In the past few years, the number of foreign workers in Hungarian rural towns has multiplied. Nowadays, they can be spotted almost anywhere in the country.
Hellovidek.hu interviewed experts from Hungarian recruitment agencies about the development of the domestic labour market and how foreign workers are getting by in Hungary.
József Nógrádi, Commercial Director at Trenkwalder, said that the number of job advertisements had been slowly declining. At the same time, the number of applicants is steadily increasing. Viktor Götl, managing director of WHC Group, sees the situation slightly differently. His experience is that although employers are now slightly more cautious about their staffing needs, they are still actively recruiting, as they did in 2022.
Götl explains that while mostly Ukrainians and Serbs were employed as foreign workers in Hungary before, an amendment to the law in 2021 made it easier for workers from 9 other countries to start working in Hungary. The amendment made the employment of guest workers from Vietnam, Mongolia, the Philippines, Montenegro, Belarus, Indonesia, Kazakhstan, North Macedonia, and Bosnia and Herzegovina a lot easier.
Most foreign workers nowadays come from Ukraine. They represent roughly 50 percent of the total foreign workforce of between 80-100,000 individuals. However, Nógrádi said the other country from which more and more workers were pouring in was the Philippines. He stressed that workers from the Philippines were usually highly educated with good English proficiency.
Both experts mentioned industrialised companies as the main target, which are often located in labour-scarce towns.
Such towns include Győr, Székesfehérvár, Veszprém and Zalaegerszeg,
the expert lists.
They also consider regions in which more and more large investments are being launched to be popular. These investments require a much larger workforce than companies can find in the region. These sites include towns such as Komárom, Tatabánya, Nagykanizsa and Iváncsa.
When asked how much a foreign worker earned on average, both experts said that wages were at the same level as for Hungarian workers. In Hungary, it is regulated by law that a foreign worker should be paid the same amount as a Hungarian worker.
As for accommodation, companies that provide accommodation for their guest workers also offer accommodation to their Hungarian employees. However, according to Götl, the experience shows that Hungarians within the country are less willing to move to a completely different region.
The experts stressed that foreign workers should not be confused with illegal immigrants. In all cases, these workers enter the country legally and for work purposes.
Furthermore, Hungarian citizens do not have to fear that guest workers will take their jobs. According to Götl, foreign workers are a stabilising factor for companies. Hungarian companies are looking for them precisely because they need more workers than they can find in Hungary.
Featured image: illustration
There’s A LOT of legal migration. We need them. And there are many legitimate refugees. We just have Politicians who capitalize on the “illegal immigrants” issue because it polarizes so nicely. Unfortunately. And then it backfires when you’re actually not able to staff all those foreign enterprises we’re attracting with European Union grants and incentives.
There may be many legitimate refugees, other than Ukrainians and Russians, all other country’s citizens should apply for refugee status in the first safe country they enter (Dublin Regulation). Qualified foreign workers should be welcome, on temporary bases only, and should return home after their contract expires.
I can personally attest to Filipino (“Pinoy”) workers being highly reliable.
Most of them are very religious and would find themselves at home in any of our local churches (too) – especially if Mass was held in English.
And, once they settle in, you’ll find many more will be attracted (if they’re not taken advantage of, or mistreated).
A lot of them are also exceptionally well-trained in the IT industry.
Any company that explores the idea of sponsoring Filipino workers won’t regret it.