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What do you need to do before you start recruiting developers in Poland?

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To hire developers in Poland, you first need to be clear on the basics. How can you attract the best developers? What are your needs, aka what does their day-to-day work look like? What tech stack are you recruiting for? That’s where we’ll start.

Create your employer brand on the Polish market

You have an established brand in your country or a good pipeline of candidates there that know your company. But in Poland you’re new. In Poland the battle for talent is just as fierce as other countries. 

Not only that but hiring software developers is costly, so you don’t want to end up with the wrong candidate.

So, what does it take to attract the best developers in Poland?

You need to think back to when you built your employer brand from the beginning. Polish developers want to grow their careers and are looking for unique companies to work in who have a distinct personality. It’s such a top priority that 68% of candidates align their job search to issues they care about, according to LinkedIn research.

Polish developers like working for international companies as they value working in a multi-cultural environment and being exposed to innovative new projects from around the world. They like working in collaborative open-minded, diverse teams. It’s important to showcase this in your job posts. 

How do you want to position your brand? What’s the feeling people should walk away with after engaging with it?

Make your needs clear

What are your needs and expectations?

Here are some questions you could ask yourself before searching for your next developer:

– Where do you want them to be based? Wroclaw, Gdansk or Warsaw?

– Are you setting up a remote tech hub in Warsaw? Do you need to set up a company? Perhaps you can’t justify the initial expense to employ a whole team If that’s so, you can consider freelancers or outsourcing.  Many developers in Poland are contractors but they usually prefer long term contracts. You can always scale up after this.

– What is the commitment expected of the developer? Are you hiring full-time, or part-time? Are they expected to work in-house, or remotely?

– What skills level do you need ? Do you want them to take architectural decisions, lead a team, or focus on coding?

– What is their experience? Have they worked on a similar tech stack?

– How much are you willing to spend on the person? How will you benchmark salaries? Poland’s tech salaries are increasing year on year but compared to the UK and US they are lower. However, they are not at the same difference as the difference between the US/UK cost of living and Poland’s. This is because many international companies are already in Poland and this has inflated IT sector salaries. Are you willing to simply pay what you’d pay in your location and perhaps hire more experienced developers?

These questions should help you narrow down the kind of person you’re looking for depending on your needs and expectations.

What to look for when hiring software developers

When looking for a software developer, one of the most important things you need to determine is if their skills are up to par with expectations. This can be a challenge in a new location like Poland when you don’t have much experience on the market.

You may want to look at their open-source projects in GitHub or research the companies they’ve worked in. If you have the capacity to train someone, you can go for a more junior developer. However this may be more of a challenge in a new location. Investing in a senior developer might be the right thing to do so that they can work more independently and proactively.

Coding skills can be tested through online tests or live during interviews.

Do you value team working skills? If, so look for “soft skills” when hiring your next software developer. This means that you should not only focus on how well they write code, but also how they communicate.  Can they explain complex concepts in a simple way? Will they be able to mentor others? Are they continual learners?

Set the salary

Finally, decide on the salary you offer to your developers. According to the median annual wage for a C++  developer in Poland was 126,000 PLN / 10,500 PLN monthly in 2023. However, also check the job boards to benchmark your salaries against current hiring companies. Mid-range C++ Engineers working in AI / Data Engineering can earn easily earn double this median level. Also, salaries in Warsaw can be around 15-20% higher than in other locations, but the talent pool is much bigger. So time-to-hire in Warsaw could be shorter.

Before you start hiring for your developer roles, you need to source a good pool of applicants. 

Where can you source developers?

What are some creative ways to recruit software engineers? It’s important to have a good talent pool to recruit from. Competition is fierce and many companies will be vying for the best candidates, so it’s good practice to have at least 2-3 candidates that pass the final interview that you can offer the role to as some will get counter offers.

You can try some of these ways to source talent:

1. Personal networks

Using your personal network or that of your employees is one of the top ways to source candidates. Referrals are often the best quality hires as your employees will only want to work with the best people. Whilst your first couple of hires may be from other sources in Poland when you onboard them ask them if they can recommend any people they know.

2. Job boards

Job boards in Poland are a popular way to find software developers. Tech job boards like JustJoin and NoFluff jobs being the main ones. They have English interfaces and their account teams speak English. Think about getting a package of 5-10 ads, as you may need to advertise for more than 1 month for a role. Try to negotiate a longer validity period for the ads. A 1 year period being the best option. LinkedIn job ads may also work. You get one free job ad or you can buy premium job ads which are more effective. Ask your team to re-post the job ads on their profiles.

3. Social media

Your social media platforms are good tools for finding developers. Platforms like GitHub, LinkedIn and Twitter are packed with software developers looking for their next opportunity. You will need to be active and promote your company on these platforms.

4. Recruitment agencies

Recruitment agencies can help in sourcing software developers. They have extensive databases of qualified candidates and can help you find the perfect developer for your team. If you use an external headhunter or recruiter you can expect to pay around 15-20% of the new employee’s first-year salary. The more roles you give them the more you can potentially negotiate.

5. Job fairs and University Recruitment Days

Another way to source developers is job fairs.They’re mostly useful for junior roles as mid-level to senior candidates will have no problem securing a role through other methods. And university recruiting is another option. If you work in a niche technology area you can check to see if universities are doing any research in this area, and try to make connections there and target PhD candidates.

6. Conferences

Also, conferences are a great way to meet developers.  They go there to learn more about their area of technology so this can be a perfect way to engage them. Asking your VP of Engineering or Lead Developer to give a talk is a great way of boosting your company’s brand in front of potential candidates.

7. Hiring days

Hiring days can be an option too. This is mostly for large companies with an established brand.

8. LinkedIn Recruiter

In 2022 52 Million Users looked for jobs through LinkedIn weekly and during this year LinkedIn saw a 22% inncrease in engagement.

How do you find good developers on LinkedIn in Poland?

First, you need a strong employer page on LinkedIn with engaging content where your employers regularly post about the news and successes of you company. 

LinkedIn Recruiter is a paid for feature where you can set up hiring campaigns and send targeted messages to candidates. You can search by location, skills, and experience level to find developers who match your role closely. You can post a job in a campaign and pools applicants and interested candidates from direct messages together. Keep messages brief and relevant. Messages which actually mention a candidate’s experience or a piece of information gleaned from their profile are much more lively to garner a response as they are personal.

9. Blogs and open-source projects

Finally, look at blogs and open-source projects, e.g. on GitHub. You can encourage your employees to post about the company’s projects too. Then you can message them with some information about a relevant role.

10. Last but now least – Get a Jobs Page on your website.

It goes without saying that visitors on your company’s website are already interested in your company and they are highly likely to consider a role working for you. 

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