Valahia News had an exclusive interview with Georgiana Mart, founder of Navon Jobs, an international recruiting company, who discussed the journey behind her brand, the recruiting industry, and the challenges faced as a woman entrepreneur in this domain.
Here is the full interview with Navon Jobs’ company founder.
Interview with Georgiana Mart
Hello everyone! Today we are continuing our interview series with another Romanian entrepreneur who succeeded abroad. Her name is Georgiana Mart, and she is the founder of Navon Jobs, an international recruiting company.
In this interview, we would like to know more about you and your company. Hi Georgiana, thank you for accepting our invitation, how are you today?
Georgiana Mart: Thank you for your invitation, it’s a real pleasure to be here with you today, I’m doing great. I’m now in Dubai, and I’m managing the branch that we recently opened here, and everything is going very well, I’m happy.
From your perspective, how is the recruitment industry for a woman entrepreneur, have you found it challenging to adapt to this domain?
Georgiana Mart: Indeed, the recruitment industry is a tough industry, but what we do here at NJ, which is international recruitment, immigration recruitment, I would dare to say that it’s even tougher because, daily, we interact with different people from different cultures, from different countries that have a different perspective over the world. Daily we have to adapt to create the best results for our clients. It’s indeed challenging, I am lucky that I come from an international background, which greatly helped me. Also, because I am a woman, it’s difficult because these people, mostly our partners, come from Asia, Africa, and Latino America, and their gender inequality, especially in business it’s still an issue. In the first meetings, I always have a tough time showing them that women can do business as well as men can.
What motivated you to pursue this career in international recruitment, was it something that you noticed as a business opportunity or market demand to be exploited?
Georgiana Mart: I think it’s a combination between market demand, business opportunity, and also personal history. As I mentioned, I had a bit of experience in international interactions, let’s say, and when I started Navon Jobs, I was 23 years old, I was a student in my last year at university in Geneva, Switzerland. By then, I’d already studied in Switzerland, Spain and Italy……so I was familiar with and had already developed a skill in dealing and interacting with people from different cultures. All these three combined, so the market demand, business opportunity and personal history made me choose this career. Also, I can say that I have a passion for this phenomenon which is globalization. I love seeing how people interact with each other, and I love seeing acceptance growing, and in this industry, the word acceptance is very important. It’s my passion to work at an international level, making me pursue this career.
What exactly do you do at Navon Jobs?
Georgiana Mart: Navon Jobs is an international immigration recruitment company. We have two departments, the first department is the one that started this company which is that we bring people from Asia, Africa, and Latino America to work in Romania. We started this because in Romania, there is a huge problem with human resources, and this has been going pretty well in the past years for us. We developed a second department which handles the Romanian, Polish and Bulgarian people, basically people who want to grow and develop in other countries like Sweden, Denmark, and Austria. These countries are, we could say, richer countries in Europe, and we find jobs in these countries. So these two departments are bringing the people to Romania and sending Romanians to other countries, it’s a cycle that together forms Navon Jobs.
Why do you think that more and more foreigners come to work in Romania? You are now in Dubai offering us this interview, and we thank you again for finding some time for us, and you told us that tomorrow you will head to Bangladesh, why is this interest for people from these countries to come to Romania?
Georgiana Mart: I would start by saying that Romania is a very beautiful country to be in, we have a nice climate, we have four seasons, our economy is growing, we have a lot of foreign investors in Romania, we have the European funds programs, the local Romanian business people that want to see Romania growing. They create the perfect environment for foreigners and the foreign workforce to come and work in Romania. In Romania it is difficult to get bored because if you’re younger, you can have fun, you can travel, you can see the country, we have the mountains, we have fun things to do, you can go to the theatre, you can go clubbing. If you have a family, we also have small communities of different foreign people who meet with the families, and they can do weekend activities, we also have employers in Romania that are very welcoming, and they have a deep and profound respect for the workforce that comes from abroad to work for them. This combination between leisure time, the financial aspect, and welcoming Romanian people creates the perfect package for foreigners to come and work in Romania. I think everything started when some people came, they had a good time and told the people back home that they could trust the jobs they found in Romania.
Let’s take a normal case, someone from Bangladesh, where a normal monthly salary is around 200 euros when they come to Romania, they get 600 euros, so it’s already triple that they can get back home. And you see, in these countries, especially Asia, it’s very difficult to live. I remember the case of this guy, Raman, he comes from Bangladesh and contacted us through our website. He is the father of two young daughters, his wife is pregnant, he lives with his parents, and he has to take care by himself of all of them. The parents are too old to work, and he has to be the provider. This is a lot of responsibility for a man that is only 27 years old. He was very young, and he was desperate to find a job in Romania. We were moved, and I remember this case because it was in the beginning when we started in 2014, but we face this type of case every day. It’s a normality there for the man to be the provider and have to take care of many family members so imagine with just 200 euros, how can they live a good and comfortable life, how can they provide education to their children or basic needs? It’s difficult, so it becomes a need for them to come to Romania. So going back to the main question, this combination of all the factors, leisure, finances, and community, is very attractive for foreigners, and that’s why such a large amount of workers want to come to Romania. The requested rate made us decide to open our own office in Dubai, our own branch, and we opened our own branch in Bangladesh and are currently working on opening one in Nepal because we want to have direct contact with the workers and we want to ensure that the workers will get what they are searching for. Also, Romanian companies are satisfied with the type of employee that they receive at the working place.
What is the most challenging part that you face during the selection process?
Georgiana Mart: The most challenging situation that I faced is something that we at NJ face every day, which is matching the right job description to the right candidate. This is vital in our business because we don’t do normal national recruitment, we bring people from another part of the world, and sometimes it takes 20 hours for them to fly and come to Romania, so it’s not like a normal thing. So, a bakery where we send the baker to a 10-minute distance to the bus, no, we find the baker in Nepal, and we select him and send him all the way to Romania. We cannot play with that, and it is very serious. Imagine the bakery is not suitable, it’s a big problem for us, ok we will find him another job, but to ensure the best quality for our clients, and by clients, I mean both the candidate and the company, we have to be very strict about matching the job description to the CV. This is a challenge that we face every day. That’s why we do CV selection and practical tests according to the qualification of the candidate, so we do our best to ensure that this match is done as good as possible.
We remain on this topic about the selection process. What is the procedure for a foreign worker not integrating into the workplace? Do you have such cases?
Georgiana Mart: We had two cases like that, we had a chef from Nepal, and he was the only foreign worker from the restaurant, and it was a bit tough for him to adapt because he was the only one, the other workers were Romanians. They were very welcoming, but there was a language barrier, not all Romanians speak English, and not all foreigners speak fluent English. They could understand each other, but they couldn’t create a bond, this is what I also tell my colleagues at work, you stand one-quarter of your life at the working place, you have to be satisfied with your salary, but you have to be more satisfied with the connections that you create with the other people, the difference you create in the company. So if you cannot have any of these aspects, like in the case of the chef, he was afraid he wouldn’t be able to connect with his colleagues. He stayed there for a while, and after that, we decided to move him to another restaurant with more Nepali workers, and he could perfectly integrate afterwards. The procedure is like that, the worker calls us and tells us that he cannot remain at the job because of X reason, we talk to the company and explain the reason, and we provide a substitute because we provide this warranty of replacement. If something happens, the company will immediately get another candidate to come and replace the current one. We take the employee to our accommodation, we have special accommodation for workers that are recently arriving in Romania, and they want to stay for a few days to relax, adapt to Romania, or for workers that have problems like these. This is a special accommodation designed for them. So they go for a few days, whilst one of our colleagues goes and presents him with all the options and demands that we have from companies, and together they choose the best company. After that, the worker is placed within that specific company, and he starts working in there. We take care of the emotional aspect of the selection process, I think it’s vital.[….]
So your job is getting even harder when it comes to integrating them into the workplace. Our last question is, what is your opinion on the future of this industry in five years? Do you think the EU will continue to be attractive to workers from Asian countries like it currently does?
Georgiana Mart: This industry it didn’t reach its peak yet, so it’s a growing industry because human resource is the most important criterion in businesses. You can have the best business, the best product, the best of everything, but if you don’t have the best human resource to promote your product and to be there in front of the client, you will soon close your business. Because everything is in the hands of the person that presents it, and Europe has more and more needs, there are new countries that are opening to this need Bulgaria, Republica Moldova, countries not part of the EU but in Europe, that are facing a growing demand. Also, Asian and foreign people are more and more familiar with coming to Europe. Basically, all the third-world countries want to come and work in Europe. It’s an industry that will grow more and more in the future years, and I think it will be even more attractive because more and more communities will be built in different countries like England, for example. This is starting to grow in Romania as well as countries that are welcoming foreigners. The economy is growing, so I think it will indeed be a big thing to explore and grow.
Thank you for accepting our invitation, it was lovely to meet you. We wish you all the best, and enjoy the view!
Georgiana Mart: Thank you!