Could Greece's IT brain drain be the answer to Romania's developer shortage?

Recruitment agencies in Romania have started to take a closer look at the Greek talent pool in the past weeks.

Thousands of IT developers have left Greece in recent years, and others are on the verge of packing their bags, as the country's economic future hangs in the balance. Banks in the country have capped cash withdrawals at just €60 a day for the population in the recent weeks. Now the government led by Alexis Tsipras needs to deliver a credible economic plan by midnight in exchange for the possibility of a third bailout and remaining in the eurozone.

Many of the Greeks who left their native country have chosen to move to the UK, Germany, the Netherlands, and Switzerland. Yet, Romanian recruitment agency APT believes Bucharest could be an equally interesting destination for them, given the projects, salaries, and cost of living.

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The recruitment agency is now in talks with several candidates from Greece. "Young Greeks, at the beginning of their career, are motivated by the technologies they will use in the job. They are fluent in English and can be open to relocating to Romania," Daniela Miritescu, recruitment Manager at APT, told ZDNet. "There are plenty of interesting projects for IT developers in Romania, and that's a reason for them to take the country into consideration."

In general, she says, the monthly pay for a software developer in Romania is lower compared to Greece, however, the amount of money depends on the position and on how a specialist negotiates. When living costs and tax exemptions are added, the Romanian capital of Bucharest can be a viable option for Greek devs looking for pastures new. A studio can be rented here for an average €245 a month.

"[Greek developers] also like the fact that Romania has a quite large community of Greeks, and the country is somehow similar in culture and lifestyle," Miritescu said. "In addition, the work environment in multinational companies active in Romania is similar to any other work environment in Western Europe."

APT has also helped Romanian companies hire developers from Ukraine, Bulgaria, and Turkey.

Recruitment agency Brainspotting is keeping an eye on the situation in Greece as well. Roxana Barbu, ICT recruitment consultant, told ZDNet that Greek developers could land jobs in Romanian outsourcing companies. "The software developer shortage is being more and more widely felt in Romania," she said. "The demand is high for Java, .NET, and PHP specialists."

The ICT sector in Romania is growing full steam ahead. Exports in the telecommunications, computer, and information services sector reached $2.9bn in 2014, compared to $2.5bn in 2013, according to the World Trade Organization.

Romania has 120,000 specialists in total working in the ICT field, the local Employers' Association of the Software and Services Industry reports. A junior software developer usually has a take home pay of €750 to €1,000 a month, while seniors earn between 1,800 and 3,000 a month, according to Brainspotting.

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