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An Interview with the Recruiter – Barona Poland

Interview 607713 1280



An Interview with the Recruiter – Barona Poland


Ever thought about what it would be like to interview the person who is interviewing you?  We have!  That’s why we here at Job Coconut decided that it would be fun to turn the tables around and interview the recruiter!  Put them in the candidate’s shoes!


Last week we interviewed one of the recruiters from First Place Recruitment in Dublin.  This week we asked Ilkka-Cristian Niemi from Barona Poland to be interviewed. He bravely accepted! 


Ilkka-Cristain is the business development manager of Barona Poland.  Barona is the leading Finish HR service provider, specialising in multilingual recruitment. Barona opened a new branch in Poland in 2012.  Its main focus is business process outsourcing (BPO).  Barona Poland currently specialises in recruiting for the Nordic languages and Eastern European languages.


Here are the questions he was grilled on:


1. In your opinion, could you describe the current climate in the multilingual recruitment industry in Poland?


The Polish economy is growing quite rapidly.  Many global and international companies are now outsourcing their recruitment to Poland.  Many of these companies are looking for difficult to recruit for languages.   In particular, there is a demand for Nordic and Scandinavian native speakers, and for bilingual speakers with a certain combination of languages such as German and Dutch/Swedish.




2. We all know that certain languages such as the Nordic languages are difficult to recruit for. Why do you think this is?


Firstly, there are only a few universities in Poland that offer Nordic language studies. Therefore the market lacks graduates with those languages.


Secondly, if we talk about native Nordic speakers, their home market offers a lot of different possibilities. However, we can see a clear trend, especially with Finnish and Swedish candidates that they are eager to start or continue their careers abroad.  Poland is close to the Nordic countries and so it can offer a truly international working environment with a competitive standard of living and that´s why we believe the flow from Nordics will increase in the near future.


3. In your opinion, which cities are the most attractive for bilingual speakers and why?


In my opinion, Krakow is the most exciting city in Poland to live in.  It is beautiful and has a lot of things going on.  Krakow is the major hub for companies outsourcing in Poland.  The salaries are also the highest in Poland in this sector and the standard of living is high.  Gdansk is also an interesting city, which has seen great development in recent years.  





4. In recent years there have been many relocations of call centres to Poland.  Why do you think this is?


In addition to the lower costs, Poland is an attractive place to relocate to for its access to neighbouring markets (Germany, Czech Republic, Belarus, Slovakia, Russia, Ukraine and Lithuania).  Poland has a large and highly educated labour market.  The availability of people with bilingual skills is high compared to other European countries.  There are a lot of Poles who speak other languages e.g. German, French, Italian, Spanish etc. Even some German or Dutch Poles are returning to Poland.


5. Any general advice for bilingual job seekers?


There are great job opportunities for bilingual speakers in the Polish job market.  Currently the demand far outweighs the supply, so there is a skills shortage. My advice is for bilingual speakers to shop around when looking for a job.  Compare and contrast different job opportunities.  You are in control, so make sure to take your time and only take the best available option. 




6. Do you have any tips for recruiters and in-house recruiters looking for bilingual people?


Firstly, networking is key.  Secondly, find and learn to attract the native speakers.



7. What’s the hardest position you’ve ever filled and why?


Managerial positions with native Scandinavian languages are very difficult to recruit for. As they require not only the native language but also a suitable amount of experience and expertise.


8.  There is a lot of talk about the pros and cons of using a job board. What’s your opinion on this? In terms of the cons what would your advice to jobs boards be in order to keep up with the times?


It is extremely important to specialise and to have a well carved out niche.  In addition, the site must be simple to navigate and you should be able to find the job/location etc. that you are looking for with ease. 


From all our coconuts here at Job Coconut we’d like to send out a big thank you to Ilkka-Cristian and his team at Barona Poland.  We hope that these questions have been helpful for both recruiters and jobseekers alike!  Please feel free to let us know what you think by leaving a comment. 


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