EOcafe: Attracting and retaining talent in 2024: what dynamics and lessons learned for the EO sector?

22nd of February 2024, 16.00-17.00 CET

The 2023 EARSC Industry Survey showed that 77% of companies surveyed reported difficulties finding and hiring staff, with almost 45% having significant difficulties. The survey further highlighted that some of the main obstacles to finding employees were having too few candidates for the positions advertised, as well as candidates lacking either transversal skills or knowledge in new technologies.

This issue of attracting and retaining new talent is not only reserved to the EO sector. A 2023 report from the European Commission showed that despite employment rates being at a record high (74.6%) across the EU, persistent labour shortages are found in a diverse range of occupations, across all skill levels.  These shortages were more acute in sectors which require highly skilled employees, such as the science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) sector.

Other factors such as the ageing population and the lower participation of women and people with a migrant background were also found to impact labour shortages. For example, as much as 86% of labour shortages were found to occur in occupations that are either dominated by men or by women.

 In addition to these “structural” and skills-related barriers, a company’s ability to attract and retain talent can also play a key role. For example, working conditions and the work environment, providing incentives such as continuous learning/training, taking into account childcare costs/needs, enhancing social dialogue and so on, can all have a positive impact.

As the issue of attracting and retaining talent continues to grow, our host Geoff Sawyer (EARSC Strategic Advisor and former Secretary General) will sit down with Marion Murphy (Managing Director, Mallon Technology & EUROGI-Women in GI representative) and Amanda White (Director, Halo Resourcing) to discuss how these issues are concretely affecting companies in the EO sector, how they tie in to a wider trend outside the EO sector and explore what solutions might exist to address these challenges.

Questions that could be addressed during this EOcafe include:

  • For EO companies, what dynamics come into play when looking for new talent? How difficult is it to find candidates and build a team?
  • How are “non-skills related” factors taken into account in recruitment/employment by EO (and other) companies?
  • How have employee expectations evolved? (e.g., salary packages, company values, wellbeing, diversity and inclusion, etc.)?
  • Aside from continued efforts on building skills, what more can be done to attract and retain talent? What needs to be done from a candidate/employee’s side versus the employers’ side?
  • How do these challenges compare to other sectors and what lessons can we take from those sectors?
  • What are some key trends across all sectors? What role can recruitment agencies play?

Registration: The webinar is open to all. Registration is free but compulsory.

Please note this is a virtual event!

EOcafe is part of a series of EARSC meetings that offer timely, relevant, and practical information on a broad variety of topics related to the EO sector. Join us every two weeks to discuss and network while enjoying a cup of coffee with friends.


  • The use of a video camera is not mandatory but is encouraged to facilitate better interaction between the attendees and the guest speaker(s).
  • The EOcafe will stay open after 17:00 in case our guests want to continue the discussion.
  • By registering for this event, you accept the terms and conditions (https://earsc.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/03/EARSC_Events_GDPR.pdf).


If you have any questions, and/or you want to know more about the EOcafe, and/or you want to share an idea about a future EOcafe, please contact Tanya Walker (tanya.walker@earsc.org).

Author: EARSC

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