DK i MD Contact

By Michael Dembinski, chief advisor, and Dorota Kierbiedź, membership director, BPCC


A tipping point in the Polish labour market?

Last month’s unemployment figures, by the Statistics Poland measure of registered unemployed, have jumped month on month from 5.1% to 5.4%. By the Eurostat measure of the economically inactive, the rise is from 2.7% to 3.1%. While there’s an element of seasonality here, and deducing a trend from a single month’s data is impossible, the numbers may serve as a clue that a sea-change in market conditions is under way. Is AI already starting to reduce the amount of work needed from humans? Anecdotal evidence from members suggests that in some sectors – notably tech – hiring has slowed down and lay-offs are being reported. Yet macroeconomic forecasts suggest that growth will accelerate in the second half of this year.

So what will 2024 look like on the Polish labour market? That’s what this issue of Contact Magazine Online intends to answer. With 3 interviews and 20 articles, we bring you a representative cross-sector overview of the market, from which you will be able to draw insightful conclusions of practical value to your business’s HR strategy.

The interviews:

Agnieszka Kulikowska, senior partner & global DE&I ambassadors’ head in Page Executive, discusses the changes taking place across the recruitment scene in Poland, driven by demographics, IT, wage pressure, and the shifting trends on global markets.

Rachel Launay, the British Council’s recently appointed director for Poland and Czechia, talks about her first impressions of Poland and its human skills potential.

Jaroslaw Skupinski, HR country head and board member at GSK Poland, says that more and more global functions are being brought to this country, and that the GSK workforce is becoming increasingly diverse, with around 10% of employees coming from abroad.

The articles:

We start with the overview

Agnieszka Kolenda, executive director at Hays Poland paints the big picture of the Polish HR scene and the main trends unfolding this year. Agata Qanadilo from AstraZeneca highlights the need to blend young talent with experienced hands in a tight labour market. Magdalena Panońko, COO of GS Services Poland lists eight key areas to keep an eye on in these uncertain times for HR. The tougher it is to recruit suitably skilled employees, the more employers need to strengthen their diversity and inclusion culture, finds a report by ACCA. And Mazars brings together all Polish HR rules and regulations into one place; here you’ll find it in a nutshell.

Wellbeing on the agenda

To what extent is the employer obliged to take care of their employees’ mental wellbeing? ask Monika Krzyszkowska-Dąbrowska and Dr Katarzyna Wieczorek from Linklaters. An essential part of wellbeing is to feel in control of the ageing process; Joanna Bensz, founder and CEO of Longevity Center shares some key tips. Employers that make wellbeing a central element of their HR policy are more successful in attracting employees back to the office, suggest Weronika Pomin and Agata Wojnowska, from VML Enterprise Solutions (formerly Wunderman Thompson Technology).

AI – an opportunity or threat for HR?

Dorota Grudzien-Molenda, managing partner of Arthur Hunt Consulting Polska, asks what IT competencies will be in greatest demand as the AI revolution sweeps across the labour market, and how to blend AI with traditional skills. Łukasz Chodkowski, managing director of Déhora Poland says flexibility and resilience are more important than ever as a new IT revolution dawns. Bożena Roczniak, CEO of OstendiHR, considers the increasingly important role that AI has to play in the recruitment process. If one sector has been truly shaken up by AI, it’s the translation industry. What roles are still left for human skills and experience, asks Natalia Horbachevska, CEO of TaskForce.

The legal issues

Online platforms enabling full-remote work face new EU regulations. What this means for both parties to the contact is described by Bartosz Wszeborowski and Krzysztof Iwaniuk from PCS | Littler.

Better employee retention saves huge costs related to recruitment, on-boarding and training. Olga Dąbrowska-Mel and Magdalena Profic, from Bird & Bird Poland, go through the mechanisms that firms can deploy to help hang on to key staff. Bartosz Wszeborowski, Michalina Lewandowska-Alama and Aleksandra Bruchajzer, from PCS | Littler sum up the lessons learned over the 12 months during which the Polish Labour Code has included new provisions concerning remote work – the pros, the cons, the myths and the reality. The EU Whistleblower Directive was meant to have been implemented by Poland by late 2021; it still hasn’t happened. “What next?” asks Magdalena Wilkoszewska from TGC Corporate Lawyers. It’s been five years since employers could legally replace employee records on paper files with electronic ones; Elżbieta Miękus, COO of Contract Administration considers the advantages of a switch to employee e-files and what needs to be borne in mind when switching. Company cars used for private purposes attract the attention of the tax authorities. The increasing use of electric vehicles raises questions; Weronika Nazarkiewicz from Staniek and Partners explains the CIT and PIT implications. Group layoffs are discussed by Michał Tutaj from CMS – what counts as a group layoff, and what it means for companies terminating the employment contracts of multiple employees as conditions become tougher.

And finally…

Managing dispersed teams working remotely in different countries means focusing on communication and language. Here are some useful tips from Berlitz to help overcome barriers to effective cooperation.