Danish companies struggling to find qualified engineers

Finder’s fees being paid to employees who bring in new blood

William Demant, a company that researches and develops hearing aids and other hearing apparatus, needs nearly 50 engineers at its headquarters in Smørum, just west of Copenhagen.

The company has moved more of its research and development activities from Switzerland to Denmark and is finding it difficult to hire engineers. They are now offering a ‘bounty’ to any employee who brings in a new colleague.

“We have activated our own employee group by offering what we call a ‘finder’s fee’,” Søren Nielsen, the vice president of William Demant Holding, told DR Nyhder.

“If they can get someone to change jobs, we recognise the contribution made by the employee by awarding them 10,000 kroner.

Show me the money
This type of incentive is very common among engineers, according to the engineering union IDA, which said the rewards for bringing in a new engineer  can range from 10,000 kroner to as much as a full month’s salary. Engineers in Denmark are typically paid about 56,000 kroner per month.

“We see it more and more,” said Juliane Marie Neiiendam, the head of the employee council Ansattes Råd. “There is a shortage of engineers in Denmark, and businesses have a hard time finding the employees they need, so they introduce the bonus schemes.”

Pluses and minuses
Neiiendam said that nearly one in three engineers took their current job based on being headhunted for the position through their network rather than through traditional job listings, but that incentive programs do have a downside.

“When a company turns its employees into headhunters, they often wind up battling for the same people, and those people get a lot of offers.”

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William Demant is also offering its potential new hires excellent perks. The company recently sent 25 students to New York to further their educations in sound.