Partner of InHunt World in Finland: InHunt Group
Finland is a modern, commercially mature country that enjoys close relations with its Nordic neighbours. Finns are highly internationally oriented, with english being a common second language of the business community. Over 90% of Finns under 30 speak English. Knowledge transfer between companies and universities has been one of the key factors in Finland’s track record of innovation and economic success. The nordic country has hosted SLUSH – the world’s biggest event connecting start-ups and venture capitalists – annually since 2008. Finland has even been named as one of the most digitally competitive countries in the world by an inaugural ranking published by the International Institute of Management Development (IDM).
Finland is also the most attractive EU country for FDI, foreign direct investment, according to a 2016 study by the European Commission.
The Finnish workforce is exceptionally well educated and education is free at all levels. Finland has a long history of participation and promotion of adult education as well. According to OECD (Education at a Glance 2016) the highest performing graduates come from Finland. Outside the metropolitan-Helsinki area many companies have traditionally taken an active role within the community; employees have been very loyal to employers with little job-hopping taking place. At the end of 2016, Kauppalehti (Biggest financial magazine in Finland) reported that the Finnish headhunting market has grown over 10 percent, and the overall market is worth over 60 million euros. Although www.suorahakuyritykset.fi (web page that keeps track of headhunting companies in Finland) shows that there’s just a slight growth if any when comparing numbers of 2015 and 2016.
Nevertheless, and even though not official yet, it has been widely accepted and confirmed from various sources that year 2017 has been a great year for the headhunting in Finland and the growth percentage for the industry will be at least two digits.
Ease of doing business
World Bank’s Ease of Doing Business-index ranks Finland 13th out of 190 countries on the ease of doing business there. The index compares nations with each other in many subcategories; starting a business, dealing with construction permits and getting electricity for example. The overall rank dropped from last year, when Finland was ranked 12th. Finland is ranked number one for the ease of resolving insolvency, 13th for paying taxes and 18th getting electricity. Worst scores for Finland are for protecting minority investors, ranked 70th and for getting credit, ranked 44th.
Politics and the economy
Statistics Finland has estimated that the country’s GDP grew by 1.2 percent between January and March 2017. Finland’s gross domestic product amounted to 216 billion euros. Finnish exports are predicted to resume on the growth path, but the strength of domestic demand will decrease imports. This will further cause foreign trade to remain in deficit. The most important export industry in Finland is technology, with nearly 300 thousand Finns working in technology companies. The unemployment rate in July 2017 was at 8.9 percent, according to Statistics Finland. The employment rate must rise in order to keep balance in the nation’s economy, as Finland is facing the effects of an aging workforce. Today, people in Finland can live on unemployment benefits, which is atrophying the labour market and exacerbating unemployment.
What to keep an eye on
The demographic changes. Finland’s working age bracket of 15 to 64 has been falling, which means there hasn’t been growth in employment over the past four years despite a slight increase in participation rates among the working age and changes in the unemployment rate over this period.
Interview with Kari Juutilainen, CEO of InHunt Group
We had a chance to interview the CEO of InHunt Group Mr. Kari Juutilainen. InHunt Group is the largest headhunting company in Finland with 8 offices nationwide and almost 30 headhunters.
We asked Kari a few questions about the headhunting and recruiting market in Finland:
How do you see current situation in Finland?
Recruiting and especially headhunting markets are now growing a lot in Finland. After a few economically bad years Finland´s economy has finally took a turn for the better. Companies have started to actively look for new employees to increase their business.
They have also noticed that right now there is tough competition for the best talents. This is one of the reasons why they need now more than before professional headhunters to help them to search for, find and attract the best candidates to get interested in new challenges in a new company.
Are there some industries that are growing faster than others?
Of course. The ICT Industry has been and is now growing really fast, and the startup boom is real in Finland too, with new companies being founded every day. Many other industries are also growing, but if I would need to point out one I would say construction. In the construction industry, there’s also a huge shortage of good people and it has kept us really busy, because many companies are having a very hard time in attracting the best people and convincing them to change their job.
What kind of roles and talent are companies looking for?
I would say that companies are growing at all levels, but we’ve also seen a change on the C-level. It really seems that most of the companies have not just realized but put into action their new strategies, which are highly connected to digitalism. This additionally means that they need top-level people who truly understand the changes and can also predict the future.
Companies in Finland are now looking for CIO, CDO, CTO and other ICT specialists to ensure that they stay competitive and are especially prepared for the new global competition, which is a product of everything that has been happening. Companies have realized that they are not protected anymore by Finland’s own language or the quite isolated location of the Nordic, and competitors can now come from basically anywhere and on any day.
Moreover, companies are looking for good business controllers who can crunch the numbers and tell the management what to do and what not to do. Good and experiences sales leaders who understands the changes (social selling, inbound sales etc.) are also needed right now, especially for the international sales organizations.
Is there some kind of talent shortage in Finland?
Like everywhere in the world, we have a huge shortage of ICT Program Managers, Project Managers and full-stack coders. Finland’s education system is great but it hasn’t produced enough talents for the ICT industry.
The construction industry is also experiencing the same situation, where there’s a huge shortage of different people such as foremen.
Are companies looking mostly for Finnish people, or are they also interested in people from abroad?
In Finland, we are facing a new situation. Recently our clients have been asking more and more what to do, because there aren’t enough good and trained talents available in Finland. What is going to happen and is happening is that the companies in Finland are increasingly recruiting from abroad. In many countries in Europe, Africa, the Middle East etc. you have a great and talented new generation which is willing to move abroad. In Finland, we have many things we can use to attract them, such as one of the best (and free) education systems in the world, free health care, good salaries, good quality of life, and last but not least Finland is one of the safest and least corrupted countries in the world. Also, the level of English is really high in general and Finnish is not needed in many roles and organizations.