“7 Wonderful in IT” report: How do selected Polish software houses build the employer’s brand?

As the results of a qualitative survey conducted among the leaders of the Polish programming industry indicate, a victorious organizational culture is based on 4 elements: a sense of a point and purposefulness of the company, shared values, inspirational leadership and teamwork combined with two-way communication. The publication is available free of charge at http://www.7wspanialychwit.pl/

Julita Dąbrowska, PhD student at the Kozminski University and employer branding consultant together with Marta Smyrska from Smyrska PR developed the e-book “7 Wonderful in IT”, in which the first part included case studies of companies: 10clouds, BinarApps, Boldare , Monterail, Pragmatists, SoftwareMill and STX NEXT, distinguished in the prestigious ranking of the best software houses from the Polish portal ‘Clutch’. The second part consists of a description and report on the qualitative study of organizational culture. Marta Smyrska is responsible for the first part, Julita Dąbrowska for the second.

– Nobody has described our organizational culture so concisely and so transparently – comments Jan Zborowski, Vice President of the SoDA IT Employers’ Organization, a publishing partner. – This publication will be useful not only for software house managers, but for anyone who wants to build a company of the future.

A recipe for a strong employer brand

The study confirmed the important role that organizational culture plays in shaping the employer’s brand. The surveyed software houses represent a specific employer brand model known as the community brand. A workplace perceived as a brand-community meets three conditions: a sense of uniqueness, shared rituals and traditions and a sense of moral responsibility that is common to all surveyed companies.

Julita Dąbrowska, co-author of the publication “7 Wonderful in IT”, distinguished 4 main elements of the employer’s brand that appear in the tested Polish software houses. The first is the sense and purpose of the company and the second is shared values. – In defining the sense and purpose of the company, the founders did not refer in any case to the desire to become a market leader or to beat the competition, but emphasized what kind of services they want to provide and often what benefit the community is expected to receive from the existence of a given company – emphasizes Julita Dąbrowska .

The third identified element of a strong employer brand is inspirational leadership. The surveyed founders built their companies on trust and responsibility, allowing employees to make mistakes, but also demanding constant development from them. Teamwork and open two-way communication highlighted in the study are the fourth element strengthening the employer’s brand of seven leading Polish software houses. Team work is inscribed in the DNA of Polish software houses. It is favored by communication – two-sided, honest, though sometimes quite rough, referring to the heart of the work being carried out.

The topic of employer branding in IT was also developed by Newspoint CEO – Robert Stalmach. – Comparing the first quarters of 2018 and 2019, it can be seen that phrases related to looking for a job in IT were about 50% more popular this year, while those related to searching for a programmer / employee in IT more than 3 times more popular. This clearly shows how much competition there is in this field, and thus, how much effort should be put in to stand out with your advertisement and offer.

The sense and purpose of the company and its values ​​as the foundation

The surveyed companies share the perception of goodwill as an unquestioned code of conduct. – The employer’s brand, whose image emerges from the research of Polish software houses, is clearly based on the sense and purpose of the company and its values ​​- says Julita Dąbrowska. Common values ​​for the seven companies surveyed include responsibility and trust, transparency and honesty, which imply reliability and punctuality.

Several common needs of their employees can be found in the cultures of the studied software houses. These are growing expectations from managers, an increasingly intense search for the value and meaning of work and a need to be part of the community. Meeting these needs is difficult, but it pays off for companies. Two of the surveyed organizations, SoftwareMill and Pragmatists, have very low fluctuations (4%), while, according to Antal Market Research conducted in Polish companies, the average employee outflow rate from organizations in the IT industry is 8.8 percent.

 – The ‘7 Wonderful in IT’ e-book shows that the pyramid of employee needs met by the employer should also relate to the sense of work and values, not just financial issues. One can no longer underestimate the impact of organizational culture on the success of the organization and the well-being of the people working in it. This is the factor which, in the long run, will decide about choosing a job by a specialist, especially if he or she has two offers to guarantee similar salaries – comments Marta Smyrska, the initiator of the publication.

The publication with case studies, research results and recommendations for employers can be downloaded free of charge at http://www.7wspanialychwit.pl/

Research and publication partners are: FRIS® Style Thinking, Newspoint and the SoDA IT Employers’ Organization. The program council includes: Dr. Izabella Anuszewska, Client Director, Kantar Polska; Maciej Stęga, HR Freelancer and Jan Zborowski, SoDA.

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