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Finding qualified labour in an international talent pool

We are all aware of the labour shortage in Denmark for highly skilled educated professionals. Industries such as Tech, IT, Pharmaceuticals, Bio Scientists and researchers are in high demand. So how exactly do we deal with the current situation? Our Settling In Programmes can help!

Photographs: Céline Martin-Pedersen

Text: Laura Wintemute

When it comes to attraction and retention of these international working professionals, it’s not just global companies fighting this battle, it’s Denmark as a country. These mobile employees are no longer only interested in the financial aspect of their international assignment package – they are incredibly concerned about their partners and families transition while abroad. Will they settle into their new life? Will they thrive? Will they be happy?

Denmark has over the last seven years has approved grants of millions of kroner to better the attraction and retention of internationals moving into Denmark. Yet companies are more than ever, finding it difficult to recruit. Why? They’ve done a great job on branding Denmark, as a country. 2nd happiest country in the world. We have the 2nd best work-life balance and recently voted the best country for raising children. Who wouldn’t want to live here?? We have Hygge!! We ride bikes!

Through expat eyes In the eyes of “x-expats”, people who have lived here in the past, Denmark has a much different reputation. Unfriendly, unwelcoming, challenging to settle in, language and loneliness bringing Denmark into the bottom five out of 64 countries. Every international who leaves DK become ambassadors for Denmark and unfortunately this is how expats feel when they leave and inevitably share their views with others.

Most expats never “really” experience quality of life, not when they don’t know the language, the systems or the daily culture. I’m not saying to rectify this reputation, we have to change Danish Culture, absolutely not. I’m saying we need to educate these newcomers, prepare them and make them aware of their new surroundings.

Disrupting an industry

Two and a half years ago, I took a chance. I started a company solely focusing on the “soft side” of relocation. Traditionally, companies focus on the practical side of relocation. Immigration and work permits, move of household goods and even airline tickets. Until they start focusing on the “soft side” (the side that’s been proven to retain mobile employees), they will continue to struggle to recruit or attract.

Daily life, work-life and real life!

Recently, I started the International Headquarters. A co-working space with thirteen entrepreneurs collaborating together. All working in our own fields with relocation and transition. We are sharing an office, sharing our knowledge and experience and helping create something unique.

"We bring the ‘human’ back into mobility by focusing on the holistic side of relocation and transition." - Laura Wintemute, Founder

Recently we have launched our Settling In Programmes - both pre-arrival and post-arrival programmes focusing on preparation and expectation management. The better aware expats are the smoother their transition into Denmark will be.

As well as offering the practical side of relocation, we focus on the transition side. The human side of relocation, this is the key to retention. We have experience of this, as we’ve been in their shoes. We are expats too! Local experts helping global citizens.

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