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InHunt World is a Global Headhunting Network that is currently active in over 40 countries. During this autumn, we are going to go through these countries one by one, usually interviewing the Country Manager or the CEO of the country in question.

Poland has been going through some deep economical and political changes in the last few years. Its central position inside Europe and its history makes it a very interesting country to follow its evolution.
In this article you will learn about the situation of the Labor Market in Poland, how is the candidate market progressing, and what are most companies struggling to find (source).

Poland has an administrative area of 312.696 km², Poland ranks 69th in the world and ninth in Europe. With nearly 38.38 million inhabitants (2019), it is the 36th most populous country in the world and the sixth most populous country in the European Union. Poland is divided into 16 provinces, consisting, in total, of 66 cities.

Poland is a democratic country with a developed, high-yield economy and a high quality-of-life index. It is attractive to tourists and active leisure enthusiasts, as evidenced by approx. 20 million tourists (2019) visiting Poland annually, making it one of the most visited countries in the world. The diverse landscape of individual regions of Poland and different forms of recreation to choose from, from sea bathing, through sailing on lakes, to skiing and mountain climbing, bring tourists from faraway countries to Poland.

Poland is the eighth largest economy in the European Union and one of the fastest-growing economies in Europe. Its 38-million sales market is one of the largest in the European Union. Convenient location in the centre of Europe and at the crossroads of its main communication routes makes it possible to export goods from Poland to all European countries, thus reaching over half a billion consumers.

Poland offers foreign companies a range of investment incentives. One of the many options is to locate investments in a Special Economic Zone (SEZ). There are 14 such zones in Poland. These are separate areas where business activities may be conducted on special, preferential terms. SEZs offer attractive tax relief, employment opportunities and well-prepared investment areas to new investors.

Headhunting and Recruitment Market in Poland

The labour market in Poland before the outbreak of the COVID-19 epidemic:

With a result of 73% (2019), Poland belongs to the group of EU-28 Member States that achieved an employment level in the 20-64 age group consistent with the targets set by the European Commission for 2020. In general, the main indicators reflecting the situation on the labour market in Poland were improving from year to year and we were steadily moving closer to the EU average.

In 2019, the economic activity rate in the 15-64 age group was 70.6% and increased by 0.5 percentage points compared with the previous year. At the same time, the employment rate in that group increased by 0.8 percentage points to 68.2%, while the unemployment rate decreased by 0.6 percentage points to 3.3% (source). As regards the unemployment rate, it is important to note that while upon its accession to the EU Poland was the country with the highest unemployment rate in the EU, that rate has remained below the EU average since 2012, and has ranked among the countries with the lowest unemployment rate for several years now.

In 2014-2019, the level of registered unemployment continued to decrease in Poland. In 2018, the number of unemployed persons dropped below 1 million for the first time in 30 years.

The impact of the COVID-19 epidemic on the economy and the labour market

In its summer forecast (2020), the European Commission lowered its forecasts for most countries compared with its spring projections. GDP is now expected to decline by 8.3% throughout the EU, and by 8.7% in the euro.
Against this background, the forecast for Poland, reduced by a mere 0.3% (to -4,6%), still looks good and that decrease is still the smallest among all EU countries. It was stressed that Poland had proved resilient to the economic effects of the COVID-19 pandemic in the first quarter of 2020, mainly due to its varied economic structure and a relatively low share of sectors most affected by the crisis.
The Polish economy is also expected to rebound faster. GDP is expected to increase by 4.3% in 2021: in May 2020, the Commission projected a 4.1% growth for Poland in the following year.

The registered unemployed rate (at labour offices) at the end of July 2020 was 6.1%, an increase of 0.9% compared with the previous year. It should be added that a comparison between the unemployment level at the end of July 2020 and the number of persons registered at the end of February 2020.

In July 2020, as in June that year, a steady downward trend in unemployment that had continued in those months for many years was disrupted by the ongoing epidemic and the resultant limited number of job offers.

It should be noted that, while the level of registered unemployment increased in the wake of the outbreak of the COVID-19 epidemic, the highest growth dynamics in relation to the previous month were recorded in April 2020, and the unemployment growth rate was slowing down month on month in subsequent months.

According to Eurostat data, in July 2020 Poland had the second-lowest unemployment rate in the EU (for the 15-74 age group), after Czechia, with its rate standing at 3.2% compared with 7.2% in EU-27 countries and 7.9% in the euro area.

The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic was also evident in data on places of work. In the second quarter of 2020, the number of persons who usually work from home was 2.124.000 (which represented 13% of all employed persons), double what it was in the first quarter of 2020.

After a period during which the Polish economy was frozen and the resulting restrictions, the situation on the labour market seems to be heading towards stability. Employers’ initial, alarming reactions and announcements of redundancies have clearly subsided. Measures proposed by the Polish government as part of the ‘Anti-Crisis Shield’ have undoubtedly contributed to that situation. As a result, the dynamics of registered unemployment growth have slowed down, although the number of unemployed persons is likely to increase once periods of notice are over (source).

Next, we are going to interview the CEO of Sowelo Consulting, Mr. Adam Lyko.
Adam has been leading his incredibly successful company since 2007. They recently won the prestigious Business Cheetah 2021 Award, which is given to the fastest-growing Polish businesses by the European Business Institute.
We have the pleasure to interview him today regarding the situation of the Labour Market in in Poland.

How is everything Adam? Thank you for hosting us in Krakow today. First of all, how are you and how was the summer?

Hello Arash, Thank you, I am doing fine. It was a very busy summer for our team. New customers, new people on board, new projects. In general one of the busiest summers in the last decade.

How would you comment on the first half of 2021?

I think March 2021 was a turning point, when we started to see that the market is getting up to speed after the lockdown.

My calendar was full with back to back with calls with new customers, asking for recruitment services, and it didn’t stop since then.

How do you see the second part of 2021? And what about 2022?

In the second part of 2021, we see things speed up even faster. A lot of new investments coming to Poland, local businesses getting up to speed.

I guess the only problem is the shortage of real talents, and everyone needs good recruiters nowadays.

I suspect 2022 is going just to be a continuation of this trend.

What are the industries that are hiring the most?

We focus 100% on the Technology sector, and because of Covid and lockdowns industries like e-commerce, digital marketing, e-healthcare and video conferencing are growing faster than ever before.

What are the roles that companies are needing the most?

On the top of the list, I would put Recruiters and on the second place Software Engineers this year.

According to LinkedIn, there were 364,970 ‘Recruiter’ jobs advertised on LinkedIn worldwide this summer.

For comparison, there are 342,586 ‘Software Engineer’ roles open on LinkedIn worldwide.

What about the candidate market?

The technology market is very dynamic. You need to be very fast to close the deal with a good candidate, otherwise, they have another offer from your competitor.

Also, we see an increase in offer declines, counter offers etc..  it is much harder to close the deal with a good candidate in 2021 vs. 2019.

What would you say are the top reasons companies should choose to work with Sowelo Consulting, over some other players in the market?

We work with top names in the Technology industry for 15 years.
We have an experienced team of people, who knows how to deliver in those difficult market conditions, as a company we already survived two major economic downturns, and we always keep on learning and evolving.

We pay attention to the proper training and education of our consultants, and we use the best sourcing tools available out there for recruiters.

It is the quality of the service we deliver. Last year was our record year which we have finished with Business Cheetah 2021 award. It must be something we are doing well ?

Thank you for your time Adam!

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