Who represents the HR and Recruitment industries in Poland?

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Across Europe things can be very different from one country to another. Industry bodies can often help share best practice and create community. These industry bodies can be very useful for companies of all sizes. Especially when they have scale and can lobby for the industry effectively. And much like in most countries in Europe, Poland has industry bodies across the HR and Recruitment industries.

Interestingly, many HR people in Poland have had the opportunity to gain CIPD Qualifications. For those of our readers unfamiliar with the CIPD, it is the professional body for HR and people development in the UK. In Poland there are at least 150 people who have information about a CIPD course or qualification on their LinkedIn profile. Most of them are in HR. The number is quite high all things considering.

On the basis that Talent and Recruitment managers often report into the HR structure and ultimately to the HR Director, it is logical to assume that HR is the larger industry. Companies like Randstad or Hays will always work with HR people on the client side. Often the relations between a recruitment supplier and a HR department of a company can be very close. Recruitment companies often have large teams of payroll and workforce planning specialists too. Most of these will feel like they work in HR. There are differences. But generally the same issues affect both HR and recruitment specialists.

Which leads to the question of who represents the HR and Recruitment industries in Poland? And what should you know about sharing and learning about best practice. About community. And, if you are an international HR leader trying to understand how things work in Poland. You’ve come to the right place.

HR takes the lead in Poland

The main Polish HR federation has been around for over 25 years. The federation was created to support the hundreds of thousands of people are employed in HR roles across Poland every day. Many of them will know about the HR community. But do enough of them know about it? Do enough of them engage in the new post-pandemic opportunities to share best practice? The world has gone ‘agile’ and ‘digital’ after all.

Kongres Kadry has longed performed the duty of the industry event of the year (or twice a year). A must go for any HR person wanting to know about one of the cornerstone networking and community events of the year. The next Kongres Kadry is on the 30th of May. It is changing with the times:

But for all that the industry is so large and lots of people attend Kongres Kadry. The industry bodies in Poland are not as popular as they would be in somewhere like the UK. And people don’t network that much in HR. Poland is not alone in that.

PSZK for HR in Poland

Although there is a core team that run the Polish Human Resources Federation (Polskie Stowarzyszenie Zarzadzania Kadrami) or PSZK. It is fundamentally the members of the federation who represent the organisation on the market through various initiatives. Many of the individuals involved in these initiatives will be highly successful HR professionals in organisations from across Poland.

PSZK has been around for over 25 years. The organization has a certificate that members can attain called HR Highest Quality (Najwyzszej Jakosci). Companies like InPost, CD Projekt, ING, Alior, and many others are listed as members of PSZK. You can learn more about some of the courses they offer through the PSZK HR Academy.

HR Influencers for the future of HR in Poland

HR Influencers was inaugurated in 2016. The HR ‘Think Tank’ is focused on the most important best practices in HR. Initial founders of the organization include people such as Maja Chabinska-Rossakowska, HR Director of ING Bank Poland. And Andrzej Borczyk, HR Director of Grupa Zywiec. And several others. The initial plan of HR Influencers was to bring together 50 HR leaders. Further strategies were suggested at the inauguration. Including the growth of the organization with the addition of 100 HR managers to support the leaders.  The group of talented managers would form the HR High Potential (HRI HiPo) group.  


Joanna Malinowska-Parzydlo, who was the spiritus movens of the Think Tank, has majestically developed a segment of the market. A segment that continues to play a large role in both the HR and recruitment industries, as well as the entire economy in Poland. Today’s HR leaders and managers who are tasked with ensuring Poland’s HR eco-system grows appropriately are listed on the main site of HR Influencers. Many of them are friendly. And, if you have a genuine interest in helping and supporting HR in Poland, you should reach out to any one of them.

Other HR communities in Poland

Apart from PSZK and HR Influencers there remain other organisations in the Polish market who support the HR community. One of them is Polskie Stowarzyszenie HR (PSHR) who offer networking and access to HR experts in Poland. Another is the Polish Society HR Business Partner who offer a similar platform for those HR people more into the Business Partnering side of things.

Who represents the Recruitment industry in Poland?

Many of our readers will be familiar with the World Employment Confederation (WEC). A global organisation that brings together the leading recruitment companies from across the world. Adecco and Randstad are just two of the global members of the confederation. And, while Denis Pennel is the Managing Director of WEC, Anna Wicha of Adecco and Polskie Forum HR has a large voice in WEC policy.

Polskie Forum HR or PFHR has evolved from what was once known as Zwiazek Agencji Pracy Tymczasowej or ZAPT. Today the Federation couldn’t look any different than its humble beginnings. Today companies like Michael Page and Devire are both members of PFHR, representing the permanent recruitment sectors. Aterima is heavily involved with the direction of the organisation too, especially in cross-border recruitment. Neither of these sectors were represented that strongly before the change of name to PFHR.

Gone are the days when PFHR only represented the few companies in the temporary staffing sector. Today the Federation is truly representative of all elements of the Polish recruitment industry. However, of the thousands of recruitment firms operating with a compliant Polish recruitment license only a very small handful have decided to join PFHR so far. Imagine how that would certainly change if HR made it a pre-requisite of any tendering process. For that particular agency to have to be a member of an industry body. A little co-operation and the benefits for the economy could be substantial.

PFHR are not the only recruitment industry representative in Poland. There is also SAZ.

Today the Chairman of SAZ is Krzysztof Jakubowski, who also represents InterKadra. InterKadra is one of the largest recruitment companies in Poland, by turnover at least. Today, the organisation’s members represent the cross-border recruitment sector in the majority. However, the temporary staffing industry is still well represented by SAZ. Making them a real alternative for some recruitment companies in Poland.

Opportunities to develop and grow for industry bodies in Poland

The perseverance of people such as Joanna Malinowska-Parzydlo and Anna Wicha is admirable. Piotr Palikowski, the CEO of PSZK, and Krzysztof Jakubowski are also doing what they can. And there is no doubt that Poland’s HR and Recruitment industry bodies wouldn’t be where they are today without the dedication of individuals like them. Many others have helped in the past and are helping today too.

When we have interviewed any of the leaders of Poland’s industry bodies over the years there has always been one overwhelming theme. Success. And how that success is down to each participant in Poland’s HR and recruitment industries.

As new challenges emerge for HR and recruitment professionals, it is not just down to industry leaders and representatives to answer the call. Larger exposure and more engagement within the community will be key to the success of everyone. You can start today. Follow your representatives. Face the challenges as a community and not as individual teams or businesses cut off from the rest of the market.

When you start to see PSZK on over 1,000 people’s profiles on LinkedIn. When PFHR hits 300 members. Imagine how much more representative they could be to the market. This future is becoming clearer. Get involved or everybody could end up missing out.

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