Candidates have the opportunity to build a career at the acknowledged standards of the “GFR School”
Grup Feroviar Român (GFR), leader on the rail freight market, aims to recruit 150 young people nationwide, including 15 engineers, by the end of the year. Once they join the GFR team, they will be integrated into an extensive process of professional training and planning, in line with the strategic approach by which the company prepares its long-term workforce.
“In 20 years of GFR’s activity, we have not seen a real strategy for cultivating and growing human resources in Romania,” says Gruia Stoica, President and founder of the GRAMPET Group – Grup Feroviar Roman. “The consequence is that we, operators, are faced with fierce competition for a shrinking and aging workforce, and this factor of unpredictability endangers the sustainability of the business. The difference that Grup Feroviar Român makes is to offer employees not only a well-paid job, but the chance to build a career. Through everything we do – clear and transparent rules for recruitment and professional growth, partnerships at institutional level, organization of specialized courses and training or internship programs – we have set an important direction in the industry, and today the “GFR school” is already acknowledged nationwide.”
In recent years, Grup Feroviar Român has outlined a set of regulations related to employment and professional development within the organization, from junior positions (such as, for example, that of maneuvering rolling stock), to management positions.
Amedeo Neculcea (photo), Deputy General Manager, adds: “Ten years ago, the GFR management understood that the company’s evolution should no longer depend so much on external recruitment and that we must build our own mechanisms for cultivation and professional growth. Then we outlined the main career paths for graduates of profile faculties (especially Transport Engineering) and we implemented internal procedures meant to encourage and facilitate the transition from one professional milestone to another. We have established and assumed the landmarks of a solid and fair professional evolution, so that every private can aspire to a Field Marshal’s wand.”
Internally, GFR has redesigned and digitized processes, building an optimal architecture for current needs, as well as a special training framework for young engineers in the field of railway operation, through direct collaboration with the Polytechnic University of Bucharest. This October, GFR finalized an internal guide of minimum conditions regarding the professional training and the competencies that must be fulfilled by candidates for integration into territorial structures.
The guide will be used in the recruitment process carried out at this year’s edition of the Railway Career Fair in Romania, organized in online format on November 23-25.
“Our industry is constantly dynamic, and the pandemic has increased the challenges we face with human resources. This is a strategic industry, but at the same time a complex and difficult one, not very appealing to the young generations,” admits Cristian Rădulescu, general manager of GFR. “We, those who love this profession, are directly involved in communicating with high school and university students, hoping to at least inspire their curiosity to consider a career in the field. It is an enormous satisfaction when you see how those young people who have accepted the challenge evolve year after year, and finally end up taking leadership roles within the structures of our company.”
Today, an important part of GFR’s middle and top management team is made up of professionals who experienced in-house steady growth since their employment with GFR.
The latest promotions concern two engineers who joined the company 10 years ago, immediately after college graduation. From the position of logistician (the first professional step in the field) in the Train Service Personnel Command (CPDT), part of the Operations Department, the two have grown steadily from year to year, taking over key positions in 2021.
(CPDT is a subdivision in the Operation Department, along with Traffic, Movement, Locomotive Operation and Wagon Operation, and has a critical role in the current context of acute crisis of operative railway personnel).
- Thus, Adrian Dolțu, 36 years old, became CPDT manager. From this role, he coordinates a complex team of 37 employees responsible of planning and providing train mechanics and train managers so that trains can run without interruption, in line with imposed safety and restriction conditions.
- In his turn, Radu Cobianu, 34 years old, was promoted to Head of the Dispatch Office, having the responsibility to manage the entire operational activity and a team of 14 people during the 12 hours allocated to a work shift. The shift leader coordinates the entire operation process, which in turn consists of multiple processes and sub-processes coordinated by specialists from different industries (locomotives, wagons, movement, traffic, shunting, etc).
Grup Feroviar Român (GFR) is a leader on the local rail freight market. Currently, over 20% of GFR’s traffic is international, offering clients complex logistics solutions. GFR is a member of all representative international organizations and has partnership agreements both with state railway operators (BDZ Cargo, UZ, CFM, PKP Cargo, ZK, RCH, HZ Cargo, ZBIH) and private railway operators in Bulgaria, Hungary, Slovakia, the Czech Republic, Poland, Austria, and Germany. The operator has over 5,000 employees.