One of the most frequent topics of discussion with tech recruitments is the delicate language issue. In Finland there are still many companies that stick to the policy of hiring just Finnish-speaking people. I would like to shake up this persistent habit. How easy it is for you to relate to the following ideas?
Why should you hire people speaking a foreign language?
1) Larger talent pool
Finland is not the only place on earth where there is a huge battle over proper tech talent. It is obvious that by narrowing down your candidate pool to just Finnish speaking people you miss a lot of talent. There are many great non-Finnish speaking people already living in Finland and looking for an interesting company to land. Is your company attractive alternative for these people?
2) More international customers
It is a no-brainer that you need to speak the same language with your customers. However, by bringing in people familiar with your future target countries you have less barriers when entering new markets. By having only local people around you stick to the local customers. This is ok, if you don’t plan to go global. Remember that there are more and more non-Finnish customers in Finland as well. Common language increases the speed of building trust and for great business you need solid mutual trust.
3) Diversity supports innovations
Diversity is the key driver of innovation, says Forbes Insights. The need for diversity applies to all levels of the organization. You need globally competitive innovations in R&D, operations, sales, and management. If your company provides globally competitive products or services, Finland is a good practice arena to fix your business model but don’t stay here too long. Even if you don’t plan to go global it is likely that your competitiveness increases at home market when you have a global mindset.
4) Higher valuation
Ok, let’s assume your company takes internationalization seriously and after 360 days from today you have credible and diverse team with top talent, new international customers and more innovations to build on your company’s future. How does this impact the valuation of your business? Do the math.
Why should you hire only Finnish-speaking people then?
1) Speaking English causes extra efforts and complicates things ― sometimes it is just easier and faster to communicate in Finnish.
Surprisingly in many companies the last reason seems to beat the first four arguments. How’s the situation in your organization?