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How I met my foreign employee The employer’s stories presented below can help you to discover their points of view and maybe will give you some ideas how to present yourself and what you should expect from the Finnish employer when applying for a job.

Aleksi Pulkkanen - Agendium

Henna Yrjänäinen - Focuslink Oy

A couple of years back we had decided to recruit a new Web Programmer to Avoine. We had a cross-functional 10-person team back then, all of them Finns. That’s why our job ad was in Finnish too - the thought of going international really didn’t even cross my mind at first. The company had been all Finnish for almost 15 years and it felt natural (well, easier at least) to continue that way.

Focuslink Oy is a Tampere based company working in the field of market research. We offer project type work to native speakers of various languages. Experiences working with foreigners vary, as they do working with Finnish people as well. Some workers find us through , their school or they contact us based on their friend’s recommendations. Usually we keep the contact information for future projects, even if there is no work to offer right away. Usually, if the person comes through a friend, then I know already that they will most likely be a more reliable worker. We don’t require knowledge of Finnish, but some English should be spoken. There have been cases in the past that it has been impossible to instruct a person to do the job, because of a language barrier. Also, when searching for a job it helps, if you already have a Finnish ID and a tax card.

Luckily by far the best application we got was from Tom - an Englishman just about to move to Finland. He later told me that he had Google Translated our job ad from Finnish to English. Tom’s application got me really thinking about how big of a change would it be to turn our working language to English? After all we Finns are usually very good English-speakers - better than most Britts in Tom’s words. As we had a tight team, we were able to have a couple of very good, open and honest discussions about switching to English and we decided to try it out. Looking back, recruiting my first foreign employee was quite a coincidence, but it turned out to be a tremendous learning experience for our whole team, helped us a lot in doing international business and didn’t slow us down at any point. We hired more international employees soon after and this really gave a boost for our recruiting. I see the initial discussions, both with the team affected and with the first international employee, as really important ones. When both sides are committed to building the common future, it’s a clear choice.

We have several foreigners that we consider as part of the regular staff, because they do their job so well, and have been working for the company for years. In general the main difficulties can be put down to culture differences and language barriers. Many seem to forget, that this is a paying job, and if we schedule shifts then you should come when agreed, and not when you feel like. Generally, if a worker is not reliable, then we avoid asking them to work. The best advice I can give regarding any job is to come on time, listen to instructions and ask if something is unclear. Be positive. is our recruitment email to which applications can be sent with the heading “project worker” (languages you speak should be mentioned as well).


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Work in Tampere  

WORK IN TAMPERE © Tampereen ammattikorkeakoulun opiskelijakunta Publisher Students’ Union of Tampere University of Applied Sciences (Tamko)...

Work in Tampere  

WORK IN TAMPERE © Tampereen ammattikorkeakoulun opiskelijakunta Publisher Students’ Union of Tampere University of Applied Sciences (Tamko)...