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Local stakeholders need to join forces to attract and retain young talents

13. 10. 2021

What are the factors young talent find essential in a talent-friendly city? What can local stakeholders do to attract and retain young talents? Representatives of young generations tend to move to bigger cities because of promising job opportunities and a vivid lifestyle. However, they usually have a strong emotional bond with their hometowns. Small and medium-sized cities of the Danube Region can build on this emotional attachment and capitalize on the positive characteristics of cities to magnetize talents back when they are about to settle down. 

The TalentMagnet partnership has already mapped up the state of the art in the field of talent attraction and retention, the findings of which local stakeholders – representing companies, academia, NGOs and public administration – and talents have just confirmed during the first in-person meeting of the TalentMagnet project in the city of Nyíregyháza, Hungary. It turned out that one of the most challenging tasks for the municipalities is to create innovative policies, new job opportunities and a functional business environment in order to stop the outflow of the skilled youth. Furthermore, the invited young talents also highlighted those personal and career development opportunities, and a welcoming support system is of utmost importance.

Based on the main findings of the panel discussion with local talents, we can conclude that it doesn’t worth holding back talents from moving out from the city to gain new knowledge and experience in the capital or even abroad. In fact, we should encourage them to do that, and afterwards persuade them to come home and use what they have learnt for the benefit of their hometowns. To achieve this, comprehensive and coherent marketing and development strategies are needed with a strong emphasis on city branding. 

These were some of the key lessons learnt at the first in-person transnational meeting of the TalentMagnet project – being implemented in frames of the Danube Transnational Programme – that took place on 14-15 September 2021 in Nyíregyháza, Hungary. At the meeting, the majority of partners and representatives of the pilot cities participated and were involved in the interactive sessions and discussions.  

In the second half of the project lifetime, the focus will be on the pilot cities of the project. These cities will need to start to work on establishing a supportive local environment for talent attraction and retention, involving all players of the quadruple helix. Luckily, several tools developed within the project will be provided for them in order to support their efforts. The TalentMagnet toolkit will also be at the disposal of any other city interested in preparing local talent attraction and retention plans.   

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