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International Tech
Talent in Finland
Motivations and experiences
of work life in Finland
2024
Contents of
the report
Executive summary
Introduction
Demographics & Professions
Relocating and living in Finland
SECTION 1
BACKGROUND
SECTION 2
WORKPLACE INSIGHTS
International
tech
talents
in
Finland
2024
Motivations
and
experiences
of
work
life
in
Finland
Choosing a workplace
Workplace integration
Top preferred employers
Competitiveness of salary
Job discrimination
SECTION 3
CONCLUSION
Working and living in Finland long term
Conclusion
Recommendations
Without international talent, the Finnish economy will stagnate. The aim of this
research is to provide a comprehensive overview of the motivations, expectations, and
experiences of international tech talent working in Finland.
We wanted to understand why these talents chose Finland and if they see a future here.
What they value in their work life, how competitive and fair they find their salaries, and
whether they have experienced discrimination during their recruitment processes.
According to the results, Finland is an attractive destination for talents who want a high
quality balanced lifestyle. We are doing a good job highlighting our key selling points as
a country and are also home to many successful tech companies.
But, we have work to do to ensure that international talents do not face discrimination
and are better integrated into the workplace and society. Over 55% of respondents have
felt discriminated against, and over 60% of respondents either did not see or only maybe
saw their salary as competitive when comparing to the job market and their Finnish
speaking peers.
Introduction
The Finnish economy won’t grow without international talent. In
order to attract and retain international tech talent in Finland, we
must understand their motivations, expectations, challenges,
and the realities of living and working in Finland. Do they see
their future in this country?
An anonymous online survey was created and sent out to the
target group, international tech talents living in Finland. The total
number of respondents was 226.
The survey included different type of questions (open-ended
questions, multiple choice questions) about the respondents
current employment, important factors when considering future
employment, salary insights, life in Finland, and future plans.
Why do we do this?
How do we do it?
What does it cover?
Demographics &
Professions
Countries of origin, top 5 (n=226)
Other countries include Estonia, China,
Pakistan, Romania, Nepal and more.
Age groups (n=226)
Biggest represented age groups:
26 - 30; 31 - 35; 36 - 40
Professions
The areas of expertise represented in
the survey respondents.
The top 3
1. Full stack development
2. Frontend development
3. Backend development
Other fields included cybersecurity,
software architecture, AI, and more.
Relocating and
living in Finland
Top reasons
for moving to
Finland
Education (52,2%)
Employment (39,8%)
Family (26,1%)
1
2
3
*Respondents were able to select
multiple options
why Finland?
…to relocate to …to settle down in
High quality
of life
(51.8%)
Safety &
wellbeing
(44,7%)
Quality of
education
(40.7%)
Work life
balance
(38.1%)
Safety &
wellbeing
(57.1%)
High
quality of
life
(56.2%)
Work life
balance
(55.3%)
Nature
(37.2%)
Nature is the 5th most popular reason
for relocating to Finland.
The key selling points of Finland are
accurate. Expectations are meeting reality.
Key factors when
choosing a workplace
Main reasons for choosing current employers
The top factors influencing
international tech talents’ decisions
are first and foremost about the work
flexibility followed by career
development prospects.
Other factors mentioned by
respondents included modern
technology used in the company, the
role and responsibilities, location, a
meaningful mission, and the brand.
Main factors affecting choice of next employer
The top factors influencing
international tech talents’ decisions
focus primarily on their role, their
compensation, and long-term career
development opportunities.
Other factors mentioned included
what the company does, the team,
location, training, diversity and
inclusion.
Flexibility is not in the top factors. Do people
value different things once they’re in the company
vs. deciding a new one? A shortcoming of this
research is that the options to choose from in
these 2 question differ.
Main factors affecting choice of next employer
2024
Compensation
and benefits
Role and
responsibilities
Long-term
career
development
Financial
situation of the
company
Company
culture and
values
Compensation
and benefits
Role and
responsibilities
Financial
situation of the
company
Company
culture and
values
Long-term
career
development
2023
The top 5 factors tech talents consider when deciding their next
employers are the same when comparing survey results this year and
from 2023. To compete for these talents, companies must prioritise
these elements. They are areas to continuously review and develop, to
communicate externally and internally.
Long-term career development has
become more important in 2024. With
the wave of tech layoffs, are talents
more interested in job security and
growing within a company?
Workplace integration
How can we help
international tech
talents smoothly
integrate into their
place of work?
Top ways to
ensure smooth
integration into
the workplace
Clarity of role and
responsibilities
Work-life
balance
Mentorship and
work-buddy programs
Transparent
company culture
Cultural
understanding &
diversity at work
Info about
holidays, leaves,
insurance etc.
Finnish language
intro course
Relocation
assistance
Spouse/family
programs
Top preferred employers
Top 10 preferred
employers in Finland of
International Tech Talent
Making the top 10 list this year includes 4 new companies, wherein
2 are banks. Wolt and Nokia remain in the top 3 when comparing to
2023’s results, with Wolt securing the first position and Supercell
taking a dip.
9 companies on the list originated from Finland. All companies on
the list operate internationally except for OP Financial Group.
Banks and financial institutions can
be seen as a more stable employer
during times of uncertainty
2023-2024 mass layoffs in
gaming → Supercell and
Rovio dropping a bit
vs.
2023
2024
The lists comprise of
larger companies (>350
employees).
Supermetrics, Futurice,
and ICEYE did not make
the 2024 list.
Consultancies have
experienced tougher times
in 2024 - Reaktor has had
the biggest drop in the list
and Futurice is not there.
Competitiveness of salary
“Is your salary competitive…?”
…in comparison to the local job market …in comparison to Finnish speaking colleagues
65% of respondents did not see their salary as
competitive or only as maybe competitive
Around 3 in 5 people did not find their salary as
competitive or only as maybe competitive
Competitiveness
of salary
…compared to
local job market
…compared to
Finnish speaking
colleagues
63% of respondents did not see their salary as
competitive or only as maybe competitive
Around 3 in 5 people did not find their salary as
competitive or only as maybe competitive
Job discrimination
If you are not Finnish then it is
pretty impossible to find a
meaningful job here. Even if
you are highly qualified. Still, to
sustain yourself you have to
work as a cleaner which
makes no sense.
“Have you faced discrimination…?”
…when looking for a job in Finland
Around 58% or 3 in 5 people have faced or maybe
felt discriminated against while looking for a job
Language barrier and
rejections based on
insufficient Finnish skill
Foreign name
Nationality
Education not from
Finland
Salary inequality
Not getting to interviews
“How have
you faced
discrimination?
*An open-ended question and answers
have been grouped into the following
categories.
What are your recruitment biases?
How have you faced discrimination - Quotes
Bias from the recruiters based on my name:
refused position because I “didn’t speak
Finnish”, even though I am fluent like a native
speaker and have been working in fully Finnish
projects, and also the recruiter had never asked
or tested my Finnish skills.
I applied for a thesis work, and my
nationality was mentioned as a
potential obstacle for further
discussions.
I have been asked my nationality in
interviews. Also about my Finnish skills
though it is already mentioned in my CV. At
times, the job ad previously didn't contain
Finnish language req, but after sending in an
application, the job requirements changed
and asked for Finnish skills.
Although I have been living here for 30
years, all degrees in FIN & fluent Finnish
language - by my Russian name & last
name I am treated as foreigner &
fugitive.
While my Finnish schoolmates with
the same criteria found a job easily, I
could only attend about 10 interviews
out of about 200 job applications.
I found that Finnish employment law is
very complicated and different to other
European countries. A lot of details were
not explained and I did not get the
same benefits because of this. Also
salaries are not discussed and I found
out quite late that I was being paid less
than I should have.
Working and living in
Finland long term
do international tech talents
see their future in Finland?
“Do you see yourself living in Finland in the next 5 years?”
Majority of respondents see themselves living
in Finland in 5 years’ time. These results are
similar to the previous year’s where
approximately 85% of respondents answered
maybe or yes to staying in Finland.
Discrimination towards non-Finnish
speakers in getting a job and getting
promoted, prejudices
“Why not?”
*An open-ended question and answers have been grouped
into the following categories.
Political decisions and the new
immigration policy
Unwelcoming culture, struggles
with integration, lack of social
networks/ communities
Unpleasant climate
High cost of living (taxes,
housing etc)
Lack of diversity
We can directly
tackle 3/6 issues
Why do you not want to stay in Finland - Quotes
High taxes, low wages compared
to similar other countries, cold,
dark, hard to make friends,
increasing public sentiment
against foreigners, rise of far
right.
Sweden/Norway/Denmark
seems to be a better choice
for international talents.
Compensation for senior
developers is low.
For now I don't have any plans
to relocate. My wife is
struggling to find a job. If she
can't find a job in the near
future, relocation is inevitable.
Mainly the weather. Finland is
not a good country to be self
employed. Lack of
meaningful job opportunities.
Conclusion and
Recommendations
Living in Finland
Choosing a
workplace
Top preferred
employers
Salary &
Discrimination
Key factors talents care
about in a workplace:
Compensation, roles and
responsibilities, future
career development, and
flexibility.
To ensure smooth
integration, have clear
roles and responsibilities,
work-life balance, and
mentorship and work
buddy programs.
Wolt, Nokia, and Nordea
are the top 3 preferred
employers of tech talents.
Bigger companies and
those with international
operations are on the list
(except for OP). 9 of the
companies on the list
originated from Finland.
Two banks made the top
10 list, Nordea and OP
securing high positions.
There were fewer
consultancies on this
year’s list and gaming
companies took a dip.
Over 60% of respondents
either did not see or only
maybe saw their salary as
competitive when
comparing to the job
market and their Finnish
speaking peers.
Over 55% of respondents
have felt discriminated
against while looking for a
job in Finland. Many have
faced rejections due to
insufficient Finnish skills,
having a foreign name, and
have been discriminated
based on their education
not being from Finland.
Talents choose Finland
because of the high quality
of life & education, safety
and wellbeing, work-life
balance, and the nature.
Around 85% see
themselves maybe or
definitely living in Finland
in the next 5 years.
Reasons for not wanting to
stay vary from struggling
with integration, the
unwelcoming culture,
discrimination, high costs
of living, unpleasant
weather, and the political
decisions being made.
Finland is an attractive destination for talents who want a
high quality balanced lifestyle. We are doing a good job
highlighting our key selling points as a country and are
also home to many successful tech companies.
But, we have work to do to ensure that international
talents do not face discrimination and are better
integrated into the workplace and society.
Recommendations
Here are 5 concrete tips for attracting
and retaining international talent based
on the research findings.
Who are these tips meant for?
Recruiters, HR and employer branding
professionals, hiring managers, and
anyone looking to grow their teams.
Focus on the factors talents care about: Compensation,
the role and responsibilities, career development, and
flexibility. Constantly review and develop these areas! And
communicate this clearly internally and externally!
Hire diverse talent and ensure fair recruitment processes
by reducing the impact of biases and re-evaluating your
requirements. Raise awareness about and provide
trainings on biases, have diverse interview panels.
Consider whether fluent Finnish is necessary in the job?
Ensure fair pay and increase salary transparency. One
easy fix is to add salary ranges to job ads.
Invest in onboarding and help talents integrate into the
workplace and the society. Ensure work-life balance, offer
buddy programs, mentoring, and different networks/
communities for employees.
Benchmark the top preferred employers. What are they
doing well in their employer branding that you could learn?
1
2
3
4
5
WEBSITE LINKEDIN INSTAGRAM sofia@findersseekers.io

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International Tech Talent in Finland 2024

  • 1. International Tech Talent in Finland Motivations and experiences of work life in Finland 2024
  • 2. Contents of the report Executive summary Introduction Demographics & Professions Relocating and living in Finland SECTION 1 BACKGROUND SECTION 2 WORKPLACE INSIGHTS International tech talents in Finland 2024 Motivations and experiences of work life in Finland Choosing a workplace Workplace integration Top preferred employers Competitiveness of salary Job discrimination SECTION 3 CONCLUSION Working and living in Finland long term Conclusion Recommendations
  • 3. Without international talent, the Finnish economy will stagnate. The aim of this research is to provide a comprehensive overview of the motivations, expectations, and experiences of international tech talent working in Finland. We wanted to understand why these talents chose Finland and if they see a future here. What they value in their work life, how competitive and fair they find their salaries, and whether they have experienced discrimination during their recruitment processes. According to the results, Finland is an attractive destination for talents who want a high quality balanced lifestyle. We are doing a good job highlighting our key selling points as a country and are also home to many successful tech companies. But, we have work to do to ensure that international talents do not face discrimination and are better integrated into the workplace and society. Over 55% of respondents have felt discriminated against, and over 60% of respondents either did not see or only maybe saw their salary as competitive when comparing to the job market and their Finnish speaking peers.
  • 4. Introduction The Finnish economy won’t grow without international talent. In order to attract and retain international tech talent in Finland, we must understand their motivations, expectations, challenges, and the realities of living and working in Finland. Do they see their future in this country? An anonymous online survey was created and sent out to the target group, international tech talents living in Finland. The total number of respondents was 226. The survey included different type of questions (open-ended questions, multiple choice questions) about the respondents current employment, important factors when considering future employment, salary insights, life in Finland, and future plans. Why do we do this? How do we do it? What does it cover?
  • 6. Countries of origin, top 5 (n=226) Other countries include Estonia, China, Pakistan, Romania, Nepal and more. Age groups (n=226) Biggest represented age groups: 26 - 30; 31 - 35; 36 - 40
  • 7. Professions The areas of expertise represented in the survey respondents. The top 3 1. Full stack development 2. Frontend development 3. Backend development Other fields included cybersecurity, software architecture, AI, and more.
  • 9. Top reasons for moving to Finland Education (52,2%) Employment (39,8%) Family (26,1%) 1 2 3 *Respondents were able to select multiple options
  • 11. …to relocate to …to settle down in High quality of life (51.8%) Safety & wellbeing (44,7%) Quality of education (40.7%) Work life balance (38.1%) Safety & wellbeing (57.1%) High quality of life (56.2%) Work life balance (55.3%) Nature (37.2%) Nature is the 5th most popular reason for relocating to Finland. The key selling points of Finland are accurate. Expectations are meeting reality.
  • 13. Main reasons for choosing current employers The top factors influencing international tech talents’ decisions are first and foremost about the work flexibility followed by career development prospects. Other factors mentioned by respondents included modern technology used in the company, the role and responsibilities, location, a meaningful mission, and the brand.
  • 14. Main factors affecting choice of next employer The top factors influencing international tech talents’ decisions focus primarily on their role, their compensation, and long-term career development opportunities. Other factors mentioned included what the company does, the team, location, training, diversity and inclusion. Flexibility is not in the top factors. Do people value different things once they’re in the company vs. deciding a new one? A shortcoming of this research is that the options to choose from in these 2 question differ.
  • 15. Main factors affecting choice of next employer 2024 Compensation and benefits Role and responsibilities Long-term career development Financial situation of the company Company culture and values Compensation and benefits Role and responsibilities Financial situation of the company Company culture and values Long-term career development 2023 The top 5 factors tech talents consider when deciding their next employers are the same when comparing survey results this year and from 2023. To compete for these talents, companies must prioritise these elements. They are areas to continuously review and develop, to communicate externally and internally. Long-term career development has become more important in 2024. With the wave of tech layoffs, are talents more interested in job security and growing within a company?
  • 17. How can we help international tech talents smoothly integrate into their place of work?
  • 18. Top ways to ensure smooth integration into the workplace Clarity of role and responsibilities Work-life balance Mentorship and work-buddy programs Transparent company culture Cultural understanding & diversity at work Info about holidays, leaves, insurance etc. Finnish language intro course Relocation assistance Spouse/family programs
  • 20. Top 10 preferred employers in Finland of International Tech Talent Making the top 10 list this year includes 4 new companies, wherein 2 are banks. Wolt and Nokia remain in the top 3 when comparing to 2023’s results, with Wolt securing the first position and Supercell taking a dip. 9 companies on the list originated from Finland. All companies on the list operate internationally except for OP Financial Group. Banks and financial institutions can be seen as a more stable employer during times of uncertainty 2023-2024 mass layoffs in gaming → Supercell and Rovio dropping a bit
  • 21. vs. 2023 2024 The lists comprise of larger companies (>350 employees). Supermetrics, Futurice, and ICEYE did not make the 2024 list. Consultancies have experienced tougher times in 2024 - Reaktor has had the biggest drop in the list and Futurice is not there.
  • 23. “Is your salary competitive…?” …in comparison to the local job market …in comparison to Finnish speaking colleagues
  • 24. 65% of respondents did not see their salary as competitive or only as maybe competitive Around 3 in 5 people did not find their salary as competitive or only as maybe competitive Competitiveness of salary …compared to local job market …compared to Finnish speaking colleagues 63% of respondents did not see their salary as competitive or only as maybe competitive Around 3 in 5 people did not find their salary as competitive or only as maybe competitive
  • 26. If you are not Finnish then it is pretty impossible to find a meaningful job here. Even if you are highly qualified. Still, to sustain yourself you have to work as a cleaner which makes no sense.
  • 27. “Have you faced discrimination…?” …when looking for a job in Finland Around 58% or 3 in 5 people have faced or maybe felt discriminated against while looking for a job
  • 28. Language barrier and rejections based on insufficient Finnish skill Foreign name Nationality Education not from Finland Salary inequality Not getting to interviews “How have you faced discrimination? *An open-ended question and answers have been grouped into the following categories. What are your recruitment biases?
  • 29. How have you faced discrimination - Quotes Bias from the recruiters based on my name: refused position because I “didn’t speak Finnish”, even though I am fluent like a native speaker and have been working in fully Finnish projects, and also the recruiter had never asked or tested my Finnish skills. I applied for a thesis work, and my nationality was mentioned as a potential obstacle for further discussions. I have been asked my nationality in interviews. Also about my Finnish skills though it is already mentioned in my CV. At times, the job ad previously didn't contain Finnish language req, but after sending in an application, the job requirements changed and asked for Finnish skills. Although I have been living here for 30 years, all degrees in FIN & fluent Finnish language - by my Russian name & last name I am treated as foreigner & fugitive. While my Finnish schoolmates with the same criteria found a job easily, I could only attend about 10 interviews out of about 200 job applications.
  • 30. I found that Finnish employment law is very complicated and different to other European countries. A lot of details were not explained and I did not get the same benefits because of this. Also salaries are not discussed and I found out quite late that I was being paid less than I should have.
  • 31. Working and living in Finland long term
  • 32. do international tech talents see their future in Finland?
  • 33. “Do you see yourself living in Finland in the next 5 years?” Majority of respondents see themselves living in Finland in 5 years’ time. These results are similar to the previous year’s where approximately 85% of respondents answered maybe or yes to staying in Finland.
  • 34. Discrimination towards non-Finnish speakers in getting a job and getting promoted, prejudices “Why not?” *An open-ended question and answers have been grouped into the following categories. Political decisions and the new immigration policy Unwelcoming culture, struggles with integration, lack of social networks/ communities Unpleasant climate High cost of living (taxes, housing etc) Lack of diversity We can directly tackle 3/6 issues
  • 35. Why do you not want to stay in Finland - Quotes High taxes, low wages compared to similar other countries, cold, dark, hard to make friends, increasing public sentiment against foreigners, rise of far right. Sweden/Norway/Denmark seems to be a better choice for international talents. Compensation for senior developers is low. For now I don't have any plans to relocate. My wife is struggling to find a job. If she can't find a job in the near future, relocation is inevitable. Mainly the weather. Finland is not a good country to be self employed. Lack of meaningful job opportunities.
  • 37. Living in Finland Choosing a workplace Top preferred employers Salary & Discrimination Key factors talents care about in a workplace: Compensation, roles and responsibilities, future career development, and flexibility. To ensure smooth integration, have clear roles and responsibilities, work-life balance, and mentorship and work buddy programs. Wolt, Nokia, and Nordea are the top 3 preferred employers of tech talents. Bigger companies and those with international operations are on the list (except for OP). 9 of the companies on the list originated from Finland. Two banks made the top 10 list, Nordea and OP securing high positions. There were fewer consultancies on this year’s list and gaming companies took a dip. Over 60% of respondents either did not see or only maybe saw their salary as competitive when comparing to the job market and their Finnish speaking peers. Over 55% of respondents have felt discriminated against while looking for a job in Finland. Many have faced rejections due to insufficient Finnish skills, having a foreign name, and have been discriminated based on their education not being from Finland. Talents choose Finland because of the high quality of life & education, safety and wellbeing, work-life balance, and the nature. Around 85% see themselves maybe or definitely living in Finland in the next 5 years. Reasons for not wanting to stay vary from struggling with integration, the unwelcoming culture, discrimination, high costs of living, unpleasant weather, and the political decisions being made.
  • 38. Finland is an attractive destination for talents who want a high quality balanced lifestyle. We are doing a good job highlighting our key selling points as a country and are also home to many successful tech companies. But, we have work to do to ensure that international talents do not face discrimination and are better integrated into the workplace and society.
  • 39. Recommendations Here are 5 concrete tips for attracting and retaining international talent based on the research findings. Who are these tips meant for? Recruiters, HR and employer branding professionals, hiring managers, and anyone looking to grow their teams. Focus on the factors talents care about: Compensation, the role and responsibilities, career development, and flexibility. Constantly review and develop these areas! And communicate this clearly internally and externally! Hire diverse talent and ensure fair recruitment processes by reducing the impact of biases and re-evaluating your requirements. Raise awareness about and provide trainings on biases, have diverse interview panels. Consider whether fluent Finnish is necessary in the job? Ensure fair pay and increase salary transparency. One easy fix is to add salary ranges to job ads. Invest in onboarding and help talents integrate into the workplace and the society. Ensure work-life balance, offer buddy programs, mentoring, and different networks/ communities for employees. Benchmark the top preferred employers. What are they doing well in their employer branding that you could learn? 1 2 3 4 5
  • 40. WEBSITE LINKEDIN INSTAGRAM sofia@findersseekers.io