In this blog series, we are going to interview all our Partners and learn how the pandemic is affecting different countries around the globe. Today we are in Finland where we had a chance to talk with Mr. Kari Juutilainen, CEO of InHunt Group.
First of all, how are you? We hope that you and your family have stayed healthy during this pandemic.
Thank you, it’s okay. My family has stayed healthy. We live by the lake among the forests, and since my wife and I have worked a lot from home, we have also had time to exercise. We’re in good condition. My son was going to Japan to study information technology at Sendai University, but it was now transferred due to the pandemic. My daughter reads psychology working mostly remotely.
How’s Finland at the moment, or how has it been the last 6 – 7 months?
For the third time in a row, Finland was awarded as the happiest country in the world. We are used to survive, and our society is really trying to help us if there are difficulties.
The pandemic hit us too, but the government reacted quickly and quickly brought it under control. Of course, certain industries encountered major problems (restaurants and event organizers, for example), as I am sure elsewhere. It’s very unfortunate, but I trust our government will help us all.
The second wave is currently in Finland too, and the average number of new sufferers is around 200 per day. However, it takes quite a few to get to the hospital, which means that the illnesses are now considerably less severe than before. I am confident that the number of illnesses will fall clearly in Finland soon.
And what about business and the general atmosphere? How the companies are holding up, have there been a lot of layoffs?
At the beginning of the pandemic, we all faced a shock situation that halted decision-making. Luckily, however, the business started again pretty quickly. At first, great difficulties were predicted for our economy and giant layoffs, but so far, we have fared clearly better than expected. However, we are facing challenging times, as some industries will be in difficulty for a long time, and there will therefore be more layoffs and redundancies.
At our company, business declined slightly from March to July, but since August we have got off to a good start again. This is because we have done a lot of sales work even during the pandemic. We are needed, and our help is well trusted at the moment.
How do you see the end of 2020? And what about 2021?
I believe that unemployment will increase in Finland even until the summer of 2021. The precarious economic situation keeps companies too much on their toes, does not dare to take new steps, but puts our hands in our pockets and waits for better times. This is a nasty scenario, but it seems to be happening. At the same time, some of us are strongly innovating new ideas and operating models and will make great strides past our competitors.
After the pandemic, we will face a different world, where the value bases and operating models are different than before. People will combine more work and leisure time, working hours will therefore change, and a lot of work will be done remotely. Those companies that do not accept this are no longer as interesting as those who agree to negotiate new terms of employment with their employees. We have already received numerous evidence that teleworking has increased efficiency and did not reduce as previously thought.
What do you think about the future? What is going to be the biggest difference in Finland if you compare the situation before the pandemic and the possible situation after?
As I replied earlier, working outside of the office is going to increase a lot. Companies should make plans for this in time. We are already asked a lot about the possibilities of remote working in our direct search processes.
Business travels abroad will decrease, as will internal meetings face to face. Video tools are becoming more common, and people are learning how to use them. People are also participating more and more in events through remote connections. Parents are more at home close to their children, and this will also have a very positive impact on children’s parenting and behavior. Physical activities are becoming more common, alcohol consumption is decreasing, and public health is improving. A very optimistic assessment of the future, but possible.
What kind of roles do you think companies are going to need the most after the pandemic? Do you think there’s some big difference before and after COVID regarding recruitment and headhunting?
When the economy turns down, companies are more critical of their employees’ profit-earning capacity. Within the company, they are looking for better productivity with new task-assignments. Tasks are combined, and many employees have to be abandoned. Companies also want more productive people outside the company.
At the same time, there are large numbers of employees applying for jobs, and it is difficult to identify the most suitable experts on the basis of a CV, they look so similar. This increases the need for headhunters, as they want to find a sufficiently large number of people who are well suited for this particular task. Even those who do not apply for a job themselves, but headhunters manage to attract them.
Then, as the economy improves, they dare to take more risks, open up new tasks, recruit people who are nowhere near ready for their duties but are given time to learn, and their training is invested in within the company. Then the help of headhunters is needed mainly when the situation comes when a new factor is needed that is suitable and competent for the task.
What tips would you have for foreign job seekers who would like to come and work in Finland?
Welcome to the happiest country in the world, offering you great nature and a lot of space to move around there. We provide you with high-quality education and health care, as well as other unique benefits for yourself and your family. Come and succeed with us.
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