Finland grants 18,000-30,000 work-based residence permits annually. The talent shortage issue is constantly under discussion, and the trend is rising. But how do those who moved to Finland adapt here? The ‘’Finland of international talents’’ research project is looking for ways to get international talents to Finland, and as part of this project, the adaptation of foreigners living in Finland with higher education was investigated.
E2 Research surveyed nearly 800 highly educated foreigners living in Finland and found out how they have adapted to Finland, and what are Finland’s attractive factors. The percentages are positive, 79% of those who answered the survey have adapted to their new life in Finland either very or fairly well, and almost half of the respondents say that the adaptation took place in less than a year.
The standard of living, nature, and the balance between work and free time are found appealing
Respondents were particularly attracted to Finland by the general standard of living, closeness to nature, balance between work and free time, and general safety. These were seen as Finland’s strengths. For families with children, however, the most important attraction factor is Finland’s comprehensive services for families with children. Of the respondents with minor children, 45% valued family services, regardless of gender.
“I love nature and Finnish life – – As a woman, my everyday life feels safer here than at home”
On the other hand, issues related to working life were not seen as important. Only a few saw job opportunities, salary levels, or career opportunities as Finland’s strengths. This requires the attention of employers and the public sector. The attractiveness of working life needs strengthening in the competition for international talent.
Things that simplify and complicate returning home
Adapting to Finland has many factors, both positive and negative. Work, partner, and international community came up the most when asked what helped the respondents the most in settling in Finland. The language barrier and the difficulty in making friends have caused challenges. Amongst those who moved because of their spouse’s work, the highlighted difficulties of integration were due to the difficulty of finding employment.
Employers should invest in families and spouses. Family acts as a holding factor because the family’s integration is crucial when thinking about staying in Finland. Furthermore, investing in the adjustment of the employee’s family members is profitable, because according to the study, the willingness of family members to move away was lower than that of single people, as long as the family settles in Finland.
The most useful services in Finland
The respondents found the services and support, especially for language study and taxation, to be the most useful when settling in Finland. However, there were differences based on life situation, as those with families felt that help with day care and school were the most important, and the unemployed needed support in looking for a job.
With the help of relocation services, the employer can positively influence their own employer image, the attractiveness of the job, and the adaptation of the employee and their family. When an experienced relocation specialist supports the employee to take care of practicalities like tax card and the children’s daycare and school places, the support outside the workplace is reflected in well-being and improved work performance. The spouse’s adaptation can be facilitated with the help of language training and career guidance.
If you are interested in the impact of relocation services on integration – Contact us!