Many companies wonder if it is possible to find much-needed experts in the international labor market. One of these is Suora Broadcast Oy from Ylivieska, which at the end of last year made its first recruitment from outside Finland. Many things fell into place, and in the end the whole process took just over a month.
Suora Broadcast Oy (formerly Streamteam Nordic) is a production company that specializes in demanding, multi-camera live productions, e.g. as an broadcaster for sporting events. The internationally operating company employs more than 50 media production professionals in Finland and more than 300 freelancers every year.
The Covid19 times hit the events sector particularly hard, and Suora Broadcast also had to lay off some staff. Many professionals and subcontractors ended up seeking livelihoods in other fields.
“Uncertainty is still in the air, and the industry has not yet restarted properly. After the people have been working other jobs for two years, many will not return. We now have a shortage of experts, and there are job vacancies all the time,” says Juha Koskela, Chairman of the Board.
Due to the reduction in education in the media field, there are currently not enough new experts in domestic educational institutions. The company itself has trained employees from other fields, but the focus is now on abroad as well.
In November, Koskela participated in the “International experts in accelerating growth” event organized by NIHAK. There he heard about Spondeo, which operates in Poland and offers recruitment services from Poland to Finland.
The application process was launched, and just over a month later, a new employee of Suora Broadcast arrived at the Helsinki-Vantaa airport. The first task of the employer was to equip the newcomer with warm winter shoes.
“From our point of view, the recruitment went really well, and we got a professional and positive employee here. He came to the Helsinki office to manage the transmission technology,” Koskela says.
It is important to take care of the employees
When a new employee comes from elsewhere, help is initially needed in a wide range of daily activities, starting with the bank, the tax office, and health care.
“We must act so that the employee who comes here is not left alone. For the job, you need to find someone who will show you how things work here and where you can get anything. Fortunately, our company is used to handling all kinds of situations between the earth and the sky,” says Koskela.
According to Koskela, the labor shortage requires companies to change their culture:
“In general, the needs of staff need to be considered more closely and employees need to be retained. It doesn’t help to think that there are always new ones at the employment office.”
In the near future, Direct Broadcast intends to continue international recruitment. According to Koskela, it is important that entrepreneurs in the same situation have access to relevant information and experience sharing, as well as opportunities to network with domestic and foreign service providers.
“It must be said that NIHAK has handled this issue well by making international recruitment one of its priorities. The shortage of labor in our area is a big problem, and such projects and actions can answer it,” Koskela says.
Finland’s strength is a good everyday life and a functioning society
Tuomas Asunmaa, CEO of Spondeo, states that at the moment it is important to be able to get the recruitment done effectively when it comes to the desired experts.
In the case of Suora Broadcast, rapid recruitment was made possible by targeted campaigning and immediate response when a suitable candidate was found. Luckily, a Polish expert was found through a global search, although applications came from all over the world.
“Rapid recruitment is only possible from EU countries. There were newcomers from all over the world, but recruitment from outside the EU is still slow. It also involves bureaucracy, and companies often do not have the resources to handle it, neither by themselves nor with a third party,” Asunmaa states.
Asunmaa, a native of Oulu, founded Spondeo in 2014 to serve companies in Poland and elsewhere in the Central and Eastern European markets and in recruitment. The company, which operates from Poznán, is currently employed mainly by direct search assignments and the construction of a network of sales and sales partners.
According to Asuunmaa, there are fewer newcomers from Poland every year, and the purchasing power of certain experts there is already higher than it would be in Finland. On the other hand, the social situation also influences people’s decisions:
“If previously a typical Polish expatriate was a regular working man, now it is most likely to be a young white-collar professional who is looking for a job and wants to leave their homeland because of the political situation in Poland.
According to Asunmaa, Finland’s strengths are the basics: a functioning society, clean air, congestion-free roads, tax-financed services and a “work-life balance”, a smooth coordination of work and home life.
When an employer is first considering recruiting internationally, Asunmaa would urge them to start going through their own realities.
– Is there a readiness to work in English on a daily basis, are salaries attractive, is it possible to assist in relocation and integrate the newcomer into the company and Finland. After that, feel free to search and carry out interviews!
Text: Hanna Perkkiö