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YPAI 2020 Case Study

Nordea helps young professionals to hit the ground running

Being part of the largest financial group in Scandinavia means a lot of young professionals have Nordea high on their list of employers, but once they have started their careers there, what can be done to ensure that they decide to stay?

Key Points:

  • Offering clear career pathways drives engagement
  • Dynamic internal recruitment opportunities encourage staff to stay

Career and development opportunities are essential

The 2020 YPAI results indicate that roughly half of the respondents in each country considered the possibility for development and career advancement to be important to them, and Khuram Abbas Anjum, who is Head of Talent Acquisition at Nordea in Denmark, is well aware of what it takes to offer them the opportunities they seek.

– Young professionals are our future; our future leaders, our future ideators, our future innovators. The young professionals come with a clear mind and fresh ideas, which helps the company grow and adapt to the ever-changing business context and this is why we invest in them, Khumar says.

– We have several programs that provide a breadth of experience very early on in their careers. They provide them with the opportunity to learn and grow by getting exposed to different areas and work tasks, which also shows that we care and we invest in their future, he explains.

For many of the candidates Nordea seeks to attract, the process begins before they have completed their university education.

– Our graduate program provides the young professionals with a sneak peek in a variety of business areas during the two-year program. Our personal and business banking young professionals also have an educational program designed for them to become the best versions of client-facing professionals.

Retention of internal talents

Once Nordea find a candidate and bring them onboard, the intention is clear – keep them within the company if at all possible, and that task is made easier by the sheer scale of Nordea’s operation.

– More than half of our open vacancies are filled by internal talents, and with thousands of different jobs in Nordea, there is an opportunity for everyone to find their next steps internally, Khumar says.

– Our talent agenda is clear about retaining our internal talented professionals - we provide opportunities for people to shine. Our learning agenda provides host of self-learning opportunities as well as organized trainings curated for people’s individual and professional growth.

Finding these candidates in a crowded marketplace is not easy and Nordea casts its net far and wide to identify the talent they need, using social media to build awareness of Nordea and meeting prospective employees at career fairs. Most of all though, Nordea concentrates on giving existing employees a chance to spread their wings.

– Our recruitment function works tirelessly to look for internal candidates for interesting job opportunities, Khumar says.

The view from Academic Work

One insight that was proved in this year's YPAI survey is the strong desire of young professionals to continue to develop and learn new things. It might be by doing external courses paid for by their employer or by trying different roles within the company. Nordea clearly have a well thought-out plan to develop young professionals and build their knowledge in several areas. This is one of the reasons why we find Nordea on this years list over the most attractive employers in both Denmark, Norway, Sweden and Finland.

Nordea Fact Box

  • Operating in 20 countries, including Sweden, Denmark, Norway and Finland.
  • Operating income of €8.5 billion and total assets of €554 billion in 2019.
  • Nordea has 9.2 million private customers and over half a million businesses.
  • 29,000 employees involved in a global operation.
  • The name is a mix of the words “Nordic” and “idea”.
  • One of few European financial institutions with an AA rating.

Do you want to read about more companies who have succeeded in their employer branding? Read about the other four cases here.

Read the other cases here


Download the reports from YPAI 2020

The resultst from YPAI 2020 is dividied into three reports with different focus areas in addition to the international report. Download them all or just the one you find most interesting and let the results guide you to become an even more attractive employer. The reports are in Norwegian.

1. Most attractive employers: The 50 most attractive employers for young professionals in Norway.
2. Most important when choosing an employer: The important attributes young professionals look for in an employer.
3. How to become an attractive employer: Analysis of the results and a summary of how you can become a more attractive employer for young professionals.
4. YPAI International: Compares the results from 6 European countries and looks at some exciting similarities and surprising differences. This report is in English.

If you have questions about the survey, the reports or the case study – contact us at For other requests contact us here.