Employer, this is how you can reach an international expert

THL specialist Sanna Nykänen gives tips on how to create a multilingual workplace that attracts international experts.
Sanna Nykäsen kuva
Sanna Nykänen. Picture: Lyyra Virtanen. All rights reserved.

The discussion on the diversity of business life has addressed diversity as a resource that increases innovation and, consequently, the productivity of a company or organisation. Project Planning Officer Sanna Nykänen from the Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare (THL) points out that hiring international experts is also a question of equality and non-discrimination.

– Studies indicate that immigrants are highly educated, able to work and willing to work. We should make it possible for everyone to participate in work and society.

Multilingualism for workplaces

In the recruitment process, it is important to consider what kind of language skills are needed in the work. We must create a framework for language-conscious work together. This requires good management.

– How could this task be implemented multilingually? Does this really require native-level Finnish, or could the task be done in some other way? This idea can certainly be applied in many fields, says Nykänen.

Multilingualism means, for example, that Finnish and English are used in meetings in everyday work. Many workplaces may exclusively require a certain competence level, for example in English, so why not use the required languages at the workplace, Nykänen says. When a company recruits a Finnish learner, the employer gives them the opportunity to develop their language skills at the workplace as well.

– Language learning does not happen in a vacuum.

Tools for recruiting

Even if the employer needs and wants to hire an international expert, they do not always have the necessary know-how for recruitment. THL, among others, has published recommendations that can be useful (in Finnish).

Anonymous recruitment can be used as a means to place applicants in an equal position regardless of their background. In some cases, it may be possible to conclude the applicant's language proficiency on the work and study history, for example.

Nykänen shares that THL used an anonymous competence sample in a project researcher recruitment instead of anonymising the CV and job application. In the writing assignment, the applicant could demonstrate their competence and present their ideas for the research.

Recruitment communications implemented in multiple languages and in different channels ensure that recruitment reaches different applicants. It is also possible to attract international experts at the level of image communication: what kind of people are portrayed in the images and what kind of image does it give of the workplace?

Interviewed and written by Lyyra Virtanen.

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