The Central and Eastern Europe (CEE) region is experiencing an unheard of hiring boom, and with good reason. Kraków, Poland, in particular, is driving this surge with a current outsourcing and shared services sector workforce of more than 60,000 (up from 50,000 in 2016). This number is on pace to reach an astounding 107,000 workers in shared services and outsourcing related roles by January 2020 – significantly impacting the talent attraction and retention programs of companies across the region.
At the centre of this surge is ASPIRE, one of the CEE’s driving forces behind Kraków’s emergence as a world class technology and business services hub – providing data analysis and best practice sharing to its 180 company membership-based community. WilsonHCG partnered with ASPIRE to host an October event within our Kraków centre of excellence. In tandem, we led multiple workshops covering today’s “hot button” trends impacting the talent landscape across the CEE.
The event brought together 40+ leading companies, peers and local stakeholders to drill into Kraków’s emergence, 2018 movements, as well as how companies across the CEE can attract and retain the best talent while capitalizing on growth demands. Based on feedback from ASPIRE and those in attendance, the following features our key actionable takeaways.
1. Diversity and Inclusion (D&I) Remains a Driving Force
D&I remains at the forefront of many organisations’ talent and business agendas, as companies understand the importance of diversity at all levels as a way to empower their people, celebrate differences, and inspire a mix of innovative and proven ideas. For inclusivity to prosper, talent leaders need to view D&I through an organisation-wide lense and integrate business strategies that foster cultural change from the top-down (and bottom-up).
WilsonHCG’s Joanna Ryś, who led this workshop, and her peers in attendance discussed why, as the world grows smaller in light of technological advances – diversity has broadened and needs to encompass cultural, gender, age, lifestyle and ethnicity differences. We, as talent leaders, need to embrace people’s unique differences and empower the diversity within and throughout our workforces.
Attendees were in consensus that leadership sets the example for your workforce to follow; they are drivers of D&I, culture and employment brand, and they make strategic decisions that impact your ability to grow, evolve, recruit and retain, not just today but for years down the road. For diversity and inclusion to come together and thrive, leadership needs to be at the forefront.
2. Building Your Remote Workforce Powerhouse
More companies are adopting telecommuting practices because of the far-reaching benefits. In fact, according to the State of Work Productivity Report, 65 percent of employees believe a remote work schedule increases productivity while more than two-thirds of managers report an increase in overall productivity from their remote employees. In this workshop, WilsonHCG’s John Aldridge and attendees delved into how companies can create an engaged,
productive, cohesive and client-centric remote team. The key takeaway for attendees was that, as we move further toward a world in which remote workforces is the reality, companies need to focus on personally engaging remote employees, trusting them to do their jobs, and ensuring they’re equipped with the resources, training and communication needed.
As an example, approximately 50 percent of WilsonHCG’s workforce is remote, strategically placed within and around our client partners so as to fully integrate with their internal teams. As WilsonHCG expands globally, our CEO John Wilson has made it his commitment to ensure our diverse workforce feels inclusiveness and never “on an island”. One step in this process was the integration of an intranet social media platform. WilsonHCG employees at all levels have a profile, and through this platform our people have created and continuously drive (at all levels) hundreds of groups, committees, book clubs, events, virtual flash mobs, recipe books and research sharing.
In addition, the group discussed growing investment in cloud-based Intelligent Talent Management solutions. The group agreed L&D plays a vital role in remote engagement and company culture, especially as more employees operate remotely. Such platforms can be p art of employees’ on-boarding, providing communications around L&D opportunities, as well as self-paced trainings employees can enroll in to develop their skill-sets.
3. Speaking the Candidate’s Language
Today’s talent has full transparency into what they're worth and what competitors are offering; they will not only reject a job offer or leave quickly if they don't feel their demands are being met, but they will likewise share their experiences across the wealth of platforms available. In response, WilsonHCG’s Caroline Hunter and Aleksandra Kocjan, as well as a bevy of industry peers, explored trends around the importance of “speaking the candidate’s language”.
Of note, more than 22 percent of 18-35 year olds expect a response within 10 minutes of reaching out to a consumer brand. Further, in 2016 18-35 year-olds had an average tenure of 1.6 years per job. By 2020, these very same 18-35 year-olds (millennials and Gen Z) will make up a prodigious 50 percent of the workforce – highlighting the importance of front-end strategies to improve retention. Lastly, video interviewing is now a top five recruitment technology investment for employers, while onboarding has likewise been cited as a top five investment for employers. Each of these statistics point to the importance of candidate-centric, personalized outreach tactics.
One talent leader in attendance shared how their organisation runs “fresh look” interviews with new hires after three months of employment to gain insight into what attracted them to the company. In addition, while technology is enabling better, more intimate and strategic human interaction, attendees agreed that it’s the people who put your tools to work that determine just how high that advantage can climb. With the right balance, technology gives your recruitment teams the opportunity to focus on what recruitment is all about: focusing on the candidate, on the hiring manager and organisation’s needs, on the onboarding process, the goals and desires of both sides. In brief, the personal relationship.
At the core of all conversation during the event was people. Talent is at the heart of each company’s business, whether that’s companies looking to hire the best talent or companies seeking to recruit the best talent on their clients’ behalves. WilsonHCG and ASPIRE partnered to keep the focus on talent and trends impacting the people landscape, and it is our hope that through each workshop we’ve started a conversation that will keep going and inspire action as the world in which we work continues to evolve.
Wilson Human Capital Group, Inc., (WilsonHCG) is a global leader in innovative talent solutions that operates on the principle of providing true partnership to our clients. Through our highly configurable Talent Ecosystem™ model, we transform the talent function into a strategic advantage. At WilsonHCG, the relationships we develop lead to the results our clients realize. Better People, Better Business.®