International Recruitment in North Karelia

Riikka Simonen

The recruitment and job opportunities for foreigners living in the North Karelia region has its challenges. Small and medium sized enterprises (SME’s) are yearning for growth and potential international markets, but skilled professionals are hard to find. This is where the international talent from foreigners living in the area comes in.

The amount of foreigners living in North Karelia is the smallest amount per capita, but the largest percentage of unemployed foreigners in Finland. This can cause a larger problem in the region, if unemployment within this demographic worsens, it also can cause animosity with locals. This can also have negative effects on the foreigners themselves, and working is the easiest way to integrate into a new society, feel as if one belongs, and is able to accept the rules and ways of life in a new environment faster. Once someone is segregated from society, it can cause larger problems, such as increased racism towards foreigners, a fear of hiring foreigners, due to thinking they are lazy and overall contempt towards them. Currently, there are international individuals who are exchange students, studying full time, immigrants, spouses, and even refugees who live in North Karelia who want to live, stay and work in the region.

Cultural understanding of one’s origins and how that can be a benefit for local companies is also a stigma that needs to be tackled. Once companies know the benefits of hiring someone with a completely different background, they can begin to break the barriers in recruiting only locals and achieve an international market. By utilizing staff from different backgrounds, cultures and countries, companies can benefit from different perspectives, skills and experiences not otherwise available to them. Having a rich cultural team can aid in different ideas and viewpoints that otherwise would not have been possible compared to a homogenous one.

The TalentHub Joensuu Project will allow for the possibility to create better job opportunities for these foreigners living in the North Karelia region, create better understanding on cross-cultural benefits for employers and give those living in the area a better change to integrate into society.

The TalentHub Joensuu Project is a cooperation project funded by the European Regional Development Fund (EAKR) and is implemented by Business Joensuu and Karelia University of Applied Sciences. The project aims at connecting foreigners, also known as international talents, to local SME’s. The project hopes of employing foreigners in local companies. The TalentHub Joensuu Project began in January 2018 and will finish December 2019. The TalentHub Joensuu Project has a goal of helping 30 local companies hire international talents. This means real companies are connected the international talents living in the area.

For more about the TalentHub Joensuu project, check the video below:


Riikka Simonen
Project Manager
Karelia UAS – TalentHub Joensuu Project

Coverphoto by rawpixel on Unsplash

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