Aleksandra Lozanoska – Institute of Economics-Skopje, Ss. Cyril and Methodius University in Skopje, Prolet 1, Skopje, North Macedonia

Irina Piperkova Majovski – Institute of Economics-Skopje, Ss. Cyril and Methodius University in Skopje, Prolet 1, Skopje, North Macedonia

Elizabeta Djambaska – Institute of Economics-Skopje, Ss. Cyril and Methodius University in Skopje, Prolet 1, Skopje, North Macedonia


4th International Scientific Conference – EMAN 2020 – Economics and Management: How to Cope With Disrupted Times, Online/Virtual, September 3, 2020, SELECTED PAPERS published by: Association of Economists and Managers of the Balkans, Belgrade, Serbia; ISBN 978-86-80194-31-8, ISSN 2683-4510


The main aim of this paper is to identify current levels of knowledge, skills and abilities of
the SMEs’ employees in North Macedonia, vis-à-vis firms’ needs for knowledge and skills. This paper
analyzes the current levels of employee job-specific, soft, digital and entrepreneurial skills on a sample
of firms in North Macedonia. For the purposes of this research, the employees were classified in three
categories: core employees, supporting employees and managers. The results of the research show that
the main challenge regarding the soft skills refers to solving complex problems, capacity for job analysis
and initiative. Adapting to new technologies is found to be the weakest aspect of digital skill among
employees. Entrepreneurial skills related to risk taking, capacity to generate new ideas, creativity and
innovation as well as flexibility at work are also considered to be a challenge.


Employee skills, SMEs, North Macedonia.


Balcar, J. (2016). Is it better to invest in hard or soft skills?. The Economic and Labour Relations
Review, 27(4), 453-470.
Bughin, J., Hazan, E., Lund, S., Dahlstrom, P., Wiesinger, A., & Subramaniam, A. (2018). (2018).
Skill shift: Automation and the future of the workforce. McKinsey & Company McKinsey
Global Institute. Discussion Paper.
CEDEFOP. (2018). Insights into skill shortages and skill mismatch: Learning from Cedefop’s
European skills and jobs survey. Cedefop reference series No.106. Luxembourg: Publications
Office of the European Union.
Haskel, J., Hawkes, D. & Pereira, S. (2005). Skills, human capital and the plant productivity
gap: UK evidence from matched plant, worker and workforce data. CeRiBA. http://www.
OECD. (2018). Skills for Jobs.
Swart, J. (2007). HRM and knowledge workers. In P. Boxall, J. Purcell, & P. Wright (Eds.), The
Oxford handbook of human resource management (pp.450-468). Oxford University Press.

Download full paper

Share this

Association of Economists and Managers of the Balkans – UdEkoM Balkan
179 Ustanicka St, 11000 Belgrade, Serbia

Udekom Balkans is a dynamic non-governmental and non-profit organization, established in 2014 with a mission to foster the growth of scientific knowledge within the Balkan region and beyond. Our primary objectives include advancing the fields of management and economics, as well as providing educational resources to our members and the wider public.

Who We Are: Our members include esteemed university professors from various scientific disciplines, postgraduate students, and experts from ministries, public administrations, private and public enterprises, multinational corporations, associations, and similar organizations.

Building Bridges Together: Over the course of nine years since our establishment, the Association of Economists and Managers of the Balkans has established impactful partnerships with more than 1,000 diverse institutions across the Balkan region and worldwide.

EMAN conference publications are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.