Since its launch in 2019, the Microbiome Signature Project has worked to promote the Medicon Valley life science cluster of eastern Denmark and southernmost Sweden as a leading hub for the microbiome industry. A big part of that effort has been raising awareness of the region’s strong and active ecosystem of researchers and companies that focus on microbiome. But another key aspect has been to attract microbiome talent to the area from around the world. And that seemed the more daunting task.

“I was a little concerned with whether we would be successful at the start because it's so niche,” admits Dan Rosenberg, lead on the talent-related activities for the Microbiome Signature Project. “But I've been very positively surprised!”

Rosenberg describes how the project set out to use a talent attraction campaign to assist the recruitment of specialists from outside the region to fill roles for microbiome companies in Medicon Valley. The overall target goal was to have 60 roles successfully filled by the autumn of 2022.

Rosenberg says they’ve helped recruit 66 people so far. “And we still have another campaign to run this spring!” He adds.

The appeal of Medicon Valley    

According to Rosenberg, there’s actually quite a bit of overlap in the value proposition to attract both microbiome talent and microbiome companies to Medicon Valley. It’s a discovery that was made through discussions with stakeholders on both sides of the recruitment relationship.

dan-rosenberg-1We collected all the good arguments from the research organisations and the companies in terms of what makes the microbiome hub in the Medicon Valley region attractive,” says Rosenberg. “But we also had a focus group with about eight international microbiome industry specialists and researchers that we invited in for a couple of hours just to talk about their journey coming here, settling in, and what they thought was attractive about living here in the region.”

Insights from both groups were used to design the messaging for the talent attraction campaign, which features a dedicated web page with reasons to relocate to the Medicon Valley area, as well as video content profiling microbiome specialists that have moved to the region. Both are promoted via paid advertising in short intervals across major social media platforms.

The website also includes job listings with microbiome companies partnered with the project to fill much-needed roles, including those not directly-related to microbiome.
“They’re looking for a wide spread of different competencies. It's not just microbiome specialists. It is quite wide,” Rosenberg explains. Roles needed include experts like bioinformaticians and biostatisticians, which have a more software engineering background for processing large amounts of data. There’s also a need for experience in molecular biology and microbiology, which can include chemical engineers. And, as companies progress in developing products, there’s an increase in the need for regulatory affairs professionals (with experience in both EU and US regulations), quality control and compliance specialists, as well as experts in running clinical trials.

"They maybe haven't even considered changing jobs..."

Rosenberg describes the targeted audience of the talent attraction campaign not only as people who are unfamiliar with the Medicon Valley or the greater Copenhagen region but who are also passive in their job search.

“They maybe haven't even considered changing jobs because they're probably very happy where they work,” he says. “But they’re based in parts of the world where there is still an incentive, in terms of lifestyle, to relocate to Medicon Valley.”

The lifestyle benefits of moving to Denmark or Sweden to work in Medicon Valley’s microbiome industry are the key to attracting talent. From the five weeks of paid vacation and guaranteed parental leave to non-hierarchical organisational structures and environmentally responsible societies, these are what appeal most to potential candidates. Rosenberg says it’s the kind of messaging that connects best with candidates from regions like Southern Europe, South America, India, and the United States.

Another selling point for attracting candidates is the area’s growing reputation as a hub for leading microbiome research. And as the efforts to promote that to a wider international audience increase, the appeal to potential talent rises, making it easier to draw microbiome specialists and other professionals to the area, further expanding the microbiome ecosystem.


It's a really good example of how we can collaborate around these things, thinking in an integrated way, both for the attraction of companies and attraction of talent,” says Rosenberg. “It’s a part of a bigger project".

For more information please contact Dan Rosenberg, Strategy & Talent Acquisition Lead at Copenhagen Capacity, by email:
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