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Wroclaw is the most important economic centre in Southwest Poland. For over two decades, the city has been successfully attracting Foreign Direct Investment projects and developing the modern economy by benefiting from long-standing industrial traditions, large talent supply, and high academic potential.

The best-developed labour market sectors in Wroclaw – which also applies to the entire Lower Silesian Voivodeship – undoubtedly are manufacturing industry, business services centres and IT industry. Recently, many local investments have started to achieve the intended organisational and structural shape by investing in the professional development of previously recruited employees. The Wroclaw labour market offers employment opportunities to both candidates who are just beginning their careers as well as specialist professionals with considerable work experience.

In 2020, 60% of companies in Lower Silesia were planning to hire new employees (on a national scale, such plans were declared by 49% of companies), and another 25% did not rule out such a scenario (in Poland, 31%).

The recruitment plans for companies in Lower Silesia most often concern positions in the area of:

THE NEW NORMAL - OVERVIEW OF THE MARKET SITUATION

The data above confirm what can be observed every day while cooperating with companies from various sectors, located in Wroclaw and Lower Silesia. The coronavirus crisis had a negative impact on the situation of many companies, although there are businesses as well as whole industries that increased their turnover in the lockdown period. As an example may serve e.g. e-commerce businesses or household chemicals and food production industries.

The magnitude of the pandemic’s negative influence is not the same for every industry. Even though companies operating in the IT and technology industry also did experience some negative effects, they were not as serious as in the manufacturing industry, which suffered not only from the lockdown and changing consumer habits but also from the disruption of supply chains. The aviation and related industries are currently in the most difficult situation. Cancelled flights all over the world resulted in an unprecedented decline in the number of orders for aircraft parts or even MRO services. Another industry that has been painfully affected by the crisis is the automotive industry. As a result of disrupted supply chains and a significant drop in the sales of new cars, many automotive companies in Lower Silesia, being a Tier 1 or Tier 2 supplier, had to face a significant decline in the number of orders. A positive aspect, however, is that a significant part of the companies operating in the Lower Silesian market return to the pre-crisis production levels faster than expected. Unfortunately, the recovery process will take longer in the case of the aviation industry.

The abovementioned trends heavily influenced employers’ current needs, and therefore – candidates’ situation in the labour market. Most companies suspended or cancelled recruitment processes during the lockdown period and postponed the implementation of their business development or employment plans. Some companies decided to reduce employment (especially among temporary workers or contractors) and/ or to lower the number of full-time positions. Nevertheless, starting from May companies have been gradually relaunching the implementation of their recruitment plans and HR strategy.

 

COMPETENCY MARKET AFTER CORONAVIRUS PANDEMIC

Even though for some time the labour market will not be as favourable for candidates as it was before the pandemic, there are many indications that as companies return to their regular operations, they will also start to hire new employees. However, it is expected that the nature of recruitment processes will change. Employers will seek to hire workers with unique competencies and experiences that will help businesses to build a competitive advantage in the new reality. The Polish labour market is expected to become not employer’s or candidate’s market, but rather competency market, in which experts with specific abilities and skills will be highly sought after, and therefore will have a strong position in the negotiations with current and potential employers.

A comprehensive assessment of all the effects of Covid-19 pandemic will be possible in the perspective of upcoming months or even years. However, the unprecedented scale of changes taking place – economic and social, regional, and global – does not allow to wait for final results. Both employees' aspirations and career prospects, as well as employer’s strategies, have already been revised. The labour market is changing before our eyes, which also requires from us – employees, employers, and investors – to promptly adjust to the new situation. The key to the success is now proper planning for the future.

UNCERTAINTY AND CONSEQUENCES

  • 55% of employees in Lower Silesia have concerns about their professional situation (50% nationwide).

 

  • Employees in Lower Silesia who currently have a job are most often afraid of losing their employment (72%), having fewer opportunities to change a job (61%), and earning less (52%). In Poland, the most frequently mentioned concerns are the same.

 

  • 89% of employees in Lower Silesia believe that they have all the competencies necessary to work in their current position (94% nationwide).

 

  • 75% of employees in Lower Silesia consider the present time to be conducive to acquiring new skills (74% nationwide).