The Slovenia Times

Attracting talent depends on broader ecosystem

Exclusive contentFDI Summit
A panel debate on the competitiveness of the Slovenian economy held as part of the FDI Slovenia Summit 2023.
Photo: Bor Slana/STA

Attracting and retaining the right talent is a major challenge for companies, where well-thought-out and targetted measures are needed. Meanwhile, the role of the state is to create an attractive environment by acting fast, flexibly and responsively, one of the FDI Summit debates was told on 28 February.

One problem of Slovenia's labour market is a gap between retirement and entering the labour market, and the other is complicated administrative procedures for foreign workers, said Tilen Prah, CEO and founder of Kariera, a human resources services provider. Another issue is that society in general has reservations about foreign labour force.

Rebecca Koch, chief people officer at DB Schenker Europe, noted that Slovenia is not the only country looking for labour force. One thing that should be born in mind is that competition to attract staff is fierce.

When a country wants to promote what it has to attract foreign talent it should realise that people do not come only for a job, they come for a life, a nice lifestyle. This entails many factors and decision-makers sometimes forget about some of those aspects. A competitive economy can only be part of a comprehensively functioning society.

Boštjan Gorjup, managing director of BSH Hišni aparati Nazarje, part of the German household appliances making group BSH, agreed, pointing to the issue of housing. If an expert cannot afford a suitable apartment, they will look for opportunities elsewhere, he said.

One of his main principles in running the company is that every talent should be encouraged. "If people desire career development, we will do everything in our power to support them," he said.

Babett Stapel, CEO of Fraport Slovenija, shared her experience looking for the right staff. One of the major issues has been shift work, which has been successfully addressed. The company trains its staff itself, which involves a lot of planning.

Igor Papič, the minister of higher education, science and innovation, said labour challenges affected not just Slovenia but the whole Europe. "The government has clear targets in this area, the only question is how fast they can be attained."

Slovenian universities can provide good enough education, the problem is a lack of interest among young people in certain fields or careers, which then reflects in the labour market, the minister said. Another issue is transfer of knowledge where cooperation between the education system and industry should improve further.

A major event focusing on development issues and ways to improve the Slovenian investment environment, the FDI Summit is organised by the Ljubljana School of Economics and Business, the Slovenian-German Chamber of Commerce and The Slovenia Times.


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