At a time when global tech companies like Meta, Microsoft, or Amazon have had to lay off thousands of employees for fear of a recession, the Croatian tech scene continues to evolve, looking for even more employees, and taking on new projects.
But all this with a dose of caution.
In a conversation with last year’s winner of the Zlatna Bilanca in the category of best new entrepreneur, Igor Koržinek, we asked him how he would comment on the recent layoffs in large companies in the IT sector and whether this has affected the Croatian IT scene. He highlighted two points that, in his opinion, had the most significant impact on the global market today.
Layoffs in the IT sector are a phase of stabilisation of the demand fluctuation with the addition of shock and follow-up precautions due to the global crisis caused by the war in Ukraine.
In 2020, the pandemic caused many changes in lifestyles, so the investment view of civilisation in the future is taken to an extreme, where humans are seen as a commodity of closed rooms and communication devices that completely replace physical encounters. It was also a shock, but one that had a positive impact on the demand for IT services. Big players focused their profits on the excessive, “strategic” hiring of people without specific projects before anyone else hired the same people.
In 2022, another type of shock occurred. The still economically sufficient global world recovered remarkably quickly from the pandemic and was confronted with global economic polarisation. This was mirrored in IT by, on the one hand, cutting off many developers with excellent value for money and a growing demand for replacements. On the other hand, signs of crisis due to slowing growth and even the collapse of other economies extended to the IT sphere.
The result of these two forces has been much slower growth, which has affected those who have invested too much in optimising human resources.
Croatia is part of the Western world market, and things that happen there are quickly propagated to us. We should rather be seen as a small global IT enclave that cannot influence the world in any way but on which the world has a significant influence.Igor Koržinek, Managing Director of Spyrosoft Solutions d.o.o.
Why doesn’t Spyrosoft see a decline in business or layoffs?
Igor Koržinek notes that Spyrosoft has improved its financial control mechanisms, which were already quite good, so the planned budget is well monitored. The monitoring also ensures the possibility of a timely response. Moreover, the company hires only when there’s an established or ongoing project.
However, given the current business conditions and especially during the emergence of signs of recession, Igor believes that one should be very cautious.
Caution. You must be careful. There is no need to hire people without a guaranteed job. It would be best also to be cautious with promises.
It has been a long time since an IT company or an IT employee has worked for a Croatian client. Croatia-based companies are rare for us. Therefore, our prices are adjusted for external clients. This ensures quality salaries for our employees. Therefore, the only reason I see for the decline in the number of IT experts is the general climate in the state and society: health, the rule of law, education, transport. These are becoming non-functional luxuries here, and in countries with higher population density, these are things that will continue to function. People need it. And IT people adapt quickly to regulated systems. Fortunately, some of us still see an advantage in living in Croatia, despite the “state climate”.Igor Koržinek, Managing Director of Spyrosoft Solutions d.o.o.
Retention through the People Operations Department and employee development
In Spyrosoft, we try every day to do better than others thus winning new customers and retaining existing projects. And how do we do that?
By investment in developing the professional and social qualities of our employees more than ever before.
We have never had so much work in the People Operations department, where we take care of employee satisfaction and retention. Marija Petrlin, People Partner, explains:
When we talk about employee retention, finances are always mentioned first as the most important means of retaining our IT colleagues. Although remuneration and non-financial benefits are extremely important, they cannot be the only factors we use to retain employees. Interesting projects, a good atmosphere, mentors, or the technologies used are some of the equally important factors that are written about much less, but determine the success of everyday working life. In general, I would say that listening to employees and constantly working on aspects that can be improved is most important for retention. But this will be different for every IT company.Marija Petrlin, People Partner
We regularly organise knowledge-sharing workshops and events at office locations on several continents. Last September, the first Spyrosoft Learn & Chill event took place in Zagreb, and the next Croatian event editions are planned at Osijek and, once again, at our Zagreb office.
Also, this year we are present at the biggest regional IT conferences in Croatia, sharing our experts’ knowledge through workshops for tech enthusiasts and engineers. Be sure to follow the news and information for Spyrosoft in Croatia, and see you at the events!
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