Rising living costs abroad and family behind Slovaks' return to 'old-fashioned' home

They often find jobs in business service centres.

Working from home or a hybrid work model is what appeal to Slovaks returning home.Working from home or a hybrid work model is what appeal to Slovaks returning home. (Source: Courtesy of IBM )

The lack of qualified labour remains a topic for shared and business service centres (BSCs) in Slovakia. They are fishing for talents among foreigners as well as Slovaks with foreign work experience. But while many of the latter had pondered a return to their home country already before Covid-19 broke out, the pandemic accelerated this trend.

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“Many companies declared that they even stopped hiring foreign nationals, because they have so many Slovaks coming in with a lot of foreign experience and skills,” said Gabriel Galgóci, chair of the Business Service Center Forum (BSCF). He added that they have remained even after the pandemic years. “They already found their place here.”

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BSCs had preferred to reach out for Slovaks unless the position required a special expertise or skill not available here.

“We only go abroad (to hire new employees) if we don’t find any qualifications here, because in economic terms there is no reason to travel far to attract foreigners if it’s not needed,” said Christian Schulz, President of Henkel Slovensko and Head of GBS+ Bratislava and GBS+ Cairo.

Why they return

The experience of BSCs is that Slovaks primarily return for personal reasons and not due to job offers.

“They just come here and see an opportunity,” said Lucia Gogová, Slovakia HR operations Leader & Strategic HR partner at IBM in Slovakia. At IBM they tracked the last employer of newcomers, and Slovaks returning from abroad during the pandemic accounted for approximately 7 percent.

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