“We plan on keeping staffing levels stable for the remainder of the year. We will probably make new hires at the marketing level or fill this year’s vacancies”, said Grigorescu.

The human resources manager anticipates 5% staff fluctuation this year, 1% above year-ago level, when staff migration narrowed three-fold year-on-year to 4% from 11% in 2008, in the wake of a sharp slowdown in FMCG activity coupled with the staff retention programs put in place by the confectioner.

However, the representatives of the company say the reduction in staff fluctuation rate is not solely attributed to the deterioration of labor market conditions, but also to the results of a company-wide career plan and succession planning programs it has implemented. Furthermore, Kraft’s recruitment policy is centered upon internal candidates, and runs external searches only when there is no employee eligible to perform the respective tasks.

Succession planning programs is aimed at developing internal personnel and talent in the organization, while ensuring the availability of experienced and capable employees to meet the business’ requirements, Kraft representatives said.

In 2009, the Kraft’s recruitment and promotion policy at managerial level paid off, the company filling 70% of vacancies from internal resources. “Between 2000 and 2007 we haven’t made any new hire from outside the organization. All successions have been made from internal searches”, Grigorescu said. In the 15 years since the launch of Kraft operations in Romania, only two of the 50 management board members have been recruited from outside the organization.

The company employs 260 persons, and the average age is 30-32. However, Kraft Foods Romania plans on hiring young graduates and keep them in the company. “We had trainees that remained in the company. However, I am not considering hiring a young graduate with 2 year experience who had been working in five companies. When I read their CVs, I’m looking at the time they spent in each company, and if the average is below 2years/company, then I am not hiring him”, said Grigorescu.

In 2009, Kraft invested €10,000 in its employer branding. Apart from this budget, the company spent €120,000 in staff training. “We decided to keep training budget unchanged this year. And the benefits package will remain constant in 2010”, Kraft Romania said.

In April this year, Kraft will raise salaries, but refused to disclose any percentages.

“We raised employees’ salaries last year, and we will do it too this year. Pay rises are set on an individual and performance basis”, Grigorescu added.

Kraft Foods Romania is one of the 180 Kraft Foods subsidiaries, with net revenues of $42 billion in 2008. In 2009, the shutdown of its sole plant in Romania triggered a wave of redundancies that sent 164 out of work. The 164 laid off workers were offered outplacement services and severance packages based on length of employment, date of departure and social cases.