Recently, we talked with Konrad Weiske, CEO, about Spyrosoft’s plans for 2023. In the second part of the interview, Konrad shares his thoughts on the IT industry trends, development model, why Spyrosoft must build solid partnerships, and why we need transparency in the IT industry.
In Spyrosoft, building a strong and transparent relationship with clients is crucial. Why?
Konrad Weiske (KW): Let’s start with the fact that the vast majority, as much as 83% of our clients, came to us via recommendations. At Spyrosoft, we care about how we deliver a product or a service. It is essential that the process is transparent, clear, understandable and as trouble-free as possible for the client and also in line with Spyrosoft’s values. Therefore, we are strongly client-oriented and focus on delivering the best experience of working with us. We want to provide the best IT solutions – so should any problems arise, we are there for the client to resolve them.
In 2022, we started Spyrosoft eCommerce, now – Spyrosoft Connect. Is this our development course – expanding the Group with new firms whose activities provide business diversity?
KW: Yes, this is one of our development models – we establish new companies under the Group with people who have expertise in a specific industry or technology, who want to run their own business, and who can reach both potential clients and experienced employees. In this way, the Group grows, creating new companies that add domain and technological, or geographical competencies.
Because companies that offer IT services have few competitive advantages, each company provides services at the highest level and is a technological partner. We have decided to use our business model as a unique selling point that distinguishes Spyrosoft from other entities on the market.
Combined with a debut on a foreign stock exchange, this model attracts people who want to open new companies with us and who have a network of contacts, respect in the industry, and can sell their services. This sales mechanism distinguishes us – we build the brand’s reputation on the reputation of people clients know and trust.
Do you anticipate any significant changes in the industry because of the crisis?
KW: 2023 is a year of reduced demand for IT services – and the crisis will undoubtedly last a while. Some companies have already got into trouble and laid off their employees – we’ll not do that. We are in a good situation as our company is prepared for any circumstances and has meticulously designed plans.
Moreover, we are ready to support small IT companies that, due to the market situation, have serious concerns about their future. We have prepared a unique program for them, assuming joining forces to work and develop together. People who would like to know the details of this program are welcome to contact me.
Combining people and tech is our key to success. How are we investing in this area?
KW: The key is to raise the qualifications of our employees. In the IT industry, we all need to constantly acquire new competencies because when you look at the direction in which the IT industry is developing, you can see that simpler things can be automated. Clouds, frameworks or Chat GPT now handle some processes and activities. So our goal is to have as many people as possible in the company at the technical lead, principal, or senior level.
We need to develop actively, which is why we offer our employees training budgets, give them time off for training, and do everything to support them in broadening their field of specialisation. To this end, we have created an incentive program for people with higher professional qualifications. We have also disclosed the financial and equalised salary ranges for individual positions. We achieved our goal, and the staff turnover – which was never very high – decreased.
We’re increasing our transparency. Is that why we are disclosing salary ranges?
KW: Yes, the company aims for full transparency. Our goal is to treat our employees as partners. The first condition of partnership is honesty and taking each other seriously. I’m always open to having honest conversations with our employees. People working in IT almost always have very high salaries, but they also need recognition for their work. Remuneration is the best way to express this recognition, but it’s not everything. We must be transparent and inform employees about professional development opportunities, but also about the related financial options, to build an atmosphere of openness and honesty.
What is an employee referral program? Why do the employees recommend our job offers?
KW: Last year, as many as 48% of new employees came to us through the referral program. Of course, financial gratification for recommending an employee certainly plays a role here, but such a high percentage proves that people who work with us appreciate the atmosphere.
Spyrosoft was founded by people who worked in IT, primarily in technical positions. This perspective has helped a lot. I know what I would expect from the company as a developer because I used to be one not so long ago. At the initial stages of the company’s development, we wanted to make sure Spyrosoft was a tech company created by IT experts for IT people. When we started, we had a policy that we did not employ people who had not worked in IT – even administrative or recruitment positions. We have moved away from this rule, as we believe diversity is helpful to build a company.
It is also vital that the managers of Spyrosoft are the people who work there and try to make our workplace friendly. I come to the office daily and spend a lot of time here. Besides, at the moment, probably several hundred employees are co-owners of the company – which is visible, and I hope also has a positive impact on the atmosphere in our workplace.
Is ESOP an incentive programme for employees?
KW: We have introduced a four-year incentive program for employees – ESOP. The program is addressed to both technical employees and managers. In short, when someone reaches the principal level (or the equivalent of this level in another area of the company’s operations), they have the right to receive options on our company’s shares. We do not have a financial criterion for specialists: we are already a reasonably large company, so the contribution of a single person – especially in a specialist position – is not visible in the financial situation of the entire company.
This program is our way of saying “thank you” to the specialists in their fields who have decided to cooperate with Spyrosoft for an extended period (more than four years). Also, I believe it is an attractive financial offer, especially because the company is still growing.
What are the development plans for our foreign sites?
KW: We currently have foreign sites in Romania, Croatia, Germany, the UK, the US, Argentina, and India. Such distribution of Spyrosoft’s offices allows us to cover most time zones, which is essential from the client’s perspective. In addition, it will enable Spyrosoft to recruit employees from different parts of the world and make our company a more diverse place. Finding good specialists is always tricky, but thanks to such geographical distribution, recruiting the necessary specialists has become much more manageable. As for plans, we certainly plan to employ more people from outside of Poland than we currently do. Of course, we will continue recruiting employees in Poland. We do not intend to limit the recruitment activities here.
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