Poland continues to strengthen itself as one of the most frequently chosen location for shared services centers dedicated to business. Processes supported in our country are becoming more complex, while the labor market is getting increasingly competitive. In order to maintain the pace of development, employers should keep track of the changes taking place, and adapt to them. One of these changes is employers' attitude towards employees since it is them who contribute to the success of any business.
Outsourcing&More: The SSC/BPO market is strongly developing in Poland. For several years we could observe a significant increase in employment that has been growing from one year to another. What are the origins of such interest in Poland?
Krzysztof Stanczykiewicz: Poland is currently one of the leading countries in the region of Central and Eastern Europe in terms of development of the SSC/BPO market. In just over two years the sector has grown by half. The interest in Poland stems mainly from the fact that young people in our country are becoming better educated. They understand the needs of the market and are aware that not only graduation from a good faculty or completion of specialized vocational courses but also fluency in foreign languages are the keys to their professional development. An increasingly closer cooperation between business and universities, among others such as the University of Economics in Krakow or Warsaw School of Economics, may be identified as a contributing factor in this area.
O&M: The essence of SSC is a reduction of costs. Taking into consideration the Polish market only, are cost reductions possible?
KS: Yes, one of such areas is the use of external payroll services. The support of an external company in the area of payroll administration, employee records management and advisory services in the field of labor law and social security may be extremely beneficial and profitable. The main advantages of this cooperation are: professional representation in dealings with inspecting authorities, confidentiality and security of information, access to modern tools and certainty that all personnel-related processes are managed properly and on time. In a nutshell, these benefits may be classified as: operating (payroll and human resources processes are routine ones and repeat regularly, therefore having them outsourced relieves a company of administrative and routine tasks so in consequence everyone can focus on the core tasks of company's operations), financial (a cooperation with an external company reduces personnel expenses), technological (mainly in the area of saving costs due for system maintenance related to the execution and validation of updating and upgrading of the payroll system), and communication ones (a communication process with employees in the context of payroll data is handled in a structured way).
O&M: How can employers secure hiring the best candidates available on the job market?
KS: At the very beginning, a company's image should be taken care of. Perhaps it is sufficient only to strengthen, slightly change or improve it, yet sometimes you just have to build it from scratch. The attention paid to the consistency and coherence of internal and external communication is extremely important. It is worth remembering that satisfied employees are the best identifiers for an employer. When creating the image of our company, we should not be afraid to use the support of specialists in the area of Employer Branding. Entering into cooperation with such experts will result in not only an increased number of people interested in working for the company and a better match of candidates but also in a decrease in employee turnover and an increase in commitment and job satisfaction. It is also worth using the Assessment Centre. This solution allows for the selection of the best group of people in a given organization. Reports received as a result of an AC session are almost a ready recipe for selecting and putting a method of employee development on the right track. In addition, one must remember how important a good preparation of the entire recruitment process is for its further results. The possibility of choosing optimal sources of acquiring candidates and matching the most effective set of selection tools is critical so that a decision about hiring a given candidate could be taken relatively quickly.
O&M: The SSC/BPO sector has to deal with major employee turnover. How to prevent it and retain the best candidates?
KS: In such situations, it is worth incorporating a program for the evaluation and development of employees into the system of company management. As a result, employees feel recognized, they identify with the company, they know what goals are assigned to them and what they need to do to achieve them. Group and individual simulations, skill tests, occupational personality questionnaires and competency interviews, HR training and professional coaching are tools which help organizations in the process of building commitment, responsibility and culture, and which make it possible for a company to be focused on employee development and be open for changes. Apart from job satisfaction, a sense of stability and security guarantee long-term employment and minimize the risk of turnover.
O&M: SSC has internal recruitment departments. In view of this fact, does the market have a room for recruitment companies?
KS: Each company wants to hire the best talents available on the market. Internal recruitment departments strengthen their personal resources to be as effective as possible, but the final result, namely finding the best person for a given position, is always the most important aspect. Speed is frequently a factor that determines success, therefore there is a room for cooperation with external companies that at the same time become ambassadors for the company and proudly represent it in relations with a candidate, providing full feedback on subsequent steps of the process.
O&M: Is it legitimate for recruitment agencies to have offices in different cities?
KS: An ideal model does not exist. Some companies deliver their services for the entire country from one city, others try to open more local offices, and thus mark their presence in individual cities. However, a company with local offices inevitably comes into contact with a given city, and this way better knows its specifics. Being present in different locations makes a company better feel the market and helps to build long-term relationships with candidates.
O&M: At present it can be seen that we are dealing with an employee labor market. How do companies in theSSC/BPO sector increase their attractiveness in the eyes of candidates today?
KS: The balance between private and professional spheres of life is still scarce in Poland. However, companies operating in the BPO sector are at the forefront of employers declaring work-life balance. By implementing WLB solutions, an employer achieves tangible benefits, and the wealth of offering in this area often turns out to be a surprise to people starting their career in the SSC/BPO sector. A flexible approach of employers to where and when work duties are performed is now almost a standard. The most popular benefits offered to employees include: telecommuting, special support programs for parents, kindergartens or children's clubs located at the workplace, programs offering sport activities, health packages, providing employees with an access to healthy food, etc. Some employers declare that there are relaxation, game or fitness rooms in their companies. An opportunity to participate in training is also a crucial issue, and the types of training more and more often include non-professional interests and passions of employees. Moreover, employers more frequently agree to finance the participation of employees in sport and cultural events or organize competitions and theme meetings by themselves. Involving people in different types of projects makes employees identify more strongly with the organization they work for.
O&M: Thank you very much.