Covid-19 has not stopped growth in the Danish tech ecosystem, but demand for talent is serious roadblock
A new survey from Digital Hub Denmark shows that the need for digital talent among Danish companies has significantly increased since the spring of 2020. As of Q2 2021, the Danish demand for digital talent is 22 per cent higher than before the pandemic. While many companies continued to thrive during Covid-19, they have struggled to find the talent they need to continue to scale, which has negatively impacted the startup ecosystem.
As the Danish government lifts the very last restrictions and declares that Covid-19 is no longer a socially critical disease, we take stock of the need for hiring tech talent. A recent survey shows that after one and a half years of the pandemic forced businesses to adapt to the new normal, restrictions have not slowed down the need for digital talent as the demand surpasses the level prior to Covid-19.
Looking at the period from prior to the pandemic to the second quarter of 2021, the demand for digital integrator profiles has increased the most (22 per cent more job ads), while the demand for digital specialist profiles has increased the least (3 per cent). Following the pandemic outbreak, the demand for digital talent decreased significantly to its lowest value, reached in Q2 2020. But since Q2 2020, the need for digital talent has significantly surged, with the demand for integrator profiles doubling and specialist profiles increasing by 70 per cent.
Camilla Rygaard, Hjalsted, the CEO of Digital Hub Denmark, explains:
“Covid-19 was a shock to all of us, and we looked into a time of high uncertainty. But this survey shows that Danish companies displayed the ability to embrace change and move quickly to adapt to the new normal. With a record influx of capital from foreign direct investments and national support, the lack of talent is today the biggest barrier for growth. So we are thrilled to see that Danish companies are today hiring at a higher level than before the pandemic.”
A testament to the massive growth is the Danish company Contractbook. The company secured both a Series A and Series B investment from international investors during the Covid-19 pandemic. They are now looking to hire 60 employees in Denmark over the next year.
“The increased competition for the best digital talents shows the massive growth of Danish tech startups. This is, in fact, a major success story. As a result, more people should look for work in tech. It’s a booming industry, and Denmark is on the forefront of innovation, so now is a perfect time to join one of Denmark’s successful business adventures,” says Niels Martin Brøchner, CEO and co-founder of Contractbook.
Denmark has a need for more talent
The survey shows an increase of 16 per cent over four years in the total population of the Danish digital talent pool. But according to Frederik Lysgaard Vind, Head of People and Culture in the Danish health tech startup Nøie, the startup is experiencing are talent shortage from the Danish talent pool. “Denmark is for many reasons an amazing country to live in and operate a business from, but unfortunately, especially tech talent accessibility is no longer one of the reasons. Since we raised our Series A funding at the beginning of 2021, we have doubled in size, and the growth has only begun. We are growing in all business areas, but it is no secret that we especially experience a talent shortage within tech talent. Therefore, attracting top international tech talent has become a key strategic priority at Nøie.”
Hiring talent from abroad
Job ads targeted at digital talents are far more often written in a foreign language (other languages than Danish, most often English) than job ads targeted at other academics. This indicates that the search for digital talent is mainly targeted at foreigners. The demand for international digital specialists has risen by 200 per cent since 2010 in Denmark, and the demand for international integrators has almost doubled.
“Attracting international talent is one of the key strategic priorities. Our efforts start internally by creating a truly diverse and inclusive culture followed by a broad range of attraction initiatives, from participating in campaigns with Digital Hub Denmark to direct outreach to potential talent. Lastly, we, of cause do our utmost to ensure a smooth relocation for the talent we do bring in,” says Frederik Lysgaard Vind.
Image courtesy of Contractbook