November 2, 2018
Over 5,000 employees, how is Balfin preventing “brain drain”

Not all companies in Albania have the privilege to be able to extend their activity in all the vital sectors of the local and beyond economy. For this reason, their employees are unfortunately unable to grow professionally and think and act globally.

While the tendency in the country is such that skilled people want to leave for a better future abroad, there is an Albanian business that through policies and steps taken has tried to contribute into keeping professionals, returning their hope and desire to build their future in Albania.

Balfin Group is giving its contribution into solving the two problems mentioned above. Group’s activities are diverse and range from commercial centers, retail sales, logistics, mining, banking, construction and tourist resorts, making the group a big employer and able to manage resourceful and diverse human resources. This diversity creates a unique opportunity for each employee to unfold skills and show potential in diverse fields. Indeed, every group’s company operates in a specific labor market, but through Balfin all relevant entities operating under its umbrella have a perfect liaison and synergy. Thanks to this perfect communication, it is also possible for employees to switch from one sector to another, from one experience to another, but always remaining in the same Group. This process facilitates employee integration, but also values their dedication and service at work, recognizing seniority at work in group level. Based on this policy, all Balfin Group employees can grow professionally in a particular company and then make the big step forward to another company within the group.

“This is a strategy that we encourage in our group because through these promotional movements we pass through people, the experiences and the best expertise from a company to another, thus creating a very good opportunity for quality enhancement and generating innovations from these employee exchanges. On the other hand, employees themselves develop more by acquiring special knowledge and career development opportunities, “ – said Anjeza Kelmendi, Human Resources Director at Balfin Group

Naturally, the question may be whether an employee may pass from the retail sector to the tourism industry, from the mining sector to the energy sector, and so on? In Balfin this is a continuous and permanent process. Of course, expertise in a particular sector is very necessary to perform on a particular job profile, but an accurate assessment of the skills and potential that employees have, leads to the identification of new talents that overcome the limits of technical knowledge. In many cases, people with potential and leadership skills have demonstrated that technical experience is no longer essential because the desire, dedication and development potential of each employee is more decisive.

80% of senior executives in Balfin Group have been promoted through this career development process and today successfully manage companies or major departments of the Group.

Over 5000 employees, how are so many human resources managed?

This year finds Balfin Group with over 5000 employees, thus increasing the number by over 1,000 employees compared to the last year. This has come as a result of numerous undergoing projects and thanks to the Group’s development strategy that has been and continues to be unstoppable and extremely ambitious.

Managing with the right policies this large number of employees is a challenge, but Balfin Group has devised a lot of plans for the medium to long term. In addition to the Training Academy, which prepares and professionally enhances various group employees, and Talent Pool, a promotion program for the most prominent talents (practices already consolidated at Balfin Group) are in the process of discussing and studying a strategy which will evaluate the employee performance growth and their development with the establishment of the Assessment Center. Within Balfin Group, a regular survey is conducted about the satisfaction of all employees in the workplace. This survey is annual and from its results a work plan is set up in order to increase the satisfaction in the workplace.

Employment for young people and interns

The group continuously offers employment opportunities for young people so they can qualify and grow professionally. In this way, just-graduated students have the opportunity to realize their internships. This practice gets them to know with the work habits, professional environment, corporate communication, and interaction among large companies, enabling them to put their theoretical knowledge into concrete implementation. This also helps them analyze and understand what direction they want to take and what career they are going to follow.

Balfin Group has cooperation agreements with universities such as Tirana Business University (TBU) or European University of Tirana (UET), regarding the internships for students. During their time in internships, students are highly valued and at the moment where vacancies are available in the company and there are also interns who have very good results, they are selected as the primary candidates to fill these vacancies. This recruitment method helps Balfin as an employer to make a more objective assessment and safer decision making, but also gives employees the opportunity to integrate immediately into the work and company profile. The two most recent successful cases were those of the two interns who were employed in the finance and IT sectors respectively at Balfin after successfully completing their internships.

Internationally experienced employees decide to stay in Albania

The number of Balfin employees who have international training and experience is substantial. After working in foreign companies, they have now returned to Albania thanks to their employment in Balfin.

Mrs. Kelmendi shows how Balfin Group has this achieved:

“Emigration is a phenomenon that is affecting our labor market and as a result we strive to remain vigilant in the measures to be taken into preventing its effect among our employees. We take measures in every element that we can influence, such as the right working environment, clear responsibilities, annual performance bonuses, benefit packages in multiple group companies, professional development opportunities and advancement in career. Taking these elements into account and giving employees confidence in their work and career, we create a stronger bond with them, which affects their stay in the company, “she says.

Balfin Group also has foreign employees, even up to the highest management levels, who have been motivated to work in Albania. On the other hand, the Group also has Albanian employees who have duly represented the interests and investments of the Group in other countries, precisely for the above mentioned reasons.