More and more foreigners work in the sector of modern business services in Poland. As of today, the percentage of workers from outside of Poland constitutes 9 percent of the employees in the industry, and according to experts it will continue to increase. Why do foreigners choose Poland? What do they like about our country? What are the obstacles of living and working in Poland? Monster Talent Sourcing Services asked this questions and the results have been presented in the report "Effective ways of language recruitments"*.
Poland attracts foreigners mainly for two reasons: work and love. 40 percent of the respondents have chosen Poland because of the opportunity to find attractive work here, and 38 percent for emotional reasons – they moved to live in the country of his or her partner. Those who decided to live in Poland for professional reasons often pointed out that the situation on the Polish labour market gives more opportunities for the development than in their home country. Such answers do not surprise when we look at how high unemployment rates affect the people of Greece (21.7 percent), Spain (17.1 percent), Italy (11.1 percent), France (9.6 percent) or Portugal (9 percent). The sector of modern business services in Poland is thus an attractive alternative – offering stable employment and a fast growing career path.
It turns out that studies in Poland attract few foreigners as only 9 percent of the respondents have come to Poland for educational purposes. The same percentage of foreigners came to Poland because of their interest in the Polish culture.
Interestingly, up to 50 percent of the foreigners who have chosen Poland in the end, have also considered another country before their arrival. The list included, among others, Great Britain, Ireland, the Netherlands or Germany.
– Poland vs. another EU country – is a common dilemma for foreigners. Tip for HR departments: It is worthwhile to recruit among workers ready to live abroad regardless of their current location and interested in work in an international environment – comments Aleksandra Pocheć, Consultant at Monster Talent Sourcing Services.
LOW COST OF LIVING AND GOOD LOCATION
Foreigners pointed that low cost of living is the main advantage of Poland. This factor has been chosen by 68 percent of the respondents. Poland is still perceived as a cheap country as the prices of many services and products are significantly lower than in Western Europe. Foreigners (43 percent of them) also appreciate the location of Poland in the centre of Europe.
The respondents have also chosen other advantages of living in Poland. According to 42 percent of the participants, the possibility of working in an international environment constitute a significant convenience, and an opportunity to get to know Polish culture and customs is an advantage for 41 percent of the respondents. Furthermore, rich cultural and social life is of value for 36 percent of the participants. The fact that foreigners are curious about Polish culture and want to get to know it is certainly a delight because it enhances the understanding of the surrounding reality and promotes integration.
PROBLEMS WITH COMMUNICATION
On the other hand, the foreigners see the flaws of life in Poland. A major disadvantage is the language barrier, which limits the ability of integration of visitors with Poles. Lack of knowledge of Polish language has been recognized as a difficulty in everyday life by 55 percent of the respondents. Unfortunately, foreigners are also aware of the lack of openness of Poles – 31 percent of the respondents have complained about it. They also complain about the difficulty in initiating contact with Poles – it is a problem for 26 percent of the respondents.
In addition, foreigners point out a lower standard of life compared to their home country – 25 percent and the difficulties associated with the organization of life – 23 percent.
The lack of cultural and entertainment offers in English language is troublesome and hinders integration. This aspect has been indicated by as much as 21 percent of the respondents. As many people have also pointed out the lack of knowledge of English language of Poles.
POLISH LANGUAGE: LESS AND LESS FOREIGN
Lack of knowledge of Polish language is still a big challenge for foreigners. Although our native language is not usually needed for work purposes, it causes limitations in the private sphere of life. In spite of the difficulties associated with learning a new language – most foreigners declare that they are currently learning Polish (39 percent) or intend to start learning in the future (23 percent). Only 18 percent of the respondents have indicated that they do not plan to learn our language at all.
The reasons why foreigners choose to learn Polish are related to their private life. 64 percent of the respondents have indicated such reason. In addition, 51 percent of the participants admit that Polish language is needed in everyday situations, and 42 percent of the respondents believe that learning Polish language is a way to get involved in cultural events. Only 8 percent of the respondents suffer the consequences of the lack of knowledge of Polish at work.
The need to learn Polish is also seen by employers who offer foreign workers – as a non–wage benefit – an additional language course. 41 percent of the foreigners have indicated in the study that they have received such support from the employer.
Interestingly, 37 percent of the respondents declare knowledge of Polish at (at least) basic level and 32 percent can boast of Polish at intermediate level or higher.
FOREIGNERS HAPPY WITH WORK IN POLAND
The positive view of the labour market in the eyes of foreigners constitutes a beneficial conclusion. The level of satisfaction from work in Poland and work in the sector of modern business services is similar and high. It amounts to 7.75 points for the country and 7.39 for the business sector (on a scale of 1 to 10).
As much as 75 percent of the respondents point out the fact that working in Poland is a great opportunity to gain experience in an international environment. Foreigners also have the opportunity to improve their language skills and start an attractive career and development paths (46 percent each). In turn, 43 percent of the respondents has appreciated attractive working conditions, relocation packages and additional benefits that have become the norm in the industry.
High earnings as an advantage have been chosen by only 14 percent of the foreigners. In the opposite question about the main disadvantages of working in Poland, low wages were in the first place. 64 percent of the respondents have complained about low wages.
– Unfortunately, it is hard to compete with Western European countries in this field, but Poland and the sector of modern business services still constitute a very attractive place of work that has numerous things to offer – the dynamic development, interesting career path, experience in multicultural teams and international environment, openness and respect for the cultural differences of employees – enumerates Aleksandra Pocheć, Consultant at Monster Talent Sourcing Services.
Among other defects of work in Poland, which have been pointed out by the foreigners – were complicated formalities and extended administration – 45 percent, the need to adapt to the culture of work organization in Poland – 37 percent and unsatisfactory non–wage benefits – 18 percent.
POLAND: WHAT NEXT? PLANS FOR THE FUTURE
The foreigners have a good image of Poland and the Polish labour market. Most of them plan to stay in Poland in the next few years. On a scale of 1 (undecided) to 10 (decisive) foreigners who want to stay in Poland have reached 6.9 points. At the same time – asked for a further professional and personal future – they cannot give a clear answer. Such results may be due to several factors: the young age, lack of a specific career plan, and at the same time considerable financial and development requirements. Because young people become aware of dynamic changes in the global labour market, they are open to professional migration. It is of great importance that Poland is increasingly becoming the target of these migrations and allows foreigners to pursue a career in the modern business services sector.
*Foreigners from 20 European countries (Denmark, Finland, Greece, Spain, the Netherlands, Germany, the UK, Italy) and HR professionals from modern business services sector who deal with the language recruitments daily have participated in the study.