26/5/2021 | Author: Tampere Talent Ambassadors

“Do not overthink when it comes to hiring an international.”

Elisabetta Gaglione works for a company which is quite popular among international talents in Tampere. Lionbridge AI at TELUS International is among the very first companies where internationals in Tampere begin their job hunt. Rightly so as the company works with linguistic, transcription, artificial intelligence which appreciates non-Finnish language competence, and technical expertise.

Having lived in Finland for over 16 years, Elisabetta herself is also an example of how internationals have been able to turn the table in Tampere. In her early years as an international talent, she recalls her journey in jobs varying from cleaning to working as a kitchen helper. Now as a Resource Manager, she is hiring for Lionbridge AI at TELUS International locally in Tampere and internationally as well.

When it comes to hiring an international, Elisabetta keeps an open mind. Her company emphasizes skills over nationality, religion, culture, gender, and sexual orientation. She adds, “Being different adds to the diversity of the team and allows newer insights and solutions while problem solving.”

Even though Lionbridge AI at TELUS International constitutes majority (80-85%) international employees, Elisabetta provides an example where hiring is open to both native Finnish speakers, and International talents. While recruiting for the Project Manager position, she reassures that nationality or Finnish language skills take a back seat as she picks the candidate whose skill sets best fit in the role. Her advice to fellow HR professionals is not to overthink when it comes to hiring an international talent if s/he has the best set of skills required to do the job. 

In terms of challenges in hiring an international to the team, she reassures that there are not many challenges that her team could recall. In her opinion, an international talent walking in with Finnish language skills is definitely a plus, but its absence is not really a deal breaker. However, she highly recommends learning the language to adapt to Finland and understand the people in the local context.

For international talents, her advice is simple: “Do not wait for the job to come to you; create opportunities yourself.” She opened up about her own experience of reaching out for companies that had business in Italy and used ‘keywords’ that reflected her skills set. She was brave enough to write the cold emails and make the cold calls, and to her surprise found many companies in Tampere accepting international talents without marketing them in websites or social media. 

As an HR, she strongly recommends customizing CVs and cover letters to address the needs of the job opening. Time used up to make sure there are no typos while applying shows the commitment towards the job and respect towards the company. She also highlights the need of being open, kind, and polite. These qualities allow in overcoming challenges, stress, and frustration before and after being hired. 

Elisabetta’s company might be an exception rather than a rule in hiring internationals in Tampere, but surely is a great example of tapping into the pool of international talents and doing it successfully for a very long time. For Finnish companies with no or little exposure to international hires in their team, Lionbridge AI at TELUS International offers a glimpse of the opportunities a diverse team could deliver specially in today’s globalized world.

Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment of Finland has participated in the financing of the project. The project contributes to the goals of the national Talent Boost programme.

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