One of the most important conditions for building good practices in the work of a non-governmental organization (NGO) are contacts and good relations with other organizations, as well as with the local government, public authorities and representatives of the private business. As a socially responsible company, Manpower Bulgaria has always strived to share its knowledge, experience and resources, not only in business, but also in supporting noble causes full of meaning and a sense of the future. Thus, the common values and expectations laid the foundations of our partnership with SOS Children's Villages Bulgaria in the search for professionals willing and ready to work for the cause of young people who grew up in a disadvantaged social environment.
The service "Family Type Placement Center" provided "SOS Children's Villages Sofia" is aimed at adolescents aged 14 to 18 who have been removed from their families. The SOS Youth Houses teams provide support for their physical, mental and intellectual development, for their social integration, education, training and building life skills.
Tanya Boyadjieva, Client Delivery Manager – Temporary Business at Manpower Bulgaria and head of the recruitment process for the current programs, talks about the specifics of the search for candidates for work in NGOs and shares her experience of working with clients and professions with a charitable nature.
Are jobseekers in Bulgaria interested in developing professionally in this type of organizations?
One of the biggest benefits of working for SOS Children’s Villages is the feeling that you are contributing to making a real difference in the lives of the young people placed there. You can see the results of your hard work, share the joy of their successes, and it brings great satisfaction both professionally and personally.
In addition, in recent years, from amateur organizations at the beginning of the transition, NGOs in Bulgaria are no becoming more professional, building transparent recruitment procedures, creating valuable staff, because the opportunity to make decisions and give ideas here is greater. You can be creative, find like-minded people and in this particular project - SOS Youth Houses - lean on the many years of experience of an international NGO with traditions and proven success.
All this makes NGOs attractive as an employer for people with a similar value system.
What did working with SOS Children's Villages Association teach you and how were you able to help in the search for suitable people?
This is a very specific sector. To find the right candidates for the job, you need to have an excellent knowledge of how it works. The main thing you look for in candidates is experience and commitment to the cause. They have to be socially responsible, they have to be willing to do something for society, they have to be people who aren’t afraid of the difficulties typical for this type of job. Among the sought-after skills, tolerance and the ability to share are a must - people oriented only in their own needs and interests fail to adapt and don’t feel comfortable in this environment.
The good preparation in advance, properly combined with the expertize of a global workforce solutions leader Manpower, turned a seemingly difficult task into a real and measurable success.
What are the expectations of candidates seeking development in NGOs?
People who want to work in this sector are mainly focused on professional development towards more knowledge and personal and professional development in the social sphere and hierarchical advancement is not a first priority. According to them, the sector produces professionals with a willingness to understand business processes and in the private sector.
The international contacts and experience to which they gain access are also seen as an advantage. In the case of SOS Children's Villages Bulgaria, for example, even people who do not travel to participate in meetings outside the country have access to such experience through involvement in the activities of the Association's Training Centre, as well as many shared experiences through the electronic platform of SOS International Organization, various international working groups, participation in projects, etc.
What steps can NGOs take to be more attractive to future candidates?
Most NGOs promote their mission, initiatives and career opportunities through specialized platforms and forums known only to small circles in the specific community. As a consequence, the meaning of the ideas embodied in their noble causes all too often fails to reach and touch the general public. Building partnerships like the one with our company in the SOS Children's Village Sofia-Pernik project could be key not only to attract the right people, but also to turn every challenge into a solution.