Abstract: This article focuses on the recruiting practices of public and private agencies dealing with international labour mediation in Bulgaria and Romania. Based on interpretative analysis of 20 in-depth interviews with professionals working in migrant recruiting agencies in the two countries, we aim to understand their views on the advantages and disadvantages of their services in comparison with other mobility channels: such as informal networks, direct contacts with employers, or unofficial Internet sites. The article examines the ways in which international labour mediation practitioners construct their target group—migrants—in terms of motivation, human capital, and/or challenges of their adaptation to the new context. We then look at intermediaries’ perceptions of employers’ needs and expectations. We finish with uncovering recruiters’ underlying assessment of the national and European mobility policies and the outcomes they see for individual migrants, employers and the countries of departure and destination.
Keywords: Bulgaria; European Union; labour market; labour mediation; migration; mobility; recruiting agencies; recruitment; Romania