When you visit a job website, you can observe what kind of employees is in demand. You are not surprised that most of them derive from the IT industry. You see programming languages like Java, C++, PHP and start wondering if you’ve made a mistake in choosing your professional path and not pursuing an IT career.
Don’t worry – I’m not a developer either. What I have in common with the industry is the fact that my current employer (Predica) is an IT company providing international clients with IT consulting services (in the areas of Security, Productivity, Azure, CRM, Data Analytics and Mobile).
What do I do at Predica? I am responsible for all HR operations within the company. Before I joined Predica, I worked for other companies, but none of them was directly linked to the IT industry.
Yes, we had developers, we searched for more developers, but the core operation of those companies was completely different.
Based on my experience at Predica, I would like to describe to you the work environment within IT companies, as well as Predica specifically, what surprised me, and conclude how the market has changed because of IT booming.
Give me the contract, I’ll give you my skills
We all want to be respected and have the feeling that our basic expectations are met. In the past, when I went to job interviews, or while I was conducting those interviews myself, I was offered (or would offer) a particular type of contract.
Sometimes it was possible to negotiate it, but it only happened occasionally, and there was definitely no rule about that.
“What kind of contract do you prefer?” – I was asked when I applied to Predica.
First, I thought that I’d misheard, but the recruiter repeated the question. Now, I ask our potential candidates the same thing on a daily basis and it doesn’t surprise me any longer.
At Predica we offer all kinds of contracts: an internship contract, a civil contract, an employment contract, a B2B agreement, or a contract for specific work. What is more, the employee chooses the contract type, and they can change it at any time.
“What’s the point?” – one could ask.
We believe that people who are satisfied with their job agreements are more motivated and loyal to the company. As a result, they come to work because they really want to and not because they feel obliged to.
Of course, that doesn’t mean that the employee will stay with us for the rest of his/her life, but the probability of them leaving the company because of the work agreement is definitely low.
No more commuting, I’m staying at home!
Remote work is becoming more and more common. Especially in the IT industry. Personally, I don’t think that it’s a good trend, but this is the reality and expectations of potential employees.
You live in Gdańsk but would like to work for a company with headquarters in Warsaw? No problem, you are welcome.
At Predica, it is YOU who chooses your place of work. We encourage you to come and work in the office (especially during your first months to get to know the company and each other better), but your work results are the most important to us.
If you spend a lot of time on commuting and that also lowers you work comfort, we don’t want to contribute to that. We prefer you to stay at home and communicate with us online.
I must admit though that coordination of mobile teams is quite a challenge and it has to be done really reasonably and smoothly. There are situations when team members haven’t seen each other face to face for a long time, and as an employer, we need to make sure that such a collaboration can reach its fullest potential.
I want to learn so badly
The IT industry is the most quickly developing industry in the world. If you are not up to date, you are out. It doesn’t matter whether you are just at the beginning of your IT career or you’re thinking about retirement – training is A MUST.
I have never understood why so many companies are so reluctant to send their employees to professional courses and workshops. It’s not just about improving their skills, but it’s also about raising the company’s potential and value.
If you want to save money on your employees, don’t be surprised if one day they choose a different employer over you – the one that doesn’t save on their personnel.
At Predica, we have an education budget for each employee. It doesn’t matter whether you work in Administration or in another Business Unit, we give you 8k PLN a year for your education.
You can either enroll in some courses, buy some books or choose the most suitable form of learning. You manage your educational budget yourself, and together with your supervisor, you set a clear path of development.
I have no boss, I am the boss
In my previous jobs, I had a very structured and complex hierarchy. I had to report everything to everyone. Every change in the project had to be accepted by the appropriate people. I remember it took ages to finish the project.
At Predica, there is a different way of management. We give our employees a lot of freedom in making decisions and we don’t expect them to consult every detail with us.
Do they make mistakes? Hell, yes! But they learn fast, and after a very short time, they can appreciate how much they have developed professionally.
When you come to our company, you can have a feeling that there is a lot of chaos, but after a while, you will notice that it is actually a self-managing company. Each employee has his/her supervisor, but it mainly comes down to advice or mentoring. We really want our employees to be the bosses of their own projects and we don’t interfere too much if not necessary.
Be smarter, challenge the status quo
People are afraid of change. They stay in a comfort zone even though they know they should leave it.
At Predica, we do the opposite. We push employees to try new things, implement new IT systems. “Wouldn’t it be nice to evaluate and give badges to our colleagues online?” – this is how we introduced 7geese to the company.
I guess that this approach is very common for IT companies. Everything changes so fast that it is no more the CEO’s role to introduce changes. They need to be made on a daily basis. Not because the tools or processes that we have now are not efficient, but because we need to be flexible to keep up with the market and meet our clients’ expectations. And these are higher and higher, and so is our dedication and willingness to improve our standards.
Chasing the Unicorn
You have probably heard about the unicorn list. It is a list of private companies valued at 1 billion dollars or more, that were once start-ups and were based on fundraising. You can find Uber, Xiaomi, Snapchat and SpaceX there. All these companies have achieved success because they adjusted to market demands. They were flexible and weren’t afraid of changes.
The most important part in this configuration is the employees. WHY? Because when you have to act fast (due to market demands and your competitors’ activities), what matters to you the most are SKILLS. When you find a suitable employee, you need to take care of him/her.
Your employee wants to work from home, wants to have an employment contract and 1 month of vacation? SO BE IT. I don’t claim it is good, but that is the way it is.
Of course, you can complain about how unfair it is and spend your time on moaning. Does it change a thing? NO.
Change it up!
Employees and their skills are the one factor that constitutes success. Another one is the constant readiness to change.
Taking into account my previous experience, most employees are used to a situation when changes come from their supervisors or the CEO. Maybe they would like to make some changes themselves, but there is no corporate culture for that.
IT companies are forced to change because of the fast-moving industry. As a result, all employees (not only CEOs or managers) have to engage with that process. Otherwise, they will stay behind their competitors. The positive aspect of it is the fact that employees feel they have a REAL impact on the company and they are not scared to propose their own suggestions.
The IT industry has started changes on the job market. I believe that this is only the beginning, as our future is dependent on technology and new trends like the IoT, Augmented or Virtual Reality, or AI. While waiting for the future, I truly recommend that you experience how we work at Predica and visit our career site!