Businesses across the Baltic States aim to optimise their international management structures and navigate the challenges of remote work practices. As the job market evolves through the borders, the Baltic States recently witnessed the rise of the biggest HR consulting team in the region of 60 HR consultants. Two HR solutions firms, PeopleLink (Lithuania) and Tripod (Estonia), partnered and opened a joint office in Latvia under the name Tripod Link, offering comprehensive services from recruitment and psychometric assessment to HR consulting and surveys. This joint venture is a one-stop shop for Baltic businesses seeking efficient solutions. But it's not just about the bottom line. The leaders, Jurgita Lemesiute and Maria Veltmann, emphasise the importance of opening the doors for Baltic talents, exchanging best market practices, and embracing similarities across all three countries.
You have been active in the HR services market for decades. What do you see as the significant shifts in the labour market in the post-pandemic era?
Jurgita Lemesiute: It has been a while since companies have prioritised skills and experience over the geographic location. As the world adapts to the post-pandemic era, remote work and international recruitment practices likely become more and more prevalent. It is game-changing for candidates seeking career opportunities outside their home countries and companies looking to expand their talent pool beyond national borders.
What were other drivers for your alliance and expansion of services in all the Baltic countries?
Jurgita Lemesiute: There is also a lasting trend among increasingly more international companies to establish a single Baltic management structure, therefore, a more considerable demand for Pan-Baltic searches exists. Before the launch, we had more than ten such searches per year in which it didn’t matter where the candidates were from - Latvia, Lithuania or Estonia.
Maria Veltmann: Among other things, a need for such a partnership also emerged from a realisation that big companies are interested in growing within neighbouring familiar markets or using the Baltics as a launch pad for start-up businesses. Moreover, 100% of the clients with a Baltic presence preferred working with a single partner in the Baltic States due to more efficient and easier management.
What are the main upsides for the companies to partner with one HR solutions team in the Baltics?
Maria Veltmann: Firstly, it is much more time-saving and cost-efficient. Since there is no need to acquire services from different suppliers in every country to conduct a small number of searches, that takes time to get to know the company, its requirements, and its values. Among other benefits, this approach prevents use of different methods for candidate evaluation. Also, it allows for comparing more comprehensive results across the countries.
Even geographically close markets have their characteristics. What are the main differences or trends in the labour market in the Baltic countries?
Jurgita Lemesiute: In fact, we see more similarities than differences. Especially now, when businesses in every country face the same challenges – talent shortage, pressure to be more effective in processes, tendencies of “great resignation” and “quiet quitting”. These tendencies demand more decisive leadership in the companies, evaluating the organisations' health in general and optimising talent acquisition and onboarding processes. However, the culture and differences in the labour market might require different methods to deal with these issues. Therefore, our assurance lies in our ability to attain greater success by learning from each other.
Maria Weltmann: As we saw from our practice that all three countries are relatively homogeneous, we devised use of the same norms across all three Baltic States providing assessment services. We always proceed from the initial task rather than seek differences between the countries. Finding a suitable candidate requires a deeper understanding of the initial task and demands of successful performance in a particular role.
How has economic turbulence altered the recruitment market and employees' intentions for job changes?
Jurgita Lemesiute: On the one hand, uncertain times make people less active in significant life changes, such as switching jobs. But on the other hand, we have noticed an emerging trend among high-performing candidates to consider new job offers from new employers with greater career opportunities or a more robust market presence. Our research shows that when choosing one offer over another, more than 60% of high-performing candidates prioritise positions with clear career opportunities; 56% prioritise positions from companies stronger than their current employers; less than 20% because they were dissatisfied with their current position or compensation and just 14% prioritise financial conditions. As you see, the salary is less often perceived as a value-added benefit. It could help employers answer the question of how to attract those high-performing people to their teams. And we have reasoned ideas on how to make talent acquisition processes more efficient.
What is the leading market forecast for the upcoming 2023-2024 period?
Maria Veltmann: More and more companies will invest in process optimisation, especially when onboarding and training teams and people, as employee retention has been a problem for a while now. Furthermore, hiring outside will stay as important as hiring inside the organisation and creating internal career systems.
You deal with many other companies, but what kind of employer are you? How do you manage to maintain and motivate your fast-growing team?
Jurgita Lemesiute: Applying comprehensive candidate assessment when hiring new team members makes us aware of all possible risks and the best ways to onboard the new employee fluently. We also mastered careful and personalised onboarding processes and training. Our clear career system in the company helps all employees set goals and plan their careers independently. Then, we have motivation systems and employee well-being management, so we focus on developing our colleagues and giving them the freedom to carry out their professional leadership. HR management is a very complex field and takes more and more time for the management team. We sometimes joke that in times like these, HR is the king.