I have just been to Poland to visit out offices in Krakow. Very interesting place. I was pretty surprised at how much the country has changed in the past 10 years.
Poland as a recruiting/business market it is at the same level as most of the rest of Europe. They have integrated in to the EU at lightening pace.
Culturally - if you opened your eyes not knowing where you were it looks and feels like Prague or even Munich. If you are expecting any hint of soviet legacy in Krakow think again. It is prettier than both Prague and Munich, with less tourists and a less hurried atomsphere.
The candidate market is networking savvy (especially Linked IN), English language capability is in my view better than you find in Germany/France, and a they have a great "can-do" attitude.
Poland also has a truly international search/agency market with all the names that you would expect in the UK/Germany. In addition there are a number of strong, small players that cover the headhunting/contingent market and who truly undertake international searches at a competitive price. One example of this is Tara Consulting run by Mark Twomey.
What does this mean?
a) It is realistic for companies to expect the same level of sucess when trying to recruit candidates directly in Poland (we have just hit 85% non-agency hiring during a recent campaign).
b) If you cannot fill all of your roles directly, there is an excellent, internationally aware group of agencies to assist companies get those tough hires.
Any other post card notes on Poland? Please share!