How does the City of Tampere attract and retain international talent for study, work, and entrepreneurship?
We caught up with Nuppu Suvanto, Project Manager at the International House Tampere (IHT) to find out how Tampere attracts overseas students and skilled workers to find employment and to boost innovation. She also explains how the pandemic situation has hampered recruitment and the assistance provided by the organisation with respect to finding valuable talent during these difficult times. Not only is IHT assisting local businesses with talent attraction, the organization also supports its new residents through work permit guidelines, integration, language training, skill development, and other benefits – to make their transition to Tampere an easy one for individuals and their families.
Nuppu, you have been in people-centric roles most of your career. What excited you about the Project Manager position at the City of Tampere?
Definitely the possibility to bring together public service partners in international talent and employer services, such as the public employment services and the Tampere university community – to jointly plan, develop and execute the services for the international customers.
Why are good talent attraction and retention strategies so important nowadays?
We need skilled professionals and future talents in order to support our business and economy in becoming stronger, to grow and to keep up with global developments.
What are the main challenges of keeping talent in Tampere, and how do you tackle those?
The biggest challenges for international talents are to find employment and business opportunities and the fact that the services available have been scattered. We have now centralised the services in the International House Tampere – both for employers in order to support them in finding the right talent and taking care of international recruitment processes successfully. And, on the other hand, for talents and their families to help them in getting official processes done and integrating into the local community.
Morten King-Grubert in his interview with TPBO said “Talents are increasingly picking the region that matches their lifestyle preferences first and then they look for the job. Thus, as a region, you need to get involved in this space.” How is the International House Tampere actively attracting and retaining talent?
We have a national programme, Finland Works – it is a collaboration among the different regions and organisations in Finland and an international network of Finland when it comes to international talent attraction. We realise that Finland is a small country and thus, to attract international talent, we have to join forces in addition to bringing region-specific features and talent needs to the table. This way we jointly get better impact and results.
At International House Tampere we provide easy access advice services for living, working, studying and international recruitments and financial support for both talents and employers. We consider it very important to have information and services easily accessible, so we have collected a lot of information and services on our website.
Another important role we also have is to strengthen the awareness of the potential of international talents for local businesses.
Beyond finding suitable international talent to meet the needs of businesses in Tampere, how does your work impact Tampere’s economic development potential, and its brand strength as a city?
In addition to supporting investments from a talent attraction and employer branding viewpoint, we also develop and promote the city for international startups. The local startup ecosystem has been taking huge steps forward, for instance by establishing a physical startup house called Platform6.
With COVID-19 restrictions like border closures and a rise in remote jobs, how has this pandemic affected international hiring and mobility in Tampere?
Quite naturally, a lot. We have not been able to realise our original plans in talent attraction. In the Finland Works collaboration, we have jointly organised webinars supporting talent attraction. We have also continued supporting companies in answering international recruitment questions and international remote work has become one of the special topics due to COVID-19.
What measures are being taken to improve confidence and to attract skilled international workers to Tampere?
The national Finland Works collaboration, mentioned above, definitely improves confidence. For us, it is very important to answer the needs of the local businesses, and this requires tight collaboration with companies and business organisations. With the local university community, we collaborate in attracting students to answer future needs.
Which cities would you consider good examples to follow, for their innovative and successful approaches to talent attraction and retention?
Thank you, Nuppu.
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