Talent Attraction Workshop at Kotka

Talent Attraction Workshop took place during 2 days on May 11-12th in Kotka and focused on Talent Attraction Management in general as well as the Talent Attraction strategies and activities in Finland in particular. The workshop was organized in cooperation with Kotka-Haminan region development company Cursor, Tendensor International and the Ministry of Economic Affairs.

On the first day of the event, Mr. Pärtel-Peter Pere, CEO at Tendensor International, introduced the main challenges of talent attraction on his presentation “Talent Attraction Management and Business Ecosystems”. He was also the moderator and facilitator of the workshop and supervised all the discussions and pitches of the participants.

The event was opened by Mr. Markku Lahtinen, Project Director, Helsinki Chamber of Commerce, who shared with us his insights on the successful multicultural company campaign and key learnings from EntryPoint mentoring programme. His colleague Mentoring Programme Officer Shania Shin, Helsinki Chamber of Commerce, COME-project, explained in more detail how the project was designed, executed and what kind of results it managed to give.

Service Director Mr. Jouni Eho from Cursor Ltd. carried on to talk about the plans of Kotka-Hamina region for strengthening the talent pool in cooperation with other regions. He also told us about SHIP*, the Startup Festival that was organized in Kotka last year and attracted a lot of interest towards Finnish startup scene from international students.

The rest of the day was devoted to getting to know each other and very practical cases of talent attraction as well as the discussion of the main challenges of doing in it in Finland. To my surprise, quite often one of the difficulties cited by the workshop participant was indifference of Finnish authorities to any related activities and even talks. On the other hand, Tampere has never come across such a challenge, and the city officials are not only aware of the benefits to do the talent attraction but they rather encourage and support the initiatives like Tampere Ambassador programme, for example. Even the Mayor of Tampere is eager to listen to the Ambassadors’ stories, tips, criticism and proposals.

On the second day we have presented our ideas on how to attract international talents to Finland (especially smaller towns and regions), what they would find tempting, what the channels and tools could be used. In addition to this, we also looked into how to retain the talents and keep the bright minds in Finnish regions.

In his final remarks, Mr. Pärtel-Peter Pere recommended the following Ambassador activities:

  • Feedback to campaign messaging​

  • Feedback to campaign channels​

  • Social media agent​

  • Marketing events

  • Press

  • Post campaign support​

    • Welcome to region x contact person​

    • Testimonial for web​

    • Gateway to international university partnerships​

To conclude, I’d underline that the workshop was incredibly valuable and fruitful. The recordings of the best presentations can be found here. There should be more events like this which would encourage both a discussion and presentation of practical cases.