Recruitment of scarce competences to rural regions: Policy perspectives

PublicationArticle (with peer review)


This paper studies the perceived difficulty of recruiting scarce competencies to rural regions. Furthermore, the role of policy in facilitating and enhancing recruitment to and better skills matching in rural regions is discussed. Based on a survey targeted to the business sections of Swedish municipalities, the results show that recruitment is perceived to be difficult in both rural and nonrural regions and that the difficulty of recruiting for the right skills results in a lack of skills matching and constitutes an obstacle to growth. Rural regions located close to urban areas can to some extent mitigate these recruitment problems, and their locations pose less of a barrier in recruitment processes compared to those of remotely located rural regions.

Which policies can help remedy recruitment problems faced in rural regions? In both rural and nonrural regions, incentives for writing off student debt and relocation support for accompanying persons and tandem recruitment are perceived to be the most promising policies. Rural regions are more receptive to the implementation of such policies. Finally, the need for flexibility and policies that can be adapted to the regional demand for labour are stressed.

Nyström, K. Recruitment of scarce competences to rural regions: Policy perspectives. Rev Reg Res (2021).

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