More and more business executives of Finnish and Swedish large companies are in favour of switching the company's working language to English and are hiring more professionals who are not fluent in Finnish or Swedish, according to a survey conducted by OP Financial Group.
The results of OP's Corporate Pulse survey showed that the shortage of labour is affecting large companies in both Finland and Sweden, said OP in a press release on Thursday.
A total of 61% of Finnish companies and 74% of Swedish companies report challenges in hiring skilled employees.
According to the survey, companies have set out to solve the labour shortage by focusing particularly on improving company culture and leadership.
Companies in both countries also listed increased work flexibility such as opportunities for hybrid work and the development of the company's brand as potential solutions.
In Finnish companies, training skilled employees and increasing collaboration with educational institutions were seen as potential solutions to labour shortages, while Swedish companies were more likely to opt for increasing the use of temporary agency work and consultants.
"Faced with labour shortages, large companies have set out to work on these issues to attract skilled employees. Adjusting the workplace culture based on the needs and wishes of current and future employees is a prerequisite for a company's future success. It is also great to see that Finnish businesses in particular understand the importance of training skilled employees and increasing collaboration with educational institutions," said Katja Keitaanniemi, Chief Executive Officer of OP Corporate Bank.
As many as 86% of Finnish and 67% of Swedish companies responding to the survey believe that employment-based immigration plays a key role in easing the labour shortage.
"In large Finnish companies seeking to hire international talent, the company's working language may prove to be a restrictive factor. In both Finland and Sweden, well over half of surveyed business executives feel that more companies should switch to English as their working language and hire more employees whose native language is other than Swedish or Finnish," said Keitaanniemi.
A total of 100 Finnish companies and 100 Swedish companies with net sales of at least 100 million euros responded to OP's Corporate Pulse survey, which was commissioned by OP Financial Group and implemented by Taloustutkimus Oy. The survey was conducted by phone in July–August 2023.
- working language