Since the time industrial revolutions began, demand for the workforce started rising. How- ever, it was during the dot-com boom, organizations started looking for skilled labor. While it is very easy to get employees for any industry, getting skilled laborers who possess expertise in a particular industry has become rare. In the current global scenario wherein tech startups are booming everywhere, getting hold of talent has gotten even tougher.

A situation has arisen where there are enough opportunities but very little interest from the workforce or a higher number of people interested in a particular industry but with fewer opportunities. Balancing the supply and demand of this talent pool is very important from the perspective of the economy, and this is where organizations like Bizkaia Talent are emerging.


Bizkaia Talent is an associative project of the Provincial Government of Biscay to promote research, creation, innovation, and knowledge in the historical territory of Biscay. Ivan Jiménez Aira, Managing Director at Bizkaia Talent, was with the CEOViews team to share the organization’s story.

The story of the inception

With the support of the Provincial Government of Biscay and some of the leading Basque companies, universities, and research and technology centers, Bizkaia Talent was founded back in 2005. It was established with a clear objective: to help foster an environment where the very best talent would find the necessary conditions to thrive and showcase their unique talents and characteristics on a global stage in Biscay, its capital city, Bilbao and the wider Basque Country.

Bizkaia Talent started as a pilot project when talent management was not a topic of discussion. The project was consolidated, and little by little it led to what we have become today. Along the way, the association has added new services and programs to provide more and better responses both to highly qualified professionals and to Basque companies which are searching for them. Several years ago, Bizkaia Talent also made an important commitment to digitalization. Suffice to say that at Bizkaia Talent, there has always been a vocation to collaborate with other regions around the world, particularly in Europe, to build from win-win proposals.

They have the ”Be Basque Talent Network”, which is the world’s largest network of highly qualified professionals who want to be linked with the Basque Country, regardless of their territorial origin. It is comprised of more than 17,000 professionals distributed around the world in over 100 countries and nearly 500 Basque organizations.

Trends in the industry and adapting to them

Speaking about the current trends in the hiring industry, Ivan said that Big data, cloud, Artificial Intelligence, etc., are the terms that have become familiar in the field of Human Resources for some time now. A few years ago, they developed various digital tools based on Big Data Analysis and machine learning, such as-

  1. The Basque Talent Observatory: A publicly accessible tool for monitoring the Basque Country’s highly qualified labour market and obtaining information on specific professionals through the analysis of Big Data from multiple online sources
  2. The Career Development Centre: A tool capable of interpreting the situation in a particular sector and for a particular professional in our database in just a question of seconds and offering useful professional information which will enable him/her to simply focus on achieving professional goals)
  3. The Headhunting Support Centre: Aimed at helping human resources professionals in Basque organizations in their staff recruitment Not only in terms of obtaining highly qualified talent which matches their needs but also to streamline processes, resources and provide assistance in career development plans.

Reason for their consistent growth

Bizkaia Talent has been growing consistently over the years, and curious to know the reasons that made it possible, we asked Ivan, for which he replied saying, “It is a combination of the personal contact we get not only when we help people coming to the Basque Country through our Relocation & Be Basque Dual Career Centre service, but also with different international meetings we organize, known as Be Basque Talent Meetings and Conferences. We go wherever the talent is instead of organizing local meetings. This personal contact is specially reinforced by the digital tools I mentioned previously, such as the Basque Talent Map, Career Development Centre, or Basque Talent Observatory, a mix of personal contact and the most advanced technology. One without the other does not make sense”.

Working culture at Bizkaia Talent

People are often surprised when they discover that Bizkaia Talent is not a particularly numerous team. In their work, the different areas are highly interrelated, and what takes place or is carried out in one area directly affects another. This also requires a flexible structure, where knowledge is shared and tight collaboration exists with the other team members, fostering leadership skills and personal autonomy. This enables them to provide a far more rapid response to customers and incorporate different points of view or matters which should be considered when solutions are provided.

Roadmap for the future

Bizkaia Talent’s target is to attract talent to the Basque Country. In fact, they are competing with any other area around them. In any case, they are one of the founding members of the European Talent Mobility Forum, along with eight other companies from different Northern European Regions, Berlin, Eindhoven-Brainport, Estonia, Gothenburg, Lund, Turku, Scotland, and Copenhagen, so the collaboration is also important to share the best practices.

Further commenting on the same, Ivan says, “We must not forget that the primary competition is between Europe and other areas in the world. We want to start working with highly qualified people coming from professional training and also to reinforce the employer branding of our companies. Some of these have not yet realized that the competition has already started, and they need to show to the world their attractiveness, or sometimes to create it”.



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