Developers with TurnKey Staffing

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TurnKey Staffing is your partner for recruiting and retaining top offshore talent in Romania. We specialize in matching companies with the top 3% of software development talent, ensuring a perfect fit for your development needs.

Elite Talent Pool and Custom Recruitment

TurnKey differentiates itself by custom recruiting from an elite talent pool. This approach ensures that the developers you get are not just skilled, but also a great fit for your specific project requirements.

The recruitment process is designed to be swift and efficient. TurnKey’s ability to assemble a custom-recruited tech team in a matter of weeks contrasts sharply with the longer timeframes often associated with traditional staffing methods.

Rigorous Screening and Flexible Approach

Each developer undergoes a comprehensive assessment process. This rigorous screening ensures high quality and aligns with the goal of high retention rates.

TurnKey offers more flexibility and cost-effectiveness compared to traditional offshoring firms. We provide transparent fees and are agnostic to seniority level or salary, focusing instead on finding the right match for your team.

Innovative Retention Program

TurnKey is committed to talent retention, understanding that turnover can be costly and disruptive. Our innovative retention program has been shown to cut churn by more than 50%.

The program includes regular assessments of software engineers based on important retention factors, and the implementation of tailored retention strategies. This proactive approach significantly reduces the risk of turnover.

Talent Retention Index Score

TurnKey utilizes a proprietary algorithm to create a Talent Retention Index Score for each staffed developer, helping to identify and mitigate churn risks.

Regular communication with clients ensures they are always informed about the retention status of their development team and the steps being taken to minimize risks.

Results of TurnKey’s Talent Retention Program

TurnKey’s retention program not only reduces churn rates but also boosts developer tenure by 300%. With an average turnover rate of 15% (compared to the industry average of 40%) and even as low as 2% with minor stock incentives, TurnKey significantly outperforms industry norms.

The increased tenure leads to substantial savings, improved team morale, faster product development cycles, and a solidified knowledge base within the team.

Hire Romanian developers with TurnKey Staffing

How TurnKey Helps You with Legal & Administrative Aspects of Hiring Romanian Software Developers

TurnKey Staffing significantly simplifies the complex and risky process of hiring and managing tech talent in Eastern European countries, especially in Romania. We offer comprehensive services that alleviate the burdens of legal and administrative challenges.

Legal and Payroll Expertise

TurnKey functions as an international legal and payroll expert, ensuring that you can hire and pay offshore talent quickly, legally, and safely. This support includes specialized legal and HR teams to manage the nuances of offshore employment.

We eliminate hiring risks and tax liabilities, providing peace of mind and legal protection. This protection extends to aspects like contract streamlining, fundraising, and company exits.

Legal Compliance and Risk Mitigation

TurnKey ensures full compliance with local employment laws and tax regulations in Romania, shielding clients from potential legal exposures.

We stay abreast of legal changes in each country to mitigate any hiring risks, providing a dynamic and responsive legal framework for your offshore hiring needs.

Intellectual Property and Confidentiality

Intellectual property (IP) rights are fully secured with TurnKey. Every member of your custom-recruited team signs agreements, under local laws, that assign all IP rights to you.

Comprehensive background checks on candidates further ensure trust and security, covering education, employment history, and criminal records.

Administrative Simplification

TurnKey simplifies administrative processes by providing a single monthly invoice for your entire team, handling all aspects of legal, tax, pension, benefits, compliance, payroll, and accounting.

Their approach is flexible and tailored to each country’s unique legal environment, ensuring that your offshore expansion is legally sound and hassle-free.

Transparent and Customer-Friendly Pricing Model

TurnKey adopts a transparent “cost plus” model. This model clearly outlines the salaries of your developers, with capped fees on top that do not increase with salary. This transparency allows you to control compensation, promotions, raises, and equity grants.

Their pricing model is designed to be customer-friendly, providing high-quality service with extremely low churn rates.

TurnKey’s approach to managing the legal and administrative aspects of hiring in Romania offers a streamlined, secure, and efficient solution for companies looking to engage offshore tech talent. With their expertise and customer-centric approach, TurnKey ensures that the process of hiring and managing offshore staff is as smooth and risk-free as possible, allowing you to focus on your core business objectives.

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Summing Up

The process of hiring software developers in Romania offers a wealth of opportunities for businesses looking to tap into a pool of highly skilled and adaptable tech talent. From understanding the dynamic Romanian tech landscape, and navigating the legal and cultural nuances, to finding the right talent through various channels, companies have much to gain from this burgeoning tech hub.

The choices between employment contracts and B2B arrangements, each with its own legal and financial implications, provide flexibility in how businesses can engage with Romanian developers. Additionally, the involvement of specialized staffing agencies like TurnKey Staffing simplifies and enhances the hiring process. TurnKey’s expertise in legal compliance, administrative management, and talent retention offers a comprehensive solution that addresses the challenges of offshore staffing.

Moreover, the cultural insights and effective strategies for retention underscore the importance of integrating Romanian developers into your team in a way that respects their work ethic, values, and professional aspirations. This approach not only ensures successful project outcomes but also fosters long-term, beneficial relationships between companies and their Romanian counterparts.

In conclusion, hiring developers in Romania is not just about acquiring tech talent; it’s about tapping into a rich vein of expertise, innovation, and dedication. With the right approach and resources, companies can successfully navigate the complexities of this endeavor, benefiting from the diverse and robust tech talent Romania has to offer.

FAQ

What are the key benefits of hiring developers in Romania?

Hiring developers in Romania offers several advantages. Firstly, Romania boasts a highly skilled tech workforce, with strong expertise in various programming languages and technologies. The education system in Romania places a strong emphasis on science and technology, resulting in a pool of well-educated developers, especially in fields like Java, .NET, PHP, and Python. Cost-effectiveness is another significant benefit; compared to Western European and North American countries, Romanian developers typically command lower salaries, offering a more budget-friendly option without compromising on quality. Additionally, the strong work ethic and adaptability of Romanian developers make them valuable assets for projects requiring innovative and flexible solutions. English proficiency among Romanian professionals is generally high, facilitating smooth communication in international collaborations.

What legal considerations should I be aware of when I hire developers in Romania?

Navigating the legal landscape is crucial when hiring in Romania. There are primarily two models of collaboration: employment contracts (Contractul individual de muncă, or CIM) and business-to-business contracts (SRL/PFA). Each model has its own tax and social security implications. For instance, under an employment contract, both employer and employee are required to contribute to social security, and there are specific tax exemptions available for IT employees. In contrast, B2B contracts, where software development specialists register as either SRL (a Limited Liability Company) or PFA (an Authorized Physical Person), have different tax and administrative implications. It’s important to ensure compliance with Romanian labor laws, such as work hours, holiday entitlements, and termination processes. Additionally, securing intellectual property rights and ensuring confidentiality through robust agreements are essential, especially when dealing with sensitive or proprietary information.

How can I find top talent in Romania?

There are several effective ways to find top tech talent in Romania. Utilizing local job portals and recruitment agencies can provide access to a broad database of candidates with various skills and experience levels. Networking is another powerful tool; attending local tech meetups, industry conferences, and workshops can help you connect with potential candidates and understand the local tech community. Collaborating with Romanian universities and technical schools can also be fruitful, especially for sourcing fresh graduates or interns who are up-to-date with the latest technologies. Additionally, engaging a specialized staffing service like TurnKey Staffing can streamline the hiring process. TurnKey specializes in recruiting the top 3% of offshore talent, ensuring you get candidates who are not just technically proficient but also a good fit for your company’s culture and project needs.

What cultural aspects should I consider when integrating Romanian developers into my team?

Understanding and adapting to the cultural nuances of Romanian professionals is key for a harmonious working relationship. Communication in Romanian workplaces tends to be direct yet respectful. While clarity in conveying information is appreciated, maintaining a diplomatic and considerate tone is equally important. Hierarchical structures are commonly observed in Romanian companies, with decisions typically made by senior management. However, input from different team levels is often welcomed. Romanian software engineers are known for its strong work ethic and commitment to delivering quality work. Punctuality is valued in professional settings, and respecting deadlines is crucial. Socializing and building personal relationships can also play a significant role in team dynamics, aiding in building trust and understanding among team members. Acknowledging and respecting Romanian traditions, holidays, and customs will not only be appreciated but also foster a more inclusive and respectful work environment.

How does TurnKey Staffing help with the hiring process in Romania?

TurnKey Staffing offers comprehensive services to streamline and simplify the hiring process in Romania. They alleviate the administrative complexity and legal risk associated with finding, hiring, and paying tech talent, especially in offshore settings. TurnKey’s specialized legal and HR teams enable quick and legally compliant hiring and payment processes, fully protecting clients from potential risks or liabilities. This includes ensuring that your offshore team is fully compliant with local employment laws and tax regulations. Moreover, TurnKey takes care of all administrative tasks associated with employment, such as handling payroll, pension, benefits, compliance, and accounting, which significantly reduces the administrative burden on your company. Their transparent and customer-friendly pricing model, which includes a clear breakdown of developer salaries and capped fees, ensures there are no hidden costs, allowing for better financial planning and control. By handling these aspects, TurnKey allows you to focus on integrating the talent into your team and advancing your projects, knowing that the legal and administrative details are expertly managed.

Sources

  1. StartupBlink, The Startup Ecosystem of Romania, [https://www.startupblink.com/startup-ecosystem/romania]

  2. Trading Economics, Romania – Human resources in science and technology (HRST) [https://tradingeconomics.com/romania/human-resources-in-science-technology-hrst-eurostat-data.html]

  3. Statista, Software – Romania [https://www.statista.com/outlook/tmo/software/romania]

  4. IBIS World, Software Development in Romania – Industry Statistics 2011–2026 [https://www.ibisworld.com/romania/industry-statistics/software-development/3595/]

  5. Emerging Europe, Future of IT 2023 Report [https://emerging-europe.com/future-of-it/]

  6. 2023 Index of Economic Freedom, [https://www.heritage.org/index/ranking]

  7. EF English Proficiency Index [https://www.ef.com/wwen/epi/]

February 6, 2024

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