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How the Finns are hiring away your tech talent with a groundbreaking scheme

Finland, the land of NOKIA and Valtteri Bottas — and one of the most creative migration recruitment schemes ever. Devised by the Helsinki Business Hub, the 90 Day Finn scheme has resulted in more than 5,300 enthusiastic tech workers, looking to relocate to the Nordic country. ‘Hiring to hurt’ has now expanded into a global phenomenon.

Jasper Spanjaart on December 28, 2020 Average reading time: 3 min
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How the Finns are hiring away your tech talent with a groundbreaking scheme

It is as if the Finns took a play out of Silicon Valley’s playbook — and then hired those working in Silicon Valley. Strapped for tech talent, the Finns took the unconventional route toward finding new employees. It is eerily similar to what recruitment guru Dr. John Sullivan called hiring to hurt. Wherein Silicon Valley firms source talent from other Valley-based organisations, strengthening their own organisation, while weakening their rivals. Now, they have to account for a new rival: Finland. 

A red carpet entry scheme — or an escape?

There’s no Steve McQueen involved, but it is a bit like The Great Escape. Aimed specifically at U.S. based tech professionals, the Helsinki Business Hub devised an incredible plan. With Trump’s United States struggling in every direction, Finland thought: ‘Why not offer an alternative?’. That’s why, in the midst an upcoming election and a pandemic that kept worsening, it launched the 90 Day Finn program, offering a free 90-day relocation package to Helsinki, Finland.

Who wouldn’t want to trade the divided states of America for the happiest nation in the world?

The original copy is full of enticing statements, subtly hinting towards what a departure from the American mainland would result in. Who wouldn’t want to trade the divided states of America for the happiest nation in the world? (Finland was ranked the world’s happiest country three years in a row). Who wouldn’t want free education and healthcare when those things seem like mission impossible in the U.S.?

Branded a ‘new, red-carpet entry scheme’ in November, it has resulted in thousands of applicants in just over a month.

Branded a ‘new, red-carpet entry scheme’ in November, it has resulted in thousands of applicants in just over a month. The application window closed on December 10th, and a recount shouldn’t be necessary — the United States and Canada accounted for 30% of all applicants, the most from any country. Those that applied will now be provided all official documentation, suitable housing, school or daycare for their children, remote working facilities, intro’s to tech hubs and networks — as well as help with permanent residency. For free.

Initial remote workers

While many of those migrating to Finland will, at least initially, stick with their day job in the country they’ll leave — and simply work remotely”, Johanna Huurre of Helsinki Business Hub told The Guardian. But while that may initially be the case, the Finnish tech industry will surely be looking to pounce whenever that employee is sick of the late night Zoom calls with his or her colleagues.

Because who wouldn’t want to live and work in the happiest nation on earth?

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Jasper Spanjaart

Jasper Spanjaart

Writer and editor at ToTalent

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