IDA members are in high demand

Denmark is experiencing a shortage of highly qualified STEM professionals. In the past year, almost 7 out of 10 privately employed members have been approached by another company or a headhunter with an invitation to change jobs.

Highly educated STEM professionals are in shortage in the Danish job market. In the past year, private sector members' salaries grew 6.5% on average, and unemployment figures are consistently low.

The situation prompts headhunters to search more actively than ever for candidates among IDA's members. In a new survey, IDA asked members whether they have been approached by a headhunter or other company in the past year with an offer to change jobs. To this, 69% responded “yes”. The survey was conducted among 16,500 private sector members. 

"Generally, times are good when companies must look towards each other for the competencies they need. But bottlenecks in the STEM labour market also have a serious downside: Some companies simply have to turn down orders, drop expansion plans or outsource abroad, and that does not make us as a society more prosperous," says Malene Matthison-Hansen, chairperson of the IDA Council of Employees.

The survey shows that headhunters are most active in the IT and telecommunications industry. Here, three out of four of IDA's members have been contacted and encouraged to change jobs. Within the consulting industry and the contractor, building and construction industry, there is also an intensified battle for employees.

"The large projects meant to push us towards the green transition and give further impetus to digitisation may well suffer from the lack of engineers and IT specialists. If we don't have the skills at home, the tasks will not be solved. And that is a problem," says Malene Matthison-Hansen.

A deeper dive into the numbers shows that the members in the 35-49 age group are contacted most often. Here, more than three out of four have received at least one invitation to change jobs last year. But there is also competition for the youngest and oldest engineers, IT specialists and natural science graduates.

More than 60 per cent of members under 30 and more than 40 per cent of the members over 64 have been contacted by a headhunter in 2023.

"The job market for highly educated people in STEM is running at full pressure, and every hand on deck is needed. The challenge is by no means new, and by now it must be obvious that we need to create more study places within STEM, not close them and put a cap on the intake of international students," says Malene Matthison-Hansen.

"We must also become better at attracting talent and specialists from abroad. Otherwise, we will never satisfy the demand, just as we must do everything we can to encourage the most experienced workers, who have both the desire and the motivation to do so, to stay on the labour market for as long as possible," she says.

In 2023, 22 per cent of IDA's members in the private sector changed jobs.