Finland’s got everything employers are looking for: an abundance of highly educated, experienced and capable young talent. Companies, however, could use an extra dose of courage to realize its potential.
At member company Academic Work, every time you hear a bell ring a client has asked for more talent. When you hear a gong, someone just landed a job. The whole office joins in applause.
While Amcham hosted its first event in a Global Investors’ Program series on Finland’s Labor Force at Academic Work last week, we all put our hands together at least five times.
When employers ask, they get great hires. But there’s still a surplus of qualified individuals looking for work.
As more and more people receive degrees of higher education, Finland continues to do exceedingly well on international measures of learning performance and ranks 5th in the world in English language proficiency.
“We’ve got the resources. There’s never been a better time to invest in Finland’s young talent,” says C.E.O. of Academic Work Stefan Heinrichs.
Since the company was founded, Academic Work has employed over 100,000 people in the Nordics. But they’re not stopping there.
They’ve become experts on the job market and those that make up Finland’s labor force.
What does today’s young talent expect? Above all else, it’s interesting work, personal growth, and a great company culture that attracts them. Salary is by far not the most important aspect they look for in a place of work.
Compared to Finland’s neighbors, the cost of labor is not actually that high. The average annual salary of young professionals in Finland comes in at 9th place in Europe, at about the same level as Sweden and significantly less than Denmark and Norway.
Finland falls just in the middle at 14th place for average annual salary of middle managers in Europe.
So if money isn’t really the issue, why can’t Finland put more people to work? Behind Norway, Finland has the highest number of readily available skilled workers.
In Heinrichs’ mind the answer is clear: employers need to have the confidence to invest in Finland as the best place to grow business.
That, mixed with a different marketing angle, may just be the key. By focusing on a few areas where Finland is unique, we can channel our energy into a new level of potential.
Reflection. Peace of mind. Silence. In a noisy and hectic world, these things make Finland positively different.
See photos from the event here.