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Career fair in Boston: Danish companies lag behind international competitors

Despite queues at the Danish booth at the European career fair in Boston in February, the Confederation of Danish Industry notes that Danish companies must step up their game if they are to reel in international talent.
Many international talents were interested in hearing more about Denmark and Danish companies at the MIT career fair in Boston. Photo: Linda Duncan Wendelbo.

Publiceret: 07.03.2018
Af Felix Bekkersgaard Stark mail

DI Global Talent had brought along specific job postings from a number of Danish companies including Terma, Vivino and COWI to the European Career Fair at MIT in Boston at the end of February.

At the Danish booth, the Confederation of Danish Industry, Work in Denmark, Copenhagen Capacity, the Technical University of Denmark and Copenhagen University were also joined by Ørsted, Chr. Hansen and Novo Nordisk. And the international talents at the fair showed plenty of interest in Denmark and Danish jobs.

“I love Denmark! I definitely want to go there soon.”

“I could see myself moving to Denmark”

“I’ve heard good things about environmental initiatives and sustainability and that the country is experiencing rapid development, so I think it represents lots of good opportunities for those of us who are interested in that field.”

“I have not yet had the chance to go to Copenhagen, but I think H.C. Andersen and the Little Mermaid are from Denmark - and all the bikes, of course! That’s what I know about Denmark. It’s definitely on my list of places to visit one day.”

Such were the comments from some of the visitors at the Danish booth.

See also: Acclaimed entrepreneur: Denmark needs better immigration services

A fly in the ointment

But despite the enthusiastic comments, Linda Duncan Wendelboe, Head of DI Global Talent noted that governments and companies in other countries invest far more resources into attracting international talent than Denmark does.

“The Netherlands, Switzerland and France are all hugely present at MIT. Not only are they very visible during the career fair and host lots of associated activities, they also have permanent representation in the Boston area and thereby the ability to draw attention to their companies all year long."

Linda Duncan Wendelboe therefore believes that Denmark needs to increase its efforts to attract international talents in several areas.

“Both the business community and politicians need to step up. We need to be better at showing the world what Denmark has to offer. For the companies, it is about showing off Denmark’s strengths, highlighting the Danish work environment and flat organisational structure that is attractive to many. Meanwhile, politicians must work on making it even more attractive for highly qualified foreigners to come to Denmark, and cooperate with businesses and universities on a targeted effort to showcase Denmark in the places where we know international talents will see it,” says Linda Duncan Wendelboe.

Low taxes aren’t everything

In that regard, she is pleased that the so-called researcher tax scheme, which gives tax benefits to highly specialised foreign researchers in Denmark, has recently been extended.

“It’s a step in the right direction. But we are very aware that finances only form part of an international jobseeker’s considerations when thinking about where to apply. Exciting career opportunities, work/life balance, opportunities for accompanying spouses and children and many other things are decisive for foreigners. And we need to work hard to make Denmark as attractive as possible on all parameters, because we cannot do without foreign specialists,” says Linda Duncan Wendelboe.

See also: Many foreign workers come to Denmark

We need to work hard to make Denmark as attractive as possible on all parameters, because we cannot do without foreign specialists.

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PUBLISHED: 3/7/2018 LAST MODIFIED: 3/8/2018