When a person decides to move to another country, there are many and different factors to take into account. But one the most vital ones is finding a job once we get there.
Finland isn’t exactly the easiest country to move into and part of that -aside from the climate- is the fact that the language is like no other in the world. It takes a long time to dominate and speak it fluently. In any other scenario, other than a work place, that isn’t really an issue as the vast majority of Finns speak fluent English. It does become a problem, however, for a foreigner looking for a job, particularly in the beginning.
But don’t lose hope as there exist some companies who hire foreigners who speak only English or are not yet fluent in Finnish. They might not be the most attractive type of jobs, but you must see them as stepping stones. The are a way into the work market and they can provide you a steady income, working rights and protection. That all will allow you to stay in Finland.
So what type of companies are willing to hire foreigners who have just arrived in the country? Companies in the restauration, cleaning, and logistics business are the ones that will usually hire a newly arrived foreigner.
The chances are higher if you live in the southern Uusimaa region, specially around Helsinki. But some of these companies have a nation-wide presence. Barona, Sol Palvelut and Freska are some of them. You can apply via their official websites or deliver your CV or fill their own form sheets in person.
The importance of persistence
According to our experience the responses are usually fast, whether they are positive or negative. The 'trick' to succeed here is to be insistent. This might sound as a cliche, but it's still true. One has to be tenacious and persistent.
This is not to say that only these business hire foreigners or that these are the only jobs you can get when you live in this country. But these are the most common areas of employment for a new-comer, in particular, and they are a 'foot in the door'. Other areas where you can get a job is the IT business. Companies in this area often will prefer that you speak English than Finnish, as English is the language they work with. Quite literally.
On this article you’ll find names and links to companies where you can apply for a job, in a multitude of areas and businesses. Don’t forget that, first of all, you must be a hirable person. This means that you have to have all your legal paperwork and bureaucracy ready and updated.
The obstacle of the bank account
Sometimes companies will require that you have a Finnish bank account already, so they can pay your salary on it. But this a catch 22 as, quite often, a bank won’t accept you as a customer and give you an account if you are new in the country and you don’t have a job already.
In these situations, we advise you visit the bank with some Finnish person that you know (who is already a client), and who assures that you can be trusted, that you are staying in the country permanently and that it is vital for your job search to have a bank account.
If you don’t know any Finnish people where you have that kind of trust or friendship, and once you’re told you got the job, ask the interviewer if its possible for them to write a recommendation in Finnish saying they want to hire you so you can open an account. These strategies aren’t full proof guaranty that it’ll work, but it has been effective more often than not. And remember: always be persistent and don´t give up when obstacles arise.
Some Facebook pages
Other than the links to the companies websites, we also suggest you take a look at the following pages on Facebook:
- International Jobseekers in Helsinki
- English Speaking Jobs in Helsinki
- Jobs in Helsinki
- Find Work Finland
- Find Work In Finland
- Foreign workers in Finland
- IESAF, for all kind of advises from other foreigners' personal experiences.
One final advice: we recommend you to join a union once you get a job as that will help you with your work rights, potential problems or work related doubts of any kind.
To our knowledge, every area has a respective union and a union representative in house. You can always ask the union information once you get a job, so you can sign up for yourself. In other cases the interviewer will ask you directly if you want to join and they will do the paperwork for you. Good luck!
List of interesting links
89. MeetFrank app - get it form store
*List taken from the 'International Jobseekers in Helsinki' page on Facebook. Foreigner.fi has nothing to do with the companies or institutions listed, has no commercial interest in promoting their services and is not responsible of their proper functioning.