How do service centres attract and retain talents?
Infrastructure is not enough, if you want your tech-hub to succeed. It has to be managed and provided by people, and preferably highly qualified people. When it comes to general labour market rules, the quality of the education system, access to academic graduates and engineers, language skills (e.g. English TOEFL test level), public investment in the country’s education system etc., Portugal has understood that the country must be favourable if it is to attract foreign companies. This is the rationale why the country has focused specifically on ensuring that the above is ranked at the very top in relation to comparable countries.
According to the reports, recruiting talent is a key factor in nearshoring to Portugal. Service centres mainly invest in two factors when it comes to talent:
- recruiting directly from universities
- developing strategies for attracting, training, and retaining the best employees.
The profile of employees shows that there is a significant predominance of people with higher education, representing 85%. This figure confirms that Portugal has qualified professionals. The number of female workers in tech is also increasing. Many of the offices have more than 40% female employees, some even more than 60%, which is a significant number, and for many an important criterion when choosing a location.
No difficulty finding talent
So, there seems to be no difficulty finding qualified talent and most companies referred to the availability of qualified people as a key factor. According to the report, others also referred to factors such as flight connections, time zone and quality of telecommunications.
However, easy is not done! The European software development tech market is overheated post-covid, and you need good local expert savvy recruitment strategies to attract the right talent for your business. You need to be ready to reduce your own time-to-market. A well-implemented company culture, with solid HR processes that focus on value creation, autonomy and responsibility can move beyond the scarcity of the market and outdated micromanage practises.
Is going remote not the solution?
A lot of pundits will say yes. But beware of the hype. Even though remote seems to be the easiest option to broaden your talent pool, it is challenging to create and maintain company culture across fully remote teams. It is very different to be remote-first, where everyone, including the founders, are remote. To have the initial core team on-site with a few second-level contributors remote who cannot actively participate in informal ‘water cooler’ reunions and discussions or even effectively execute innovation. Moreover, several studies, although developers seek flexibility, 60+% still prefer to have an office where they can work from. This is also the case in Portugal. Talent retention is one of the main challenges, so you or your HR partner better be ready to comply.
Perhaps INSCALE can help you.
Read the full report here.