Recruiting from Japan

Our consultant, who has lived in Japan and helped with the relocation of several Japanese people hired in Finland, tells us what you should know when you recruit from Japan.

Attracting talent to Finland

Finland has a very good reputation in Japan, and there are even Finland fans in the country. The Japanese admire, for example, Finnish design, nature, and the education system. Moving to Finland is therefore a very attractive idea for many Japanese.

The Japanese experts who have relocated with our help have liked Finland a lot. In particular, they appreciate the very good work-life balance in Finland. Compared to many other countries, everyday life in Finland is easy and smooth thanks to advanced technology. Although Japan also has well-developed technology, it has invested in different things than Finland. For example, many things related to moving, which are easily handled online in Finland, require visiting several offices in Japan.

The immigration process

It is the employer’s responsibility to ensure that all employees have the right to work in Finland. For experts moving from Japan, this usually means applying for a residence permit. Choosing the right type of permit and submitting the necessary attachments requires expertise, so it is good to seek a professional’s advice. In this way, the immigration process can be handled correctly and as quickly as possible.

Starting work and orientation

In Japan, the companies traditionally hold a ceremony, where the new employees get to know the company and introduce themselves to everyone working in the company. A Japanese employee may expect a welcome ceremony in Finland as well, although such events are not so common here. However, the Finnish employer should pay special attention to make the Japanese employee feel welcome in the company.

Careful orientation avoids unnecessary problems and misunderstandings. In Japan, the orientation of a new employee is very detailed and may take a long time. Careful orientation is also important because of cultural differences. Of course, there are differences between people regardless of country, and there are also large regional differences in Japan, but it is good to know the most common cultural differences. Here are some differences in work cultures that many people who have moved from Japan to Finland have noticed.

Work cultures in Japan and Finland

Compared to many other countries, the Finnish working culture has a very low hierarchy. In Japan, the work culture is much more hierarchical. Those who have worked in the company for longer are considered higher-ranking, and promotions are often based on years of work experience. In Finland, even young employees can have a lot of responsibility.

There are differences in the formality of both communication and clothing between Finnish and Japanese companies. In Japan, colleagues are often addressed by their title, and the language has different politeness levels. New employees are addressed differently than those in management positions. In Finland, the way of speaking is often very informal, even when talking to the management. Many Japanese companies, regardless of sector, have a very strict and formal dress code, while in Finland, employees in most sectors have more choice in terms of clothing and appearance.

Speaking directly is a special feature of Finnish culture that people who have lived in Japan may not be used to. Traditionally, the Japanese avoid saying negative things because maintaining harmony is important. Nowadays, many young people communicate more directly, as indirect communication has been found to take time. For employees moving to Finland, it is worth emphasizing that presenting one’s own opinions and constructive feedback is acceptable here.

Positive experiences

Despite cultural differences, it is often easier for the Japanese to settle in Finland than in many other countries. Although the Finns speak directly, they do it politely, which is important for the Japanese. There are also significant similarities in Finnish and Japanese culture, such as punctuality, conscientiousness, and perseverance. In the workplace, both Finns and Japanese tend to focus on their own work and not on conversations with colleagues. Systematicness and compliance are also valued in both countries.

Finnish companies have good experiences hiring Japanese. As employees, the Japanese are very detailed and often have an in-depth understanding of their field. Japan has a high level of education and an emphasis on detailed learning. There is also no need to worry about cultural differences, as the Japanese are happy to learn new things. With a good orientation, they also learn the Finnish working culture quickly. Hiring Japanese people is also worthwhile because employees from different cultures bring new kinds of ideas to companies. Recruitment from Japan is particularly important for companies seeking to enter the Japanese market.

Relocation consultants who know Japan

Our relocation consultants have experience in helping several Japanese in Finland as well as personal experience of living in Japan. For example, one of our consultants has worked in Japan for several years and speaks fluent Japanese.

Do you need help with your employee’s relocation? Contact us!


Read more:

What should an international employee know about Finnish working culture?

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