LeasingTeam’s presence in the Polish job market spans 15 years. You’ve evolved from a small business into a large-scale, advanced organization. What were the beginnings like?

Andżelika Majewska (A.M.), LeasingTeam Vice-President: We started out at a time when Poland’s unemployment rate had been at a record high, as much as 20%. To combat this difficult situation, the government passed a legislation on temporary workers on 9 July 2003. Back then, in April of 2004, no one had confidence in temp work, and so to our first, major clients we would offer a service involving a series of nationwide, dispersed training sessions. And then, in a matter of months, one of these clients made us an offer we couldn’t refuse. The client had asked us to lease over 100 employees. This was both a huge challenge and an opportunity that we just couldn’t pass up on.

Growing a company involves having to face operating challenges on the one hand, and financial challenges on the other. What was your growth like over the following years?

Maciej Majewski (M.M.), LeasingTeam President: We began as a start-up with no industry connections or external financing support. We owe our success, first and foremost, to a persistent pursuit of goals and the great care we take to ensure we provide the highest level of services. The market took note and we ended up growing by 1000% in only 5 years. We would double our sales from one year to the next to record PLN 100 M in revenues and a headcount of 100 in 2010. In another 6 years, we made significantly more than PLN 200 M in revenue and increased our headcount to over 150. Today, we are a fully-fledged business that competes against the largest multinational HR services companies operating in Poland, who have had dozens of years to build their experience and have relied on foreign financing.

You provide services in a number of HR areas. How did you go about expanding your range of competencies in this industry?

A.M.: Initially, LeasingTeam’s core business used to be temp work services and payroll & HR. However, as the market began transforming, our clients would increasingly more require permanent recruitment services. To address this, we formed a business in 2011 called LeasingTeam Professional, specializing in recruiting for mid & senior level positions.

In the following years, the market saw a major shortage of IT professionals. Naturally, our business evolved in that direction. In 2015, we formed a business dedicated to providing services to the IT industry, called IT LeasingTeam. Our strategy wasn’t limited to sourcing talent, in fact, we went a step further by providing our clients with specific IT products and services, and even helping to outsource whole IT departments and building HR strategies.

In 2016, our group of companies expanded to include the Wrocław-based CPC Consulting Group, who provide cross-border employee posting from Poland to Germany, Austria and Norway. In the meantime, we worked to produce strong growth of LeasingTeam – the mother company – which in addition to providing temp work services began providing process and function outsourcing and recruit foreign workers from the East.

What does LeasingTeam Group specialize in today? With so many business areas, how do you manage to bring them all together?

M.M.: We formed LeasingTeam Group in 2016 to underscore the fact we provide a comprehensive range of services. Our skillset means we are able to complete multidimensional and strategic projects, engaging experts from the Group’s different businesses, as well as once-off recruitment projects. In other words, every one of our businesses specializes in a predefined area of HR, and when combined, they form a dream team, capable of completing the most demanding and multi-faceted projects. This strategy means we are able to provide services to companies with diverse needs and of varied sizes; from Poland’s small-sized businesses through public enterprises, all the way up to international corporations.

Out of all the projects you’ve worked on to-date, which ones would you consider to be the most interesting or the most challenging?

A.M.: Over the past 15 years we have completed multiple projects of various complexities. To give you an example: between 2009 and 2017 we were a provider of outsourced services to Poland’s and Europe’s leading telecom company, helping to fill nearly 150 different vacancies in stores, inside a call center, in administrative and technical support departments, across the whole country. We started out by outsourcing 50 people to eventually get to outsourcing nearly 1800 employees.

The other key step in our company’s history was when we had won a contract in 2014 to outsource over 400 employees to one of the state-owned enterprises. The two-year contract proved complex and multidimensional and required broad legal expertise, excellent organizational skills and extensive experience. All these things meant we were able to deliver on our objectives 100%.

And finally, one more project that’s worth noting. It involves providing year-round services to a FMCG client, whose seasonal headcount fluctuations can be anywhere from 100 up to even 800 workers per month. This is no small challenge for an employment agency, particularly when we only get several hours to complete a job, while the key performance areas being tracked by the client are job completion time and reactivity. When on top of this we add the fact this service involves temp work for a manufacturing plant and process & function outsourcing for warehousing work and loading and unloading work in a high-storage warehouse, you get to truly appreciate how advanced this project really is.

Beyond know-how and experience, to warrant completion, projects as demanding as this also require the right tools. What’s your definition of modern HR?

M.M.: Modern HR nowadays is about effective strategies, innovative tools and employment formats, flexible solutions and dynamic operations. This is evident in permanent recruiting where cutting-edge recruitment methodologies and recruiter support tools have to be used when sourcing talent. Automation helps with candidate searching & screening, with job advert publishing, with recruiter workplans and with tracking of the whole process to ensure it’s effective.

RPO or Recruitment Process Outsourcing is increasingly more popular in this market. Is this also something your company is involved with?

A.M.: That’s right, we have been providing RPO services for a number of years now under our Professional brand. Our clients in this area include, among others, SSC/BPO or financial industry enterprises. With the market undergoing dynamic changes, recruitment outsourcing is gaining in popularity as true support to in-house HR departments. The RPO provider shares its know-how and experience while a dedicated team of professionals devotes 100% of their time to the client. Ultimately, in spite of this being such a tough market, companies are guaranteed access to the professionals they require and get to optimize their costs in the process.

Finally, where do you see the LeasingTeam Group in the next 5 to 10 years?

A.M.: LeasingTeam Group has set an ambitious goal for itself: it aims to become a HRM leader in the area of intelligent solutions. You won’t have to wait decades to see this happen. To achieve this goal, we are working today to develop an innovative candidate and client platform which will significantly speed up recruitment processes and better match employees to specific organizations. But that’s not all. We’re planning to expand internationally by opening offices in Europe (Germany, Ukraine) and broadening the range of geographies we recruit workers from. We are already hiring people from remote countries, like Moldavia, Nepal, India, Azerbaijan and even Vietnam increasingly more. As to what directions we aim for next, the market is bound to find out shortly.