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JCI FINLAND FOSTERING INTERNATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES THROUGHOUT ITS HISTORY AND BEYOND

International affairs have always been in the center of JC_I_ activities. Multiple “Pääteema” as well as other national flagship projects in history have focused on increasing the international opportunities for our members, partners and the Finnish society as a whole.

Bringing Finnish companies Global Deals in the 90’s
In 1992, Finland was buying hornets from the USA. The national trade deal between Finland and the USA included a return purchase – “vastakauppa” – in large amounts of US dollars going to flow back to Finland. JCI Finland decided to arrange a Global Deals seminar in the
World Congress in Miami in 1992, to offer Finnish companies an opportunity to open markets to the USA. The keynote speakers brought to Miami to speak to JCI members around the world were then defense minister Elisabet Rehn and foreign minister Paavo Väyrynen. This project was a huge success with all metrics and was integral in JCI Finland international awards for 1992 as well.

Finding the international impact opportunities at home
This year the national project for International affairs was found through JCI United – our local organization who offered their International Employer of the Year competition to JCI Finland, to spread opportunity for international impact to local chambers around Finland. The International Employer of the Year competition aims to bring forth companies that gives opportunities and employs people based on their talent, and not their nationality or ethnicity. Many Finnish organizations already have excellent ways to recruit, onboard and retain these talents – and many still have to learn about how to do it! This is why International Employer of the Year competition exists – to find and bring forth the diamonds, to spread the attitude of cultural diversity and inclusion as well as best practices.

What makes an organization an excellent international employer?
The winners of the International Employer of the Year competition in 2022 are Brella Ltd, Trimble Inc and Tampere City, International Talent Attraction and Migration department. The winners were awarded at SHIFT Business Festival and they were asked in a panel discussion how their best tips and tricks to a more international Finnish working life:

1. Recruitment and onboarding done well
A good international employer puts a lot of emphasis on the recruitment process and has developed it in a way that supports the organization’s diversity goals. The recruitment process is equal for all candidates: the employer minimizes unconscious bias during the process and focuses only on the knowhow of the candidates. After the recruitment, an international employer puts effort into the onboarding process.

2. Open communication
Making significant changes in an organization can be challenging. There might be a lot of fear or tension regarding the changes. Therefore, an international employer enables open discussion about the changes and gives space for all emotions and thoughts.

3. The importance of diversity, equity,and inclusion (DEI) work
Building working communities with various cultures require emphasis on DEI work. Good DEI work makes people with multiple backgrounds feel included and welcome in the organization. An international employer has trained their management level or the whole staff with DEI issues, has DEI goals and includes their employees in the development.

4. Most of all, an international employercelebrates diversity.
International Employer of the Year attracts funding
In late 2022. the International Employer of the Year project sent in a funding application to the Ammattienedistämissäätiö AEL -foundation, who funds projects that aim to improve the competitive advantage of the Finnish society and create success to the Finnish working life. The foundation got 145 applications, of which they approved seven. JCI Finland and International Employer of the Year were one of the funded projects. The theme of the application was “MUST – Monimuotoisuus Uusi Supervoima Työelämään” and we are eager to see if there will be some developments to the International Employer of the Year brand along the lines of the funding application theme. Read more about the funding: https://ael-saatio.fi/

International Employer of the Year competition
Searches for organizations in Finland that have successfully recruited, onboarded, and retained international talents. Showcases employer success stories and encourages more organizations to recruit foreigners who play a crucial role in Finland’s future economic growth.

Upcoming: International Employer of the Year 2023
In 2023, application period will be in May. For more information, follow the competition on Linkedin: www.linkedin.com/company/international-employer-of-the-year/

 

Text: Pauliina Papunen
Photo: Megumi Hayashi

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