Companies are continuing to centralise their back-office functions into a single business unit (a Shared Service Center or SSC), enabling them to streamline operations, reduce costs, and improve the quality of their products and services. In the past, big corporations such as Lufthansa or Nestle attracted attention for outsourcing their services to Eastern Europe with great success. The concept seemed logical, whereby cost reduction can be achieved by low cost production.

However, enterprises face certain difficulties in Eastern European countries. Due to long distances to the core business, services might not be executed within the set up timeframe, and the “war for talent” for qualified international candidates can be difficult, especially when recruiting from Central- and Northern Europe. Companies have started to look for alternatives to build up their SSCs, and over recent years a new destination for outsourced businesses arose: Portugal.

Many clients ask how their businesses could benefit from an offshoot in Portugal.

I often turn this question around and ask: how could a company not benefit from being in a country like Portugal? Portugal provides businesses many economic benefits such as a favourable tax system, an excellent infrastructure and a convenient geographical location in the South of Europe. There are also many governmental incentives for hiring talent.

With an unemployment rate of 7% and a stable political system, companies in Portugal are well supported by the state. In fact they can receive compensation amounting to 80% of the wage for a young professional or recent graduate. These profiles are highly suitable for SSCs due to their flexibility, adaptability and low labour cost. Portugal is well known for its education system, and thanks to the presence of prestigious universities in Lisbon and Porto, businesses are able to find highly qualified local and international candidates with expertise and language skills.

Another advantage for tech firms is the growing Portuguese industrial sector. Portugal is host of global tech fair Web Summit, where world-class companies gather and exchange expert knowledge. Lisbon is truly on its way to establishing itself as a tech start-up hub, attracting talent from all over the world.

How we can help you to find the right talents

Present in 35 countries, Michael Page has expert knowledge of recruitment processes and access to global databases. Dedicated research teams find the right talent for our clients from all over the world, in both individual and high volume cases. If a client requires an IT specialist and we cannot find this profile in Portugal, our researchers and consultants from our global offices reach out to their databases and work transnationally with us. We have excellent connections to Portuguese universities and direct contact to teachers and graduates making candidate search, especially for young talent, simpler.  

When we started to recruit candidates for the SSC of our client Vestas, we were tasked to find 80 candidates, mainly from the engineering sector. In the second year conditions changed and our client needed 120 candidates, which is not an extraordinary case since by their very nature SSCs are subject to changes in functional scope. Due to our international networks we were able to fill all of the open positions successfully. We are currently fulfilling a similar contract for Euronext Lisbon, where we are currently recruiting 89 professionals of differing levels of seniority.

When meeting a new client for the first in-depth conversation we provide a reference check in the form of a list of companies we have already worked with. In this way the client is able to get a better picture of our service capabilities and can allay any fears with the high satisfaction rate of our previous recruitment project partners. 

How high-volume recruiting with Page makes a difference

The competition on the personal recruiting market is high. Whilst negotiating conditions for potential projects I often get asked what PageGroup can offer which differs from other recruitment businesses.

I often highlight as one of our specialties the long-term support we offer all our clients. Our consultants have deep knowledge in HR related topics and are on hand to help our clients with advice for up to one year after a project.

We assist with our expertise in talent development, employee retention and recruiting strategies. If we are tasked to find international profiles for an SSC, we also help in the onboarding process. This can involve informing you about any administrative challenges such as documentation or registration, as well useful tips on how to integrate new candidates into existing teams. Beyond this we will update you about interesting external developments related to human resources. We can inform you if there have been salary increases in the SSC sector, or if additional government benefits were implemented, such as incentives in tax- or labour cost.

At Michael Page, we feel it is vital that we reach high satisfaction levels for all our clients, while building up long-term partnerships for SSC recruitment and individual businesses throughout all sectors.  

Are you looking for an experienced partner to hire new talent for your SSC? Get in touch with us!