Life in Krakow

 Life in Krakow

October 04 2017

In recent years we have seen a large number of international companies expand to Poland, offering a great environment for expats to think about working there. With a wide range of things to see and do, a growing economy, and a large international community, Krakow could be the right fit for Fintech professionals looking to progress their career.

We speak to Top Tier Recruitment’s Paul Smyth to find out about his experience living and working in Krakow, Poland.

When and why did you decide to relocate Poland?

In 2014, whilst working with State Street, they offered me the opportunity to manage the Recruitment department in Krakow, Poland. I saw this as a great opportunity to manage one of the fastest growing sites in State Street Globally and I was delighted to accept this offer. Initially I didn’t know what to expect from Krakow but I worked with colleagues in State Street who had spent time working in Poland, and only had good things to report, so this made the decision a lot easier for me. There were regular flights to and from Dublin, and from a career perspective, I always felt that having international experience gave you an edge.

Tell me a little bit about your experience living Krakow, Poland?

First and foremost, English is widely spoken throughout Poland and Krakow is very much a multi-national city, with many different nationalities and expats relocating here. Krakow, as a whole, is compact, making it easy to get around and commuting to work was not a problem. One of the many things I remember about Krakow is the food; food in Krakow is great, with no shortage of good restaurants and bars. The cost of living in Krakow is also low and accommodation prices in Krakow are cheap and plentiful. It also feels like a very safe city to live in, which is an important factor if you are relocating alone, or with family. Krakow is vibrant and has a young/student feel about it and is home to Jagiellonian University, the oldest higher education institution in Poland and one of the oldest in Europe.

What was your experience like working in Poland?

I really enjoyed it overall. Being honest, I didn't really find too many differences culturally - everyone was professional, hardworking and committed. The hard thing was that it was a hugely competitive environment for talent at all levels but particularly at graduate level. Managing recruitment for a fast-growing company is an enjoyable challenge, particularly when you have hard deadlines for onboarding but having an environment where there are competitors within and outside of your industry all fighting for the same talent pool, makes it that much more difficult. I think we had a good proposition and were able to attract the right people but it really was a whole new level of recruitment for me.

What would you recommend to anyone thinking about returning or relocating to Poland?

We are delighted to be working with some new clients in Poland, particularly because it gives us the opportunity to travel there again! I was there this summer and the country and finance industry is still booming. Poland could easily slip in quietly and be a big winner out of Brexit - it has a massive talent pool of well-educated and well-trained professionals with ambition. For someone thinking of moving to Poland, I would strongly advise them to do it. The growth in most companies offers real progression opportunities and having international experience on your CV can only be a positive. We are working in a truly global economy where the ability to live and work abroad is highly sought after.

Top Tier Recruitment are delighted to be working with a number of highly reputable names in multiple locations across Poland, including Krakow and Gdansk. You can view these roles here -

To discuss these roles in more detail, contact Paul or Kasia - +353 1 564 9602