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Estonia targets UK tech talent

Estonian businesses are trying to close the country’s IT skills gap by targeting UK IT professionals as part of a recruitment campaign

The Estonian government is directly targeting IT professionals in the UK through a recruitment campaign that it hopes will help to close an imminent skills gap in the Baltic country.

Estonia has a population of just 1.3 million and a growing IT sector. By 2020, the country’s job market is expected to be short of 37,000 IT professionals.

It is stepping up its efforts to fill IT skills gaps with talent from overseas, and UK professionals are a major target.

The latest recruitment campaign, known as Career Hunt, is being run in partnership with Estonia’s IT industry. It is encouraging UK IT professionals to apply for jobs at companies operating in Estonia, such as Taxify, Twilio, Microsoft, Skype and Swedbank.

International job portal Jobbatical is supporting the project by helping employers find suitable candidates and conducting preliminary interviews.

Jobbatical CEO Karoli Hindriks said Estonia and its campaigns are changing the way people perceive recruitment. “Simple job ads are not enough any more,” she said. “People are a lot more mobile now, and for them to come your way, you need to put in more effort.”

Career Hunt gives people who are interested in a career in Estonia the chance to visit the country with all travel costs paid.

Because of a lack of natural resources, Estonia has set out to become a top location for IT companies and is also a pioneer of digital government services. It has introduced several programmes to attract investment and foreign workers.

Read more about Estonia’s IT development

The Estonian government is introducing legislation and policies to address the country’s needs quickly. For example, since 2015, Estonia has pioneered an e-residency programme, which gives foreigners, such as entrepreneurs, access to Estonian government services.

An Estonian e-residency is a transnational digital identity available to anyone in the world interested in administering a business online.

The Estonian government is also working with a recruitment platform on the possibility of introducing a special visa for people who work mainly online. Applications are open until 23 September.

Read more on IT jobs and recruitment

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