For some time now, talent shortage has been an obstacle for growth in Finland. Helsinki Business Hub is taking action to tackle the issue with concrete actions, starting with one-year piloting project in cooperation with public and private sectors.
Helsinki Business Hub takes action to tackle the issue of talent shortage. The project is initiated in the IT sector, where talent shortage is most acute. Various estimates suggest Finland currently needs 7000 software developers and the amount is predicted to grow each year. Education alone cannot solve this challenge.
Shared interest of the government, cities and companies
Helsinki Business Hub will not be solving the challenges in talent attraction alone – the activities are carried out in cooperation with different public and private sector actors. Participants include the cities of Helsinki and Espoo, The Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment, as well as the region’s software companies.
“By doing things together we aim to avoid overlaps and gain as much results as possible. A year is a short time, when we are dealing with people and their willingness to relocate. The goal in this time frame is to attract 100 experts to the Helsinki region. In addition to that, we are developing a new approach, that can be scaled up after the pilot project and transferred to serve other industries as well”, says Miska Hakala, Director of Business Platform Development at Helsinki Business Hub.
“Attracting talented software developers is the lifeblood of the Finnish industries and services. Otherwise production will be draining from Finland to abroad. It is excellent, that this challenge is now being tackled with this Talent Attraction Project and practical actions are taken in attracting the experts here”, says Rasmus Roiha, CEO of Finnish Software Entrepreneurs’ Association.
Growing need requires more talent
The IT sector is the natural starting point for the development of talent attraction. The industry has an acute need, but IT know-how is also one of Finland’s biggest strengths. However, this is not purely just about software companies. With the transformation brought by digitalization, attracting software developers is becoming more and more crucial for all industries.
“We are constantly in need of educated, and also somewhat experienced professionals in software development. At best the larger talent pool would ease the recruitments for everyone in the industry, and thus improve the entire sector’s competitiveness. Especially startups often have to face competition over the same talents with the bigger companies, which can hinder their growth. As result, the process of entering new innovations to the markets is slowed down, comments Tuomas Kytömaa, Managing Director of Zalando Finland.
The Talent Attraction Project kicks off rapidly with needs assessment and identifying potential target markets. “Our plan is to pilot different marketing activities as soon as possible. This way we will rapidly get info on which measures yield results and can develop our operations efficiently in short time. The capital regions of our neighboring countries have conducted talent attraction activities for years already. We must gain results fast, in order to survive the competition also in the future, Hakala says.