Living in an Expat World | Global mobility? Yes, please

Danish companies have come a long way in the field of global mobility since I arrived in Denmark 15 years ago – even a canteen menu in English would have been sensational back then. At the time, only a few of the largest companies in the country made a strategic effort to recruit talented international employees. Today, companies of all sizes look outside the duck pond in order to get the right employees and cater to the needs and wants of international employees and their families.

When International Community was founded in 2008, only a handful of the biggest companies in the Aarhus area supported the initiative, while almost everyone else found us irrelevant. However, the need for international specialists has grown rapidly over the years as competition has increased in the global market. Therefore, companies of all sizes want and need to improve their global mobility strategy.

Besides their apparent skills, studies show that international employees add diversity to the work environment, create better conditions for innovation, generate jobs and may even hold the key to foreign markets. At International Community we push this message out to all the companies, organisations and educational institutions in our network, and we have in fact just released a how-to guide aimed at companies that want to excel in global mobility. Imagine that – a magazine on global mobility. I would definitely not have put my money on it 15 years ago!

One of the key messages in the magazine is that global mobility is not just about business and numbers. Apart from the job, international employees consider surrounding factors before signing a contract. For instance, international education for the kids, job and networking opportunities for the partner, and the possibility of enjoying leisure time activities – due to the widely popular Danish work-life balance – can be of great significance.

Luckily, we often preach to the choir as many companies are well aware that they need to make sure that both the employee and the family settle in. Small to medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), which make up 60 percent of the Danish private job market, particularly pay attention to international employees compared to just a few years ago. For these companies, recruiting and retaining the right people can be the key to growth and new export possibilities. However, without an HR department, it can be difficult to navigate in the field of global mobility, and familiarity makes them choose the same path.

So while the business community most certainly has come a long way in the past 15 years regarding global mobility, some companies still need to tap into this talent pool. My two cents is that companies simply need international employees to stay on top of their game – and we are more than happy to help them excel in global mobility.

You can find the magazine at