How to Hire Offshore Developers in Poland

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Embarking on the journey to hire offshore developers is like navigating a new frontier in the digital world. Poland, with its rich tech scene and vast pool of skilled talent, stands out as a beacon for companies seeking to expand their development capabilities. This guide is crafted to illuminate the path for businesses exploring the Polish tech landscape, offering a comprehensive overview and practical strategies for successfully integrating Polish developers into their global teams.

We will unwrap the layers of Poland’s dynamic tech environment, highlighting its sophisticated infrastructure and exceptional talent perfect for setting up a software development base there.

Table of Content

The Deep View into the Polish Tech Landscape

The tech landscape in Poland is a dynamic and rapidly growing sector, marked by significant achievements and unique characteristics that make it an attractive destination for hiring offshore developers. Here’s an in-depth look at various aspects of this landscape:

Poland

Robust Infrastructure and Ecosystem

Poland boasts over 3,000 startups, supported by more than 130 venture capital firms and over 100 accelerators and incubators. The country is home to approximately 255,000 software engineers, demonstrating a substantial pool of technical talent.

Market Size and Economic Factors

As the 6th largest market in the European Union by population, Poland has around 38 million citizens, offering a significant domestic market. It enjoys the lowest cost of living in the EU, which can translate into more competitive salary expectations compared to other European countries. Poland leads in gender equality within the tech community in Europe, showcasing a progressive and inclusive workforce.

International Influence and Immigration

Since 2014, Poland has become a major destination for Ukrainian immigrants, with over one million Ukrainians, many of whom are young entrepreneurs who have founded or co-funded startups in Poland. This multicultural influx has enriched the tech sector with diverse perspectives and skills.

Global Service Exports

In 2022, ICT service exports accounted for 14.14% of Poland’s service exports, indicating a strong orientation towards international markets and software development services.

Language Proficiency

Poland ranks 13th out of 113 countries worldwide and 11th in Europe for English language proficiency, making it an ideal location for collaboration with global teams.

Popular Programming Languages

Among the leading languages in the Polish IT industry are JavaScript, Python, C#, PHP, and others.

Geographical Tech Hubs

The majority of Polish software developers are concentrated in key cities like Warsaw, Katowice, Poznan. These cities are known for their tech-friendly environments and availability of skilled professionals.

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Educational Background

Approximately 39% of tech specialists in Poland hold a master’s or master engineer degree, while 27% have a bachelor’s degree, indicating a highly educated talent pool.

Employment Trends

Around 47.6% of tech specialists in Poland work for foreign companies, reflecting the country’s integration into the global tech industry.

Notably, 79% of tech specialists in Poland received a raise in the past year, signaling a competitive and growing sector.

Fintech and Modern Banking

Poland’s modern banking system is particularly open to fintech innovation, offering opportunities for new financial technologies to thrive.

This overview of the Polish tech landscape illustrates why Poland is an increasingly popular choice for businesses looking to hire developers through offshoring. The combination of a strong educational system, a vibrant startup ecosystem, significant English proficiency, and a multicultural environment makes Poland a compelling destination for sourcing tech talent.

Legal and Administrative Considerations

When considering hiring software developers in Poland, it is crucial to understand the legal and administrative frameworks that govern employment and contract relationships. Two primary types of contracts are prevalent in Poland: the contract of employment and the B2B contract. Each has distinct implications for employers and employees or contractors.

Contract of Employment

  • Under a contract of employment, developers are considered employees, requiring at least monthly salary payments. Polish labor law mandates that employees be paid by the 10th of the following month.

  • Employers are responsible for calculating and paying social security and health contributions (ZUS contributions) and taxes. We won’t dive into the tax percentages, but you can use this calculator to assess the scale.

  • Employees under 26 are exempt from some ZUS contributions and income tax, provided their annual income doesn’t exceed 85,628 zlotys.

  • Employees are entitled to paid vacation, calculated based on total employment length, including education. The statutory minimum is 20-26 days per year, depending on the employment length.

  • Employees also have rights to other paid leaves, like maternity leave and days off for personal events.

  • Notice periods depend on the length of employment with the current employer, ranging from two weeks to three months.

  • To offer a contract of employment in Poland, foreign businesses must establish a local entity, such as a private limited company (spółka z ograniczoną odpowiedzialnością), as these contracts are governed by the Polish Labor Code.

B2B Contract

  • In a B2B arrangement, the self-employed developer handles their own taxes and ZUS contributions.

  • Employers do not have to worry about the costs incurred by B2B contractors as these are included in the invoices.

  • In B2B contracts, paid vacation isn’t guaranteed, but “days of non-performance” can be included, typically 20-26 days.

  • Notice periods are mutually agreed upon, usually around 30 calendar days.

Don't want to figure out Polish employment laws by yourself? TurnKey is here to take care of legal and administrative stuff!

Identifying Your Needs

Before embarking on the journey of hiring offshore developers in Poland, it’s critical to clearly identify and define your project needs. This section covers three essential aspects: defining project requirements, deciding between hiring individuals or a team and understanding the importance of cultural fit and communication.

Defining Your Project Requirements

  • Begin by outlining the scope of your project. What are the specific objectives and deliverables? Clearly defined goals will help you understand the skill set and expertise required from the developers.

  • Identify the technical skills and programming languages necessary for your project. Do you need specialists in certain technologies or are you looking for generalists who can adapt to various tasks?

  • Establish a realistic timeline and budget for your project. This will guide you in determining the scale of the team you need and the level of expertise you can afford.

Deciding Between Hiring Individuals or a Team

  • For smaller or less complex projects, hiring individual freelance developers might be sufficient. However, for larger, more complex projects, a team of developers, possibly with a project manager, might be necessary.

  • Consider your capacity to manage and coordinate the work. Hiring a team through an agency might provide you with better project management and coordination, whereas hiring individuals requires more direct oversight.

  • Think about the scalability of your project. A team can often scale up more quickly and effectively, offering more flexibility in responding to project needs.

Understanding the Importance of Cultural Fit and Communication

  • Assess the cultural fit of potential candidates or teams. Understanding and respecting Polish work culture and values can greatly enhance collaboration. Look for developers who align with your company’s culture and values.

  • Effective communication is key in remote work environments. Ensure that the developers you consider have a good command of English and strong communication skills. This includes not just language proficiency but also the ability to understand project nuances and provide feedback.

  • Consider the implications of time zone differences on communication and collaboration. While Poland’s time zone might be advantageous for European and some American companies, it might pose challenges for others. Plan how you’ll manage these differences to ensure smooth project progress.

Sourcing Candidates

Finding the right offshore developers in Poland can be approached through various channels like job boards, personal recommendations, software development outsourcing companies, etc. However, partnering with an offshore tech staffing firm, such as TurnKey Staffing, often emerges as the best solution for several reasons.

Expertise in Recruiting Top Talent

We are known for custom recruiting the top 3% of offshore talent, ensuring a perfect fit for your development needs. This high caliber of talent is crucial for achieving outstanding project outcomes. We employ a comprehensive assessment process, ensuring that each developer not only possesses high-quality skills but also has a strong potential for long-term retention.

Efficiency and Time-Saving

TurnKey can get your custom-recruited tech team up and running in a matter of 21 days for regular positions. This rapid deployment is invaluable for projects with tight timelines.

Top 3% Talent for Your Team | TurnKey

Innovative Retention Strategies

TurnKey’s retention program is designed to cut churn by more than 50%, a significant factor considering the costs and disruptions associated with high turnover. We assess each developer monthly, using a proprietary algorithm to create a Talent Retention Index Score, identifying their level of churn risk and implementing retention strategies accordingly.

Cost Transparency and Control

TurnKey practices a “cost plus” model, providing transparency about what developers are paid and allowing you full control over their compensation. This approach aligns incentives and builds trust. We ensure there are no hidden fees or surprise charges, making budgeting and financial planning for your project more predictable.

Comprehensive Legal and Administrative Support

TurnKey takes on the administrative complexity and legal risk associated with hiring and paying tech talent in Eastern Europe, namely Poland, ensuring compliance and mitigating potential liabilities.

They ensure all intellectual property rights are assigned to you, and conduct comprehensive background checks on all candidates.

While there are multiple avenues to hire Polish developers, an offshore tech staffing firm like TurnKey Staffing offers a comprehensive, efficient, and reliable solution. Their approach not only streamlines the hiring process but also ensures quality, compliance, and long-term stability in your offshore team.

Hire Polish software developers with TurnKey Staffing, a top tech staffing company operating in the region.

Managing an Offshore Software Development Team from Poland

Successfully managing offshore teams, especially in a country like Poland, requires a blend of strategic planning, effective communication, and cultural awareness. This section outlines key strategies for effectively leading offshore development teams.

Establishing Clear Communication Channels

  • Schedule regular meetings (daily or weekly) to ensure ongoing communication and to keep everyone aligned with the project goals.

  • Utilize collaboration tools and platforms like Slack, Microsoft Teams, or Asana to facilitate seamless communication and project tracking.

  • While English proficiency is high in Poland, it’s important to ensure that technical and project-specific terminology is clearly understood by all team members.

Understanding and Bridging Time Zone Differences

  • Be mindful of time zone differences when scheduling meetings to ensure they are convenient for both onshore and offshore team members.

  • Consider implementing flexible working hours to maximize overlapping time between teams.

Cultural Sensitivity and Team Integration

  • Familiarize yourself with Polish work culture and holidays to respect local customs and practices.

  • Encourage team bonding through virtual team-building activities or occasional in-person meetups if feasible.

Setting Clear Expectations and Goals

  • Clearly outline roles, responsibilities, and expectations to avoid confusion and ensure accountability.

  • Set measurable goals and key performance indicators (KPIs) to track progress and provide feedback.

Empowering and Trusting Your Team

  • Empower your team by delegating tasks and decision-making authority, fostering a sense of ownership and responsibility.

  • Trust is crucial in a remote working environment. Build trust through transparency, open communication, and by giving team members autonomy.

Providing Continuous Feedback and Support

  • Offer regular constructive feedback to support professional growth and address any issues promptly.

  • Encourage and facilitate continuous learning and professional development opportunities.

Ensuring Technical Alignment and Security

  • Establish common coding standards, version control practices, and other technical protocols to maintain consistency.

  • Implement robust security protocols to protect sensitive data, especially when working with teams across different geographies.

Regularly Reviewing and Adjusting Strategies

  • Conduct regular reviews of team performance and the effectiveness of management strategies, making adjustments as needed.

By implementing these strategies, you can effectively manage your offshore team in Poland, ensuring productive collaboration, high-quality output, and a harmonious working relationship.

How TurnKey Helps in Managing Offshore Teams

While TurnKey doesn’t directly manage your offshore team, we can play a pivotal role in enhancing team management through their focus on talent retention and handling administrative and legal aspects. Here’s how TurnKey supports you in managing your offshore team:

Tackling the High Cost of Churn

Turnover in an offshore team can be expensive, leading to costs in recruitment, training, lost productivity, and more. For example, the total cost of churn per developer can amount to approximately $63,000. TurnKey’s retention program is designed to reduce churn by more than 50%. We utilize a scientific approach to assess and retain talent, which in turn supports team stability and morale.

Talent Retention Index Score

TurnKey conducts monthly assessments of developers based on key retention factors. Using a proprietary algorithm, we create a Talent Retention Index Score for each developer, identifying their level of churn risk. Depending on the churn risk level, comprehensive retention programs are implemented to keep developers engaged and reduce turnover. We regularly inform our clients about the retention risk across their development team and advise on steps to minimize it. This method has been shown to boost developer tenure by 300%, increasing from the industry average of 1.1 years to 3 years with TurnKey.

How TurnKeys Retention Program Cuts Churn by More Than 50

Worry-Free Employer of Record Services

TurnKey handles the complexities of legal and payroll aspects, reducing the administrative burden on you. We ensure your offshore team complies with all local employment laws and tax regulations, shielding you from potential liabilities. We also take care of all administrative, legal, and payroll responsibilities. You only receive a monthly invoice that covers your developers’ compensation and benefits, as well as the flat fee for our services. We also offer flexible solutions tailored to the unique legal and administrative needs of each country you expand into.

Intellectual Property and Confidentiality

All offshore developers we hire sign agreements, based on local laws, assigning all intellectual property rights to you. We also conduct comprehensive checks on education, employment history, and criminal records for all candidates to ensure problem-free hiring.

By partnering with TurnKey, you benefit from a more stable and compliant offshore team, while being able to focus on direct team management and project execution. TurnKey’s expertise in retention and handling of administrative and legal challenges provides a solid foundation for the efficient and effective management of your offshore development team in Poland.

Summing Up

Hiring offshore developers in Poland presents a unique opportunity for businesses looking to leverage high-quality tech talent cost-effectively. From understanding the Polish tech landscape, and navigating through legal and administrative considerations, to identifying your project needs and sourcing the right candidates, this guide has outlined the critical steps involved in the process. Moreover, managing offshore teams requires a combination of clear communication, cultural sensitivity, and strategic planning, where firms like TurnKey Staffing can play a crucial role in ensuring talent retention and handling legal complexities.

The synergy of Poland’s skilled workforce, competitive cost structure, and favorable business environment make it an attractive destination for offshore development. By following the guidelines and considerations outlined in this article, businesses can effectively tap into Poland’s tech talent pool, ensuring successful project outcomes and fostering long-term, beneficial partnerships.

With careful planning, an understanding of local nuances, and the right partnerships, hiring and managing offshore developers in Poland can be a smooth and rewarding journey, leading to significant benefits for your business.

FAQ

What are the key benefits of hiring offshore developers in Poland?

Hiring developers in Poland offers several benefits: access to a large pool of highly skilled and educated developers, competitive cost advantages due to lower living costs in Poland, strong proficiency in English, and a favorable time zone for European and some American companies. Additionally, Poland's tech sector is known for its gender equality and a modern banking system conducive to fintech innovation.

How does the process of hiring offshore developers in Poland differ from hiring locally?

The process differs mainly in terms of legal and administrative considerations. For instance, you need to decide between a contract of employment and a B2B contract, each with its own tax and social security implications. Setting up a business entity in Poland might be necessary for certain types of employment. Furthermore, cultural nuances and communication practices also differ, requiring a more nuanced approach to management and team integration.

Are there specific legal considerations to keep in mind when hiring in Poland?

Yes, key legal considerations include choosing the right type of contract (employment or B2B), understanding local labor laws, managing social security and health contributions, and ensuring compliance with tax regulations. It's also important to consider the entitlements of employees under the Polish Labor Code, such as paid vacation and other forms of leave.

Can I hire a developer directly or do I need to go through a staffing firm?

You can hire a developer directly using job boards or personal recommendations. However, partnering with a staffing firm like TurnKey Staffing can offer significant advantages in terms of accessing a pre-vetted talent pool, reducing hiring time, and handling administrative and legal complexities, especially if you are not familiar with the local market and regulations.

How can I ensure effective communication and management of my offshore team in Poland?

Effective communication can be ensured by establishing clear communication channels, using collaboration tools, and scheduling regular check-ins considering time zone differences. It's also important to understand and respect Polish work culture. In terms of management, setting clear expectations, defining roles and responsibilities, and fostering a culture of trust and transparency are key. Working with a firm like TurnKey can also aid in managing retention and legal aspects, allowing you to focus more on direct team management and project execution.

What are the typical costs associated with hiring an offshore developer in Poland, and how do they compare to local hiring costs?

The costs of hiring an offshore developer in Poland vary depending on the developer's skill level, experience, and the type of contract (employment or B2B). Generally, the cost of living in Poland is lower than in many Western countries, which can translate into more competitive salary rates. For example, under a contract of employment, additional costs such as social security, health contributions, and employer’s costs must be considered. Under a B2B contract, the developer handles their own taxes and contributions. Overall, hiring in Poland can be more cost-effective compared to local hiring in countries with higher living costs, while still accessing high-quality talent. However, it's important to factor in the costs of legal compliance, potential recruitment services, and management of offshore teams.

How does the cultural and work environment in Poland impact the integration of offshore developers into international teams?

The cultural and work environment in Poland can significantly influence the integration process of offshore developers into international teams. Polish developers are known for their strong work ethic, high level of education, and excellent problem-solving skills, which can be a tremendous asset to any team. They are also characterized by their adaptability and ability to work well in diverse environments, making them well-suited for international collaboration. However, it's important to be mindful of cultural nuances, such as communication styles, work-life balance preferences, and local holidays or customs. Understanding and respecting these cultural aspects can greatly enhance the collaboration experience, fostering a more inclusive and productive work environment. Regular team-building activities and open communication channels can also help in bridging any cultural gaps, ensuring a smooth integration of Polish offshore developers into your international team.

Sources

  1. Bullgodjob, Polish IT Community Report 2023 [https://bulldogjob.com/it-report/2023]

  2. Tomasz Snażyk for Startup Universal, Poland Country Guide [https://startupuniversal.com/country/poland/]

  3. Trading Economics, Poland – ICT Service Exports [https://tradingeconomics.com/poland/ict-service-exports-percent-of-service-exports-bop-wb-data.html/]

February 2, 2024

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