Vida Económica - How did the idea of opening new offices in the interior of the country come about?
Nelson Pereira - This is a strategy that we implemented many years ago, resulting from a strategic vision of investing in creating decentralized competence centers with specialized teams, where we provide services to our national and international customers. Remotely, in a "nearshore or offshore" regime, we develop projects for all the markets we operate in: Portugal, Spain, Ireland, Holland, Brazil, and the United States. This policy started in Coimbra, where we currently have a competence center that already has more than 150 employees from different areas of expertise, such as "low-code solutions" (OutSystems development), "quality management," or "DevOps & automation". The opening of these two new offices, in Guarda and Covilhã, is another step in this strategy. Noesis has always sought to create these development centers closely linked to the academic community and universities, investing in regions with reference institutions and training capacity in Engineering and Technology. We operate in a highly competitive sector of constant innovation where the scarcity of resources is a reality. Therefore, investing in training is particularly important.
VE - What is the volume of employment and the profile of new employees?
NP - The teams allocated to these new offices will mainly reinforce the "low-code solution" units (application development in "OutSystems" technology), "quality management" (quality assurance and "testing" services), and "DevOps & automation". However, it is not excluded the hiring of other profiles, which integrate any other business area of Noesis, such as, for example, resources with competencies in the areas of Data Analytics, Artificial Intelligence, or "developers" in other programming languages. We expect to recruit around 40 employees in the region in this first year. We already have some new hires in place. We are recruiting both recent graduates from the University of Beira Interior and the Instituto Politécnico da Guarda and more senior profiles with experience in the market.
VE - There is less population density in upcountry regions, such as Proença-a-Nova, Covilhã, and Guarda, making hiring work teams difficult.
NP - New hires will fully occupy these offices. These are employees that we are recruiting and integrating into the region. We are already actively recruiting in these cities, and we already have our first talent selected. This growth is expected to be gradual. Despite being regions with lower population density, as you said, they are regions endowed with very relevant academic institutions, with outstanding training capacity, and which welcome students from different areas of the country. Our presence will help settle some of these young graduates, thus contributing to the region's economic development. So far, we have had a good reception from the market, the University of Beira Interior, and the Polytechnic Institute of Guarda. We are confident that we will hire and train highly qualified teams in Covilhã and Guarda.
VE - Usually, are the new collaborators natural and residing in the interior regions, or do they also move from the big centers to the interior?
NP - Currently, we have already hired professionals who live in the region. Even so, in our experience, we find different contexts. We have professionals who are natives of the area but moved to the big centers due to a lack of work opportunities and are facing the possibility of returning to their homeland. After completing the course, there are also students from other parts of the country considering settling in the region. Suppose there are opportunities to start their professional careers there. We even accept professionals from the coast who seek to change their lives and enjoy another quality of life, continuing to work in their area. We believe that changes in the way of working can also be an incentive for this change. At Noesis, we promote a flexible and hybrid work model, so we believe it is essential to be physically present in Covilhã and Guarda, with offices already adapted and sized to this new reality. We believe that this physical presence is also a way to reinforce our presence as a brand and, at the same time, make clear our commitment to this region and our commitment to the talents that we want to be part of our team.
VE - For the opening of competence centers, is cooperating with regional higher education schools essential?
NP - Without a doubt. In Coimbra, we always seek to be close to academic institutions relevant in engineering training, such as the University of Beira Interior and the Polytechnic Institute of Guarda. We intend to establish ourselves as a reference employer in the region, enabling the professional integration of young talents from these institutions without relocating to large urban centers. At Noesis, we want to contribute to the economic development of these regions and these academic institutions. Offering the possibility of retaining talent in these cities and establishing close and fruitful partnerships with the University of Beira Interior and the Polytechnic Institute of Guarda will go far beyond the mere recruitment of finalists and recent graduates. These partnerships will also include the support given to these institutions in their training process to contribute with our knowledge and know-how in different technologies. We want to support these institutions by transmitting knowledge to students, contributing to the curricular enrichment of their training.
VE - Are new competence centers being considered for the interior?
NP - We strongly believe that this strategy is the way to continue to grow and respond to the challenges of the market and our customers in a sector where the scarcity of qualified technical resources is a reality. Only by investing in the training of talent and creating these specialized competence centers will it be possible to respond to the challenge. Therefore, we aspire to continue on this path and open several competence centers throughout the country. In the short term, the opening of new centers is not yet planned. Still, it is considered in our strategic plan and that we will continue in the coming years, following the same logic that led to the opening of the centers of Coimbra, Guarda, and Covilhã.