Poland holds an exalted position as one of the most regarded IT offshoring destinations; therefore, tech companies see this country as a good choice for extending their teams by utilizing the staff augmentation model. What makes it a reasonable choice, and are there better solutions for collaborating with Polish developers?
I’m Maryna Panchuk, Head of IT Recruitment at Alcor, with over 10 years of headhunting experience. At Alcor, we help product tech companies establish their R&D offices in Eastern Europe and Latin America, while our IT recruiters in Poland and other countries take care of hiring skilled talents for our clients.
In this article, I will focus on some of the features of IT team augmentation in Poland, the characteristics of Polish developers, their skills, and the main IT hubs in the country as well as describe a better alternative to tech teams’ augmentation.
Team Augmentation in Poland Market Overview
Team augmentation (or staff augmentation) is the practice of involving external specialists in your existing team to respond to business needs or meet some set objectives. When you opt for team extension abroad, it’s essential to pay attention to the local specialists’ tech & soft skills, and especially their cultural background. So, let’s dig deeper into the Polish tech market and talent pool.
The Polish IT market is full-fledged: it accounts for 8% of the Polish GPD and 4.6% contribution to employment. In 2021, Poland’s IT exports hit 10 billion euros, and they are expected to grow to 13 billion euros by 2026. With these impressive figures, Poland is poised to become an even more attractive destination for software companies looking to expand.
But the thriving tech market is far from everything the country has in stock. In Poland, more and more young people decide to do a degree in computer science or math. In recent years, there have been around 75,000 students who studied ICT, with 20,000 graduates who enter the field every year. Today, Poland is home to around 607,000 IT specialists, and this number is the biggest among the countries of Eastern Europe.
Apart from technical expertise, Polish programmers have a good level of English, so they are prepared to work with Western tech companies. According to the EF English Proficiency Index, Poland ranked 13th out of 111 countries. A good command of English facilitates collaboration during the product development process as well as establishes communication and strong working relationships with extended team members.
Another reason for IT staff augmentation in Poland is cultural similarities. Developers follow Western working standards and modern management methodologies (Agile, Scrum, or Kanban). Poland even hosts one of the biggest Agile conferences. Adequate soft skills also make Poles a perfect match since they are approachable, open to feedback, and work well in an extended team. Thus, the working process will go smoothly for both you and your augmented team.
Note: Want to learn more about Polish specialists? Have a look at this article: Polish Developers: Pros, Cons, Rates & Insights
Needless to say, this country has become one of the leading players in the European IT arena. The booming tech market is accompanied by some benefits of staff augmentation in Poland that are very appealing to product companies. Let’s have a look at the most favorable ones in detail.
Poland’s Staff Augmentation: Key Benefits
Vast skilled market
When speaking about the benefits of team augmentation in Poland, the compensation question is unavoidable, as Polish wages are significantly lower than the American equivalent.
So, saving around 50% on salaries extends your budget for product development and enhancement. For instance, you can opt for staff augmentation with more coders and accelerate the development process. Such a far cry from Western salary rates plays a crucial role for tech entrepreneurs who are considering Poland as a destination to work with an extended team.
Poland’s attractive tax framework, with a competitive 19% CIT rate (and a reduced 9% rate for eligible startups), acts as a magnet for international companies seeking to partner with Polish software developers through B2B contracts and the staff augmentation model. For self-employed programmers, the taxation system offers a straightforward 19% flat PIT rate or the flexibility to choose from lump rate options of 8.5% or 12%.
In Poland, the staff augmentation model allows you to manage your team composition and size in accordance with your needs. For example, if you want to rapidly scale up and find specialists you are missing, the staff augmentation model allows you to hire needed talents quickly and cost-effectively. On the other hand, you can easily cease working with some developers if your current needs don’t require such a number of specialists.
Location & time zone
The advantages of team augmentation in Poland also include some convenient locations and manageable time differences. You can easily reach part of your remote team by plane from any European city, which doesn’t take more than 1,5 – 2 hours. Poland is in the Central European Time zone (GMT+2), so working with European countries is comfortable. If you cooperate with your extended team from the USA, the time difference also plays into your hands. When your local team is just starting their working day, Polish colleagues are finishing theirs, so your product development never stops. And you still have some simultaneous working hours to conduct meetings.
Staff Augmentation in Poland: The Biggest IT Hubs
And while speaking about staff augmentation in Poland, the main IT hubs can’t go unmentioned. Poland has seven major IT hubs, where over 73% of the country’s IT specialists are based. The main cities with a high concentration of these experts are Warsaw, Krakow, Wroclaw, and the Tri-City area. Some cities are well known for their broad talent pool, whereas others are for highly developed tech education. Let’s see in detail what every city holds.
The capital city has a lot to offer, being the biggest tech hub in Poland. There are 163,000 tech specialists in Warsaw, making it a prime destination for staff augmentation services. World-famous companies like Google, Samsung, and Oracle opened their R&D offices there. This city also has plenty of tech education opportunities, IT events, and conferences like Security First CEE, LeSS Conference, or .NET Developer Days.
Krakow is another popular hub for staff augmentation. It’s the second biggest IT hub in Poland – with 114,000 software developers, and this number is growing by 10% of graduates in software engineering every year. Both small startups and big-name unicorns decided to set up their offices in this city. By the end of 2022, those tech enterprises are expected to hire more than 1,000 additional software developers.
Today, there are 93,500 IT specialists in Wroclaw and more than 15,000 students in the tech sphere. This city also has different IT associations and 550+ tech events every year, which has a significant impact on Wroclaw’s IT market, attracting tech experts from the rest of Poland and foreign companies.
This city is a central education hub with 25 higher education institutions. 7 universities offer various specializations in the IT field, including software development, data processing, and others. Poznan can also boast of a number of ITO (IT-Oriented) R&D service centers.
The IT sector in Lodz has the biggest share in employment structure – 37%. This city is a popular choice for tech companies due to its easy reach from/to the capital and reasonable salary rates. Lodz has one of the biggest higher-education institutions in Poland, the University of Technology, with 20,000 students.
This area actually consists of three cities: Gdańsk, Gdynia, and Sopot. They have 73,500+ tech specialists and moderate costs. Due to this fact, they are becoming more popular among European tech entrepreneurs who decide to do software development in Poland.
Better Team Augmentation – Your Own R&D Center in Poland
Yet, if your aim is to scale up and expand your business into new markets, there’s a better alternative to team augmentation in Poland — your own software R&D center. This way, you can save up to 3 times the costs (compared to working with IT outsourcing or outstaffing vendors), get a permanent loyal team of software developers who work under your brand, be protected from the IP rights point of view, and get full control over all processes.
Have a look at Ledger, a French product company that works with hardware wallet technology. The company wanted to expand abroad and decided to open its own dedicated development center in Eastern Europe.
To enter the foreign market confidently, Ledger reached out to Alcor.
Our recruiters took care of finding top-notch QA specialists; thus, all of Ledger’s ambitions have been fulfilled. We managed to close more than 10 positions, including Tech Leads and Managers. Moreover, our recruiters delivered the “wow” effect by hiring a QA Lead and 3 QA manual specialists within 2 weeks! In addition, we also assisted in all legal operations so Ledger could legally and transparently run its business abroad.
Alcor is an experienced R&D and IT recruitment services provider in Poland, Romania, Ukraine, and other Eastern European and Latin American countries. Our solution includes full-cycle IT recruitment, EoR services, office lease, legal compliance, and other operational support.
It differs from traditional outsourcing and staff augmentation since you get your own team of committed software developers and retain full control over core operations.
Apart from comprehensive back-office support, we provide transparent pricing and guarantees. We vow to hire the first 20 IT talents within 3 months. If we don’t meet the deadlines, we’ll hire the rest at no charge!
Sift, People.ai, Gotransverse, and others already benefit from their Eastern European development teams! Ready to hire your dream developers there?