With an ageing population and a mass emigration of workers to more industrialised nations in the west, over the last decade or so Poland has experienced a major skills shortage across most industries and job levels.
Yet, in more recent years, the nation has proven itself to be a global competitor in the tech space, attracting a range of international heavyweights to set up shop.
To find out more about how the executive search market is evolving, we caught up with the Managing Director, Poland of Morgan Philips Group, Jolanta Samul-Kowalska. Here’s some of the many interesting insights she had to share:
Leaders need to have leadership skills
At the risk of sounding obvious, one of the most crucial characteristics organisations are looking for is leaders with leadership skills. While they’re expected to be tech-savvy, organisations want leaders with the necessary soft skills to be good on the job, says Jolanta.
“Since the 2007/2008 economic crash, many organisations in Poland have increased their efforts to secure leaders that can cope with change.”
“That’s why most clients don’t want to talk about the job – they spend more time discussing leadership skills like flexibility and agility, or the ability to engage and inspire multiple generations of workers. They also need to know how to manage flat structures, understand and implement key metrics, and provide feedback to employees on a continual basis.”
But one of the most sought after traits in leaders is empathy, Jolanta says. “Decision-makers need to be people who can empathise with others and understand their points of view,” she says.
Organisations want to guarantee retention
One of the major challenges facing Poland’s talent market is retention. There’s no shortage of talent coming out of Poland, says Jolanta, pointing out that the majority are highly qualified and educated - but are choosing to work abroad, instead.
“Talent retention is an issue that’s impacting all levels of the workforce, but particularly when recruiting senior or business-critical roles,” she says.
“Most organisations want to guarantee that the person will stay in the role for longer than two years. That’s why we have more and more clients asking for assessment tools and capabilities – to ensure that candidates are the right fit.”
“We use our assessment and development tools to get to know candidates better, and understand their key motivators and behavioural preferences.”
To keep senior leadership talent happy and engaged, there has to be something in it for them too, she points out.
“More and more we are seeing senior-level candidates asking for a greater work-life balance, and in a dwindling executive-level jobs market, that’s something that should definitely be catered to.”
The search process needs to speed up
Traditionally speaking, the executive recruitment process can be lengthy and drawn out, with the amount of time it takes to appoint new leaders often stretching between three and six months. This makes sense – poorly chosen business-critical hires can be detrimental to a business – but time is not a luxury many organisations can afford, says Jolanta.
“In today’s highly competitive and digitally driven business environment, organisations can’t wait around for months on end before a business leader is appointed. They need access to leaders right now!”
“With our innovative engagement model and extensive global networks, we’re able to reach out to various candidates in the market, meaning we’re helping organisations find the right talent, quicker.”
For more information about the executive search market in Poland, get in touch with Jolanta on Jolanta.Samul-Kowalska@morganphilips.com