Up to now our economic success has been achieved thanks to the utilisation of our competitive advantages that enable companies to operate successfully without the extensive R&D and innovation expenditures in the domestic market. Unfavourable demographic trends, changes in economic structure, and increase in labour costs have brought Estonia to the next „transition period“ where consistent R&D and innovation generative human capital have become essential in order for our economy to be internationally competitive. There is need for knowledge, skills, and competence so that ideas and thoughts that are developed inside companies can be realized. Due to the small size of Estonian companies and relatively weak collaboration between academia and industry, the aforementioned features have quite frequently become an obstacle in company development. Innovation takes place through people and economic competitiveness depends on the utilization of human capital. Therefore, in addition to other various human capital development support measures, the government plans to implement a new measure to increase the innovation capability of companies by facilitating the involvement of highly qualified people in the company.

The aim of this study is to assess the need for public sector intervention in favouring mobility and to design the recruitment support scheme for Estonia in order to increase in-house innovation capacity of companies through recruitment of researchers, engineers, designers, innovation managers, marketing specialists etc. The study provides possible tools and valuable input for policymakers to design the new mobility support measures. Hopefully it will give a positive impulse to the performance of Estonian companies, as our economic competitiveness and sustainability depend primarily on the ability to create social capital and utilise it properly.

Work carried out

This report outlines a set of measures for promoting recruitment and mobility that the authors believe has strong potential to address the needs of Estonian industry for skilled people. The scheme outlines are based on the results of thorough research, interviews with international recruitment and mobility scheme managers, and interviews with Estonian stakeholders. These include representatives of companies, academic institutions, and Enterprise Estonia. Also, interviews have been conducted with managers of mobility/recruitment schemes in other countries.