Working in Finland

A new recruitment agency in Finland targeting immigrants

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Recently, a new recruitment and staffing agency, Pointer Potential, entered the Finnish recruitment scene. We at Finnwards find this new company particularly interesting as its aim is to lead immigrants into the Finnish job market. In this blog, we interview Johanna Korpia who heads this new agency.

Hi, Johanna, and thanks for doing this interview. Can you first tell us a little about yourself? 

I  am a Finn who has spent years living, studying and working in various parts of Africa (Ethiopia, Malawi, South Africa, Uganda, and Zambia). I have moved from Africa back to Finland altogether six times and adjusting to Finland has not always been easy.

My interest in the world led me to initially study international politics as well as finalize my MBA in South Africa.

Throughout my career I have worked with marketing, sales, and new business development in various roles, companies, industries, and countries ( NGOs, energy consulting, telecoms, advertising, executive education, and now in recruiting).

I am a firm believer in the power of teamwork and have seen how really diverse teams can move mountains.

Pointer Potential aims to lead immigrants into the Finnish job market. Could you tell us more about Pointer Potential’s mission? Why specifically immigrants and why now?

Pointer Potential´s mission is to enable immigrants living in Finland to achieve their full professional potential. At the same time, we help companies find the skills and potential they need. By doing this, Pointer Potential also helps build a more sustainable Finland.

We see this as a win-win-win – situation, where we enable immigrants to find suitable work, companies to find suitable skills thus benefiting the Finnish society as a whole.

In the last Eurobarometer (2015) Finland was, unfortunately, Europe´s most discriminating country at the point of recruitment. We should all be worried about this fact and act to change this.

As at the same time Finland is becoming increasingly international, where 25% of Helsinki´s inhabitants will have a foreign background in the next 10 years.

How are we serving this community? How is this community represented in our labor force? Who will pay our pensions in the future?

In my previous job at Hanken & SSE Executive Education, I also managed the Business Lead program supporting academically educated refugees and immigrants integrate into Finnish working life. I worked with over 200 immigrants and supported them in getting internships in 150 companies.

While doing this, I realized how much help most immigrants need to land a job matching their background and level in Finland. But I also saw that many Finnish companies are willing and ready to employ immigrants if they are given some support to do this. I saw lives changed, company prejudices fall, and enormous pride in all parties. This is when I realized that I want to make Pointer Potential my next mission. 

I have seen how really diverse teams can move mountains.

– Johanna Korpia, CEO, Pointer Potential

Pointer Potential is a sister company of the Swedish Novare Potential, which has a similar mission. Can you tell us a little about what their path has been like and how their experiences inform Pointer Potential here in Finland?

Novare Potential, part of Novare group, was established in 2016 by Farzad Golchin. Farzad came to Sweden from Iran as a child. Farzad´s important source of inspiration has been his father who is a teacher for unaccompanied minors in Sweden. Through his work, Farzad has seen how life-affirming it can be for new arrivals in Sweden to gain employment.

With Farzad´s lead, Novare Potential has recruited hundreds of Sweden-based immigrants to Swedish companies. We share the same value base and a common vision which is to recruit 1000 immigrants by 2023, both in Finland and Sweden.

What can Pointer Potential deliver to employers that is different from other recruitment agencies? Why should they use your services?

Pointer Potential´s role is to act as a bridge between the different immigrant communities and Finnish companies. We understand the needs and the realities of both parties and can bridge them together.

In a study done in Sweden, the biggest barrier that kept employers from hiring immigrants was the difficulty in finding relevant candidates and competences. This is where we come into the picture.

Also, Finland is becoming increasingly international and in our opinion, most companies would need to look at future-proofing their labor force to represent the community they live in. I also have great recruiting and executive search competence in-house as Pointer Potential belongs to the Odgers Berndtson Finland / Pointer Search / Nordic Interim group of companies. 

What about the immigrants in Finland? Why would they use your agency? 

Many immigrants struggle to find employment at their level for a very long time. We are here to serve the immigrant communities and to represent them in front of Finnish employers. We offer one additional route for them to find employment.

As part of our service, all immigrants employed through us have access to a personal mentor throughout the first year of employment. Our service is free-of-charge for all immigrants.

If employers in Finland are interested in the talents on your list, what should they do? 

All employers interested in expanding their recruitment pool and in gaining additional benefits from diversity can be in direct contact with me. My email address is johanna.korpia(at)pointerpotential.fi. I can be reached by phone at +358 400 240 946.

If immigrants in Finland would like to get on to your list, what should they do in turn?

We encourage all Finland-based professional immigrants to register in our recruitment database, which can be done on www.pointerpotential.fi under the Register your CV section. We always look in our database first when we get customer assignments.

– Thank you, Johanna, so much for this interview!

Thank you!

The mission of Finnwards is to help you build a uniquely Finnish life for yourself and your family. Our online tutorials will give you the information and tools to you need to succeed in your professional and private life in Finland: https://school.finnwards.com/

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