Helsinki Business Hub has launched a pilot project to help solve the talent shortage, which is currently challenging the Finnish ICT industry as well as many other industries in the face of digitalization. The goal of the one-year pilot is to come up with a scalable platform that matches companies in Finland with ICT professionals interested in relocating to Finland.
According to a recent survey by the University of Jyväskylä, Finland needs as many as 8,000 developers to fill the talent gap challenging software companies and organizations in various other fields.
“Finland has lots of excellent developers and tech talent, but we need more. The shortage has come up fast and it’s due, on the one hand, to the fact that the economy has finally picked up. On the other hand, all sorts of companies are now looking for coders, software developers and ICT managers. Even companies that don’t work in the ICT field – from startups to healthcare giants, banks and corporations – need this type of talent to keep up with digitalization. In addition to professionals educated here in Finland, we want to attract people from the international job market,” says Miska Hakala, director of business platform development at Helsinki Business Hub.
Many foreign companies are already drawn to Helsinki because of its highly educated workforce. The Helsinki region is an important, well-connected national hub, where the majority of the country’s ICT professionals already live. That’s why it was natural for Helsinki Business Hub to take up the challenge of tackling the talent shortage.
“We need to solve this problem to enable economic growth. Everything depends on skilled workforce: innovations, success in the digital world, finding partners and investments, and beating competition. Attracting professionals from the international job market also helps create culturally diverse teams, which can be an asset to organizations as they can often provide wider exposure to fresh ideas,” Hakala says.
Bringing together companies, professionals and the public sector
Helsinki Business Hub is looking to other Nordic cities and areas as benchmarks. It is also busy collecting information: talking to companies experiencing recruiting challenges as well as to foreign developers who have already relocated to Finland.
“We want to know what international developers have experienced when relocating to Helsinki. What did they like? What needs to be improved? Companies, on the other hand, can help us understand their recruitment needs and future plans. After that, we’ll use all this information to build a platform that will match the companies’ and individuals’ needs,” says talent advisor Nisha Yadav.
“As a public non-profit organization, we can bring together different kinds of players. All the companies we’ve talked to have been keen to participate and work on the challenge, and we really need and value their input,” says talent advisor Gabriele Aimone.
In addition to companies and individuals, Helsinki Business Hub is working with public sector organizations like the Cities of Helsinki and Espoo, Helsinki Marketing, Business Finland, as well as the Finnish Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment and its Talent Boost program.
“It is vital to work with both the public and the private sector. Growing companies hire professionals who in turn need public services, and growth creates more tax revenue needed to provide these services,” Miska Hakala says.
A concept to benefit everyone
After the one-year pilot project, Helsinki Business Hub intends to have a cutting-edge talent attraction model to better welcome professionals willing to relocate to Finland.
“We intend to create something permanent, a model that can be scaled and even further developed by anyone, whether it be companies or organizations such as The Finnish Software Industry and Entrepreneur Association. We are not planning to claim ownership. This is a huge challenge and the more people put their heads together to come up with ideas, the better,” Hakala says.
The pilot project will determine, whether the model will work as a service or be entirely handed on to different organizations to use and develop further. It will, however, likely consist of a wide concept including a digital platform and relevant support services.
“A scalable talent attraction platform can make Helsinki even more successful in the global competition for talented professionals. It can also make the region a more influential future player in software development and digitalization,” says Miska Hakala.