4 European Cities That Are Hotbeds for Untapped Talent
Finding new talent to join your team can be difficult. What are the chances that you will find the right person -- someone with great ideas who immediately clicks with the rest of the team -- in the same city your company is located? If you live in a big city such as London or Berlin, you might have a good chance. But why limit yourself?
My team is made of great people from all over the world. Some of us work remotely but we chat every day and meet up once in a while. Hiring people from different countries and cultures have really enriched my company -- we have different perspectives, backgrounds and experiences so as a team we can get very creative when working together on a project.
As a digital nomad, visiting new places and moving countries every few months, I have a great opportunity to look for new talent all over the world. What I found is that you don’t always have to go far to find extraordinary people to join your team -- you just need to know where to look.
1. Stockholm, Sweden
We have all heard about Sweden -- beautiful nature, creative, open-minded people and famous Swedish design. But you'd be foolish to think that is all Sweden to has to offer.
Did you know that Stockholm, the capital city of Sweden, was ranked the second most prolific tech hub in the world right after Silicon Valley? According to Bloomberg, it’s the second most innovative city in the world.
If you’re looking for some tech talent, it might be a good idea to book your ticket to Sweden. The country has focused on opening new schools and institution to produce more STEM-focused (science, technology, engineering, mathematics) specialists. With almost 200,000 tech workers in Stockholm alone, you can be sure to find some incredible talent to join your team if you’re in need of some extraordinary engineers, mathematicians or scientists.
Swedes have inspiring and modern approaches to work. They want to be more than just an employee -- it is important for them to be a part of something bigger and meaningful, so they really commit to the projects they work on. At the same time they make sure to keep a healthy work-life balance, keeping them excited about work and happy about life (you might have heard about the Swedish idea to implement six-hour working days).
2. Kiev, Ukraine
Kiev, the capital of Ukraine, might not be the first city that comes to mind when thinking about European hotbeds for talent. But there is a reason why outsourcing is one of the most mature sectors of the IT industry in Ukraine -- there are about 166,000 IT specialists and the Ukrainian IT industry is expected to reach $10 billion in value by 2020.
It is important to remember that this potential can be used for so much more than just outsourcing. The Ukrainian startup scene is starting to take off. Technovator Wireless Charger, TripMyDream and PetCube are among the most successful Ukrainian startups of 2018.
This boom of IT companies and developers was partly due to favorable government policies which led to cancelling VAT for IT companies and reducing their employees’ income tax rate to a symbolic 5 percent.
The reason for such a high number of IT and tech experts is also partly due to truly reasonable costs of education and the number of schools (402 universities and colleges). Obtaining a higher education degree in Ukraine costs significantly less than in the U.S. or other parts of Europe.
3. Tallinn, Estonia
If you have never been to Estonia before, I recommend you go. This not-so-well-known country is not only beautiful but offers some really exciting and unusual things to do (have you ever had a chance to visit an underwater prison before?).
But if you are an entrepreneur, there is another reason why you should put a trip to Estonia on your agenda. Estonia is a hotbed for startups -- apparently it only takes about five minutes to register a new company there. This small country, with population of only 1.3 million, holds third place regarding the highest number of startups per capita. That tells you something about Estonia’s potential.
The capital city of Tallinn offers entrepreneurs one of the deepest pools of technical talent per person compared to any European capital. For proof look at Skype, Starship Technologies, Teleport or Pipedrive.
The three fastest growing sectors in Estonia are location services, electronics and hardware and engineering and technology. Estonian specialists also include data scientists, system analysts, front-end developers and, most importantly, cybersecurity experts. Other countries could learn a lot from Estonia about e-government and cybersecurity too.
4. Valletta, Malta
Up until recently, Malta was usually considered a great holiday destination. With nice beaches, good weather and interesting history it is a perfect place to relax. But these days Malta is also known for something else -- it’s now referred to as the "Blockchain Island."
In recent years the Maltese government has proved to be forward thinking. New laws and blockchain-friendly regulations introduced last year, created a haven for Crypto companies to grow and develop in Malta. Many of the top crypto exchanges have already relocated to this sunny island.
This means that some of the best of the blockchain and tech talent is heading to Malta or is already there. If you come with the right approach, it is impossible not to make great connections and find your new talent in Malta.
The University of Malta, the highest educational institution in Malta, is a European hotbed of blockchain and AI talent. Many of the lecturers are internationally recognized experts specializing in artificial intelligence, technology and cyber law. Some of them have been key advisors and worked closely with the Maltese government to create modern policies and regulations.
Malta will also soon be the first country in Europe with a nationwide 5G-ready network. Maltese people will be the first ones to enjoy the newest and most advanced mobile network. This small country is extremely forward-thinking making a great use of their AI, tech and law talents.