Recently, every time I spend a day in Wrocław or Kraków I see groups of young foreign guys hanging out in the centre. You can hear Italian, Spanish, Portugese and other languages on the tram, at the malls and in department stores. Tourists? No way, they look like locals walking confidently with their branded shopping bags from Biedronka. Erasmus students? Not really, they look too old ( late twenties or early thirties) and far too sober. So what, have they all come here with their beautiful Polish girlfriends?
This is not the answer, either. According to demographers from the Warsaw’s centre for International Relations, only in 2013 around 7,000 EU citizens moved to Poland, and the number is not precise since EU migrants are not required to register with Polish authorities.
It may be surprising given that a few years ago, since joining the EU Poland was known for huge outflows of workers.
“Why are all these people coming to Poland, where the language is impossible to learn and the salaries are ridicoulously low? “What are they up to in Poland, teach Italian as native speakers and drink Żubrowka”? “Why would somebody leave the beach to freeze in a cold country, where it’s dark after 4 pm”? , you can read on Internet forums.
The reason is the radical growth of the foreign business services sector (BPO, ITO, SSC and R&D centres) in Poland. According to the latest Hays report (2014), there are 470 BPO/SSC centres in Poland, employing 128 000 people . The sector is growing rapidly; from 2013 to 2014 alone 18 000 new work places were created in BPO/SSC centres, most of them (over 5000) in Kraków.
There is a huge demand for foreign language speakers in this sector as BPO/SSC centres in Poland provide services in 34 languages. English is the language spoken in all the centres, closely followed by German (74%). Other popular languages include French, Spanish, Italian and also niche Scandinavian languages, like Swedish or Dannish.
Shared service centers willingly recruit workers from Western Europe, advertising vacancies on such portals as Multilingual Vacancies or Top Language Jobs . There are vacancies available for experienced professionals as well as for graduates; a newly qualified Portugese accountant with fluent English is more than welcome to apply for Capgemini, HP or McKinsey in Wrocław.
Foreigners who work in shared service centers appreciate working in international teams, relatively cheap public transport and housing, and the opportunity to develop their careers at a fast-paced, growing sector. Even though salaries in Poland are lower than in Western Europe, thanks to lower cost of living workers can afford comfortable life.
Shared service centres offer a wide range of extra benefits, such as private medical care, discounts at sports&leisure centres, or language courses. Many of them also provide relocating workers with a few weeks of free accomodation and help them to settle down in Poland.
Are you searching for a new opportunity abroad? Have you visited Poland and you would like to come back for a longer time? Do you speak English fluently? If so, read my short guide about the four areas in which many shared services centres employ foreigners, together with pay scale and useful links.
I have found all the information aobut payscales in ABSL report about shared centre cervices in Poland from 2014, you can download the complete report (72 pages) here:
All the salaries listed in this post are gross.
Across all Shared Services Centre jobs, a Junior Specialist is a person with no experience or less than a year, a Specialist has normally 1 – 3 years of experience, and a Senior Specialist more than 2/3 years. A Team Leader manages a team from 5 to 15 professionals and a Process Manager a team up to 50 people. Of course these titles may vary slightly between one organization and another.
Powodzenia = good luck!
There are many accounting jobs available in shared services centres in Poland as finance&accounting services are provided in 22% of all the shared services centres, mostly in Warsaw, Kraków and Poznań.
Accounting jobs in general divide into two categories: General Ledger (GL) and Accounts Payable/Receivable (AP/AR) jobs.
A Junior GL Accountant can earn from 725 (min.) to 1050 (max.) EUR gross a month. Responsibilities include basic tasks within the GL area and newly qualified accountants are often welcome for such roles.
The salary range is 950 – 1325 EUR gross for accountants with 2-3 years of experience and 1 250 – 1 675 EUR gross for Senior Accountants. Team Leaders can earn between 1 750 and 2 475 EUR gross, while Process Managers earn from 2 850 to 4 275 EUR gross.
GL processes include (but are not limited to) ledger balances processing and reconciling, period closing process, billing processing and reporting. Experience using SAP is adventageous.
Accounts Payable/Accounts Receivable Specialists earn from 625 to 825 EUR gross a month if they have less than 1 year of experience (Junior Specialists), 750-1100 EUR gross with one or two years of experience and from 1000 to 1235 EUR gross if they have more than 2 years of experience (Senior Specialists). The Accounts Payable Specialist is responsible for processing and payment of invoices and solving clients’ queries related to AP. The Accounts Receivable Specialist is responsible for maximizing cash collections by enforcing payment terms and collecting past due monies.
A Team Leader in this area of accountancy can earn from 1 575 to 2 200 EUR gross and a Process Manager from 2 375 to 3 575 EUR gross.
A few companies currently hiring for accounting jobs with languages: IBM (Kraków), IKEA (Poznań), Motorola (Kraków), Credit Suisse (Wrocław).
Customer Service Jobs
It is relatively easy to start a career in Customer Service as most companies accept candidates with any Bachelor’s Degree, fluency in English and another foreign language, good IT skills and interpersonal skills (communication skills, customer-orientated, a team player, willingness to learn, etc). This is why both new graduates and people who plan a career change can consider applying for a Customer Service job in Poland as long as they have the right set of languages and skills.
How much can you earn? A Junior Customer Service specialist earns from 625 to 825 EUR gross a month, a Specialist (more than 1 year of experience) from 725 to 1000 EUR gross , a Team Leader from 1 575 to 2 2000 EUR gross and a Process Manager from 2 375 to 3 575.
Customer Service tasks involve orders supporting customers and contractors via e-mail, phone and chat, solving their queries and problems.
Currently hiring: IBM (Kraków), Shell (Kraków), Atos (Bydgoszcz), Google (Wrocław).
IT and Technical Support jobs are in high demand in Poland. IT processes are offered in 29% of all the shared service centres and it is not easy to find high-skilled specialists.
An IT or Computer Science graduate can apply to a SSC/BPO centre as a 1st line IT Support Specialist/IT Helpdesk Specialist. This role requires excellent IT skills, knowledge of different IT services and products, very good analytical and problem solving skills. A junior IT Specialist can earn from 725 to 950 EUR gross and a Specialist from 1 050 to 1 625 EUR gross. The wages amount to 1 675 to 2 375 EUR for a team leader and 2 850 to 4 275 EUR for a Process Manager.
There are many areas of IT where shared centre services are hiring: Helpdesk, IT Security Project Management, Cloud/Data Specialists and many others.
Who’s hiring? UBS (Kraków), IBM(Kraków), ING Services Polska (Katowice), Intel Corporation (Gdańsk).
HR is another area where candidates with any Bachelor’s Degree are accepted, although candidates with a Bachelor’s or Master in HR, Administration or a related field are preferred. Soft skills required for HR include excellent communication skills, attention to detail and teamwork skills.
A HR administrator is responsible for providing a variety of HR services (e.g., benefits open enrollment, payroll, mobility, loan programs, insurance, CSSA tuition, housing allocations), verifying and entering data into HR systems and securing confidentiality of HR data.
The salary range for HR roles is from 675 EUR to 900 EUR gross for a Junior Specialist, from 850 to 1100 for a Specialist, from 1 100 to
1 475 EUR for a Senior Specialist, from 1 575 to 2 250 EUR for a Team Leader and from 2 850 to 4 275 for a Process Manager.
Now hiring: Wipro (Warsaw), Hewlett-Packard (Wrocław), Aon Hewitt (Kraków).
Where to search for a job in Poland?
Apart from the popular sites with job for expats mentioned before, Top Language Jobs, there are more job sites where you can search for vacancies that do not require Polish language skills:
http://www.careersinpoland.com/ , a job site & career advice site for foreigners who plan to work in Poland. Lots of useful information and city guides.
You can also contact the following recruitment agencies:
CPL Jobs www.cpljobs.pl
There are also a plenty of language jobs advertised on LinkedIn and recruiters are very eager to connect with candidates.
Are you a foreigner working in Poland? Would you like to share your insights? I’d love to hear from you!