The Economist’s and Heidrick & Struggles' index, which studied 60 countries, benchmarks countries for their ability to develop, attract and retain talented employees. With Europe being on the path to financial recovery, international companies have greater opportunity to attract highly skilled workers who have an urge to work abroad: the trick is knowing how to reach them.
Collaborate with business schools
The study revealed that all four Scandinavian countries are in the top five largely due to their significant investment in education. One low-cost method to attract potential employees is to build partnerships with business schools.
- ‘The easiest way to spread brand awareness is to establish collaborations with business schools,’ says Ragnhild Silkoset, Dean Executive at BI Norwegian Business School. ‘If you target a school which has the same ambitions as your company then you won’t waste resources on the wrong people.’
Pay attention to Norway
Norway, currently holding 5th place, has featured in the top five since 2011. Kristine Vestad, BI graduate of Marketing Communication, moved from Oslo to London to join currency transfer company, CurrencyCloud and she believes that taking notice of Norway as a country is the key to potential employees’ hearts.
- ‘Be present and make it clear that you have your eyes and ears open to Norway. Norwegians feel that Norway is in a far away corner of the world, and this leaves many with the feeling of being little and insignificant, but if a company communicates that the door is open, any talented Norwegian would feel free to walk through it.’
Offer a good package
With steady job security, some of the highest standard salaries in the world and a desirable work/life balance, most Scandinavian companies already offer a competitive deal to job-seekers. To stand out from the competition, companies need to meet the existing expectations of potential employees. Consider internships, for example.
- ‘I often hear that students take part in internships in England unpaid. That’s not what we want because you’re exploiting them’ says Silkoset. But she warns: ‘Companies should not oversell themselves. It raises expectations and if you don’t live up to that then it will hurt your brand.’