3 Reasons to Setup your own Recruitment Agency in Poland

According to James Caan CBE, Founder, and Chairman of Recruitment Entrepreneur, only 76% of recruitment businesses ever get beyond ten people. Many of them don’t even get to that size. Some of them fail in their first few years. Others will struggle along with four or five people for years. It happens all the time. Especially with recruiters. So how can you be sure that you can setup your own recruitment agency in Poland?

James Caan CBE is known in Poland, and specifically Krakow, because of Alexander Mann Solutions (AMS). A business that he exited in 2002. James may not have been at the helm of AMS back in 2005 when it first opened in Poland, but his legacy continued within the Polish business. Many recruiters who were at AMS at the beginning will recall how James Caan created AMS from a shoe-box in Pall Mall calling opticians offices…

Today, James Caan CBE, well known following his appearances on the British show ‘Dragons Den’, is back. He recently shared how “Poland has a vibrant and growing recruitment industry, and we see enormous potential in supporting talented entrepreneurs who want to launch their own recruitment businesses.”  

The recent entry into the Polish market by Recruitment Entrepreneur has come at an exciting time for the region. To help lead the charge in Poland, Piotr Dziedzic has been appointed as Country Manager. In addition, Recruitment Entrepreneur has also welcomed Marlena Szymanek as its Non-Executive Director in Poland.

Supporting the growth of the business in Poland, as well as further global locations is Christophe Menger, Regional Managing Director at Recruitment Entrepreneur. As Recruitment Entrepreneur is also a Diamond Sponsor of Perly HR and Wieczor Rekrutera, it seemed a good idea to find out some of the reasons why you should setup your own recruitment agency in Poland. And how Recruitment Entrepreneur can help.

Why You Need Help Starting a Recruitment Agency in Poland

September is a busy time for recruitment business owners. And much like recruitment business owners, Christophe and Piotr are very busy people. They represent a private equity firm where they work with recruitment business owners every day. However, they found time to share some insights with us.

We started the discussion by going into detail about what Recruitment Entrepreneur, or RE, can do for new and existing recruitment business owners. Anybody thinking of starting or currently running a small recruitment agency in Poland is able to gauge whether or not what RE offers works for them.

“We help you get ready to actually operate and then we plug in where you need it,” Chrisophe explained. “Sometimes you might need marketing because you need help with business development or more applications for jobs. We would help look at how you market in order to attract more candidates or more clients. Or you might be diversifying from offering just perm to adding contracting.”    

From helping with creating a commission structure, to advising on legal challenges, RE are there to offer guidance.

“A lot of founders are new to running a business,” Piotr added. “With RE they are able to tap into an international network of people who have been there, done that and have been successful.”

This approach to supporting recruitment business owners speeds up the learning process for founders. RE is the “bucket of gold dust” that founders can dip into when they require, Christophe highlighted.

“Not only do we invest in you and give you capital up front,” Piotr summarized. “We surround you with the right support to scale you. Allowing you to exit in a much shorter period of time than you could alone.”

How is Recruitment Entrepreneur different?

Many recruitment companies take a long time to scale. It is a rare firm that is able to grow as quickly as firms like Devire, Bergmann Engineering or Bee Talents have in Poland recently. Most recruitment businesses can take up to 25 years to get to a level where an exit could be realistic.

Differently to how other private equity firms work, RE wants to be a partner in the growth of your recruitment business. And Piotr elaborated how the team at RE do not dictate branding, company name, logos, or anything else. Every company is independent.

“Around the world there is a variety of support available to recruitment business owners,” Piotr shared. “The value proposition with RE is that they found a model that is all encompassing but still led by the founder.” This is unlike others. Others who come in, take the majority shareholding and then tell the founder what to do, Christophe added.

“We want recruitment entrepreneurs who are going to run and grow their own businesses. It’s not only about utilizing the back office support, not just the expertise, not only the funding, but all of it,” Piotr summarized.

3 Reasons why you should setup a recruitment agency in Poland

The discussion reverted back to the Polish market. Piotr, who has previously held senior roles at Michael Page and Randstad, is one of the most experienced recruitment managers in Poland today. He joined RE because he saw the potential. Not only in what he learned about James Caan CBE, but also because he believes in the market in Poland today.

One of the areas that Piotr highlighted when it comes to opportunity is the growth of the Shared Services and Business Process Outsourcing markets in Poland. Over the years these businesses have helped others realise the opportunities that Poland offers. Every day new companies look at Poland because of this, just like VISA earlier in 2023:

1st Reason to Choose Poland – The Opportunity

Alexander Mann Solutions chose Poland. Given the success of the brand on the Polish market, and the size of the company’s offices in Gdansk and Krakow respectively, this is a compelling reason to choose Poland for anyone.

Christophe added how James Caan definitely sees the opportunity in the Polish market. And not only because of what Alexander Mann Solutions has achieved since 2005.

“Poland is in growth phase,” Piotr shared, sharing a recent conversation he had with James. “Investors from across the world are interested in buying something that already has 25 or more people. That they can actually start building something. Rather than creating something from scratch.” The team at RE want to help recruitment business owners achieve the prospect of an exit, much sooner than they would normally be able to. Ideally whilst Poland is still in growth phase.  

2nd Reason to Choose Poland – A Startup Culture

One of the reasons that RE chooses to develop in a specific country is because of the ‘startup culture’. Where the government facilitates entrepreneurship and startups. But also where the culture to allow that entrepreneurship to succeed exists.

“We are finding in a lot of the markets that we have entered. That the reason why we have been successful is because culturally they are entrepreneurship focused,” Piotr explained.

This is also what has attracted RE to the wider Central Eastern European region, Christophe added.

“There is a market for entrepreneurship in the region. There is a culture where people want to do their own thing, make their own money. A legacy of doing it for yourself.”  

3rd Reason to Choose Poland – the Maturity of the Market

Information available from the Polish Register, CEIDG, showed that over 300,000 new sole trader businesses were created in Poland in 2022. This didn’t include the 2,3 million already active on the market. Add this to the 600,000 limited liability companies also trading in the market and it shows a trend. Being your own boss or owning your own business in Poland continues to rise in popularity.

The maturity of the job market in Poland has meant that it has become a global destination as well as an appealing business environment for those more local. This has had a knock on effect to the recruitment industry which boasts stalwarts such as Hays, Reed, Michael Page, Manpower, Kelly Services, Adecco, Randstad, Kornferry, and many others.

“The mature market conditions allows us to ensure the quality of entrepreneurs whom we are engaging with,” Piotr explained. “In all the markets we operate in, all the big players have been in the market or are still in the market.” This approach to market entry means that the culture and the markets are in alignment.

Recruitment Entrepreneur Partners Locally

There are industry bodies like Polskie Forum HR who help guide new recruiters on ‘how to establish the work agency’. There are also lots of websites that can offer advice. But, uniquely, RE partners with local established companies in order to add to the support available to entrepreneurs.

In the case of Ukraine, Croatia, Romania, Czech Republic and Slovakia RE has already found a partner. Discussions with potential partners in Poland are underway.

Working with partners with know-how about the local market is another of the unique value propositions of RE. But, Christophe added, these companies will not compete with the new startups. The local partner also wants the startups to succeed. They form a joint venture with RE.

Are the partners businesses a breeding ground?

“I would rather be a stakeholder in someone in my business who has gone out on their own, then for them to go out on their own and I get nothing from it,” Piotr answered.  

Who is Recruitment Entrepreneur Looking For?

In most recruitment businesses there is usually a few strong billers who are quick and know their clients well. There are also those who have set out on their own and managed to survive a few quarters on the market without revenue drying up.  

They have one thing in common in Poland. Most of their recruitment takes place through LinkedIn. The difference between them, for Piotr, is that some of them are pro-active in their service to candidates and clients. Others are reactive. RE is looking for the pro-active recruiter and recruitment entrepreneur

Meet Piotr and other members of Recruitment Entrepreneur at the upcoming Wieczor Rekrutera and PerlyHR event on November 16th in Warsaw.

Sign up today: Wieczór Rekrutera (perlyhr.com)

Author: Andy Samu

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