The Danish Machine

Entered by Copenhagen Capacity [Credits: Talent to Denmark | COPUS]

Danish companies are struggling to find enough talented engineers and tech developers to join their teams. Attracting more internationals will not only create growth, but also bring more diversity to workplaces and Denmark in general. But it’s difficult for to get the attention of talent living abroad, particularly when they may not have heard of many smaller Danish companies or even know much about Denmark! This is also a very sought-after group and most are “passive jobseekers” i.e. not necessarily looking for a new job.

The team gathered a group of companies with similar recruitment needs under one place brand: State of Denmark. Even when these companies were competitors, they realised the strength in working together to attract international talent. 

Attracting talent to Denmark

Focus groups established that the target audience are driven by understanding, developing, and improving systems, and by having responsibility and making an impact. The challenge was to speak to this group’s love for systems AND tell the story of Denmark as a well-oiled machine with an extensive welfare system, low bureaucracy, the culture of trust, excellent infrastructure, etc. and the team came up with a creative concept: The Danish Machine – which showcases Denmark as an incredible and valued machine with features that allow for a free and happy (work)life but that also needs input and maintenance.

The core creative film cast international engineers working in Denmark with a short-term goal of generating relevant email leads and a long-term goal of branding Denmark as an attractive career destination. To reach the passive job-seeking audience, the campaign focused on social media, as opposed to running ads on job portals and the ads were targeted to an audience based on job titles, skills, and location (35 countries across 4 continents) – all built on input from the hiring companies.

The email campaign focussed on both new leads and leads from previous campaigns and included inspiring stories and facts about life in Denmark, ending with a list of jobs relevant to the recipient. Campaign ads and emails led to an interactive site about life in Denmark.

Longer-term email nurturing is a central part of the team’s talent attraction strategy, and their experience suggests that a large proportion of the job applicants are people who have been in their database for a long time but only now feel ready to act on their dream of moving to Denmark. On that basis, most of the media budget was allocated to generating new leads that can be nurtured over time and on a retargeting strategy, exposing this campaign to existing leads who had already shown an interest.

Delivering against KPIs

The campaign way exceeded its key objectives and expected results. For example, there have been 2,803 job applications 154% higher than the KPI. The campaign delivered the lowest cost per lead ever achieved in a State of Denmark talent attraction campaign and between 10 and 15 ‘hires’ are expected as a result, on a media spend of 53,000 EUR. With every attracted international contributing approx. 19,000 EUR to Denmark’s finances each year, this is regarded as an excellent investment!

Do you have a great story to tell around your approach to talent attraction? Or maybe you refreshed your design or citizen engagement strategy? Discover how you can be a winner at the City Nation Place Awards here.

The Place Brand Portfolio is City Nation Place's searchable portfolio of Awards case studies from the past five years.