Companies say they need "qualified people" in order to be competitive but then admit that they cannot find them. One in four companies, according to our keynote speaker from Fores, reports having trouble finding "qualified people".
Is it because "qualified people" are hard to find? No. Atleast we do not think so. It is because the definition of a qualified person as it is applied here in Sweden means "someone who is educated and even experienced- here in Sweden." So, if someone is not educated and experienced here in Sweden, then they are not seen as being qualified nor even "competent" according to the definition.
And you know what else? The very definition of "competence" is narrow. It is understood here in Sweden as being about education and experience only. The definition excludes soft skills such as interpersonal ability, cultural knowledge, communication style, global thinking and even leadership.
So, what fuels innovation? Where do new ideas come from? Who are potential customers? And how can a nation of 9 million succeed in the global market? Our answer is simple. Change the definitions. Then, look again.
Foreign education and experience not only counts but actually makes one more qualified and more competent to come into and succeed in the Swedish labor market, especially given Sweden's position and ambition. We believe companies should never be at a loss for talent. And that is our other conclusion.