The lack of qualified talent in the Basque country labour market has been a threat to the economic development of the country. Basque Institutions are seeking to attract Basque and any kind of highly qualified talents wherever they are from to revive back the economic graph. Be Basque Talent Network aims to connect professionals working all over the world to other professionals and companies there so as to facilitate talent movement in the Basque country.
Be Basque Talent Network is the largest network of highly qualified professionals who want to connect to the country. It fosters the implementation of necessary conditions for attracting, connecting and retaining highly qualified people in areas of knowledge and innovation. Ivan Jimenez, Managing Director of Be Basque Talent Network was with the CEOViews team to share details about how they are making this possible.
CEOViews: Be Basque Talent Network is the largest network of highly qualified professionals that brings professionals working all over the world in contact with other professionals and companies. How did it all begin? What was your mission at the outset?
Ivan Jimenez: The brand began in 2015, when we realized analyzing the figures that talent attraction would be one of the main issues in the following years. So, we took advantage of the “Be Basque” integrative slogan to try to involve emotionally any professional from any part of the world, to be a part of us, to be a part of one of the oldest but most advanced countries in the world, according to international indicators of well-being and economic development.
CEOViews: Be Basque Talent Network has been recognised as the Top 10 Innovative Brands of the year 2023. How was your journey so far?
Ivan Jimenez: Around the brand we created several services with the same slogan “Be Basque Talent Meetings”, “Be Basque Talent conferences” and of course the Network. In the meetings we meet international talents who were working, for instance, in Boston, London, Paris, Copenhagen, Dublin, Amsterdam, Munich, Milan. The attendees are often Basque expats but also a big amount of them are Spanish speaking professionals from all over the world. At the conferences, we come together with Basque Companies that are looking for the right talent, so we create the atmosphere and the right personal agenda for both professionals and Companies, in this kind of events we meet over 150 professionals and around 50 companies, everything is personalized.
But apart from the personal contact we have developed several digital tools so they can be in touch among them and also have real-time data about what is happening in the Basque labour market for highly qualified professionals.
CEOViews: What type of innovative services does your firm provide?
Ivan Jimenez: If we talk about the mentioned digital tools, we have the “Basque Talent Observatory”, where through a big data analysis based on natural language processing, we give a picture about what is happening right now in the labour market, what kind of job positions and skills are needed, evolution on time etc.
Apart from the overall tools we also have our “career development centre” where we give them personalized advice to develop their professional career based on data and trends of the market needs.
CEOViews: Who are the potential users of your firm? how do you manage to meet their demands?
Ivan Jimenez: We have two types of clients; on one hand we have the highly qualified professionals who irrespective of their place of birth and residence are interested in connecting with the Basque Country.
On the other hand, we have the companies who have some premises or headquarters in the Basque country, so we can provide them our services. Our main target is to facilitate the connection between both professionals and companies. Even the Headhunters are our clients and collaborators, we don’t manage selection processes but we try to help them find the right talent.
CEOViews: How does your specialized programs help in developing your user’s talent?
Ivan Jimenez: Apart from the technology tools, we have a program for university students, “Talentia Skills” programme, by which we teach/show soft skills to students coming from different areas of knowledge and universities. For them it is quite impactful to have team activities with people that think and therefore act in a so different way, such soft skills are not usually taught at universities.
CEOViews: What type of challenges do you face while meeting your user’s needs?
Ivan Jimenez: The world is moving very fast, and when it comes to talent attraction in the development countries the gap between the needs of the companies and the talent that help to solve their problems is getting bigger, this is an international competition and if you don’t act very fast you are late. Innovation and interaction with professionals and companies is a key question for us and we see often the needs of the professionals are not being understood by the companies. But the reality is very hard, and the figures show us that only the Companies that are ready to change and adapt themselves are the ones who will survive. The story has changed and now in many cases is the professional who choose the Company and not the other way round.
CEOViews: What type of working culture do you have in your firm?
Ivan Jimenez: We work in a hybrid way. Our structure is matrix, so our colleagues can collaborate in different services. We try to share the knowledge or know how the company is working so we can adapt very fast to new needs and have an overall vision about what we are doing and how we are doing.
CEOViews: What makes you stand unique from other peers in your industry?
Ivan Jimenez: I would say what makes us unique is mainly the team, commitment, flexibility and trust in team members. Because of that we can develop new services in a very fast way, test them and innovate or improve them.
CEOViews: How do you measure your firm’s growth and success?
Ivan Jimenez: We have many indicators; the number of professionals registered every year on our platform, the number of attendees to our international or online events and visits to our website in this case as a combination of place and employer branding (of the companies registered), and also the number of job offers on our platform.
We work in a hybrid way. Our structure is matrix, so our colleagues can collaborate in different services.
This year, after the pandemic the figures have increased dramatically so that is the good news for us.
CEOViews: What future vision do you have for your firm?
Ivan Jimenez: The idea is to gradually extend our services to the whole Basque Country. In that sense we have already signed a first agreement with the Economic Development Agency of the Basque Government, SPRI, by which we are extending some of our services to other provinces of the country and also trying to attract students to our universities, something that we haven’t done before.
CEOViews: Any piece of advice you would like to give your peers in your industry for fostering growth and development?
Ivan Jimenez: We collaborate with many companies who are trying to attract talent to their countries/regions/cities, I would remark all our colleagues from the European Talent Mobility Forum, where we are one of the founder members along with other companies specially from the European Nordic Countries. Collaboration among us is one of the keys for our success, so just congratulate them all for the amazing job they are doing.