Amélie Drouet is a Communications Specialist at HEADSTARTCareer, an international talent attraction programme in Central Denmark. A few years ago, Amélie relocated from France to Denmark.
How can non-capital cities and regions attract and retain international talent? How is life beyond the capital cities? What can be done to activate local expats in the promotion of a place as a career destination?
Personal stories can make a difference, especially when talking about relocation. Sharing experiences from real people can encourage others to consider a similar path. According to the Global Trust Barometer 2019, 61% of people trust others they can relate to. 78% of people find that stories from employees make them want to apply in that company, according to Envision. Enter HEADSTART ambassadors, a network that was established to support HEADSTART’s work with career place branding in Central Denmark. The ambassadors in the network are expats who share personal stories on social media about living and working in Central Denmark. The goal is to attract international specialists to local companies through peer-to-peer communication. Encouraging ambassadors to actively share their experiences on their personal profiles allows for authentic and trustworthy stories, even conversations.
Why work with talent attraction?
Let us pause for a moment and consider what we are dealing with here. Companies need talent, cities can help. But ultimately, in this business we are talking about individuals. Making a move to another city, let alone another country is a complex and huge endeavour. Surely, it can be a positive thing and a new experience. One needs to be sensitive and mindful of the potential difficult situations people may go through. For many, moving to a new city or country can be an adventure. For some, a necessity, a compromise, a risk, a headache of finding an apartment, kindergarden, school or building a network. For nearly all, an emotional decision of moving away from friends and family and trying to make new friends. This is the stuff of life. These are also the hard factors that ultimately will make or break a company’s hiring decision. What roles can and should cities and the public sector play in this?
Amélie has been developing the network, testing different strategies to recruit, encourage, motivate and help ambassadors in telling their stories. There are several concrete cases of international candidates who discovered Central Denmark through the efforts of ambassadors on social media. This has also resulted in people actually moving to Central Denmark. These results are the fruit of systematic communication to build and nurture relations, as well as nudge people into taking action by posting on their social media. To give a taste, this can be broadly broken down into three categories. 1) Engaging ambassadors in sharing personal experiences on social media 2) Engaging companies in branding collaboration 3) Leading the way as network manager.
Amélie will talk about how to lead and bring an international talent ambassador network to life, with real results.