For a country of just 5.8 million people, Denmark has more than its share of big business, including Nov Nordisk, Maersk and Lego. Most of these companies try to hire people with computer skills, but there just aren’t enough applicants.
In addition to Denmark not producing enough tech talent, another problem is that US companies are looking for tech overseas – and are even hire teleworkers in expensive markets like Denmark.
Unsurprisingly, this new practice of hiring remote workers stems from the pandemic. When Covid first hit, companies stopped hiring. Then slowly they started to realize that working remotely was not just an option, but a great option.
Big US tech companies have caught on to this idea and are now looking to hire people for as little as half the salary they would pay in the Bay Area. While Danish workers are more expensive than many places, they are still cheaper than Silicon Valley workers.
This trend has changed tech job markets around the world. Now suddenly companies that weren’t directly competing for job candidates because they were so far away have started looking for the same people – and Danish recruiters are feeling the pinch.
“Everything and anything lacks technology in Denmark,” said Claudia Delgado, technology recruiter at Talent. “Trying to find a DevOps engineer right now is like trying to find a unicorn
“Talentiir encourages customers to be open to bringing people from outside Denmark. Some programming languages are not common here. Ruby, a programming language used for e-commerce platforms, has a talent pool in Denmark of only around 700 people. This is not enough. For these positions, we advise companies to be open-minded about hiring people from outside the Denmark.”
Delgado added: “If you had asked someone three years ago if the market would be like what it is today, no one would have guessed. The last half of 2021 has been a crazy market. Everything developer – even the most junior – had three to five offers at one point. ”
But she warned: “Now we expect a recession. While I don’t think the market will completely freeze like it did in 2020, I do think it will be more stable than last year. The offers will not be as generous as they were last year. It will also depend on new technologies that come out. For example, as soon as blockchain came out, it became a highly sought-after skill. No one knows when the next revolution will come.
Delgado advises companies at be flexible. “Some companies cap the salaries they offer, which is understandable,” she said. “But they need to find ways to be more flexible. They can offer remote work – even for people from the same country. The pandemic has shown that people can work from home and be just as efficient. Once you look outside your own borders, you will see a whole new world of candidates.
“Companies are often looking for senior developers. But bringing in young people and helping them develop is a brilliant idea. It allows you to shape people’s careers. Companies don’t do it enough. Consider graduate programs, which typically last two years. Student interns can fill different roles and work with many different people in many different departments. They work for you – and along the way, they learn a lot.
Delgado advised employers, “Be more diverse. One of the things we also see with companies is that they struggle to hire diverse talent. If you want to attract diverse talent, you need to reflect diversity in your interview panel.
“Have a short interview process. In a candidate-driven market, you don’t want to give them five or six interviews. Make sure your internal stakeholders are aligned. If a candidate goes to four different interviews with four different people, make sure you don’t ask them the same thing four times. You want candidates to understand why they come to every interview and you want them to feel valued.
As in most parts of the world, developers in Denmark can progress by following one of two main streams. First, they can be individual contributors, working with state-of-the-art technology. They might not necessarily code, but they might become an architect instead.
The second option is to take the managerial route. Someone can start as a developer and then become a tech lead. Then they could become a manager and move up the ranks.
“Developers need to consider whether they view themselves as human leaders or as strictly technical,” Delgado said. “If you stay technical, don’t get too attached to one technology. Maybe today you think Golang is the best language there is. But we don’t know how it will be in three years. Of course, you can choose one thing that will be your heart. But carry on with things. Stay up to date by keeping an eye out for new technologies.
“It’s also important to think about the type of company you want to work for. Do you want to be in a commodity business? Do you want to work in a service company?
“For experienced professionals, I give the same advice. While it’s good to specialize, make sure you don’t get stuck on something that won’t be in high demand later on. Keep an eye out for changes. Invest time in continuous learning.
Delgado also recommends people find tech blogs they like. This will make it easier to keep up to date with certain skills and keep up with technology news and market trends.