We were recently invited to join a popular Polish HR-focused podcast to talk about sourcing. Before we begin, let me just say that talent sourcing is both really popular and completely underrated in Poland. You’re unlikely to find specialist sourcers here as sourcing is typically part of a recruiter’s job. So many of the best sourcers in Poland may not even know they’re sourcers. That definitely makes it tricky to hire them.
As the job market is changing, sourcing is becoming a very in demand skill and more and more companies consider introducing sourcing as a separate role. We usually advise against it, since we see the many positive sides of recruiters engaging more with potential candidates.
So what does talent sourcing in Poland look like?
We define talent sourcing as any recruiter led activity intended to increase the number of candidates in the recruitment process. It’s more than just search, although that’s clearly a major part of sourcing. But for us, sourcing also encompasses talent attraction, mainly by building a strong recruiter brand.
Something that candidates really appreciate in Poland is having a clear point of contact throughout the entire recruitment process and so separating the sourcing function doesn’t necessarily make much sense. It’s a tough market as building trust takes time. Candidates receive many recruitment messages every day and they’re much more likely to respond to a recruiter they already know or base their decision on how important the recruiter seems to be in the organisation. No one wants to invest their time speaking to someone who can’t represent their interests well in front of the hiring managers.
There are still many companies that don’t use sourcing day to day, deciding to work with recruitment agencies instead. It makes sense since they often deal with large numbers of applications for most of their roles. We even have specialist sourcing agencies on the market that have a really good level of sourcing knowledge, not just by Polish standards.
Does talent sourcing work in Poland?
Talent sourcing in Poland can work very well so if you’re not seeing good results, make sure your sourcing efforts are adjusted to the market. There are some things you should know before you start:
Polish people have a sentiment for everything that is Polish
While eBay and Amazon are incredibly popular globally, Polish people are much more likely to use Allegro since it’s a Polish brand. For years GoldenLine was competing with LinkedIn and with a good chance of winning, too. It’s the same with many other brands and products because Polish people simply have a sentiment for anything created in the country. An international employer can be attractive to some, but there’s a deep feeling of pride associated with working for a well known local brand instead. So try to make your case about why your company is attractive, without taking anything for granted.
Most people speak English, but may not feel too confident discussing more complex topics
Even when sourcing in London, I’d write my messages in Polish when approaching Polish natives. It’s one thing to speak English, it’s another to be able to negotiate the details of your next role in English. Not to mention reading through complex legal documentation. So it may be useful to have someone in your company who will be able to answer some of the more complicated questions at different stages of the process in Polish.
You will need to understand Polish employment law and job market
Hopefully, this one sounds obvious to you. The most important things to remember is that a Polish notice period is typically one or three full months. This is where a lot of recruiters come unprepared! A full month means if you hand in your notice on 2nd January, you’ll have to work until end of February, until your employer agrees to shorten your notice period. And you should know, most employees and employers alike are reluctant to negotiate this.
So make sure you plan your sourcing activity accordingly. Also pay attention to the difference between an employment contract and a business to business contract. The latter is especially popular in IT and it doesn’t grant the worker the same protections that an employment contract does. So if you can only offer a B2B contract, you’ll find it a struggle to lure in candidates currently enjoying an employment contract.
Do you really need talent sourcing in Poland?
If you’re looking to hire specialists in Poland, you may find that sourcing isn’t always necessary. A lot will depend on the roles you’re hiring for and the package you can offer. We have several job boards heavily promoting transparent salary ranges (No Fluff Jobs, Just Join IT, RocketJobs…) so if you can reveal yours and they’re competitive enough, you probably don’t need talent sourcing and may get by simply with advertising.
If you do decide to source candidates on the Polish market, you will need to invest a lot of time and effort to learn the best approach. Candidates in Poland are receiving a lot of messages every day and they will have high expectations. If you’re sourcing in IT, they will want to know all of the technical aspects of the job as well as the salary ranges. Yes, it’s possible to still get traction without revealing the salary range upfront, but it won’t be easy. Especially if your brand isn’t well known in Poland yet.
A good alternative would be to find a local sourcer to join your team or work with a freelancer. They will be able to build trust much more easily and help you build brand recognition to make future sourcing projects easier. Remember though – you’re not looking for someone whose current title is a sourcer. Just look for a recruiter who mentions sourcing as part of their activities.