The last decade saw a decrease in unemployment from 20% to less than 8%, the financial crisis, the fall of Goldman Sachs, and the big data revolution. In such a dynamic environment, there is no reason to expect that recruitment processes might still rely on models introduced early in the century,” says Michał Gołgowski, the Managing Director at Spring Professional Poland.
Just 10 years ago, the standard practice was to search for employees via newspaper ads, and the process itself relied on whatever information the candidate offered concerning their skills. It was a significant challenge for the recruiter, and the only material input on the recruitees available were their CVs, listing their employers and experience.
“Declarations plus an interview were enough for lower-ranked positions. When a manager was to be recruited, especially for institutions such as banks or insurance companies, the ex-superiors had to be consulted, and an in-depth search for information was necessary,” explains Michał Gołgowski. “Therefore it was not unusual for a recruitment process to run for months.”
He adds that with the unemployment rate at 20%, hardly any non-wage benefits or measures intended to strengthen the candidate’s loyalty could be expected. “There was no need for them. Due to the high unemployment rate, staff would be regarded as another cost item in need of optimisation rather than a company asset,” says Gołgowski.
Changes all around
Recent data of the Central Statistical Office of Poland (GUS) shows unemployment at all-time lows in 2016. In September, the registered unemployment rate was 8.5%, and an additional decrease by 0.1 percentage points would have brought it down to the quarter-century’s record low.
Such good data is also reflected in the recruitment context. Among 127,621 job ads published at Pracuj.pl in Q2 2016, 13.1% were related to the financial sector. Only commerce and sales saw a higher demand for workforce (19.6% of all ads published).
“By their very nature, commerce and sales are a mass business to a much larger extent than finance, where specific skills are required,” Michał Gołgowski comments. “Quite characteristically, the number of ads addressed to financers was more than twice the number of those addressed to IT specialists, who are largely regarded as the labour market’s demigods,” says Michał Gołgowski. He further emphasizes that exactly 5% of the ads concerned the IT sector.
According to Gołgowski, there is a clear change in perception of the employees and the recruitment process itself even now.
A new road to success
“The key change in approach is indicated by moving the employee from the costs item to the investment item. Costs are to be reduced as far as practicable. On the other hand, every reasonable businessman would go as far as skipping dinner just to have some more funds for a good investment opportunity.”
With these changes in mind, the financial sector has began a search for exceptionally talented employees still in their university or college years, by launching complex apprenticeship programmes or recruitment campaigns at the campuses. Recruiters also turn to new technologies. In addition to online job ads, 39% of recruiters already admit that they search for employees via social media networks such as LinkedIn.
“Sometimes even this is not enough. 28% of enterprises already admit that in order to find particularly interesting candidates, they have to reach those actually not interested in finding a job. Furthermore, 26% of enterprises admit that they have launched an internal recommendation programme,” says Barbara Echaust, a Senior Consultant at Spring Professional.
“It is hardly surprising in this context that 38% of financial organisations are beginning to pay close attention to their employer branding, which means the way they are perceived as an employer,” Michał Gołgowski emphasizes. “It shows that turning toward the employee and addressing their needs will be the only way for financial institutions to effectively search for talented employees,” Barbara Echaust adds.
“Just next to the development and expansion in the area of employee benefits, remote work and addressing the employee’s needs will be a major trend,” Michał Gołgowski emphasizes. “Job hoppers will become more and more important – employees searched for as highly-paid specialists for specific projects rather than permanent positions. They will not build their CVs on experience with employers, but on specific performance which they achieve and which they are able to document with their track record of success. After all, it’s all about success,” he concludes.