Thursday, November 30, 2006

ride a bull in emerging markets.. WHOA!

No matter what your experience is with emerging markets is I'm sure that 'challenging' pops out with every second sentence. I will try to focus in future on particular markets from Central & Eastern Europe (home sweet home) and maybe give you some ideas how to crack into them but let me start with genesis of this 'challenging' situation.

1. Poor information flow - growing up in a western democracy you're pretty much used to good access to information anytime anywhere even before the Internet revolution, while in my native Poland in mid-80s where communistic censorship was strong (can you imagine newspapers with blank columns?) main source of information was word of the mouth. Despite almost 20 years of free media, 50% of population using the Internet still word of the mouth is the most trusted source. How come there is a place for only 2 large job portals in 40M people country? (pracuj.pl and monster owned jobpilot.pl) -> because people do not tend to look for information that does not comes from friends/family/colleagues (my kid-brother recently found a student, part time job trough a recommendation because he thought it's going to be better then the one he can get thought an advert). To get a real life example how hard is it to find any information in CEE region I recommend figuring out the directions on the Moscow tube -> if you don't speak Russian (meaning you cannot ask for help) you're lost!

2. Me too strategy! There is nothing wrong about going for attractive investment opportunities especially when they benefit all sides = end user gets better/cheaper service, country with FDIs gets jobs, investor makes money. As no-one is so enthusiastic about word off-shoring anymore there is alternative one near-shoring. Corporate language is often confusing so let me explain: near-shoring is off-shoring in a location when any moment you can get in the plane and smack your off-shoring team for not following the SLA. Near-shoring in Central Europe is on the rise for last 5-6 years (4 major examples: Accenture in Prague, Hewlett Packard in Wroclaw, Diageo in Budapest, Microsoft in Bucharest) and others do follow. Following players like that makes perfect sense because if HP spends loads of money on McK people to set up their operation in Poland it means that they know what they do. So we will make the same, let's do it, let's do it now!... but my questions is: Do you know where it ends? Are you sure you will find 300 Dutch speaking graduates every year in Hungary?

3. Fast growth > pool of candidates = high wages Russian market is a very good example for that. So you have a GDP growth hitting a roof but at the same time you have university producing the same number of students as they were in early 90s (when Russian GDP was decreasing). When you notice that the barrel is somewhere around USD 60 and all of corporates want a piece of the action they start to raise the wages and lower hiring bar -> in the end of the day you have a part of the population that is making enormous money (comparing to total population) while having lower skills then their western counterparts. At the same time you have bloody hunt for talent because everyone want to have them on their ship. Another example: AD 2003 SAP in Poland (40M population) was making EUR X/year, SAP Denmark (5.5M population) was making EUR 0.75X. SAP consultants population in Poland estimated: 1000 vs 1000 in Denmark -> AD 2006 SAP PL revenues = 2X vs. 0.8X in SAP DK, consultants in PL = 1200 vs 1100 in DK. That's what I call a charm of emerging markets.... scary!!!

... but in the end of the day what recruiters are for ... aren't they to overcome the 'challenges'.... take emerging bull ride ... WHOA...but don't fall off ... those who fall might end up in local hospital and it's not a secret that hospitals in emerging markets are often in poor condition



PS. My colleague from Moscow just sent an email explaining that they have power outage for a 2nd day in the row so he cannot work... extreme blind date recruiting?...;-)

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Shally's idea... so simple

I have an appointment with my BetterHalf's boss who is running recruitment effort for one of big 4 consultancies. She wants to decrease dependency on external agencies but she does not have an idea how to build sourcing capabilities but there is on thing that she definitively needs to read - how to keep sourcing team happy.
I have never met Shally Steckerl in person (although we worked together in MSFT at the same time) but I believe he's one of the sourcing professors.

BTW: According to his blog Shally left MSFT recently and is planning on consulting corporates how to build own sourcing capabilities... sounds like a plan - Good luck!

EMEA? hmmm Where is that?

When our bosses/colleagues from the other side of the big water say EMEA they usually mean: Germany (and neighborhood), France, UK&IE, South (Iberia + Italy), Eastern Europe + Russia & CIS, Scandinavia/Nordic, Middle East and Africa or even more simplified Europe, Middle East and Africa. In fact from what I learn EMEA region is much more complex and it's hard for (usually) US corporates to understand where this complexity comes from. Europe itself has complicated history that started with ancient Greece, Roman Empire and then moved to Byzantium, Franco-Germanic Roman Empire, Ottoman and Napoleonic wars, Austria-Hungarian Empire, Raise of Russia's Tsars, 3rd Reich and soviet domination and all of those historical events created specific place on Earth that is absurd and hard to understand for anyone from outside not to mention that a lot of Europeans don't understand that either.
What I'm trying to say is that corporates, if they want to be successful in their operations have to get to learn the territory better then putting everything in one EMEA basket. The same applies to recruiters working in this challenging geography.
My recommendation is as follows learn about the geography you work with, learn about it's history, review the few recent headlines to know what is happening there then go for a gold!
I know that it might sound stupid or at least naive to spend time reading about Austria if what you need is a DBA that is willing to work in Vienna but from my experience it's very helpful in a long run.
Good luck
PS. Taking into consideration how many recruiters I know are after political sciences/journalism I think that they might have basic geography knowledge but no matter what I always have map of E MEA in front of me...;-)

first post - welcome!

I'm a recruiter with 7+ years of experience in IT recruitment in EMEA. Over my career I worked on both sides of the fence with 20+ markets in EMEA so I have some overview of the industry and day-to-day job.
I created this blog to share the best practices in recruitment in EMEA region, things I figured out myself and tips & trick I learned from the others.