The Slovenia Times

Not only companies but also countries are competing for the top talent



How favorable are the Slovenian labour market and regulatory environment for enticing international, high-performing individuals to emigrate to Slovenia?

In my opinion, we face competition not only at the company and country level, but already between continents for top talent. Top talent is scarce, negative demography stipulates this fact and countries are spending a lot of time and resources demonstrating why they are attractive for living, and how an individual can develop a successful career there. Slovenia is, unfortunately, losing this battle as we are slow, not innovative and because we are a small market and niche companies are far from the preferred choice. We also have a very small diaspora, which is usually the first factor for creating interest for expatriates. I personally am not very optimistic that we can change the trend in the short term. Long term planning and many positive signals are necessary before you can convince international talent to move to Slovenia.

Does Slovenia gain or lose from relocation?

Slovenia is attractive for living but not so much for an international business career. The domestic market is small, our best or largest companies are afraid and not very open to international talent and it is hard to integrate if you are moving with a family. Top talent with diplomas from top schools, seek major career challenges which Slovenian companies cannot provide. This is a fact! In addition, taxation is far from competitive and therefore, combined, the result is in a very small number of highly-talented people moving to Slovenia. We often think that beautiful nature and a good and safe location in Europe are enough. They are excellent for retirement but not for high performing individuals who are looking for high calibre business challenges.

Digitisation, automation and advances in AI disrupt the world of work on the one hand, while according to PwC "the 'yellow world' is a world where humanness is highly valued" What is the Human Resource response to these trends?

A lot of research and magazines have recently reported about Artificial Intelligence, but we are yet to see whether the results will only be negative. I am sure that AI will change our lives dramatically, but will it also open the space for new professions, will some dangerous professions be able to be more secure etc.... We need to adapt and evolve, but as computers change our world for better, I am sure that humans ensure that technology works for and not against us.

What are your thoughts on the concept of a universal basic income and Finland's two year experiment until the end of 2018, from both the labour market and meaningful job perspectives?

In my opinion, everybody should earn enough for a decent living. The differences in society are becoming too wide and we should find ways to somehow get a balance, otherwise conflicts will be more radical and frequent. The universal basic income is a nice idea if it is not abused by certain groups. Fairness needs to be demonstrated and it can probably work. Countries are already spending significant amounts on social transfers, which leads me to believe that it is in their interest to create a sustainable environment for everybody. UBI is just the next phase in this development.


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