The Polish recruitment industry is young. There are only a handful of agencies on the market today that were established in the 1990s. None were established in the 1980s for obvious reasons. Today the Polish recruitment industry is a renowned success. But who is the Most Impactful Leader of the Polish recruitment industry?
Three young chaps called Tomasz, Tomasz, and Tomasz had a vision. In the late 1990s the three gentlemen saw a niche in the market and Workservice was born. For many years the leading temporary recruitment company in Poland, Workservice was even listed on the Warsaw Stock Exchange. Could one of the three Tomasz’s be the Most Impactful Leader of the Polish Recruitment industry?
It is no secret at Verita HR that we try to remain neutral when it comes to the recruitment federations that represent the Polish recruitment industry. Many years ago Verita HR was a member of Stowarzyszenia Agencji Zatrudnienia or SAZ, but that episode finished at the end of 2012. More importantly, it was during this membership of SAZ that Tomasz Szpikowski was on the board of the organization.
Tomasz wasn’t just on the board of SAZ; he was also keen to be available to the membership of the organization. Even with his responsibilities as the President of the Management Board of Workservice S.A. which was a huge recruitment company at the time. He always found time to help other recruitment entrepreneurs, irrelevant the size of the organization they owned. In fact he had a particular fondness for Pan Jozef who ran a small agency in Konin. Tomasz was always interested in the problems that individual members faced.
Tomasz led SAZ with a dynamism that isn’t seen very often. It was no accident that the organization grew to 60 members whilst he was on the board. Young talented entrepreneurs needed someone to look up to within an industry that was still in its infancy. Tomasz fulfilled this role unselfishly. Often championing the interests of the small medium business owner in the way he approached his role.
Tomasz has been recognized by Ernst & Young, now EY, with the title “Entrepreneur of the Year” in Poland.
The pre-requisites needed for being an Impactful Leader
According to Forbes the characteristics of a highly impactful leader include five skills. These are to practice emotional agility. To create a clear meaning and purpose. Practice systems thinking. Practice openness and transparency, and authentically care.
If you look at the history of the Polish recruitment industry there can’t be many more candidates for the vaunted title of Most Impactful Leader than Tomasz Szpikowski. He was involved in pioneering temporary recruitment services and providing purpose to the recruitment market in Poland. He was influential amongst his peers and created ecosystems in the market. Tomasz has shown that he cares about other Polish entrepreneurs and young talents. And. Most importantly. As it stands today Workservice still boasts one of the highest ever turnovers recorded for a Polish recruitment company. 2 billion PLN in 2015.
To put that figure into context, Polski Forum HR or PFHR (the leading Polish recruitment federation) reported total revenues for its members’ of 5.8 billion PLN in 2022. PFHR adds in the report that it is believed that the total revenues of the Polish temporary recruitment market were 6 billion PLN in 2022. There is also the small point showing how the temporary recruitment market had actually shrunk since 2015.
PFHR’s members include Adecco, Hays, Manpower, Randstad, and GI Group. Together with companies like Michael Page, devire, antal, Kelly, trenkwalder, and others the combined revenues were only three times what Workservice achieved in 2015.
GI Group has acquired Workservice in the meantime. This was after Tomasz Szpikowski exited Workservice in 2011. This was also when he founded Bergman Engineering. One of the many companies he is now involved with.
Bergman Engineering has filled a gap in the market since its inception. Based out of Wroclaw the recruitment company focuses on the engineering industry. Over the years Bergman Engineering has grown substantially adding a German office. It has also been recognized twice at Wieczor Rekrutera for being the best recruitment company in Poland.
Leading the Polish Recruitment Community
One of the other reasons that Verita HR decided to become ‘neutral’ was because of the growing success of Wieczor Rekrutera, the Polish recruitment industry event. Verita HR has invested substantial effort in ensuring that Poland has a lasting and sustainable awards ceremony for the recruitment industry. Especially as one does not exist that truly represents the tens of thousands of recruitment professionals in Poland today.
It is important that leading industry figures support the awards ceremony. Not only by participating through their company being nominated, but also by supporting the event and the industry. Tomasz has been a constant at Wieczor Rekrutera over the years. Some years the event was even held twice. Each time Tomasz and his team would travel from Wroclaw to Warsaw to be there. To ensure that the industry was well represented. He is one of the people who has made a difference to the Polish recruitment industry.
Young recruitment professionals today can follow Tomasz on LinkedIn where he is still very active. He is always looking to nurture Polish talented individuals. Be they in recruitment, technology, or engineering.
Tomasz was recently interviewed about some of the changes in the recruitment market specific to engineering. You can find out more in Polish below:
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