Key players of SSC sector are satisfied and plan further expansion in Hungary

Key players of SSC sector are satisfied and plan further expansion in Hungary

Results of the survey were presented at a gala event

80% of Hungary's SSCs plan to expand in the short term, as revealed by the results of the first Hungarian Shared Services & Outsourcing Insights survey, carried out this year by the Hungarian Investment Promotion Agency (HIPA), EY and SSC Heroes. The 360-degree SSC market survey of companies and employees was announced by the organizers of the gala, during which awards were given to top companies and managers of 2017 in three categories.

Zsolt Kelliár (SSC Heroes), Gyöngyi Varga (HIPA) és Arjen Sader (EY)

Zsolt Kelliár (SSC Heroes), Gyöngyi Varga (HIPA) és Arjen Sader (EY)

This year, for the first time, HIPA collaborated with EY and SSC Heroes to launch the Hungarian Shared Services & Outsourcing Insights survey, which analyses the responses from companies and employees to profile current trends and the short-term direction of development of one of Hungary's most dynamic sectors, and which provides an orientation for both existing companies and organizations and those planning investments in the region.

The young industry sector has developed at a rapid pace in Hungary during the past few decades, and is now one of the most important sectors for job creation, with further growth potential. 110 shared services centres now operate in Hungary, employing approximately 46,000 people.

The representative survey questionnaire was completed by 53 companies which together employ 37,000 people, representing an 80% response rate in terms of numbers of employees. The number of those working in the industry who completed the survey exceeded 800.

The survey shows that Hungary has Central and Eastern Europe's most mature SSC market, not only in terms of numbers but also with regard to the industry's past and structure. This is supported by the fact that captive and hybrid centres dominate the market, as well as by the wide range in terms of the distribution by sector and activities of the centres. Two-thirds of the companies have been operating in Hungary for more than five years, which shows that Hungary can ensure long-term growth for companies that set up here.

Arjen Sader, Executive Director of EY SSC Advisory

Arjen Sader, Executive Director of EY SSC Advisory

In terms of the basis for investment decisions, the cost of labour increasingly no longer plays a role, with the location, attractive environment, economic and political stability, and the possibility to cooperate with educational institutions being beneficial factors in investment.

The trend for shared services centres to choose locations outside of Budapest is becoming stronger. According to this year's survey, 50% of decision-makers take into account provincial locations for their expansion. Due to their educational background, university cities such as Pécs, Debrecen, Szeged, and Székesfehérvár are being targeted. The provincial cities are developing from year to year and are very open to helping companies in order to provide permanent local work for young people leaving their universities.

The companies that operate in the Hungarian market have a relatively low turnover of employees – the average is 11-15%, but half of the companies in the survey reported a figure below 10%. These days, it is increasingly indicative of the sector on international level that companies are placing more and more of a focus on employer branding and employee training in order to find and retain the workforce.
The dominant languages used in the centres, besides English and Hungarian, are German, Spanish, Italian and French, but more exotic languages such as Arabic and Chinese can also be found.

The industry players are focusing on the issues of robotics and automation, despite the fact that only 30% of companies use them for everyday activities. Given that 90% of centres strongly wish to develop their services, the spread of automation within certain functions is becoming unavoidable.

It is a favourable trend that 80% of companies in the shared services industry plan to expand during the next cycle. Half of the companies plan to expand by more than 100 employees, with a total of expansion of about 3,500 to 4,000 staff expected across the sector in the next cycle.

For more information and figures of the survey, click here and download the full publication of the results.

Legal note: as regards the data of the "SSC survey", all rights of use shall be the property of the Hungarian Investment Promotion Agency and its partners (Global Web Solutions Korlátolt Felelősségű Társaság, Ernst & Young Tanácsadó Korlátolt Felelősségű Társaság). Therefore this data shall not be used, (in particular) published or duplicated without the Agency's prior written consent.