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The professional community of Human Resources in Bulgaria – a strong start to the year

In the end of January, for the 2018 annual awards, the Bulgarian Association for People Management (BAPM) celebrated its entry into “adulthood”. It has been 18 formative years, in which many things have happened. I have had the opportunity to be part of this interesting history almost from its inception.

Today I am happy to say that until now the association has always been led by women. The new chairman of the management board of BAPM is again a lady – Mrs. Miglena Uzunova-Tsekova. Miglena is Senior Human Resources Director and member of the Leadership Team of A1 Bulgaria, and since the beginning of 2019, she is also undergoing the administration of the company. He has been working in the field of human resources for 20 years, and has been in charge of the overall human resource management activity in the telecommunication company for the last 12 years.

When I came home to Bulgaria and began work in the Devnya valley as a Training Manager, finding this newly created community was very valuable to me. It helped me adapt significantly faster to the country’s circumstances at the time. It helped me forge professional contacts and a market outlook.


Many activities saw the light of day during those years. They were mainly national-level events, but increasingly also regional and thematic initiatives and formats. BAPM’s annual national conferences are now an “institution” of sorts: the May conference, by the sea or somewhere around the country, and the November conference, over a single day, in Sofia. In addition, the international projects, in which the association is a partner, become laboratories for learning, researching and disseminating of information on new practices and tools at the European level.

Over the years, the guild has wisened, in the good sense of the word. On one hand, it has structured, developed and taught itself in proven professional standards. This gave it legitimacy and recognition as a partner to business. On the other hand, it becomes “cooler” and more confident in its added value to organizations. With ever fewer expections, the function of HR in Bulgaria no longer only means recruitment and payroll management. It is much, much more: selection, coaching and development, but also innovations, being agents of change, and communications, both inside and outside the organizations.

At BAPM, I often contribute by sharing experience or helping organize events. This year, I had the honour to be part of the jury for the annual professional awards. Over the winter holidays, alongside the other colleagues of the jury, we went over 30 projects, divided into 8 categories. It was not easy picking only one winner per category.

That, I noted to myself, was due to the outstanding quantity and quality of projects linked to dual education. This is the tangible result of the efforts of businesses to compensate the oft-discussed dearth of fresh prospects in our country. I noticed also, that only one state organization (Bulgarian State Railways – BDZ) had decided to participate. I find it a bit of a shame.

With the exception of HR consulting companies, in other organizations, the function of HR is considered secondary to the main business. Many HR managers see receiving the Association`s award as an opportunity for visible recognition of their team`s efforts. The other valuable thing is that receiving such an award positively affects the image of the employer’s brand.


January 31st was a very strong start to the year! I hope that this will motivate more organizations to enter next year with innovative and impressive projects. Here you can see more photos and information on the projects presented.

The annual exhibition HRIndustry, which took place on February 7th, also held the professional bar up high with 720 visitors and 50 Bulgarian and international exhibitors in established and newly-founded HR products and services.

I will also have the pleasure of sharing with you about other upcoming events and trends in the HR guilds over 2019. I would also love to hear from you, about your experiences in this sector, and about what topics you would like us to explore together.

 Author: Kapka Stoykova

HR consultant, Development zone Ltd.

HR ambassador at IBA Bulgaria

Photo credit: BAPM

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