With over 17 years experience living and working in Denmark, I have spent time on both sides of the recruitment ‘fence’.
Been there, seen it all
My early years were spent applying for jobs and not knowing the ‘unwritten rules’. I struggled to find my place and felt frustrated. Understanding how tough it can be for internationals was one of the main reasons I started a consulting company: I wanted to share my knowledge and learning with others so they could avoid the pitfalls.
I regularly see the same difficulties internationals face when they arrive in Denmark, full of hope and ready to carry on their career, and then they hit the proverbial brick wall. They bring their cultural knowledge with them and don’t realise they need to adapt or apply subtle differences to be successful here in their job search.
Creating understanding between internationals and Danish organisations is another key area I work with. It ensures that companies get the employees they want and that the employees will fit in and want to stay.
Understanding Danish work culture and how things are done here on the one hand, and seeing what a foreigner brings to a Danish organisation on the other, will make a huge difference in the retention of international talent in the Danish workplace! It takes both sides to make the change with understanding and experience to bridge the gap.
Hard to settle
As an HR professional of 20 years, I have seen too many international candidates come and go, and it’s all down to them feeling out of place and not knowing how to actually fit in.
For internationals, the idea of living in this beautiful country for a few years and advancing their career seems exciting to start with, but without learning the local customs and engaging with the people, it becomes extremely hard to feel settled.
Dark nights ahead
It’s when the dark nights set in and they no longer have an established network around them that the international honeymoon period starts to shift. Not everyone has the desire to learn the language, local customs or to get to know the Danes, but without some of these elements you are simply existing on the surface, not really understanding that another world exists just below it.
As the saying goes: “Education is the key to success.” And it is by educating internationals about the locals and the locals about internationals, that we are guaranteed success!