Keys to attract and retain talent

In the Finnish business magazine Talouselämä on 16.9.2016, the subject of attracting and retaining highly educated talent into a country was discussed. Simplified conclusion: MOTIVATION is essential.

The article in question looked at the rankings of the different Nordic countries – including Finland – in an international comparison based on the 2015 IMD World Talent Report and shed light on the differences and similarities of the countries. The analysis found that all the Nordic countries score high on attractiveness based on quality of life, personal safety, and personal property rights, but above all on personal development opportunities, that improve work satisfaction. This last factor is something that Finland and Finnish companies have a long way to go.

Talent attraction and retention in Finland is at the core of FRS’s clients’ HR function. Companies need more – and more diverse – talent than is available in Finland, and thus companies must look abroad when looking for resources. In our discussions with HR-representatives, many have raised questions about how to better market and sell Finland as a destination to potential experts.  What can one company do to be a more attractive employer? Another essential matter is also how to keep the acquired talent in Finland. What factors maintain the motivation mentioned at the start of this post? According to the report the opportunities for personal development are vital to creating motivation. According to our own experience, the primary concerns for experts moving with their families retain to the well-being of the spouse and the family, children’s education, and finding suitable employment or other fulfilling activities for the spouse. Could the above mentioned, if attended to, spawn new recipes for success?

Although companies are at the center of this challenge, society at large also has a chance to step up. It is therefore delightful to notice, that society also wants to lower the obstacles to hiring foreign talent. One example I’d like to highlight is the Work In Finland- initiative, that is aimed at improving the employment of immigrants and the development and coordination of settling-in services in the capital region. The initiative’s goal is to create a new kind of service entity in the capital region, International House Helsinki. The author works in the management group of the initiative, bringing expertise and experience in managing the needs of international talent and recruiting organizations to the project.

It is in the interests of both companies and the society that Finland succeeds in attracting experts to Finland and retaining them for extended periods. Different actors – companies, authorities, public officials, and the community sector – need to cooperate on this. Therefore we invite one and all to participate in the discussion and bring forth your brilliant ideas!