23.4.2021 | Have the courage to hire right-fit talents irrespective of their backgrounds

When driving south towards Helsinki from Tampere, many might have noticed a bright blue logo ‘Robit’ to their right in the motorway before Ideapark. What looks like a conventional industrial building from outside is actually a booming workplace for international talents in Tampere. 10 out of 60 employees of Robit Finland have an international background extending from South America to South Asia.

“Hiring internationals has turned out to be the right-fit due to the global nature of our business.”, clarifies Jaana Rinne who is head of HR at Robit. Founded in 1985, Robit is a global company with the widest offerings in drilling consumables. It has manufacturing locations in 4 countries and 3 continents, and has a sales network globally.

Since 2015, Robit has been successfully hiring recent graduates and students close to their graduation in Finland through ‘Talent Trainee Program’. Jaana explains that this program is open for all, but lately a lot of the international hires have been coming through this program. “We hired a Talent Trainee from Pakistan in 2016, from Vietnam in 2018, from Nepal in 2019, and from Brazil in 2020.”, Jaana believes that for international talents, who are studying or have studied in Finland, finding a job and becoming tax payers in Finland is a wonderful way of giving back to Finland.

Jaana Rinne, HR Director, Robit Plc

Besides this program, Robit has also been hiring internationals in expert or specialist positions who originally come from Mexico, Greece, Ukraine, Russia, Australia and so on. Jaana admits the challenges around such a hiring process. She points, “It is rather easy to hire international talents who are already in Finland as they hold the required resident/work permits, and are familiar with Finnish work culture and expectations.” She believes a clear set of guidelines or one-stop service, and a little support from public stakeholders could really help companies like Robit to navigate bureaucratic hassles, and engage openly in international hiring.

While bureaucracy pertaining to hiring international talents from outside Finland could be a deterrent, Jaana believes there is much to be done when it comes to hiring the international talents that are already in Finland. She points that a lot of companies might not be even thinking or considering hiring internationals to their teams. This can be attributed to the communication challenges as many globally exporting companies could still be using Finnish as their business language, and the use of English might well be limited only to few employees handling customer communication.

“At Robit, our business language is English so an international talent can easily walk in and start contributing from day one. As a global company, we refrain from hiring any Finnish employee to office work whose working English is not good.”, Jaana continues. Her suggestion to other companies is to have courage to hire international talents as long as they fit well in the role and the team.

For international talents trying to find their breakthrough in Finnish companies, Jaana recommends to carry the right attitude and motivation. She believes an applicant must be clear why s/he wants to join the company, and should be able to clearly state why the company should hire them. Her advice is to use abundant resources now available online, and try avoiding typos or being too ‘funny’ just to stand out when writing application or motivation letters.

Robit is a great example of a global Finnish company when it comes to keeping an open mindset in their hiring process. Their focus is rather on finding the right-fit than the right national. Moreover, they are aware of the challenges but have been very courageous to include international talents in their workforce to truly represent the spirit of a global company. ‘We Drive Change.’ is one among their three values, and they are truly driving the change by providing opportunities to international talents consistently and successfully in Finland.

Text: Tampere talent Ambassadors