Published: 18.01.2022
Author:Szymon Bryzek
Szymon Bryzek
18.01.2022
EWL in Media | News

Andrzej Korkus for PulsHR.pl: On labour market challenges in 2022

Once a benefit, today an everyday reality. There is no turning back.

After the first explosion of remote work there is not much left. Today about 5 percent of working Poles do their jobs this way. That is not many. Yet, it does not mean that the experiences of recent months have not influenced the models of work. Remote and hybrid work will stay with us forever. Experts ensure that such work has moved from the area of benefits to the ordinary, gray, professional everyday life.

After the surge in the first months of the pandemic, now we can talk about a much smaller number of people working remotely. Statistics Poland’s data show that while the COVID-19 pandemic continued to impact the place where work was performed, the further away from the outbreak of the pandemic, the smaller the number of people not having to travel to the office. In Q3 2021, the number of people doing their work at home (on a daily or from time-to-time basis) was 2,111 thousand, or 12.6 percent of all employed (Q2 2021: 2,802 thousand, or 16.9 percent, respectively). Of this group, 631 thousand (or 29.9 percent) worked from home due to the COVID-19 pandemic (Q2 2021: 1,499 thousand, or 53.5 percent).

On the other hand, 937 thousand people (i.e., 5.6 percent of all employed) performed their work remotely (this does not include the place of work), 65.2 percent of whom worked this way due to the COVID-19 pandemic (Q2 2021 this number amounted to 1831 thousand, i.e., 11 percent of all employed, 86 percent of whom due to the pandemic). In comparison, according to the business organization Konfederacja Lewiatan, at the peak of the pandemic, more than 3 million people, or about 20 percent of the workforce, were working from home.

Difficult cooperation in a hybrid work model

Andrzej Korkus, CEO of the EWL employment agency, draws attention to another problem. In his opinion, the hybrid work system can be quite a challenge, especially for companies whose activities are strongly associated with the need to cooperate with offices and official documents.

‘It is worth noting, however, that the increasingly popular trend of switching to different forms of remote work may also prove to be a strong incentive for offices, forcing them to remodel the current forms of cooperation with companies. We can see it on our example, in the context of issuing temporary residence permits and declarations of entrusting work to foreigners. Thanks to the digitalization of these processes on the part of the offices, our employees could also start using the hybrid work model’, says Korkus.

Therefore, in his opinion, we can already say that hybrid work will stay with us for good. However, it will be connected with a comprehensive change in thinking about work.

‘One of its most important elements is to reform the thinking about the tasks set before the employee. Remote working makes us increasingly switch to task-based thinking. This in turn forces managers to adopt a new approach to managing employees. It should be emphasized that we cannot talk about one “right” model of remote work. It is true that a number of positions that had been working in the task mode had a much easier transition to the remote or hybrid work system. Nevertheless, there are still positions where we are looking for the best possible way to organize the model of work outside the office. Finding such a model and adapting current positions to it is another challenge that employers will have to face’, concludes the CEO of EWL.


Specialists advise on how to win the battle for employees

2022 will be marked by ubiquitous recruitment. As many as 95% of companies plan to recruit new employees. Fortunately, the vast majority of them are aware of the difficulties that will be associated with it. Talent shortage will be as common as the desire to hire new people. Finding the answer to the question “where to get employees” will be the main task of people working in HR.

The Hays Poland report shows that the top three reasons behind recruitment plans are: business growth, the need to attract new employees, often with unique competencies and the need to find replacements for employees who decide to leave, as well as structural changes. In total, as many as 95 percent of companies participating in the survey are thinking about hiring new people.

Andrzej Korkus, the CEO of EWL, is convinced that the changes that have recently taken place on the labour market will only exacerbate the problem of finding employees.

‘The trend of hybrid work models has only deepened it, because vacancies are no longer related to the local labour market, and have become global. Now, companies from all over the world are competing for employees that were previously only available to companies connected with the global market. To take advantage of all the opportunities associated with this, we must start using global resources, in the IT sector, as well as outsourcing of services and back-office activities’, says Korkus.

Will foreigners solve the problem?

A smooth implementation of these plans will not be easy, though. Experts from the HR industry have no doubts about it.

Andrzej Korkus, the CEO of EWL, also points out that in the fight against the talent drain it will be important to manage the flow of employees from abroad efficiently, taking into account the process of their introduction and training, as well as integration, not only at the company level, but also in the local community.

‘We must also keep in mind that the rapidly changing world has forced us to constantly retrain and increase the competencies of our employees so that they can respond to the needs of a given labour market. Another clear trend affecting the labour market is automation. Not only does it make it possible to provide employees with great tools affecting their efficiency, but it also gives Polish employers a chance to compete with Western employers who are better developed in some industries. It should be noted, however, that Polish companies are increasingly beginning to set standards in many industries, standing in the vanguard of innovation’, adds Andrzej Korkus.


Lifelong learning, just like periodic medical check-ups. There is no return

Re-branding or working in a different sector than one’s learned profession or completed studies is now commonplace. How to practically provide education in a VUCA world of constant change. How to approach upskilling and reskilling? We asked CEOs and directors of HR companies about it.

The COVID-19 pandemic proved to be an extremely difficult time for all employees. Some of them lost their jobs, while those who worked in industries that benefited from the pandemic were overwhelmed with excessive workloads. The industries most negatively affected by the lockdown were tourism, catering and retail. For employees it meant lack of stability, downtime intertwined with temporary returns to work, so quite a number of them tried or were forced to change their jobs.

Andrzej Korkus, the CEO of EWL, stresses that the modern world requires us to educate and constantly improve our ability to adapt to sudden and unexpected changes. This applies to all areas of our lives, including professional life.

‘The global pandemic, which has further increased the dynamics of changes occurring on the labour market and the pressure for flexibility in terms of acquired skills and abilities, only confirms the above. Therefore, upskilling, reskilling, but also repurposing employees will be key tasks for companies like ours and beyond. It is not without reason that experts increasingly talk about education in the future, emphasizing that in our lifetime some technical tasks will be subject to automation’, says Andrzej Korkus.

He adds that is the reason why more and more people are saying that in education we should focus on developing skills that allow us to find ourselves in new situations: communication skills, tolerance, curiosity and building the habit of constant learning of new things. These are the qualities that will be most valuable in the near future, which will translate to the job market.

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