Recruiting Standards and Performance: IBM, Siemens, AT&T in Slovakia

October 28th, 2006 § 0 |

Today when out on a beautiful autumn afternoon walk near the castle in Bratislava, I ran into someone else working in the IT sector.

We fell to speaking about international companies coming into Bratislava in the IT sector. IBM has moved 1800 jobs to Slovakia in fulfillment and logistics.

Apparently, IBM employees are free to use IM (instant messenger) as well as personal email during work hours. They are judged on performance. Over at AT&T Slovakia, the network administrators band IM clients full stop period, while using personal email is a punishable offense.

Siemens in Slovakia has something like 7000 employees doing varied things, but also including a customer service section.

IBM pay starts around 30,000 Sk/month (about 810 euros). Siemens pay starts around 18,000 (about 480 euros).

I have a pretty idea of which company is going to get the better talent. I have a pretty idea of which company will provide better service.

Curiously enough my acquaintance at IBM is a graduate of the top commerce university in Slovakia, with a year of study in an international business school in Western Europe.

My acquaintance at Siemens is a trained teacher, with a degree in Geology.

I respect and admire teachers but one has to believe that IBM has set the bar higher here.

This was very useful knowledge. At my company, we want to attract personnel as good or better as those going to work in the major international companies. To do that, we have to provide a congenial work environment. We also have to provide better opportunities and better salaries. From what I can see, we are on track to do so.

But with IBM hiring thousands at a time, the battle for talent will be fierce. We are not really competing for the same personnel as Siemens, so they are less of a factor.


We also talked about motivation for bringing the jobs to Slovakia and Bratislava. The savings in salary for the international company in comparison to personnel costs in Vienna. I imagine people of the same caliber as the IBM crowd would cost about 2000 to 2500 euros per month. The big savings is as much on the social charges as on the salary. The employer in Slovakia will pay about 400 euros in social charges on the Slovakian salary. The employer in Austria will pay 2000 euros in social charges on the Austrian salary.

End cost to IBM of high calibre junior personnel in Slovakia = 1200 euros/month
End cost to IBM of high calibre junior personnel in Austria = 4000 euros/month

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