HR in Poland. Market of 8 faces.

Job Market in Poland is boiling! Yep, we have reached the lowest (3,4%) unemployment rate ever (just after Czech Republic with 2,3% and on the same level as Germany). Companies are struggling with finding people to work (57% have unfilled positions) and facing the pay rise expectation twice a year! Yet we still have big investors ahead coming to Poland as we have “good quality and cheap talent pool” and still talents are migrating for better career possibilities (we are second, just after Romania, country with the largest amount of people working abroad in Europe). Really challenging and yet fascinating “market under stress” to observe.

How is it affecting HR?

I spent October speaking and talking with people on different conferences.

I’ve been speaking at more than 10 events, attended almost 50 other speeches and met more than 1000 folks from HR in one month!

A huge experience that cannot be wasted just staying as a memory in my head. That post is to share few insights on how Polish HR market is changing. There are some good trends but there are a few things we should focus immediately on!

I am happy to see..

  1. More focus on keeping people – as job market is short employers start focus more and more on how to keep people engaged and stay with company. It means more budget on internal changes and focus on how people inside organization feel and are satisfied with the offer. It drives changes in many areas such as development, well-being, communication and leadership.
  2. Growing interest in new tech – as old methods of sourcing and engagement are dead (or at least not sufficient) there is a growing interest in new tools. More and more companies are reaching for innovations, adopting hot technology to their processes. We have first implementation based on AI, video-based selection is growing or have first The problem is with verification of new technology vendors and seeing the whole
  3. Data is going sexy – we have organized the first People Analytics Forum in Warsaw this year, having great interest from the most innovative companies in Poland, investing in people processes. There is also more and more interest in results-driven employer branding, recruitment or learning. But in the same time we face the lack of analytics skills and experience in HR. It was so hard to find the Polish case studies in people analytics for HRcamp! We definitely need to overcome this gap as soon as possible.
  4. Well-being is getting trendy – more and more companies are talking about well-being not only as an argument for being an attractive employer but also on how it converts into the revenue. As we published the first report on happiness in Poland followed by the first report on recognition we see first well-being Award on the Polish market!

BUT in the same time we face challenges that even boiling market has no power to change rapidly:

5. Absorption of new tools is still low – not only we still find companies using mail-based recruitment processes, but also there is little knowledge on non-Polish but worldwide known vendors (not even mentioning start-ups)! It doesn’t mean we are not open – if something new enters the market and gets publicity, we are eager to test it. It makes a lot space for new vendors to enter.

6. HR has not enough voice – as we still don’t use enough numbers, data, ROI-language, we are not seen as a real business partners. Still hiding and not present in board rooms, doing operational level task, begging for budgets instead of making people operations the main area of profit!

7. Investment in HR innovation area is low – we face few investment in HR startups a year. Great minds, with experience and good will but little support and courage to reach for money outside. A gap I hope to be overcome the quickest, as it influences the HR position as a business partner to business.

8. Dialogue with marketing is still a dream – only few companies are crossing the borders in joining forces to build better organisations. Even if we know it helps in attracting and keeping people engaged it is still something to work on.

We are facing incredible time in Polish HR, changing the way we think about ourselves and changing other people opinions in companies. I am glad to see that, but still I think we must try harder, develop ourselves more and push harder the role we play in such turbulent times. It should be us, who say what should be changed in organisations to drive revenue. It should be the HR, who is looking for innovations and ask for that. It should be HR, who is deciding as key player.

Let’s not think about ourselves as a service but as a game changer in our companies. Let’s do this!