The year 2021 was another year in which the market felt the socio-economic effects of the pandemic. While employers and experts have become accustomed to the new reality, it has strongly affected the functioning of the Polish labor market. While the biggest challenges for employers seem to be over, the long-term implications of COVID-19 are becoming more apparent, and the changes to the labor market in 2022 are becoming more pronounced. We present what HR departments in companies operating in the Polish market should be prepared for.
The year 2021 was full of challenges for many companies, confirmed by both market data and Devire experts. In particular, the third and fourth quarters of 2021 showed a significant increase in the activity of employers, as a result of which many companies found it difficult to find employees. The demand for labor and the shortage of employees ended up pushing wage demands higher. These wage pressures are set to continue in 2022, together with the other trends that we could observe in 2021.
Wage pressures are growing
We continue to see an expected upward trend of continued wage growth in 2022. According to Devire’s experts, wage pressures will become more pronounced this year due to rising employment rates, the Polish Deal’s regulations, the geopolitical situation in the region influencing the inflation rate that exceeded last year’s expectations. In addition, more and more employees are demanding indexation of wage rates. Failure to accommodate this demand will mean that employees will seek other employment.
“Salary expectations are soaring and, consequently, experts’ salaries. We can observe this trend in most industries and market sectors. In the case of legal positions, we have recorded up to 15 percent earning increases, depending on the specialization. Also, experts with competences in the area of digital marketing can count on raises of 10 percent. In turn, in the area of real estate, we observe 15-20 percent salary increases in virtually all positions. Higher salaries can be expected primarily by project managers experienced in the preparation of investments and their implementation. In addition, in the coming years, in the area of accounting, analysis and controlling, especially in specialist and expert positions, the upward trend of 10% will continue (year-on-year). Programmers are also in a very good position. They can expect the biggest increases,” states Katarzyna Murray, Director of the Permanent Recruitment Division at Devire.
A skills gap never observed before
For years, we have been aware of the skills gap in the IT sector. However, in 2022, talent is to be seen lacking in the vast majority of industries. Where possible, technology will make up the shortfall, and processes and some competitions will be automated. In other areas, the introduction of an action plan covering the upskilling and training of employees will only gain in importance.
According to Devire’s experts’ observations, all sectors are now reporting a high demand for professionals, and the job market has become even more candidate-oriented. For years, the competency gap in the IT industry has been growing. The number of offers addressed to specialists in this area has increased by over 100% (YoY). The most sought after are full-stack developers, front-end developers, DevOps engineers, as well as specialists in the field of cloud technologies, artificial intelligence solutions and machine learning.
In other sectors, we are looking at a huge demand for work in e-commerce, especially in the area of CRM, data analytics and digital marketing. The construction industry is also developing strongly, with the positions of Project Managers and Cost Managers enjoying a great deal of success. We are also seeing an increase in demand for employees in the manufacturing, logistics, pharmaceutical and financial sectors. But across the board staff shortages are becoming a significant challenge for employers.
“2021 saw a very large increase in job offers, primarily in the areas of IT, digital marketing, e-commerce, finance and accounting, and real estate. In our opinion, this trend will also continue in 2022. Employers report growing problems with employing candidates who have appropriate knowledge and the correct skill set. The most sought-after candidates are, among others, accounting employees, independent accountants, mergers and acquisitions lawyers, digital marketing experts, e-commerce managers and, of course, experts from the IT industry.” – adds Dorota Hechner, Business Unit Manager with Devire.
Changes in approach to workplace organization
The pandemic changed employees’ attitudes to many work-place processes. It is noticeable that more and more candidates who decide to change jobs pay attention to the possibility of development and improvement of their qualifications. Especially with the rapidly changing demand for new skills, both soft and hard, as well as the flexibility to adapt to rapidly changing requirements in the job market. They are also looking for a transparent management company and flexible working hours. Well-being programs are also gaining in popularity, creating new challenges for HR. In fact, employees more and more often require benefits related to mental health. According to Devire’s research, programs aimed at helping employees to achieve a balance between personal life and work are proving to be more popular than the standard solutions, such as sports cards or Fruity Thursdays. Moreover, such programs ensure a sense of belonging to the organization, and thus positively influence retention. For another year in a row, flexibility is being seen as important for candidates, both in the case of remote and hybrid work.
Managing diversity and creating an inclusive workplace is an equally important element. The introduction of an equal treatment policy and the active building of a responsible approach to the subject of diversity is an increasingly important aspect when it comes to shaping the employee’s experience.