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ABSL Conference 2016: GlobalCareer is engaged

GlobalCareer’s Senior Consultant Justyna Kacprzak attended 7th ABSL conference that took place at the International Conference Centre in Katowice, Poland. The event was held on 28-29th of June and it gathered more than 1,000 attendees and participants under one roof. This year the main theme of the conference was “transofrming ourselves, changing the world.”

The Annual ABSL Conference is a unique and the most awaited business service industry event in Poland. The first conference was held by the Association of Business Service Leaders (ABSL) in 2010 and year by year this event gives an overview on the current trends in macroeconomics, politics, technology and other aspects affecting the industry’s development.

This year there were a lot of international companies and top-notch speakers from different countries, professional and industry areas. It was possible to see representatives from Capgemini, Siemens, Accenture, Deloitte, Uber and many more. Representatives of these companies talked about robotics, automation, cloud servises, big data analytics etc. Also there were local and foreign govermental participants who focused on the overall development of Poland, EU and the world as a whole. Condoleezza Rice, the former United States Secretary of State, Mateusz Morawiecki, Deputy Prime Minister of Poland Minister of Development, Marcin Krupa, Mayor of Katowice, this is a little bit of politicians who were in attendance at the conference.

Justyna Kacprzak

The ABSL conference is one of the most important events for the business services industry in Poland and Estern Europe. I have visited both days of the conference and I have attended all the main presentations and whole stream for Talent Transformation. The most interesting topics were discussed at the Uber presentation performed by Krakow Site Lead Christopher Bates, the Accenture presentation with Managing Director Wojciech Popławski on the stage and, of course, Condoleezza Rice. Mr. Bates states that the voice of the customer is the new business currency, Mr. Poplawski summarized the growth and key trends of the sector's development and Dr. Rice talked about current geopolitical shifts.

Justyna Kacprzak, Senior Consultant GlobalCareer - Poland

The megatrends of the ABSL conference 2016 were:

Cloud. Safe storage, remote access, delocation—will it matter to the customer where their service providers are based? The cloud is a hot topic obviously; no service company can be successful without virtual access for their employees. Experts from Mikomax Smart Office, State Street, Echo Investments and Alexander Mann Solutions conducted a very interesting panel regarding the future of the workplace. The question asked: will we still work in offices? And do we need offices in this classical way? The answer was that employers should start thinking about creating a workplace that feels like home and enables employees to realize all their needs in one place.

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Automation. Questions asked: will robots replace humans? How can we effectively implement robotics in processes automation? How can employees’ released energy be utilized? Although many participants did not vocalize their opinions, the general assumption was positive for employees—humans will always be needed to make decisions, generate ideas and create solutions or at least program or control the robot.

Big Data and Analytics. How companies can use the huge amount of data collected every day to identify trends, increase efficiency and customer satisfaction? The shift can be observed on HR analytics’ example; it is no longer about collecting and storing personal data. The main aim is to have information about Talent that could be utilized in order to increase HR’s and the company’s efficiency.

To summarize, the global sector has been described by 3 D’s – digitalization, disruption, and delocation.

At the same time the new Business Services Sector in Poland report has been presented to a wider audience. There are 212,000 jobs in business services sector in 936 companies. Employment growth has been significant; it was increased by 25% within a year. Kraków is still the biggest spot on the business services map with 50.3% companies being located there. Warsaw and Wrocław are taking second and third place in the competition, respectively. What is important to say is that business is looking at new, smaller locations as well, since not every company wants to take part in a talent fight happening in the key locations. An interesting approach was also presented by Uber; they are employing talented graduates who then will be trained in all the required areas instead of expensive experts,” - states Justyna.

The stream called Transforming the Talent Strategies was particularly interesting. As most participants noticed, finding and attracting Talent is the biggest challenge nowadays.

The trends in that area are:

  1. Uberisation of employment, growth of part-time and short-term assignments (20% increase in Europe).
  2. Shift to employee market (60% of people declare they can find a better job in 60 days).
  3. Feedback culture is being implemented in more companies, also the definition of it changed it is not only up to the line manager or peers but it also goes up.
  4. Mobile as an advertising and sourcing channel is the key to current HR branding and recruitment.
  5. It is also crucial to take HR Technology and talent analytics into consideration to diagnose and foresee employees’ mobility.
  6. Candidate experience, otherwise known as talent experience, is essential to win the battle for top employees during the recruitment process.
  7. Leadership is now transformed: end of Alpha male, heroic leadership, feedback down-up. New term: the Ambidextrous Leadership is a balanced approach where flexible leadership behaviors that lead to better business outcomes are the rule.


The Association of Business Service Leaders Conference is creating an outstanding opportunity to share knowledge and experience among top level professionals in the business service industry. GlobalCareer was glad to be a part of this event in year 2016.

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