Employment in Serbia: A Comprehensive Guide

In recent years, Serbia has become an increasingly attractive destination for businesses seeking to expand their operations into Eastern Europe and, more broadly, into Europe, especially for companies headquartered in the US. With its strategic location, skilled workforce, and developing regulatory environment, Serbia offers a promising opportunity for companies looking to tap into new markets or access experienced professionals who are globally scarce. However, like any foreign jurisdiction, understanding the specifics of employment laws and regulations is crucial for smooth business operations. In this comprehensive guide, Jaka Lounge explores the critical aspects of employment in Serbia, providing essential insights for both employers and employees.

Employment Regulations and Compliance

Employment in Serbia is regulated by the Law on Labor of the Republic of Serbia published in the “Official Gazette of the Republic of Serbia” No. 24 from 2005, which has been amended and supplemented on several occasions (61/05, 54/09, 32/13, 75/ 14, 13/17-decision. CC, 113/17 and 95/18- authentic interpretation), This Law establishes provisions on the protection of the rights of employees and ensures fair treatment in the workplace. With a workforce of around 2.9 million, Serbia adheres to strict regulations to protect employees and job seekers from discrimination based on gender, birth, language, race, color, age, pregnancy, health status, etc. disability, nationality, religion, marital status, family obligations, sexual orientation, political or other belief, social origin, property status, membership in political organizations, trade unions or some other personal characteristic. Employers must comply with these regulations to foster an inclusive and fair work environment.

Minimum Wage and Average Salary

 The Serbian minimum wage by Decision of the Government of the Republic of Serbia from this year (2024):

Minimum wage Per hour Per month
RSD 271 RSD 47,154 RSD
EUR (exchange rate 117.5) 2.31 EUR 401.31 EUR

According to records from November 2023, the average salary in Serbia was:

Average Salary Net Gross I
RSD 89,956 RSD 123,971 RSD
EUR (exchange rate  117.5) 765.6 EUR 1,055 EUR

The growth of earnings in the period January-November 2023, compared to the same period last year, amounted to 15.0% in nominal terms, i.e. 2.0% in real terms.

Hiring Practices and Contractual Arrangements

 When hiring in Serbia, it is important to understand the different types of employment contracts that exist:

– Working in an employment relationship

  • Fixed-term Contracts

An employment contract can be concluded for a certain period of time, to establish an employment relationship, the duration of which is determined in advance by objective reasons that are justified by the deadline or the execution of a certain job or the occurrence of a certain event, for the duration of those needs.

The employer may conclude employment contracts based on which the employment relationship with the same employee is based for a period that, with or without breaks, cannot exceed 24 months (a break of less than 30 days is not considered a break). Therefore, in the event that there is a break between two engagements lasting less than 30 days, the break itself is included in the total period of 24 months.

Regardless of how many fixed-term employment contracts are signed with the same employee, the maximum duration of a fixed-term employment relationship with that employee is 24 months (either through one or several fixed-term employment contracts).

A fixed-term employment contract can be concluded:

1) if it is necessary to replace a temporarily absent employee, until his return;

2) for work on a project whose time is determined in advance, the longest until the end of the project;

3) with a foreign citizen, based on a work permit in accordance with the law, at the latest until the expiration of the term for which the permit was issued;

4) for work at a newly established employer whose entry in the register with the competent authority at the time of concluding the employment contract is not older than one year, for a period whose total duration is not longer than 36 months;

5) with an unemployed person who is up to five years away from fulfilling one of the conditions for exercising the right to an old-age pension, the longest until the conditions are fulfilled, in accordance with the regulations on pension and disability insurance.

If a fixed-term employment contract is concluded contrary to the provisions of the Labor Law or if the employee remains working for the employer for at least five working days after the end of the period for which the contract was concluded, the employment relationship is considered to be based on an indefinite period.

  • Indefinite Contracts

An employment contract in which the time to which it is concluded is not determined is considered an employment contract for an indefinite period.

– Work outside the employment relationship

  • Temporary and occasional jobs

A contract on temporary and occasional jobs is a contract where an employment relationship is not established with the employee, and this type of contract is time-limited and the longest period it lasts is 120 working days in one calendar year.

In this situation, people do not have the same rights as when an employment relationship is established, such as paid sick leave, paid overtime, paid leave, the right to vacation, and the like.

The company can conclude a contract on temporary and occasional jobs with:

1) unemployed persons;

2) employed persons who work for another employer part-time (up to full-time);

3) beneficiaries of old-age pension.

  • Service contract

With a part-time contract, the employer can conclude a contract with a specific person to perform tasks that are outside the employer’s activities, and which have as their subject the independent production or repair of a certain thing, the independent performance of a certain physical or intellectual work. For example, if your company provides software development services, you won’t be able to hire a developer through a work contract, but you can pay someone to prepare a social media marketing plan through this contract (provided, of course, that you already have you have not employed someone in the marketing sector in such jobs).

You can conclude a work contract with an unemployed person, as well as an employed person (with another employer or with the work orderer himself), a person who performs an activity independently, an insured farmer, a student, a beneficiary of an old-age pension, a person who performs an artistic or other activity in the field of culture.

  • Agreement on professional training and development

A contract on professional training can be concluded to perform an internship, i.e. taking a professional exam, when it is required by law, i.e. by regulation provided as a special condition for independent work in the profession.

A contract on professional development can be concluded for professional development and acquisition of special knowledge and abilities to work in the profession, i.e. performing specialization, for the time being determined by the training program, i.e. specialization, under the special regulation.

The employer money to a person undergoing professional training or improvement remuneration and other rights, by the law, general act, or professional contract training and improvement.

  • Additional work

 An employee who works full-time for an employer can conclude a contract on additional work with another employer, up to one-third of full-time work times.

Probation period

 In the case of a fixed-term or indefinite-term employment contract, trial work can be contracted to perform the work for which the person was hired.

The employer himself determines the period of trial work, which must not last longer than 6 months.

This allows employers to cancel the employment contract if the employee has not demonstrated the appropriate work and professional ability or does not have the appropriate qualifications to perform the assigned work.

In this case, the employment relationship ends with the expiration date of the trial period specified in the employment contract.

The probationary period can be terminated even before its expiration by the employer and the employee.

The employer or the employee can cancel the employment contract with a notice period that cannot be shorter than five working days. In case of cancellation of the employment contract by the employer, the employee is provided with a written notice of the reasons for the termination of the employment contract.

Working hours in Serbia

The normal working week in Serbia is 40 hours. Anything beyond this is generally considered overtime, which cannot exceed four hours in a day. Employees are also entitled to at least one one-day break per week.

An employee who works at least six hours a day has the right to rest during the day’s work for at least 30 minutes.

An employee who works longer than four and shorter than six hours a day has the right to rest during work for at least 15 minutes.

An employee who works longer than 10 hours a day has the right to rest during work for at least 45 minutes.

Rest during daily work cannot be used at the beginning and end of working hours.

Taxation and Statutory Contributions in Serbia

Understanding tax obligations is paramount for employers operating in Serbia. Employers are responsible for paying taxes and contributions for pensions, disability, health insurance, and unemployment insurance. Compliance with tax regulations is essential to avoid penalties and maintain good standing with regulatory authorities.

Taxes and contributions payable

  1. Income tax:

The Tax Law determines this tax on the income of citizens and defines:

  • method of taxation of citizens’ income
  • benefits and tax exemptions
  1. Contribution to earnings

Contributions are determined by the Law on Contributions for Mandatory Social Insurance and determine 3 types of contributions:

  • PIO contributions (contributions for mandatory pension and disability insurance) including contributions for insurance tenure as well as case contributions for disability or occupational disease.
  • Contributions for compulsory health insurance -contributions for injuries at work are also included in occupational diseases established by law.
  • Contributions for compulsory insurance in case unemployment.

We will show how much taxes and contributions are borne by the employer and employees:


11.5% – Pensions and disability contribution

5.15% – Health insurance

0.75%  – Unemployment insurance

10% – Current salary tax rate


14% – Pension and disability contribution

5.15% – Health insurance

0.75%  – Unemployment insurance

Types of leave

Paid vacation time:

Employees are entitled to at least 20 days of paid vacation annually.

Public holidays:

In addition to regular annual leave, employees in Serbia have an additional 10-12 days off each year due to public holidays.

Sick leave:

The compensation for wages during temporary incapacity for work amounts to 65% of the average salary that the insured earned in the previous three months before the month in which the temporary incapacity for work occurred.

The insured person is entitled to salary compensation in the amount of 100% of the basis for compensation in the case of voluntary tissue and organ donation, as well as in the case of temporary disability caused by an injury at work and occupational disease.

Wage compensation during temporary incapacity for work is paid by the employer for the first 30 days of that incapacity. If the temporary disability lasts longer than 30 days, the salary compensation from the 31st day is paid at the expense of health insurance funds of the Republic of Serbia.

Maternity leave:

An employed woman has the right to leave from work due to pregnancy and childbirth, as well as leave from work to care for a child, for a total duration of 365 days, with their full wages paid for the duration of the leave. The costs of maternity leave compensation up to 30 days are borne by the employer, and everything beyond that is borne by the RFZO (Republican Health Insurance Fund).

The amount of the maternity leave allowance is calculated based on the monthly basis for the last 18 months before the termination of employment due to pregnancy. The maximum amount of compensation cannot be higher than 3 average monthly wages in the Republic of Serbia, that is, 5 average monthly wages for rights realized from January 1, 2022. In the event that the employee receives salary compensation that exceeds the specified amounts, the salary compensation is paid first. The state pays the compensation to the employee’s current account, around the 21st of the month.

An employed woman has the right to start maternity leave based on the findings of the competent health authority at the earliest 45 days, and necessarily 28 days before the time set for childbirth (maternity leave).

Maternity leave lasts up to three months from the day of childbirth.

An employed woman, after the expiration of her maternity leave, has the right to leave from work to take care of the child up to the expiration of 365 days from the day the maternity leave began.

An employed woman has the right to maternity leave and the right to leave from work to take care of a child for the third and each subsequent newborn child for a total duration of two years.

Parental leave:

An employee has the right to leave from work with salary compensation (paid leave) for a total duration of up to 5 working days during the calendar year, in case of the birth of the wife.

The child’s father can use maternity leave (Article 94, paragraph 5, Labor Law) if the mother abandons the child if she passes away or is prevented from using that right for other justified reasons, and the law states serving a sentence, serious illness, and the like as justified reasons.

According to the provisions of Article 94, paragraph 6, and Article 94a, paragraph 4 of the Labor Law, the child’s father can use the right to leave work to care for the child. Therefore, on every occasion when the mother and the father of the child agree, the father of the child can be the beneficiary of leave from work for up to two years from the date of opening the maternity leave, without any additional conditions, of course, he must be employed to be able to be absent, i.e. to achieve the right to remuneration.

Therefore, the child’s father can use the right to maternity leave in exceptional circumstances, but leave from work to take care of the child is a possibility for the father, who can use the same only based on a (written) agreement with the child’s mother.

However, the company can give greater rights to employed fathers through its Rulebook of Work.

Other leave:

Bereavement leave: employees are entitled to five days of paid leave in case of the death of a close family member.

Health Purposes: Employees may take two paid days off for voluntary blood donation.

Adoption: Foster parents and adoptive parents are entitled to at least eight months of leave, starting from the end of the adoption process until the child is 11 months old.

The employment relationship may be terminated:

  • Upon expiry of the term for which it was established
  • When the employee turns 65 and has at least 15 years of insurance experience. Unless the employer and employee agree otherwise.
  • An agreement between the employee and the employer. The employer is obliged to inform the employee in writing about the consequences arising from the exercise of unemployment rights before signing the contract termination. If an employee signs a mutual termination, he has no right to monetary compensation, and this must be clearly communicated to him in the notice attached to the Termination of the Employment Contract by Agreement.
  • Termination of the employment contract by the employer or employee (In case of termination by the employer, the reasons and methods of termination are quite specific and must be followed by the Labor Law)
  • At the request of the employee’s parent or guardian younger than 18 years of age
  • Death of the employee
  • In other cases established by law

Notice period

  • Termination of the employment contract by the employee

The condition for the termination of the employment relationship based on the employee’s resignation is that the employer receives the employee’s statement of the stated intention, which is given in writing, which is clear, categorical, unambiguous and does not require any additional interpretation. Only such a statement of the employee, made freely and independently, without the influence of threat, coercion or delusion (without the influence of lack of will), constitutes a valid basis for the termination of the employment contract and produces legal effect from the moment of delivery to the authorized person of the employer.

When terminating the employment contract, the employee must state the date when the employment relationship ends, with that day having to be within the notice period. The employee submits the termination of the employment contract to the employer in writing, at least 15 days before the day the employee indicated as the day of termination of the employment relationship. This period is called the notice period by the Labor Law. The employer’s general act or employment contract may establish a longer notice period, but not longer than 30 days. This practically means the following: if the employment contract or some general act of the employer stipulates that the notice period lasts longer than 15 days, that rule applies, with the provision that no longer than 30 days must be prescribed. If the length of the notice period is not prescribed at all in the employment contract or in the general act of the employer, or if a notice period of more than 30 days is prescribed (which is not allowed), the legal rule of 15 days notice period is applied. Therefore, in terms of duration, the notice period can last between 15 and 30 days.

The notice period includes working days, as well as weekends and holidays, but also all other days on which the employee would not work (use of days off, etc.). The possible use of sick leave is also counted. Therefore, it is not about 15 working days, but about 15 calendar days. Therefore, the notice period lasts between 15 and 30 calendar days, not working days.

  • Notice period when the employer gives notice

In the case when the employer terminates the employee’s employment contract, no notice period is provided, except in one case. An employee whose employment contract has been terminated because he does not achieve the required work results, i.e. he does not have the necessary knowledge and abilities to perform the tasks he is working on, has the right to a notice period determined by a general act or employment contract, depending on the length of insurance, and which cannot be shorter than eight nor longer than 30 days. Therefore, only when the employer cancels the employment contract because it has established in the legal procedure that the employee does not achieve the required work results, i.e. does not have the necessary knowledge and abilities to perform the tasks he is working on, the employee has the right to a notice period and that is for the length that he determines or a general act of the employer or an employment contract, provided that it is determined in the range of a minimum of 8 and a maximum of 30 calendar (non-working) days. This notice period also includes any sick leave, vacation, or holidays, every calendar day. In the case of this notice period, it begins to run on the following day from the day of delivery of the decision on the termination of the employment contract.

The employee can, in agreement with the competent authority at the employer, stop working even before the notice period expires, with the fact that during that time he is provided with salary compensation in the amount determined by the general act and the employment contract. Therefore, even if the employer and employee agree not to serve the notice period, wage compensation must be paid.

Severance pay

Severance pay becomes mandatory if the employee is fired due to technological redundancy.

Namely, becoming redundant means that the need for your workplace has ceased due to technological, economic or organizational changes in the company. To clarify:

  • the term “technological changes” means that the workplace has become unsustainable, that is, unnecessary, due to, for example, technological innovations that have been introduced in the company;
  • “economic changes” mean financial difficulties, that is, the employer’s assessment that it is financially impossible for him to maintain the current number of employees and therefore reorganize the workplaces, closing those he considers redundant for the successful operation of the company;
  • the term “organizational changes” means any reorganization of the company, for example, the merger of companies, departments or the workplaces themselves with the aim of business prosperity.

These payments are determined by multiplying one third of the employee’s annual salary by the length of employment with the employer. Alternatively, severance pay can be agreed differently as stipulated in the employment contract or the Labor Regulations.

Damage compensation for unused vacation

 Upon termination of the employment relationship, if an employee has not utilized their annual vacation entirely or partially, the employer is required to provide monetary compensation instead of the unused annual leave. This compensation is calculated based on the average salary earned by the employee in the preceding 12 months, proportional to the number of unused vacation days.

Labor law and HR administration

Our experts at Jaka Lounge provide support to labor companies in the human resources sector.

Our commitment to excellence is reflected in our diverse range of HR services, designed to streamline processes, enhance productivity, and drive organizational growth. From talent acquisition to learning and development, we provide strategic guidance and support at every stage of the employee lifecycle.

In HR Consultancy, we offer tailored solutions to address the unique challenges faced by businesses in Serbia. From streamlining core HR processes to providing salary reports, employee assistance programs, career guidance, and counseling, our consultancy services are designed to optimize organizational effectiveness and foster a positive work environment.

Learning & Development are at the heart of our approach, and we are particularly proud of the Academy for HR Operations, which has been attended by a large number of both experienced professionals and beginners who are just entering the world of human resources. Whether you are a large organization or an individual looking to improve your skills, we provide the tools and resources needed to accelerate your development journey in the field of human resource administration.

At Jaka Lounge, we are more than just a service provider— we are your strategic partner in human resources, i.e. human potential and company strengths. Our team of experienced professionals is dedicated to providing innovative solutions that will deliver tangible results and propel your organization towards sustainable success.

Ready to transform your HR operations and unlock your full potential? Contact us today to schedule a consultation and discover how our comprehensive HR solutions can empower your business to thrive in today’s competitive landscape.

Customer service skills – are they underrated?

I’m sure you’ve all turned to customer support at least once for help – whether it’s a search for information, a complaint, an internet problem, or something else. What experience have you had in those situations? Did the person on the other side understand your problem, solve it, and be patient and pleasant? That feeling you had during and after your contact with customer service is important!

People who work in customer support should have well-developed so-called customer service skills. If they are nurtured and developed, you will feel that the person on the other side is patient with you, listens to and understands you, and even if your problem is not solved, you will feel good

Although we meet with customer support very often, sometimes even several times during the day, we are often not aware of the skills and knowledge of the people on the other end of the phone, chat, or e-mail.

Customer service is the practice of supporting customers before, during, and after the purchase of a service or product. A customer support person helps the consumer/user to find out how to use the product or service and resolve any errors or defects that may occur. Customer service is the backbone of any company. It is a service, which means genuine human interactions are of the greatest importance.

Customer service skills are traits and practices that equip you to address customer needs and foster a positive experience. In general, customer service skills rely heavily on problem-solving and interpersonal skills. Customer service is often considered a “soft skill,” including traits like active listening and communication. Some of the skills are clear communication, critical thinking, creativity, adaptability, negotiation skills, time management, etc.

However, do you feel that the mentioned skills are desirable, even necessary, outside of customer service positions? For example, sales positions, jobs in the hospitality and service industry in general, or in a marketing agency. For example, if you’re a graphic designer meeting with your client about their latest project understanding what good customer service takes can help you.

On the other hand, if you don’t have an outward-facing job, then you might not think it’s important to improve your customer service skills. Well, think again. Throughout your career, you’re likely to experience numerous professional situations that require good customer service skills. For example, you might have to fill in for a colleague who usually handles customer inquiries. Your boss could ask you to participate in a meeting with a client, which means you should be able to field questions and provide information or even to propose a solution to a problem.

Therefore, whether you formally work in customer service or not, you need to have a basic understanding of customer service skills. Whatever your department, seniority or industry may be, you’re responsible for the experience your customers have with your company, which is why you should be concerned with your customer service skills. In addition, sometimes the users are actually your colleagues – and then you also need to have an understanding of their needs, to be able to hear their opinion, and criticism, help them better understand a topic and successfully solve a problem.

How can customer service skills be improved?

Anyone can benefit from improving their customer service skills. Being a good communicator, having empathy, and actively listening, for example, will help you be a better employee and colleague overall.

Let’s mention some of the customer service skills that can be useful for different professions:

Empathy is the ability to understand another person’s emotions and perspective. Have you ever been on the phone with customer service and wanted to shout ‘Put Yourself In My Position!’? You were asking the other person for empathy. When you empathize with another person, you try to imagine how you would feel if you were them. Empathy is a powerful tool you can benefit from in contact with others. It changes relationships for the better, even short-term relationships such as when you are dealing with upset, embarrassed, or angry end-users or other customers. Customer service is more than just solving technical problems. It’s also about building good relationships with customers and co-workers.

Great customer service requires patience in communication when helping others meet their needs. The ability to stay calm and keep from taking things personally will help diffuse tense situations with angry customers, clients, or co-workers.

Active listening
Active listening can help you better understand what your customer feels, wants, and needs. To practice active listening, pay close attention to what the customer is saying, and take note of their body language and tone. Ask follow-up questions to make sure you understand the other side. Paraphrase – repeat what you heard in your own words, to confirm that you understand the other party well. Wait until they’re done speaking to come up with your response.

Clear communication
Ensure you convey to customers exactly what you mean. The ability to communicate clearly when working with customers is a key skill because miscommunication can result in disappointment and frustration. The best customer service professionals know how to keep their communications with customers simple and leave nothing to doubt.
Whenever you are dealing with people frequently on the job, verbal and written communication skills become very important. Being able to effectively communicate your ideas, a company policy or a resolution to an issue helps the customer feel like they are being cared for well and you have their best interest in mind.

Best customer service professionals have a deep knowledge of how their companies’ products work. After all, without knowing your product from front to back, you won’t know how to help when customers run into problems.

Time management
In both customer service and life skills, the ability to manage time efficiently affects productivity at work and can mean the difference between a satisfied customer excited for their next visit or an unsatisfied client waiting to speak to management. Things take time — usually more time than we realize. In order to become an effective team member, it’s important to learn to estimate how much time a solution will take, how much it will cost, and how many other things you have to deal with.

Anyone may develop customer service skills and build customer loyalty as well as foster strong relationships among employees and teams. It is likely you already possess some of these skills or simply need a little practice to sharpen them.

With focus and determination, you can work to enhance the skills you need to be effective at customer service. Problem-solving abilities, communication skills, and optimistic thinking are traits that, when consistently practiced, can help you be an efficient attendant and a great co-worker. Consider the following suggestions to improve your customer service job skills.

  • Ask for feedback from colleagues and listen closely, as they can provide insight you may have missed in a self-evaluation.
  • Also, ask for feedback from customers or clients. Keep track of your feedback, and reflect on it with each new round to get an idea of your improvement.
  • You can practice skills like active listening and patience with everyone on and off the job, including colleagues and customers. You may also find that improving your knowledge of the service or product your employer offers improves your ability to resolve issues with customers.
  • Look for ways to practice your skills outside of work by volunteering or seeking continuing education courses or training.
  • Don’t forget that every new experience with people can be a field where you can develop and improve these skills.

How do HR recruiters screen customer service skills?

So, since these skills are widely applicable and desirable in various professions, recruiters attach great importance to them. It is not always necessary that these skills are stated in the job requirement, but the fact is that they are desirable. Also, service delivery skills can be an indicator of the ability to successfully establish relationships with people and professionalism in performing work.

Recruiters, therefore, pay attention to these skills during the entire process of recruiting and selecting candidates. They are quite noticeable already at the first contact when the candidate responds to an email or phone call. Then, during the interview, we can notice how attentive and active the candidate is as a listener, in what way and how clearly he communicates, and even how he shows empathy. Also, based on certain situational questions, the way a person solves a problem or manages challenging situations with clients can come to the front.

To sum up everything

During our careers, it is almost impossible to avoid interacting with people. In addition to handling customers and clients, we must also be able to work as a team. You will be dealing with all kinds of people with different personalities. With a heterogeneous group of individuals, there are bound to be differences. Having customer service skills allows you to troubleshoot and resolve issues in a professional manner. This holds especially true for high-tension situations.

The effort to develop your customer service skills can only become your relationship strength and a great asset in any business context you find yourself in.

The key to successful cooperation between the client and the HR agency

From the perspective of a recruiter working in an HR agency, I am aware that it is not always easy to meet all the client’s expectations. Especially when in the selection process several people decide which candidate will be employed. On the other hand, from our recruiting side, it is important to get as much information as possible from the client about expectations from a new team member, in order to get a clearer picture of what kind of person they would like to hire. What are the competencies, skills, and personality characteristics and what kind of experience does the client want to see in the candidate? What is the company culture like? What values ​​are appreciated? Are the working hours flexible? What benefits does the client offer? These are questions to which the recruiter must have an answer. Otherwise, he will not get a good response from the candidates – if he does not know the basic information about the company for which he is recruiting people, then he will not succeed in establishing a relationship of trust with his clients – candidates. Also, it is important for recruiters to agree with the client what the dynamics of the selection process will be – at the moment when we present a candidate whom we consider to be relevant, who will interview the candidate on the employer’s side, whether they may be planning to perform some additional testing, how many rounds of selection there is, etc.

However, even when everything is well planned, the selection process is dynamic, and unexpected situations may arise along the way. I believe that the recruiter and the client can together solve all challenges and successfully fill the position if they establish a solid relationship. Therefore, below we talk about the key features for successful cooperation between the recruiter and the client.

Transparent communication

Trust is a mutual process. So, to build trust, we must show trust. And it is built on the foundations of transparent and honest communication.

Do you also work best when you have all the relevant information in front of you? It often happens that some information in the initial briefing is ignored, skipped, or not shared because it is not considered relevant. All information is relevant! It is important for a recruiter to understand the bigger picture in order to navigate within that framework and create the best strategy for finding candidates. Also, we need to talk about problems and challenges. Maybe we can overcome them more easily together. In addition, it is very bad if the candidate is the first to get information that does not benefit the company, and the recruiter does not know anything about it. On the one hand, the mutual trust between the HR agency and the client is broken. On the other hand, in the eyes of the candidate, the reputation of the client, as well as the HR agency, is damaged.

Open and honest communication and trust are the umbrella terms without which successful cooperation cannot be achieved.

Effective communication

In addition to transparency, effective communication is also important. The most common wish of the client at the beginning of the process is that the employment process is completed successfully and quickly. In this regard, it is important that both parties share information quickly and accurately, especially when communication occurs exclusively via email.

Usually, when contacting the candidate begins, unexpected questions arise that were not mentioned in the initial brief. Furthermore, various challenges may appear during the selection process (candidate withdrawal, client-candidate interview schedule mismatch, selection criteria change), and in these situations, it is important that both parties react quickly and find solutions.

Also, the largest number of candidates participate in several job vacancies at the same time, and feedback on the status of the selection process is important to them. If the client or recruiter does not respond with relevant information, it is very likely that we will lose that candidate.


Feedback is generally intended to improve a particular behaviour. That’s why feedback is important to us after a client interview a featured candidate. Based on the feedback we receive from the client, we can verify whether we have fully understood the client’s need, as well as where there is room for improvement.

Recruitment and selection is an unpredictable process, and during that process, it may happen that changes occur in the company that wants to hire a candidate, due to which the recruitment could be suspended or suspended until further notice. Changes can be organizational, changes in priorities, consideration of an internal candidate, and the like. It happens that in those situations, the feedback fails, and the recruiter stands in the dark for a while without an explanation. It is also important to share these changes so that the recruiter can be transparently positioned in relation to the candidates.

Plus, by sharing feedback, we learn about the client and understand how the client thinks and what values ​​cherishes, which improves future cooperation.

Advisory role of the recruiter

The key role of the HR agency is to advise the client during the decisive points of the selection process. The framework in which the process will take place is determined by the client following the planned goals and possibilities. An HR consultant, as an expert in the field of recruitment and selection and a market expert, should have the freedom to advise the client on how to change the criteria, adjust the budget and benefits, perform on the market, reach an agreement with the candidate, and the like. The client and the HR consultant are partners, and the consultant’s goal is to help the client understand the state of the market and the framework it offers, as well as to present the client in that market in a relevant way. In this case, the client’s trust and willingness to adapt to the market situation, i.e. his flexibility, comes to the forefront.

We mentioned that the process of selection and recruitment is a dynamic and changing process, especially in the circumstances of constant changes in the market. It is extremely important to be aware of this and to adapt accordingly. Clients appear with their starting points – required competencies from candidates, experience, budget, benefits they offer, etc. However, if the situation on the market is different, the recruiter will advise that some requirements be adapted to that situation. For example, it happens that candidates who own all the desired characteristics are rare or that the financial expectations of candidates who possess all or almost all the desired characteristics are far greater than the client’s budget. In such situations, it is extremely important for the client to be flexible and to be ready to meet the candidates.

Therefore, the HR agency should be the client’s external team, since we are working towards a common goal. Although we together come up with a plan at the beginning, what matters is the kind of relationship we build with each other. It is equally important that both parties put similar effort into the partnership.

And in the end, the essence comes down to the characteristics of every good relationship – communication and listening, feedback, trust, and flexibility.

My experience: Demonstration of power during the job interview

A situation that I recently experienced myself in the process of looking for a job, and which I had heard about before from personal experience from various sources, from the stories of friends and acquaintances, and about which I read as the topic of weekly columns, psychological manuals, and various blogs, inspired me to write this blog.

It is about the phenomenon of demonstration of power, i.e. the presented values ​​of the company during the interviewing of job candidates, and finally, about the lack of positive direct communication. Can you guess what I’m talking about?

Namely, based on a good recommendation, my well-written CV ended up on the “big and important” director’s desk of a successful company, to be read and considered (I hoped), so that I might be invited to an interview. Fortunately for me, I was invited, and very quickly.

I was very pleased that such an opportunity presented itself to me because I considered that “big and important” also means capable, innovative, inspiring, and everything that logically goes with that. Armed with a positive attitude, freshness, and “good energy”, I appeared ten minutes early in the center of that well-known company and was asked to wait until the Director’s Personal Assistant came to pick me up.

And while I’m sitting on the sofa and renewing what will be my “key points” in the conversation, I see a younger woman, dressed for business, approaching me, and I smile because I realize that this is the person I’m waiting for, but at the same time, I notice how her facial expression doesn’t change as she walks towards me, that she is very strict and “cemented” on that face. Now the young lady is in front of me, but she doesn’t say good day or anything like that, nor did she smile at me, but with an unchanged stern expression asks me if I’m That and That? I confirm that I am, “Good day, how are you”, I say, and I only get the instruction “Follow me”. And I follow her. The first “touch point”. We all know how important the first impression is, and how, among other things, it is an important transmitter of the company’s value and an indicator of the climate that prevails in it. My thoughts stimulated by such a first interaction are naturally diverted from the positive, my expectations change as I walk through the corridor, and now I estimate that the price here is some rigid strictness, “great importance”, and kindness and immediacy probably do not share a priority place on “know-how” lists. OK.

The personal assistant opens the door to the Director’s office, and now the two of us are standing in the office near the door. The director’s desk is opposite us, so he would be looking right at us, actually me, if he would like to look!

Although the opening of the door was heard, and it was more than evident that someone entered the office, the Director does not raise his head but continued to look at the papers, it seems, and this continues now… I am confused, not only because he did not look at us but also greeted us, but also by the fact his assistant is not saying anything (in my head I should say something like Director, So and So arrived as agreed, or at least Good day). The assistant is standing next to me, and the Director still doesn’t look up. My thoughts impose an idea: he’s important, he’s testing me, or he’s really busy. I do not know. But that’s how I say Good day first! And I stretch my lips into a smile (measured, of course). Even though it’s Good Day, it turned out to be somewhat sound considering the given situation.

The second “touch point” leaves me with a variety of impressions. The director is now busy and I am irrelevant at this moment and now is not the right moment for me and that’s all… there is a very “important” man in front of me (who will use this opportunity to demonstrate his importance and to test a potential “follower” in a certain way), as well as the impression that the Director has no problem rejecting prosaic etiquette.

Good day! And a measured smile. The director raises his head, confirms my presence, greets me, and tells me to sit down, while his assistant is still standing and does not speak, and leaves after the instructions he receives, among other things, to bring me water. I greet her and thank her. I think she also said hello to me at that moment.

The conversation with the Director lasted only a few minutes. He asked me one question about what I did at my previous job because it was a well-known and well-known company in the region. He referred me to an interview with the HR director of the company and I left his office as fastest as I could. Just when the water was coming.

In this instance, the situation improved a little for me, because the HR director was a nice older lady who has probably been working for the company for a long time, quite formal, admittedly, at times it seems as if she is “doing what is necessary”, but who, on the other hand, with spent a whole hour and a bit with me, although at the beginning she emphasized that our conversation would last 30 minutes, and with whom I had the impression that I had talked. When I was leaving, the HR director escorted me to the exit and I thanked her, “It was nice talking to you”, which she did not say back, but politely said goodbye. We will be in touch.

This experience got me thinking. The director certainly wanted to get to know me (because he needs to find someone or to “follow up” on a recommendation), to get some impression, and that is quite desirable and expected. I once read somewhere that when you need to demonstrate the importance, you should not speak for more than two minutes. And it suddenly dawned on me on the way back. Of course, there are many other ways to demonstrate power or to speedily “test” one’s character (although this was perhaps too speedy for even the most judgmental mage).

My conclusion from this experience is that in such situations, you should stick to your own views and principles, and not allow someone else’s approach to confuse us or cause us discomfort. Give yourself space to assess the situation, make an effort to tolerate the uncomfortable silence and “non-reaction”, and finally make an effort to “fight it out” for yourself.

In such business environments, it is probably a pyramid-structured company whose values ​​do not prioritize positivity, openness, initiative, criticality, and flexibility. My “good energy”, freshness, and kindness, were not accepted, nor were they probably interpreted as if I was a good “fit” for this company, and various questions opened up in my head, such as these: Is it positive in such systems immediacy a threat to one’s greatness or is it too expensive, difficult and unnecessary? Does it level or reduce the importance and seriousness? Does it represent disrespect for authority? Can authority be kind and accepting? Even now, I could list many more questions in this regard, but I believe that you understand what I am trying to say, and above all, I understand it myself. Anyhow, choose the work environments you want to work in carefully. Not every company is for everyone, regardless of reputation and external impression.

Types of employment contracts and their impact on employee well-being

By signing any contract, people commit themselves to respect a certain agreement. In many cases, signing a contract seems to be stressful for employees. No matter the company, it is important to understand the rights and obligations that we have by the Law. All the laws and regulations may seem confusing at first, so we decided to give a brief overview of all contract types that exist on the market and help you gain a better understanding of them. Alongside the contract types, we also outlined the main psychological stressors that occur due to different types of employment. Let’s get you ready for your next job interview!

In the beginning, let’s take a look at all types of contracts defined by the Labor Law.

The Labor Law of the Republic of Serbia, among other things, regulates the establishment of an employment relationship between an employee and an employer, as well as the employment contract and all its forms. An employment contract is a document that is valid from the moment the employer and the employee sign it, and it regulates the rights and obligations of both parties.

The employment contract can be concluded for a specified or permanent period. When the duration of the contract is not indicated in the document, it means that the contract is permanent.

Fixed-term contract

A fixed-term contract is concluded when it is justified by the employer’s need to complete the work within a certain period (up to 24 months at the most). In specific cases this period can be prolonged, such as replacing an employee who is temporarily absent, due to work on a project, with foreign residents until the expiration of the work permit, ect.

Part-time work

The employment relationship can be based on part-time for an indefinite or fixed time with the same conditions as for full-time employees performing the same job. This type of contract allows the employee to perform another job with another employer.

In addition to “classic” employment contracts, the employment can also be established through other types of contracts – a contract for temporary and occasional jobs, a service contract, a contract for professional training and development, or a contract for additional work. Contracts concluded in this form imply work outside employment.

Contract for temporary and occasional jobs

 The contract for temporary and occasional jobs is concluded to perform jobs that do not last longer than 120 working days during the calendar year(eg.  agricultural seasonal work is often defined by this contract).

Service contract

The employer can conclude a service contract for the purpose of performing tasks that are outside the employer’s activities, and which have as their subject the independent production or repair of a certain thing, the independent execution of a certain physical or intellectual work. Therefore, in order to conclude a contract with a person outside the employment relationship, the employer must not perform that work as a primary or secondary activity. For example, freelancers can enter into a service contract with the client.

Contract for professional training and development

As a condition for independent work in certain professions, the student has the obligation to perform an internship with a certain employer. Therefore, it is precisely the contract for professional training and development that defines this type of work outside the employment relationship for people who establish employment for the first time.

Contract on supplementary work

An employee who works full-time for an employer, but needs additional income, can conclude a contract with another employer on supplementary work, but up to one-third of full-time work at the most.

What do the studies say?

Numerous studies show that people react uniquely to different employment conditions. Therefore, people prone to anxiety prefer permanent contracts, while fixed-term contracts evoke uncertainty and cause stress. On the other hand, freelance and fixed-term contracts are more suitable for stable people for whom flexibility is important.

Also, it is important to point out that the latest research by the Institute of Statistics shows that the largest number of employees in Serbia has a permanent contract (out of the total number of 2,192,400, there are 421,700 employees with a fixed-term contract[1]). Although at first glance it seems that the portion of employees with permanent contracts is high, It is still significantly lower than the European Union average.

Bearing in mind that certainly a large number of employees in our country, as well as in Europe, are under fixed-term contracts, it is important to point out how such a situation can affect the stress and well-being of employees.

If you have ever found yourself in a situation where you have a contract for a fixed-term contract, you may be familiar with the feeling of anxiety before the contract expires and the fear of whether it will be extended, no matter how well it seemed to you that you performed during the period. This is exactly what some findings are talking about.

  • Some earlier research shows that employees on fixed-term contracts or temporary workers often fear that they will not get enough tasks or working hours at work and that this will lead to contract termination. Furthermore, employees with fixed-term contracts or freelancers often work overtime and do not turn down jobs out of fear of losing potential opportunities in the future[2].
  • With employees who work on temporary and occasional jobs or on a fixed basis, if the responsibilities are not clearly defined, there may be a conflict of roles, while it has been shown that this is not usually the case with freelancers if they have control over the work process[3]. Conflict of roles occurs when there are contradictions between different roles that a person assumes or performs, in this case, on a professional level. Usually, the conflict is the result of conflicting obligations that result in a conflict of interest.
  • Then, when it comes to the integration of employees into the organization and social interaction, employees who do not have a permanent contract often feel marginalized, especially if they are a minority within the organization.
  • Especially important, the way an employee with a fixed-term contract or a contract for temporary and occasional jobs will feel, and even perceive its position within the company, depends a lot on the person’s personality characteristics and belief in its skills and abilities. Hence, Greenhalgh and Rosenblatt [4]note that business insecurity is a complex subjective feeling, and in a study by Sill, Sora, and Gracia[5], which establishes the existence of a connection between business insecurity and health consequences, they state that business insecurity depends on the development of the skills that employees have and the desire to work.

In the end, it is important to remember that there is not one type of contract or employment that is ideal for everyone. Numerous factors affect the way you perceive employment conditions.

Hope that this review will help you understand the differences the next time you change jobs, but also think about your preferences and choose your work environment accordingly.



[1] https://publikacije.stat.gov.rs/G2022/Pdf/G20225682.pdf

[2] https://www.jstor.org/stable/3379109

[3] https://www.researchgate.net/publication/247569840_Health_and_Well-Being_in_the_Workplace_A_Review_and_Synthesis_of_the_Literature

[4] https://www.researchgate.net/publication/228079587_Job_Insecurity_Toward_Conceptual_Clarity

[5] https://www.researchgate.net/publication/46545619_Job_insecurity_and_employees’_attitudes_The_moderating_role_of_fairness