Changes in the labor market and how they affect programmers

Four workers stand by the window and talk about the changing labour market

The labor market in Poland has seen drastic changes in the last couple of years. Transformations in the IT sector have been visible for quite a while already, and now we can see them in other sectors of Polish industry as well. According to the information published by Statistics Poland, the unemployment rate is at the lowest registered level since the fall of communism.

In October 2018 the unemployment rate was only 5.7%. An excellent result, considering that only 4 years before it was twice as high. Such low unemployment rate proves that the labor market is becoming more and more competitive. The number of new jobs is increasing and the percentage of layoffs is dropping. Labor demand is growing faster than its supply, which makes Polish employers look for talents abroad and convince them to relocate to our country.

More doesn't necessarily mean better

The European Commission estimates that by the end of 2020 there will be a deficit of 1 million IT specialists in Europe. That’s way too many, considering that only 400 thousand IT engineers are forecast to graduate by that time. Hence, the first problem appears: sensing changes on the market, more and more people decide to retrain and try their luck in the IT sector. An ever-growing number of coding schools makes it even easier. Unfortunately, the quality of this kind of education proves to be quite poor sometimes, which certainly has to do with how young the market for such services is. Sooner or later we´ll see only the best coding schools survive.

Poland is the biggest center of talented programmers in East-Central Europe, which undoubtedly attracts foreign companies to invest in our country. The IT labor market has by now become totally globalized. People willing to relocate can apply for positions all over the world. The possibility to work in Silicon Valley is surely tempting, yet, the high cost of living in California makes you think twice before you send your resumé. In this scenario, the option that is gaining a lot of popularity among programmers is to work remotely from any place in the world enjoying convenient currency exchange rates and high salaries offered by Western companies. Considering the technological development and a growing mobility of the next generation of IT professionals, this trend seems to become even stronger.

How to survive on the labor market?

First of all, product and technology

The best professionals want to work with the cutting-edge technologies and develop meaningful products that change our reality. If your company wants to attract ambitious and skilled programmers, make sure to offer well-designed, innovative and high-quality products. True experts will surely not want to be part of a mediocre and badly executed project they don’t believe in.

Second, the employer image

Who wouldn’t like to work in a big, prestigious company and be able to brag about it? Building an employer image is not only about huge marketing campaigns. More than anything else, it has to do with constant and everyday efforts to make the people “inside” comfortable and happy and have them recommend your company to others. It is well-known that your employees are the best calling card you have.

This is why employer branding activities often resemble a jigsaw puzzle of tiny elements, which – put together – create a corporate culture which people are happy to be a part of. What are these elements? Efficient information flow on every level, openness, constructive feedback and quality management are only a few of them. When you put all these elements together, the result is a “perfect” place to work. All the money you may spend on promotion and marketing will be wasted if on the inside your company looks completely different from what you are trying to sell on banners or in TV spots.

Third, talent attracts more talent

If you are thinking about offering your staff free office massages or Friday beer, you should know that what really attracts and retains talented programmers is the opportunity to work with experts. Specialists one can learn from every day. People, who thanks to their competences, add to the business value and influence their company development. Given the limited budget companies have for new vacancies, isn’t it more convenient to hire twice less people and to make sure that they have twice as much experience? At the end of the day, your team develops because of the quality of its members, not its quantity. The word of mouth is a powerful recruiting method, and once you have experienced people in your team, it is going to be easier to get new ones.

As you can see, it is not easy for an employer to meet programmers’ demands. The fact is that the current labor market is candidate-driven. The number of job offers for programmers increases every year, allowing them to pick and choose among not only Polish but also foreign recruiters. If you want to get your hands on the best talents in the industry, you better keep our tips above in mind. 

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