Budapest is still a popular location for SSCs (Shared Services Center) although due to the significant amount of government support, more SSCs have started to appear in other cities such as Szeged, Debrecen and Pécs. Hungary’s main competitors in attracting SSCs are Poland and Czech Republic, with Romania and Bulgaria also starting to challenge.
We expect dynamic progress in the SSC sector in 2017, which could result in a recruitment growth of 8,000-10,000 employees in the sector in the next few years. Regarding the number of employees, the sector is the second fastest growth area after the automotive industry. However, there is a mismatch between supply and demand. We experience a lack of labor in the market, which means there is a continuous rise in wages, especially for graduates. Companies are not only trying to compete with each other in terms of pay, but also in terms of environment and flexible working, depending on the position and other benefits packages. This tense situation mainly favors the employees, as they can choose from various offered positions. Multilingual candidates enjoy a particular advantage because they can select from two or three offers within a short period of time, meaning employers have to be really fast during the selection process.
Universities are increasingly trying to serve the needs of SSCs, therefore besides Budapest, other countryside universities have already launched courses for this purpose. Students can also obtain the knowledge required for SSC positions at OKJ courses as well. Due to the lack of labor, SSCs are open to hiring non-qualified candidates if they are able to speak at least one foreign language fluently, besides English. English language knowledge is a basic requirement at every position, but German and French are strongly sought-after too. There is also a significant demand for Dutch and Scandinavian speaking candidates.
SSCs are not only aiming to keep their costs low, but to develop in quality too. Existing SSCs tend to bring more complex positions in the finance and IT sector, while other simpler functions are taken to more cost-efficient locations.