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One part of the family is very happy, and then there is me... I miss having something to get up to in the morning, and I miss having a network Monisha Gambhir, from India to Aarhus, page 10

International Community Presents:

Insight & Influence On Sustaining International Talent

It Takes Political Will

What Makes Expats Leave?

Telling the Good Story

Obtaining a driving license, reforming tax schemes and providing information about basic services in English are some of the specific areas in which business organisations would like to see more definitive governmental action.

International Community surveyed individuals and companies across Eastern Jutland to help indentify the reasons international families leave Denmark. The problems have little to do with what takes place from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. but it is in the off-hours that employees face the biggest challenges.

Making a city a more attractive place to live and work starts with finding a unique and compelling story.

The American Chamber of Commerce in Denmark, is one of those gorganisations and its Executive Director es ions len olutabout l has some ideas where to start... a Ch and s

We present a number of social factors that workplaces need to be aware of and how they can take action when recruiting international employees and their families...

We spoke with two city branding experts about what it will take to make Aarhus more international...

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Telling the good story will help attract top global talent and their families, experts say, and can help create sustainable growth for the region in the future.


Inte r n a t i o n a l C o m munity

The Time is Now Sustainability is a powerful idea. It can build businesses, brand nations and ensure economic growth for years to come. But sustainability is not just about the environment or energy or natural resources. In fact, another kind of sustainability also consumes much of what we do at Vestas: Talent sustainability. International workers and their families coming to the Aarhus region are having a hard time finding a foothold and the time is now for us to begin addressing their concerns. International Community’s survey shows that some of these concerns include problems integrating spouses and family, Denmark’s high taxes and cost of living and the lack of an international high school in Aarhus. Keeping the talent pipeline flowing is essential if we are to remain amongst the top of the world’s OECD economies. Nearly every one of the current administration’s 10 goals for ensuring future growth in our country, nearly all the goals we have for greentech and certainly every effort we are making to transform Denmark into a knowledgebased society are contingent upon us having access to the best minds from all over the world. Some of the issues are difficult. Cultural norms and language barriers cannot be overcome with legislation. Perceptions will not change overnight. But with a concerted focus and a radical willingness, the region - and the entire nation, can become more international, more open and more attractive. We cannot continue talking, however, and expect to get new results. We need to act now. At Vestas, we can already see that recruiting and retaining the most talented people in the world is one of our future’s greatest challenges. We need scientists, engineers, IT specialists and administrative talent from the entire world and we need to ensure they, and their families, can thrive professionally and socially here in the Aarhus region. This is the reason we are involved in efforts like International Community and why we are focused on improving conditions for international knowledge workers in the region. And we are not alone. With globalisation in full bloom, the need to transform Denmark into a world-class knowledge society is not an option anymore. The time is now to ensure one of our future’s most valuable resources: Talent.

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Name: Karina Boldsen Company: Vestas Wind systems Position: Director, People & Culture

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I n te r n a t i o n a l C o m m u n i ty

Quick Facts

58 percent of the companies expect an increased need for international labour

22%

International Community works with companies in Eastern Jutland to provide resources in recruiting and retaining international labour. Insight & Influence is based on a survey of 45 companies and 386 expats in Eastern Jutland conducted in the fall of 2009 and on interviews and discussions with business and political leaders and international families. Some of the main conclusions are: 58 percent of the companies have a growing need for international labour in the next three years

Companies’ future need for international workers

38 percent of the companies have no HR staff working decidedly with international employees

Increasing need 58% 58% 18%

Decreasing need 2% Unchanged 18% Do not know 22%

2%

43 percent of the expats are satisfied or very satisfied with transition and support services provided by the employer 48 percent of the accompanying spouses cite a lack of career opportunities as a reason for leaving Denmark 44 percent of the accompanying spouses name difficulties with personal social integration as a reason for leaving Denmark 38 percent of the expats cite Denmark’s cost of living as a reason for leaving

Over two thirds of the individual respondents are employed in the public sector, primarily at Aarhus University but also at the municipality and hospitals

52 percent of the expats name work-life balance as a reason for wanting to stay in Denmark

Insight & Influence highlights some of these conclusions, and serves as inspiration on how to work with some of the challenges and tasks related to international labour through knowledge sharing, best practice examples and advice from experts.

3%

Breakdown of international workers by sector

29%

56 percent of the expats cite standard of living as a reason for wanting to stay in Denmark

Public 68% Private 29% 68%

Other 3%

Growth Companies in Global Competition Name: Erik Krarup Company: Vaeksthus central denmark Position: Director

Internationalisation is not limited to the largest companies here in Denmark. The challenges for small and medium sized workplaces in a globalised world are significant, and the tendency is clear: markets are becoming global for growth companies as well.

91 percent of the companies believe it is very important or important to be able to attract and retain international workers in the next three years

2% 4%

2%

Importance of recruiting and retaining in the future

Very important 51% 51% 40%

Important 40% Neither/nor 4% Not important 0% Not important at all 2% Do not know 2%

The fact that larger organisations attract more and more international knowledge workers to the region will, in my opinion, create synergies at many levels for small and medium sized companies. For instance, one of the barriers for companies who are ready to grow internationally is the difficulty in reproducing success from the home market abroad. Here, international experts and their knowledge of their own home markets within any number of specialised fields could be an invaluable resource for the region. When an employee is recruited from abroad, one of the biggest concerns is often finding work for their partner or spouse, many of whom are also highly educated. International families present a pool of expertise that can benefit small and medium sized workplaces. There is also a snowball effect that occurs as organisations continue to employ more international workers: suddenly there are more opportunities for knowledge workers considering moving to the region and that, in turn, makes the recruiting process easier for all organisations – large and small. So the more, the merrier. However, a precondition for growth companies to realise the potential in internationalisation, is development programs like Vaeksthus Central Denmark’s Accelerance, which helps young companies to better understand the opportunities that exist in export markets and help them understand the value of international workers. We can also influence both opinions and employment of the international workforce. These are the types of efforts the region needs in order to pump knowledge and international perspective into regional companies, so they can reach their full growth potential.

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Inte r n a t i o n a l C o m munity

When the Workforce Goes Global Ensuring labour mobility is one key to remaining competitive

The emergence of the global economy has accustomed us to goods and services crossing borders. Products that once seemed inextricably Danish, like Royal Copenhagen porcelain, are now produced in Asia and sent back to Denmark for sale. The same kind of mobility is now becoming more and more apparent in the labour market. Attracting the top global talent in the future will require a more flexibile approach to issues like work permits, tax schemes and family integration. In short, it is about easing the barriers to human mobility. And here both Europe as a whole and Denmark in particular face some big challenges in the years ahead if they wish to remain competitive, says one of Europe’s leading researchers in global migration trends. the key to succeeding ”Europe has invested a lot of time and effort in trying to catch up with the United States in terms of encouraging the high skilled mobility of scientist and highly trained, highly educated people,” says Adrian Favell, a British researcher working at Aarhus University’s Centre for Global and Regional Studies, ”and ensuring mobility is really the 4

key to succeeding in the global economy looking forward.” Favell works with and writes about pan-European migration trends and global workforce, both in terms of general immigration and issues related to the highly skilled migration. He says that the focus on internationalisation of the labour market has been an important part of the EU’s Lisbon Agenda since 2000, an agenda which has sought to transform the Europe into a knowledge-based economy. ”It was a ten year program, but this year they’ve acknowledged that they have not achieved the ideals. The data still shows that America has extraordinary attraction for scientists and highly trained individuals acrosss all kinds of categories and increasingly particularly from China and India.” One solution, he says, can be seen in attempts in countries like Germany and Britain at setting up so-called ”green card” type schemes that resemble the H1-B program in the United States. The intent is to help ensure the free movement of labour in the same way there is a free movement of goods, while still making it possible to control less wanted forms of migration. ”It also creates opportunities for students to fall into employment so you can cream off the best – international

students who can then go into science and technology,” he says. “And something like that would be particularly relevant for the Aarhus area.” opening the labour market Denmark, he says, could also benefit from a more flexible immigration policy, but adds that the liberal government of recent years has taken a number of steps to open the labour market. Still, Denmark faces specific problems in terms of maintaining a mobile workforce because often people’s qualifications are not recognised and difficulties related to settling in a small country, like language and a strong sense of nationalism, are often hard for outsiders to overcome. ”The issue of recognising qualifications is a big problem in Denmark because barriers to people finding work when they are very highly qualified are big - not for the person being recruited but most often for the spouse,” he says. ”And the one thing that is always pointed out in research on highly skilled migrants is that you have to deal with the families and the spouses and make them happy. The secret to keeping human mobility is keeping the families happy.”


I n te r n a t i o n a l C o m m u n i ty

With strong representation from countries like Germany, Sweden, USA, China and India there is no evidence reported by companies that one nationality is especially represented in Denmark Nationality of international workers

29%

German Swedish

27%

American

27%

French

22%

Chinese

22%

Finnish

20%

Indian

20%

Dutch

20%

Norwegian

20%

Spanish

20%

Polish

16%

Russian

16%

Iranian

16%

Italian

13%

Australian

13% 20%

10%

30%

More than half of the expats have several expat experiences, but for many respondents it is the first time abroad Experience as expat

37 %

1st time abroad 20%

2nd time abroad

35%

3rd time abroad or more 8%

Do not know

20%

10%

30%

40%

Almost half of the expats are employed within research, in both the public and private sectors. Among the other category, respondents listed jobs like: logistics, finance, labourer, cleaning assistant and student Expats by job description

5%

Administration Marketing IT

2% 4% 5%

Sales Healthcare

2%

Research

44%

Education Engineering

12% 7%

Other

19% 10%

20%

30%

40%

50%

The Circus is Coming to Town This summer, the circus is coming to Djursland - and Morten Basse hopes to be its ringmaster. ”We call it the international wind circus,” says Basse, who is project manager for Djurs Windpower, a network of companies from Djursland preparing for the start of construction of the world’s largest offshore wind park, halfway between Grenaa and the island of Anholt. ”We are talking about a wind park of 400 Megawatts, equal to four percent of the total yearly Danish consumption,” he says. ”The first turbine will turn by the end of 2012 and the park could contain anywhere from 110 to 174 offshore turbines.” Along with the massive infrastructure requirements, harbour capacity and supply chain support such a project requires, Basse says, an influx of international workers on the order of 1,500 operations workers and 250 management and project management staff can be expected. Accommodating them, he says, leaves no room for error. With the cost of installation of a turbine at millions per day, Basse adds, ”Once the curtain goes up, the show must go on. ”The ship crews are nomads travelling all over the world,” he says, ”and our network is working to set up housing, services and the like for them. The management side and project management side could be based here for up to three years and they might come with their families.” And once the circus moves on, Basse says, its on to the next job where workers take not only ships and equipment, but stories and experiences as ambassadors for Denmark in the international wind circus.

Internationals Always on the Radar Not all companies work with international specialists on contract basis. Some, like Terma, use a combination of international consultants, contract workers and permanent international workers to meet a range of highly specific needs. This requires them to think about international employees in several contexts. ”We have an absolute need for international specialists in engineering,” says Mariann Linde Sejersen, Vice President of Human Resources. ”For instance, we do not have a flight engineer education in Denmark, so that is one area where we have a competence gap and we have to look outside to find workers.” To meet that need, Sejersen says, Terma uses several tactics. For longer-term employment needs, they recruit internationally through strong connections to global recruiting firms and through access to databases of specialists. Finding the right qualifications among international workers already in the region can be tough, Sejersen says, but would also be an ideal situation when possible. “We do not specifically look for international talent in Denmark – the right competences are top priority.” She says. “However, if the right is profile is in Denmark, for example, as an accompanying spouse or because they are married to a Dane, it would be obvious to look in that direction.” Terma also relies on shorter-term consultants who can help the company solve specific problems. These consultants can face some of the same challenges as other international workers, Sejersen says, even though they are not directly employed by Terma. At the end of last year, Terma began a project investigating what the company offers its international employees and it has recently hired an HR manager with the specific responsibility of making a sound policy for retaining expats. Sejersen says Terma is one of the companies that sees a need for more international workers in the future, but also says Terma’s needs vary. At the moment there are around just 10 internationals out of 800 employees in Denmark, she says. ”That is a snapshot though, because we have consultants and employees coming and going constantly,” she adds. “One of the ongoing challenges for us is ensuring that we create an environment conducive to international workers, whether they are here for a month or for the rest of their life. When we do have a need for them, we have to act quickly and the framework has to be in place, both at work and in the hours after work.”

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Inte r n a t i o n a l C o m munity

Forty two percent of companies experience that expats leave before end of contract. Forty percent of the companies do not know whether the expats stay for the contract period

18%

Company estimate: How many expats choose to leave before end of contract?

42%

Broken contracts 42% Do not know 40%

40%

None 18%

Practical Solutions; Political Will Improving the environment for internationals is the number one issue of concern

Sixty percent of workplaces in Eastern Jutland expect an increased need for international specialists in the coming years, but, experts say, government and businesses are not doing enough to address the practical and political barriers that stand in the way of attracting and maintaining an international workforce. ”Improving the environment for internationals is the number one issue of concern among our members right now,” says Stephen Brugger, Executive Director of the American Chamber of Commerce in Denmark (AmCham Denmark), which recently published a whitepaper outlining the most important practical challenges entitled Denmark: The Talent to Succeed. The relatively simple everyday problems, Brugger says, are often seen in isolation, but put together create a morass for employers. “In the wake of the financial crisis and increasing unemployment, it’s a huge challenge to convince the Danish Government of the urgency of the situation,“ Brugger says, “but the feedback from our members is that we are going to be very quickly in an even worse situation than we were in the full-employment times between 2004 and 2007. Our companies are going to be in dire need of highly qualified talent that they are not going to be able to attract.” governmental issues Problems in obtaining a driving license, insufficient international school capacity and what Brugger calls the Three-year tax wall created by the Expat Taxation Scheme are just some of the issues AmCham is calling on the government to address immediately. ”One of the difficulties is that few of these issues lie within a single ministry,” he says. ”So one of the biggest challenges is keeping the overall issue, that being the shortage of talent, front and center with the key decisionmakers, ensuring that all in the political sphere know it is there and keep it in mind.” Brugger also admits that a more concerted effort from the business community is called for. 6

”There are a lot of regional, industry-based and other councils talking to the government and these groups also have to be better in expressing themselves as the common voice of business,” he adds. exit dialog is important Helle Herstad Lauridsen believes there is also an internal aspect in which businesses need to be better. And she has a lot of firsthand experience. In her position as Director at House of Relocation she deals with international families both on the way in- and out- of Denmark. ”I suggest that companies do an exit dialog and ask them why they leave in order to prevent that some of the

same issues arise later for the next employee. It sounds simple but many do not do it.” Lauridsen believes that workplaces need to make a more concerted effort in monitoring international workers from the interview process all the way until they have returned home – and maybe even after. “If we want to know why these workers leave, why are we not talking to those former employees who have already left?” she asks, rhetorically. The results of International Community’s study support Lauridsen’s observations. When asked why international workers leave their companies, over one third of the companies surveyed answered: don’t know.

Hitting the Tax Wall Danish tax law grants special status to international experts. Workers can either choose to stay in Denmark for three years and pay a flat 25 percent income tax plus labour market contribution (AM-bidrag, i.e. effectively 31 percent) or choose to stay five years at 33 percent (effectively 38.3 percent). ”There are problems in that, however,” says Per Ørtoft Jensen who is a Partner specialising in tax regulations for foreigners at KPMG. “The first of which is the employee must earn approximately 70,000 Kroner per month (over €110,000 or $150,000 annually) and the next is that international workers are forced to decide on their three year anniversary to stay or go.“ Jensen says that if an international stays and converts to the five year scheme, they have to pay back the difference between 25 and 33 percent for the first three years and pay 33 percent in the fourth and fifth year. That simply eliminates consideration of staying longer for many, he adds, because many expats cannot pay off the back taxes and cannot predict whether they will keep the job in Denmark for the fourth and fifth year. “When we are talking about research heavy businesses, especially, Denmark stands to lose out to countries like Holland, for instance, which offers up to 10 years on their expat schemes.” Another problem, Jensen says, is that Danish tax law related to investments is unattractive to foreigners, especially senior level workers who are invested in non-Danish mutual funds. ”If an American comes to Denmark, for instance, they will be taxed on the money their investments in most US mutual funds make while they are in Denmark even if they do not sell them or cash out. In the US, they will then be taxed again on the gains when they realise them. There we lose a lot of candidates, especially those that have reached a high level and are the most interesting for Danish workplaces, unless their investments are properly restructured before they come to Denmark.”


I n te r n a t i o n a l C o m m u n i ty

Career opportunities and tax matters are the main reasons international workers leave Denmark

33 percent of companies indicate that they do not know why expats leave their company. Some of the most common reasons are related to the accompanying spouse or partner

Expats: Why we leave

Companies: Why expats leave

25%

Spouse/partner career opportunities

Danish school system and institutions 18%

Childcare

6%

Tax system

Costs of living

4%

Work-life balance

4%

Career opportunities

Salary

Salary

4% 24%

Do not know

13%

Other

13%

Homesickness

29%

Homesickness

45%

Workplace/management culture

13%

End of contract

33% 6%

Career opportunities

Other

7%

13%

Cost of living

Do not know

7%

Difficulties with practical matters

12%

Work-life balance

20%

Immigration matters or legislation

36%

Difficulties with practical matters

2%

Tax system

5%

Immigration matters or legislation

4%

Language

14%

Leisure activities for adults

11%

Danish people & culture

29%

Danish people & culture

Danish school system and institutions

22%

Spouse/partner social integration 30%

Personal social integration

Language

24%

Spouse/partner career opportunities

13%

Spouse/partner social integration

33% 11%

21% 10%

3%

20%

30%

40%

5% 10%

20%

30%

40%

50%

Like Looking Through a Window An innovation expert packs her bags after three tough years

On the night before coming to Denmark, Anna Kirah stayed late at the office with butterflies in her stomach and tears welling in her eyes. ”It is an emotional decision to move to a new country and leave a job you love,” Kirah, 49, says. ”I was working at Microsoft in Paris then with participatory design on projects like Windows and MSN and I loved my job, but I got the chance to come to Denmark to lead an international school for radical innovation called the 180º Academy, and it seemed too good to pass up.” There are not many people in the world who do what Kirah does. Officially, she is a Design Anthropologist. Essentially, she is an expert at helping companies become more innovative. Three years ago she packed her bags and headed for Middelfart with high hopes of sharing that expertise with Danish companies. The transition should have been seamless. Kirah is American by birth, but grew up in Asia, studied in Norway and has tra-

velled and lived all over the world in her previous jobs with Boeing and Microsoft. Her dissertation was entitled It is One Thing to Speak the Same Language; It is Another to Speak the Same Culture. She has even written books on coping strategies for culture shock and international workers. ”I never had culture shock myself until I came to Denmark,” explains Kirah, who said she slept on the floor the first three months after arriving because she couldn’t get help finding an IKEA nor getting the bed home. The practical difficulties related to being a foreigner in Denmark like tax laws and visa rules, she says, combined with a feeling of social isolation, or a sense that she will forever be looking in through a glass window, have caused to her to pack her bags once again. ”If I could give one piece of advice to foreigners it would be don’t come unless you are doing so with a global company who truly has the resources dedicated to helping you. And even then I would say double check everything with the authorities,” she

Name: Anna Kirah Stay: From 2007 to 2010 Work: Design Anthropologist

says. ”Because if something goes wrong with your tax or visa status it is you who is held responsible, not the company.” salary is not an issue Kirah, who received an expert visa status initially, is also convinced that salary should not be the primary requirement for companies in obtaining expert status for their employees. Instead, she says, companies should be able to show that they have the resources to support international experts and their families when applying for a visa. ”During the financial crisis I would happily have gone down in salary to help my company, who could not afford the expert status salary requirement, but they were forced to let me go.” And now, because Kirah has been in the country for three years, she is facing the reality of paying back three years worth of tax incentives or leaving. Her 18 year-old daughter will stay in Denmark with friends until she finishes school, but for Kirah the decision is made.

”There are a lot of wonderful people in this country and I am privileged to work with a lot of them, but this has undoubtedly been the most frustrating time of my life.” Kirah adds, saying that her next stop is Norway, where she plans to continue working with the many Danish clients and executives she advises today.

I never had culture shock myself until I came to Denmark

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Inte r n a t i o n a l C o m munity

It Takes a Focus on the Family Accompanying spouses and family are the key to retaining international employees

8


I n te r n a t i o n a l C o m m u n i ty

Half of the expats are single and the next largest segment are married to non-Danes

17% Expats’ family situation

Single 52% 52% Married/Partner to a non-Dane 31% 31%

Married/Partner to a Dane 17%

Personal career and social integration along with cost of living are the main reasons spouses would leave Denmark What makes spouses leave?

48%

Spouse/partner career opportunities 30%

Spouse/partner social integration

11%

Danish people & culture Language

30%

Danish school system and institutions

15%

Tax system

Spouses’ educational background

33%

Immigration matters or legislation

15%

Difficulties with practical matters

19%

Cost of living Work-life balance

48% 7%

Career opportunities Salary

22%

Master Degree

48%

11%

Homesickness

Other

College Education

44% 7%

Workplace/management culture

Do not know

Accompanying partners are often well-educated and could be a valuable resource for companies

44%

Personal social integration

19% PhD

7%

28%

11% 10%

20%

In early 2009, Geet Shroff arrived in Denmark from India and was quickly convinced she wanted to stay. Her fiance, a 30 year-old engineer named Shiv Kumar Lakshman had accepted a Technical Instructor position at Vestas. “I hoped that the first three months would be good time to find myself a job opportunity,” Shroff, 25, says. “It is the Danish culture and the people that made both Shiv and I extremely comfortable and I particularly appreciate the education and health system.” But today, Shroff, 25, is back in India. Lakshman remains in Randers. Shroff’s story is in many ways representative of the two most important problems families face when being stationed in Denmark: the inability for partners to find a job and difficulties integrating families socially. In fact, the number one reason for failed contracts in the Aarhus region, according to International Community’s study, is family integration issues. Forty eight percent of the respondents in the survey cited a lack of career opportunities for their spouse or partner, nearly half of whom hold a master’s degree or higher, as the most likely reason that they would leave Denmark. Forty four percent also cited difficulties related to personal social integration for spouses, who can often be forgotten in the process of welcoming expatriate families. Shroff was unable to obtain a visa because she could not prove at least two years cohabitation with Lakshman prior

30%

40%

50%

to arrival (he was travelling for Vestas, but based in India, most of that time) and because she could not find work. Getting formally married might have solved one problem, she says, but not the other. Shroff is, however, still optimistic and says she is on the telephone constantly to Denmark - still searching, and hoping, to find work. The Better Half Peter Thomsen is thankful his better half’s story unfolded for the better. Thomsen, a Purchasing Manager for Danisco from Germany, admits that finding a job for his wife, Stephanie, who is a Customer Service Assistant, also at Danisco, has made everything from moving to finding a social network easier. “It would have been much harder, probably impossible, had we not found a solution with Danisco from the very beginning,” he says, “and we are lucky in many ways because we come from just north of Hamburg. I can’t imagine how it must be for someone from India.” Jakob Fuglsig Svendsen, HR Coordinator at Danisco, says that cases like Thomsen’s are shining examples, but that they are more the exception than the rule. “We are very proud that we could make it work with Peter and Stephanie and it has benefited everyone,” he says, “but the possibility to hire the spouse only happens rarely.” Danisco has about 500 employees in Brabrand, most

10%

20%

30%

40%

50%

of whom are focused on research and development, and currently just under ten percent of them are internationals. Fuglsig describes the typical international employee as “very highly specialised in a very specific area” which could be anything from experts in emulsifiers to specialists in bio-based solutions for the food industry. Most of them, he says, do not bring their family or are single – which he sees as a testament to the difficulty of both having an international position and a family. “There is no doubt that when spouses and family are involved it takes another kind of effort for us,“ he says, “and we always have to ask ourselves: how many resources can we use and what will it take to make the project successful?” Fuglsig says Danisco does not create positions for spouses, but always looks for a need internally. “But that need must be there, and, honestly, that isn’t usually the case.” Workplaces could help one another, he says, by looking at examples abroad. “I hear from other cities that they have well-established spouse clubs, which, formally or informally, also serve as job networks and that is one of the things we expect from International Community,” he says. “Another possibility for finding jobs for spouses could be partnerships with employment agencies who create a niche for themselves by specialising in finding spouses and partners jobs.” 9


Inte r n a t i o n a l C o m munity

Details that Count Name: Anne Sheridan d from England FRom: Originally Scotland, move September 2009 ark Denm to d Move d: roun BAckg

ial atto Denmark was the lack of any spec My biggest disappointment coming mark. Den in ed d’s employer once we arriv tention given to us from my husban odamm acco ing find pany that helped with We had an excellent relocation com ed sign ren child the ing tion etc. and gett tion, opening a bank account, registra kboo tion rma info any got r but we neve up for day care. That was very helpful, num cy rgen eme ple exam For k. in Denmar lets in English with regards to living and s, cy room, how the health system work bers, where is the nearest emergen rbox have to have your name on your lette small, yet important things, like you r. loye a lack of effort from the emp at your house. There seemed to be them ional club, but you had to inform rnat inte The employer did have an artdep a such that ic mat it should be auto yourself that you were here. Surely are, k mar Den to ing mov es ign employe ment in HR would know who the fore ome welc a of bit A . help d nee may they especially with their families, and that t of contact. poin A . age pack ome welc A . nice would be

...And Then There is Me Name: Monisha Gambhir Work experience: 12 years as dietician, nutritionist and Head of Institute at VLCC BAckground: 35 years old from India – Moved to Denmark May 2009 Civil status: Married to Rajiv for 13 years and has a 10 year-old son

In May 2009, when Monisha Gambhir moved to Aarhus to join her husband, an anesthesiologist at Skejby University Hospital, she knew she was in for a big change. What she couldn’t predict is how moving from a new house in India with domestic help to a small, rented flat in northern Aarhus would leave her feeling as though she were on a sidetrack - struggling with a job search, finding a network and ensuring the well-being of her family. “My husband and son are very happy here. Rajiv loves his job and has great colleagues and is highly esteemed at the hospital and my son experiences new things everyday,” says Gambhir, whose son attends Interskolen in Viby, “so one part of the family is very happy. And then there is me. “On the one hand I love Aarhus – the city and the people. But my self-confidence is at a low point. I miss having something to get up to in the morning, and I miss having a network. I am told that Danish is the key to getting a network and a job, but, on the other hand, a job is the base of improving your Danish skills and getting friends – it is a vicious circle,” she says. After only 10 months, Gambhir has nearly completed 4 of 6 levels at the language school and speaks Danish with ease. But as the prospect of finding work in Denmark fades, so, too, does the likelihood the she will stay. The fact that Gambhir is still getting calls from her former employer in India, asking her to return to a director position, only makes it harder. “I want to give it a second chance here for the sake of my family,” she says. “I do not know where I am three years from now. I might be able to give it a second chance for a year more or so, but I need to see a light at the end of the tunnel, otherwise, I might have to go back to India with my son.”

10

A Dearth of Diversity Name: Maureen Nielsen FRom: Washington DC, USA BAckground: Moved to Denmark 2006

e, I think that Denmark is a lovely country to visit but the language challeng from ranged have policies social the and y diversit of lack ces, cultural differen of time. amusing to annoying to depressing when living here for a longer period as one same the being in It seems that many people here are more interested not be can people the of many another to the point that the towns and even told apart. in The fact that the city centre, apart from bars and restaurants, are closed lost a such like seems Sunday day all and ons afterno y the evenings, Saturda city can opportunity for the residents to enjoy and participate in things that a offer. ion An open and welcoming community along with opportunity and innovat be and niche their find ers newcom socially and in the workplaces would help city. the to skills able to contribute their ideas and

The CPR Catch-22 Name: Brandon Walker FRom: Bo’ness, Scotland BAckground: Moved to Denmark

July 2009

Overall, I have thoroughly enjoyed my time in Aarhus so far. It is a refre shingly varied city, whose pulse is easy to feel. Adjusting to any new environm ent presents challenges, and in this case , I feel that understanding Danish men tality as a whole did take a bit long er than expected. Indeed, it is an ong oing process. The biggest challenge has been con quering the CPR “Catch 22”: No CPR number, no job or residency permit. No job, no CPR number.


I n te r n a t i o n a l C o m m u n i ty

Things Take Time Name: Allison Barry Rosenlund FRom: Atlanta, USA BAckground: Moved to Denmark

2000, came for work

Overall my time here has been superio r, but there is a lack of cultural diversity – Danes are not open to other cultures , there is a lack of non-Scandinavia n food, art, music and so on. It can be very lonely when you stay for a long time, because you don’t just socialise and meet Danes and beco me their friend the next week. It take s time. Once you have the friendship it is real , and long lasting, but you don’t mak e the friendship in a day, a week or even a year. I’d advise international work ers not move to small, rural areas. Better to have a cramped home near or in a larg e city than an entire farm in the country – because you will be even more isola ted. Finally, make the effort to learn the lang uage. Yes, everyone speaks English, but if you have been here 5 years and still don’t speak Danish, you will never inte grate.

Letting Language Come First Name: Jun Yan Yang FRom: Shanghai, China May 2009 BAckground: Moved to Denmark

Chid here in Denmark so far. I come from I should say that my life is very goo e, riag mar of use beca e in Shanghai. I cam na, Shanghai, and my family is still I e. uag lang the ning lear and finding a job and the biggest challenges here are a o (als L OOC in ed work then s, half year worked in Mærsk Sealand for two and re coming here, but without knowing befo s year 6 rly nea for y) pan shipping com so I financial crisis has also been tough, the language it has been difficult. The . decided to focus on my Danish first

High Costs Hit Hard

Name: Lucy Seton-Watson FRom: Originally England, move d from Egypt BAckground: Moved to Denmark June 2007

Lumbering After a License Name: Megan Phelan FRom: Rockland, Maine, USA November 2009 BAckground: Moved to Denmark

The greatest shock was financial. The cost of living is unbelievably, that read s unbelievably, high, and what look like good salaries are not as good as they look. It takes a long time for spouses to find work here, and family life on one salary is not viable. Our living standard has plummeted. Families need a highly realistic sens e of how much things cost here and what their living standard will be. Children will be in safe hands at the internat ional school, and families will gain an inva luable network there. And while ever yone should learn Danish and join in with local festivals – Fastelavn and Danish Christmas – and have fun, internat ionals will probably feel happiest with other internationals. It is very important to find those other internationals.

mark and I have faced since arriving in Den The biggest challenge my husband ing license. The two of us have been driv would be obtaining a Danish driving ugh thro g past few months and now goin around with our Danish permit for the ns and the practical exam. The questio the process of taking the verbal exam rly clea is test the t cult to understand wha are worded in such a way that it is diffi stating. Every is not knowing how to read Danish. Personally, the biggest challenge er. pap the ing read plan just or ing errands day, I am out grocery shopping, runn read slate the words, however the ease of There are multiple resources to tran am I ing, past, and through language train ing is difficult. As the months have by. get able to understand a few words to 11


Inte r n a t i o n a l C o m munity

c cu rea a l ltu tin ea re g t de is ha rs u t hi lti p i ma ss te ue ly

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Integration in the workplace is more about culture than structure

When it comes to resources for helping international workers and their families, companies in Eastern Jutland are either all the way in, or all the way out. That is the conclusion of International Community’s study, in which 38 percent of HR managers and personnel directors answered that they have no personnel dedicated to managing international workers. The second largest group, 31 percent, were companies with more than one – and sometimes several – HR employees focusing solely on the issues like recruitment, tax and visa rules and ensuring practical matters fall into place. No matter the organisational or HR structure, one of the most important things is that the immediate colleagues, those who are nearest in the daily work, learn what is important and how to help, says Henrik Andersen, who works with strategic and change management and is a partner at consulting firm Hildebrandt & Brandi. “Like so many other things creating that culture is ultimately a leadership issue,” he says. “It has to be clear what’s in it for the colleagues and even though they may understand it on a rational level, it has to really speak to their feelings in order to get them to change.” Measurement is also an area where Andersen sees a need for greater focus. Companies are willing to spend large amounts of money on recruiting, but fail to follow up by looking at how much value for money they get out of the recruitment. “If companies don’t know how often contracts fail or why they fail then they should really think about why they are spending the money on it in the first place,” he says. Size is not everything With around 47 billion in annual revenue and over 16,000 worldwide employees, the dairy giant Arla is indisputably one of the regions biggest companies. Michael Bjerrum, 12

Senior Director for Corporate HR at Arla Foods, is responsible for making sure his company has the right structures in place to support international staff, which include members of Arla’s top leadership. “It is a challenge in a company as big as ours,“ he says. “Just to put it into perspective, Arla’s Swedish division is larger than all of Lego. Companies like Grundfos and Danfoss are the same size as a single Arla business unit.” Arla, Bjerrum says, has just two full-time employees dedicated to helping international workers across the 30 countries in which Arla operates. He adds though, that as is often the case with companies like Arla, not all resources are based in a single HR department. ”I would say we are somewhere near the middle in terms of resources,” he adds. ”Sheer size is not the only factor in building the right kind of HR organisation and it is really more about culture than about how many people are there to support it,” Bjerrum says. ”If the management of the company is internationally diverse and there is a focus in each department on making it work from day-to-day those are probably better measures. That is, at least, the challenge for us at Arla.” Activating all employees One of the concrete things Arla is working with is getting its Danish employees in each department to make a habit of speaking English conversationally in the workplace. Bjerrum says that Arla is testing out a new e-learning program called EnglishTown, which gives 24-hour, online access to advanced English courses to those employees who have internationals in their department. “Another of the things we have to continually work with is keeping the mindset that we have to adapt to the society that Arla is a part of and not vice versa. And that society is international.”

More than one third of the companies do not have any employees assigned to manage international workers

Personnel dedicated to international workers

One part-time employee

13%

One full-time employee

18%

More than one full-time employee

31%

None

38%

10%

20%

30%

40%


I n te r n a t i o n a l C o m m u n i ty

Top reasons why expats would stay

International Community’s

10tips

for retention

Retention starts with recruiting

If at all possible, invite the employee and family on a recruiting trip. Tackle the housing issue during the visit and try to present some choices - there is nothing worse than living in a hotel when starting a stay in a new country, especially for a family. Be honest about expectations during the visit and avoid seeing the future through rose-coloured glasses.

Assign a “fixer”

Although several HR staff members may be required on the project, assign one contact person through the entire recruitment period that the employee respects and trusts. Make this person the primary contact throughout the employe e’s stay – also for the employee’s family.

Small changes make a big difference

boards and Walk with a critical eye through your company and notice signs, bulletin party summer y’s compan the to posters. Take a look at the intranet. Are invitations These es? telephon the using for ons instructi about What announced only in Danish? e adjust. small changes will make a world of difference in helping a new employe

It takes expats only 8 weeks to decide to stay or leave

Work-life balance

52%

Standard of living

56 %

Career opportunities

38%

Workplace/management culture

33%

Salary

34%

10%

20%

30%

40%

50%

60%

Four of the top five reasons expats give when asked what would make them stay in Denmark are company-related

Paperwork for taxes, driving license registration and finding a doctor can be especially tiring upon arrival. Help by having a checklist ready during the welcoming period and stick to it. International Community’s One Stop Shop is a good place to start. Remember to hold short evaluations, where openness and honesty prevail and make sure to hold at least one social event during the first 8 weeks.

Think inside the box, too

office, from the management to caMake sure that everyone inside the new employee. Remember it is not feteria staff, are informed about the has to adapt to a new situation, and who only the international employee n easier for everyone. joining forces will make the transitio

Stay focused on the family

Remember that problems with integ ration of family members are the number one reason for failed contracts - not only in Denmark, but internationally. If the family doesn’t plan to move to Denmark, try to identify and discuss potential hardships and mut ual solutions.

Create networks

emTake part in a network with other companies that work with international ge. knowled share and ideas share ces, experien other’s each from Learn ployees. spouses help also will network a Such Invite each other’s expats to social events. and partners find job opportunities.

Mentor Consider offering your new employee a professional mentor. Remember though that mentoring is based upon a professional relationship and should be different than a “fixer” as mentioned above.

Diversity management

pany culture. Ree, improve innovation and enrich com International employees create valu s and visions are an expat and make sure that their idea member why you’ve chosen to hire . bility management responsi cultivated and recognised. That is a

International alumnae are great ambassadors The departure phase is as important as the welcome phase. Document why international employees leave and where they go. Keep in touch through social medias like LinkedIn – the minute they leave they are ambassadors for life.

Diversity From the Bottom Up Name: Lisbet Thyge Frandsen company: Grundfos position: Group Senior Vice President, People and Strategy

Lisbet Thyge Frandsen immigrated to Aarhus 14 years ago. All the way from Copenhagen. And that, she admits, ”was very strange.” ”The Danish culture is very open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.,” says Frandsen, who is Group Senior Vice President for People and Strategy at Grundfos. ”But when people drive home they forget all about their colleagues. That’s why I still feel like a foreigner in Aarhus, and it is one of the less flattering things in the Danish culture. We simply have to be better at this if we are going to be more innovative and get the most from our international resources.” At Grundfos, Frandsen says, the value of a diverse workforce is that it means improved innovation. And so there is an aspect that goes beyond just finding specialists with specific expertise. Diversity equals innovation. For many years, diversity has been about achieving a gender balance or sometimes an age balance, she says, but today it also includes managing a global workforce. ”Actually, it requires the same kind of leadership skills,” Frandsen says. ”I don’t think one is more difficult than another. If we want to do it the right way, managing the gender issue is the same as managing for internationals. Gender is one aspect of diversity and culture is another and that is what we are talking about here.” “Companies don’t need to be life managers, but I think they should make sure there are openings and activities, things put in place, to make sure people get a good start in the environment around the job.” And sometimes, she notes, the best initiatives don’t come from management at all. ”It is about supporting and enabling as much as controlling. We had an employee several years ago who recognised this problem amongst his fellow employees and did something about it. He started the Rød Grød med Fløde Club, which exists to this day as a social network for expats in Grundfos, and I do believe this kind of informal, but supported, network is making a difference.”

13


Inte r n a t i o n a l C o m munity

Aarhus tends to think of itself as the second largest city in Denmark. I think that is the wrong perspective. We are an important European city, we have an important European University... Kristian Thorn, International Director, Aarhus University

It’s About Telling the Good Story Creativity and branding are also a part of internationalisation

Ask Steffen Gulmann what Aarhus needs to become more international and the answer is neither airports nor eateries. ”Radicalism is the word I would put high on my list,” says Gulmann. “Aarhus needs a radical process. A radical will.” Gulmann, Professor at Copenhagen Business School and Manging Director at 11CityDesign, has seen small cities go from being international backwaters to boomtowns. And it all starts, and ends, with people. In all examples, he says, the cities relied on creativity and a small, but empowered, group of people for fundamental change. ”I look at the city of Manchester which once stood in Aarhus’ position,” he says. ”When it wanted to redefine itself, it hired Peter Saville, who is one of England’s most famous graphic designers, gave him the title ‘Creative Director of the City’ and let him go crazy.” Gulmann believes that it is possible for Aarhus to begin thinking less like “Denmark’s second biggest city” and more like a small cosmopolitan city in its own right. Many of the standard marks of an international city, like a major university, a highly educated workforce and access to venture capital, he points out, are already present in Aarhus. Art as an International Language ”One of the things that also builds an international atmosphere is art. It is a universal language. In Aarhus you have

14

finally got an art museum of some status and pride but now are in small political fights over one million or two million in funding. The fight over the Vanddragen sculpture in the town square is another example. This shows how provincial the mindset is and you miss the point totally if you want to become an international city. ”If you want to attract international families, help them to identify with the city, and be proud of the city once they arrive then you have to speak their language,” Gulmann says. Speaking to international audiences is Greg Clark’s specialty and he agrees with Gulmann. “Yes, it is completely possible to make a city more international,” he says, “but changes have to happen on a fundamental level and you have to give Aarhus a personality, something people can identify with. You have to tell a good story.” Clark, who is from Britain, is an internationally renowned expert on city branding who has visited Aarhus and, he says, even discussed the issue with Mayor Nicolai Wammen. The Visitor Economy “One way of telling this story could be by focusing on ’visitor economy’ through events like festivals, sports championships and business conventions,” he says. ”That is different than leisure tourism, which many focus on. The

visitor economy is always important in building an international environment and attracting more long-term interest and opening people’s eyes to issues like quality of life and standard of living in the region.” And it is exactly those issues that respondents to International Community’s survey ranked highest when asked what factors would be most likely to convince them to stay in the region. Fifty six percent of international families named standard of living as the most compelling reason for them to stay and other societal factors like the Danish people and culture and public healthcare also ranked high. ”It is important to listen to people first in order to develop a solid creative idea,” Clark adds. “Generally speaking, what makes a city international for businesses is not always the same as what makes it international for people – that’s why these things have to be thought through. And a brand platform must be something that speaks to investors as well as individuals.”


I n te r n a t i o n a l C o m m u n i ty

Aarhus Calling

Brain Circulation

Name: Charles Thiam From: Bornheim, Germany Background: Moved to Denmark january 2010

Since March 2009, Kristian Thorn, 35, has been International Director at Aarhus University, the city’s largest employer of international workers – by far – whose students and staff represent over 42 different nationalities.

Charles Thiam had several job opportunities last year, but when it was time to decide, he chose Denmark. ”Aarhus is an interesting city with a lot to offer my family,” says Thiam, a German Six Sigma MBB specialist in quality management who has been working at Vestas since the first of the year. Thiam, who comes from Bornheim, a city between Bonn and Cologne, is optimistic about the future, but also points out there are several obstacles a family has to overcome when moving to Denmark. “Spouses have to give up their job and children have to change school system. We also had to sell the old house and are about to find a new one, where we would like to settle and build a new social network. There are many things that have to be coped with under a tight schedule.” He is waiting for his wife and three sons to join him this spring and says they are looking forward to Aarhus’ diverse mix of nature, culture, city life and sports. Once they arrive, he says, he plans to move from Hammel closer to Aarhus and the family is looking for a home near Egaa. Among other interests high on the family’s list is basketball, and Thiam has begun following the Bakken Bears with plans for taking his sons to games later in the year. But, he says, he also looks forward to the nature, culture, and city life of Aarhus, all of which are important factors for his family. ”My family is looking forward to pursuing various activities – that is one of the quickest and easiest ways to meet new friends in a city like Aarhus,” he says. ”One of my sons will be starting at an independent boarding school and the other two boys will attend the reception classes in the Danish public school system until they are ready to start in normal classes. They are already learning Danish at home in Germany and are much better at it than I am,” says Thiam with a smile.

Of the 386 respondents in International Community’s survey, 44 percent are researchers and a large proportion of them are affiliated with Aarhus University. For Thorn, that is no surprise, because he says the university is truly a hub for international life in Aarhus. He recognises that while the University is the region’s largest magnet for internationals, it is also dependent upon the city having a varied and rich cultural life. And that will require every last individual in the community, he says, especially business and governmental institutions. In his short tenure, Thorn has been trying to do his part from the university side, which has expanded from a small international secretariat to an entire International Centre. And, he says, a new building for the centre and an intensified focus on helping researchers and their families are on the way. “Some tend to think that when the researchers leave Aarhus it is a loss and that perspective needs to be changed,” he says. “These researchers become excellent research partners for us on a running basis and tend to send their own top students back to Aarhus to have the same experiences. So we think a little more global in terms of brain circulation instead of just looking at it as a brain drain when someone leaves Aarhus.” That is the approach behind the university’s internationalisation strategy, says Thorn. The goal is for Aarhus University to become a cradle for the most elite researchers in the world early in their career. “Brain circulation,” he says, is the key concept for both the business and academic world and will help to build a more robust international flavour to the city over time. “I think we have been rather reactive in the past,” he says. “We have been looking at what others did and following the stream. We do not necessarily need to know that other initiatives have taken place elsewhere to start them and in that sense we are doing a lot of things. I hope other organisations in the region can learn from this.”

Social factors are highlighted by expat families when asked what would convince them to stay in Denmark

Career opportunities and pay issues are the top considerations for workers when considering an international job

Social factors for staying in Denmark

Expats’ considerations before moving to Denmark

56%

Standard of living 14%

Childcare

12%

Cultural activities

7%

Leisure activities for children

13%

Leisure activities for adults

17%

Danish school system and institutions Taxation Do not know Other

2% 3% 11% 10%

20%

3,8

Salary

3,8 3,7

30%

3,5

Danish school system and institutions

31%

Danish people & culture

3,9

Standard of living

Taxation

23%

Healthcare

Career opportunities

40%

50%

60%

Healthcare

3,4

Workplace/management culture

3,4

Work-life balance

3,1

Leisure activities for children

3,0

Leisure activities for adults

3,0

Danish people & culture

2,8

Art, music and other cultural offers

2,7 1 Not important at all

2

3

4

5 Very important

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Inte r n a t i o n a l C o m munity

Securing the Pipeline Where there is a radical will, there is a way

Workplaces in business region Aarhus have identified the need. International workers and their families have candidly shared their concerns. Now is the time to act. Through International Community’s survey and through the course of reporting for these articles, the challenge has become clear: In the global economy, sustaining the talent pipeline is more important than ever. Attracting and integrating key international workers and, especially, their families, will keep that pipeline flowing and ensure regional businesses of all sizes can compete, innovate and grow in the years to come. Doing so, however, will require what Steffen Gulmann from 11CityDesign calls “A radical will” if we are to address the areas where the region can do better. Government, businesses, educational institutions, and interest organisations alike must be willing to make difficult decisions and take unprecedented steps to make our region a more attractive choice for international families to work and live. And in fact, to truly make it work, each individual citizen and co-worker must also take part. “There is no one way of doing internationalisation,” the renowned city branding expert Greg Clark told us, “and that is really the challenge for Aarhus, finding its own way.” All the Small Things Some challenges can’t be solved and others are too big to be solved overnight. Interestingly, however, many of the issues most important to international workers and their families didn’t have to do with sweeping social or cultural reform. And no one mentioned the climate. Instead, it was often small things that plagued international families: the cumbersome process of obtaining a driving license, recognition of foreign educations, availability of basic information from utilities and schools in English and the lack of an international high school in Aarhus. These are all challenges that can be solved quickly, if the radical will is in place. Even changes to the current 3- and 5-year tax wall, which forces workers to pay back tax incentives if there knowledge is required on a longer term basis, could be 16

adopted with a surge in political will. Four of the top five reasons expats give when asked what would make them stay in Denmark are company-related. This means that businesses and workplaces play a direct role, too. Areas like work-life balance, career opportunities, salary and workplace culture are decisive factors for workers when considering whether to stay. Several workplaces, governmental units and other institutions are working on these issues. In order to make progress, they must pull in the same direction on key issues and speak with a common voice. Bottom-up Research from all over the world shows that family integration is the single most important factor for ensuring success with international workers. And here, Denmark and the Aarhus region in particular has some unique challenges. “Workplaces in general are very open minded in Denmark, at least between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m., but once people get in their cars in the parking lot, they forget all about their colleagues,” says Grundfos’ Lisbet Thyge Frandsen in a refrain that we have heard from both workers and HR leaders. International families named standard of living, the Danes and Danish culture as some of the best things about living here but many of them feel isolated. Ensuring families have the resources and opportunity to integrate is a task that must be taken up by every citizen and every employee in the region. As Michael Bjerrum from Arla points out, a workplace’s strategic efforts are only as good as the execution in the individual departments and the efforts of the individual employees. So, too, is the case in society as a whole, where we all have a responsibility. Global Mobility is now National borders have become nearly transparent in moving goods and services and, now, the barriers for moving human knowledge and talent are fading as well. During the financial crisis, for instance, places like China and Hong Kong saw a huge influx of financial experts from

the West. According to the National Institute for Education Planning and Administration in India, the country has doubled its budget for public educational programs since 2002 and last year, nearly 700,000 new engineers and scientists graduated from Indian universities – as opposed to 470,000 in the entire EU. As Professor Adrian Favell from Aarhus University points out, workforce mobility and an uncanny ability to integrate outsiders continues to make the United States the preferred destination for the world’s most talented scientists and engineers. Add to this the impending retirement of the baby boom generation and the fact that population trends are on the decrease in Denmark and across Europe and the challenge becomes clear: The time is now to find that radical will and secure the pipeline for tomorrow’s top global talent.

Name: Peter Kjær Company: Erhverv Århus Position: Chairman of the Board


I n te r n a t i o n a l C o m m u n i ty

Utilise Families in the Workforce Spouses and partners of international workers can be a good source of specialised labour for companies in the region. Seventy six percent of them hold a master’s degree or higher and most offer a breadth of language skills and international experience. Intra-business networks can help identify this source of untapped talent.

Integrate International Education Ensuring a full international education for children of all ages from pre-school through senior high school is key to helping families integrate. The system must be integrated with international programs at the universities.

Contribute to Social Activities Access and information about social and cultural activities in the region must be improved. Volunteer clubs and organisations are a backbone of social life in Denmark. Both the public and private sector must lend economic and human resources to help these organisations.

Future Focus Ease the Bureaucracy Improving the small tasks related to establishing residency can make a big difference. International families usually know if they are going to stay or leave within 8 weeks of arrival. Meeting one bureaucratic process after the next is frustrating, time consuming and isolating. There needs to be better information and guidelines in English from the Danish Authorities.

Topple the Tax Wall The current 3- and 5-year tax wall, which forces workers to pay back tax incentives, must be revamped. Making the taxation schemes more flexible will remove one of the primary obstacles for attracting highly skilled workers. and increase the likelihood of them settling on a long-term basis.

Instil the Mindset Public and private organisations must work to ensure an international mindset in the individual departments and with the individual employee. The best strategic initiatives go to waste if they are not understood and executed every day, by every person.

Tell the Good Story The Aarhus region must find a unique brand platform that speaks to the world. This will require a radical will, empowerment of key people and ways of thinking and executing that are more international than Danish.

17


Inte r n a t i o n a l C o m munity

International Community International Community was established in 2008 at Erhverv Ă…rhus (the Aarhus Chamber of Commerce) and was the result of a strong initiative by Vestas, Danisco, Terma, Aarhus University and the City of Aarhus. Since then, Arla Foods and Bestseller have joined the advisory board, and today we count more than 850 members including companies, international employees, accompanying family members and international Danes.

18

We offer services for both companies and international workers. Company membership includes support for recruiting and retaining international employees. You can, for instance, share knowledge and gain new insight in working with international labour at our morning seminars. We also act as an extended HR department by offering practical assistance for your international employees and providing them with social and professional networks, newsletters, online information and events.


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Profile for International Community

Insight & Influence  

International Community works with companies in Eastern Jutland to provide resources in recruiting and retaining international labour. Insig...

Insight & Influence  

International Community works with companies in Eastern Jutland to provide resources in recruiting and retaining international labour. Insig...

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