There are more than 600 foreign-invested shared services centres across Poland. Over the last years, the sector’s employment rate has grown by at least 36%. The number of jobs in this sector is also growing on a regular basis.

The SSC/BPO sector is often an opportunity for all those without long-term professional experience. Nevertheless, there are also other conditions to be met. Given that more than 40 foreign languages are used nowadays at shared services centres, language skills are of great importance in this sector. Additionally, professional education is also important for employers.

“Graduates with degrees in IT or Finances and Accounting should have no difficulty in finding a SSC/BPO job. It’s worth investing in courses, training or post-graduate studies in order to improve one’s knowledge, learn some practical skills, and at the same time to improve one’s prospects of being offered an interesting, stimulating job. It has to be emphasized that employers are willing to participate in their employees’ educational expenses in order to bridge competence gaps and provide additional incentives to their staff,” says Barbara Echaust, a Senior Consultant at Spring Professional.

More and more often, companies from the sector of modern business services must compete for the best candidates. Given the current market situation, employees from the sector are aware that they can pick and choose their job offers. Candidates who are active on the labour market often participate in several recruitment processes simultaneously, and they choose what seems best for them.

“Until recently, only people with knowledge of exotic foreign languages could afford to dictate conditions. At present, the SSC/BPO market in Poland has grown so much that there aren’t even enough specialists with knowledge of German, which is a quite popular language with most business centres,” Barbara Echaust adds.

The growth of the market is accompanied by growing expectations among employees. Employers are forced to compete for them slightly more intensely. About 50% of the centres use a cafeteria system of non-wage benefits; the number of benefits rises, and the centres try to outdo one another in presenting new best-workplace ideas. All this in order to make their job offers more attractive for their future employees, or to reduce their staff turnover.

Understaffing in this sector, which is an increasing concern in Poland, forces investors to search for new solutions.

“According to our estimates, ca 50,000 IT specialists are needed. Quite often, financial recruitment processes turn out into a huge challenge for the SSC/BPO environment. Demand definitely exceeds supply. On the other hand, the sector has seen intense growth in Asia for quite some time. A number of SSCs based in Poland has already decided to transfer some less complex processes to India, where workforce size and availability is several times higher than in Poland. It turns out that business decisions are also motivated by efforts to find savings. While Poland is a growing economy and a competitive player for our European neighbours in many ways, its position might look different when compared to Asia. India surely may offer even lower costs for this kind of enterprises. Therefore, the sector faces a risk of declining employment. But in my opinion, this might happen in a decade or so,” says Barbara Echaust of Spring Professional.