Hiring in Poland; It’s easy (if you try).
Since Love Me Do was released by the Beatles in 1963, the world was expanding post-World War II, without end in sight as the German, Greek, Taiwanese, US and many others were faced with economic miracles. That end was met, in 1973, and 1987 – a year before Imagine was released by John Lennon – 1989, 2001, and of course 2008. Each time, the world pledges to learn from its mistakes once again, promising to behave itself next time.
Poland too has experienced economic crisis. In 1981, during the days of the centrally-planned economy, shortly before Martial Law was declared in Poland, people would queue for hours outside shops, hoping to snap up basic food staples. Western music was banned, though accessible – as young teens would bootleg cassette tapes filling them with Beatles, and Iron Maiden tracks.
Fast forward to 2019, and we’re a decade following the Global Recession. Foods are freely available, and Beatles songs are a small digital subscription away. But there’s a storm front gaining ground. The good days, and bad days – organism to organisation, they’ll happen, and those found unprepared – will have to distinguish necessity from luxury.
Nobody can properly envision the next global downturn – though JP Morgan predicts the year 2020. In-fact, to many extents, it’s a fact echoed throughout history; 1929, 1973, 1987, 2000, the Spanish Empire’s financial disgrace, or that of the Chinese Empire. The culprits are human factors – usual suspects such as lack of oversight and regulation, over-borrowing, overspending, and most notoriously; underestimating.
In life; a virus, or contagious condition – they’re the work of one’s own doing – irresponsible decisions leading to consequence. Organisations, like the people behind them, can engineer their own predicament – sometimes, it isn’t theirs, but can very-well become it.
Like people or organisations, countries tend to sober up amid crises.
Imagine for a moment; a nation undergoing its most successful economic transformation on-record. Now image that this nation is one of few outpacing the growth averages of the European Union? Try to imagine if this were possible, uninterrupted, whilst surrounded by the chaos of the EU migrant crisis, Brexit, or trade war turmoil between China and the United States?
As John put it soothingly, “you may say I’m a dreamer, but I’m not the only one”. In-fact, there are 38 million Poles who’d agree. Poland has experienced uninterrupted growth, and nearly doubling since 1990.
As one of only two OECD countries avoiding recession in the late 2000s, Poland has outshone its trading partners; with persistent domestic demand, meticulously balanced books, and a freely-floating currency, the Złoty, boosting exports. It’s a fact that solidifies growing international confidence in Poland, and its people – and laid groundwork for conditions allowing Poles to repatriate in greater numbers than those emigrating during the 2004 EU ascension exodus. Today, unemployment is low, and increasingly, people are here to stay.
Reasons such as this, give way to confidence by institutional, and private investors. They’re pivotal to continued increase investment into core infrastructure (with EU assistance), at a Eurostat estimate of 4 percent YoY, a strengthening education system – ranked 10th worldwide, ahead of Denmark and Germany – with an emphasis on foreign languages, and participation in the Erasmus exchange program.
It can be argued that Poland has aggressively invested in itself, and its people. Committing to human capital, the country is in greater shape than at any point in history. What this of course has to do with hiring decision-making is simple; here exists a country with sound economic conditions, with a highly-skilled quality workforce – however, due to a disparity in costs relative to the EU, corporate salaries are on average 60-percent lower than their Western counterparts, according to a 2017 European Commission Report.
It’s a principal reason for many companies investing in Poland – highlighted by financial goliaths Goldman Sachs and JP Morgan, opting to surge their global backend bases in the country in recent years. Conditions are sound, with recent report by the Central Statistical Office reporting per annum salary increases of 6 percent, an actual decrease from previous years – news that’s indeed very welcoming for investors.
Whilst salary increases are present, the risk of ascension to the Euro is foreseeably absent. Following the 2008 financial crisis, public support for the Euro remains grudgingly low, at 35 percent in January 2018. To-date the zloty remains relatively free-floating at ERM-I levels, with PLN-EUR exchange rates within safe percentages, at a max 3.2% since 2011. Despite Poland fulfilling ascension criteria, decisive opinion polls indicate Poland will remain outside of the Eurozone for the foreseeable future – thereby insulating itself from the Club’s past financial uncertainties. In-light of an oncoming credit crunch, companies would do well to invest in a safe place. The uncertainties of Brexit are enough to discourage UK companies from investing within their shores, however, are shy from investing in the likes of Russia and Ukraine, owing to political uncertainties. Poland boasts a highly-skilled workforce, in a country boasting an envy-inducing financial track record.
The country’s workforce breaks traditional cost vs. quality models – with human capital remaining affordable, despite high proficiency in competence and education, universal levels of working English, a Western-mindset and work ethic all prevalent among Polish graduates.
For companies ‘imagining no heaven’ amid constant financial storms across the world – an affordable, like-minded workforce is a sure-fire remedy. Of course, the use of John Lennon references would never go unnoticed in Poland, as the country remains closely aligned culturally to the West. To translate this to HR terms, cross-cultural costs would be non-existent.
The positive factors aside, companies from across market Indices looking to Central Europe are voting ‘tak’ (polish for ‘yes’)with their chequebooks. With favourable labour costs, bearing the fruits of Western education, mindset, and an even ‘Westerner’ work ethic – conditions are sunnier.
There are ways to mitigate crisis – sound investments are prime. The events on the markets may fare badly for some but won’t be the same for all. Poland’s rating is solid, and solidifying.
Here comes to the sun.