Integration into Finland

Parents and children at the beach

Credits: Marjaana Malkamäki / Keksi

A tip: type "Spouse program + your region" into the search engine.

When the expert and their potential family have begun their everyday life in Finland, it is important to consider what would make them stay.

Long-term employment relationships are desirable and beneficial for most companies – and for the employee as well. Put effort into making the employee feel at home and commit to their new surroundings, both at work and in their free time. Do your best to make the expert feel part of the community. When engaging experts, it is key that their family enjoys themselves and integrate. 

Credits: Markus Pentikäinen / Keksi

Credits: Markus Pentikäinen / Keksi


Getting an expert to enjoy themselves and engaging them begins from understanding diversity and having diversity management skills. 


Diversity means that employees are individuals of different ages and genders, for example, who come from a wide range of cultural, educational, ethnic, religious, or other backgrounds, speak different languages, and have different experiences. 


Build a work culture and atmosphere that takes different people into account. Orientate international experts so that they can adopt a new work culture and the organization’s ways of working. Remember to also pay attention to soft values: for example, ensure that international employees are not excluded from informal social activities at the workplace or from coffee table discussions. 


Inclusive leadership is crucial, so keep the leadership skills of the managers in your organization up to date. This makes diversity an asset for your business.  


Your company delivers the best results when the work community feels comfortable and everybody is treated as an equal member of it. 


You can read more about diversity in the Government working life diversity guide and on the Work in Finland website, for example. IMAGO coaching provides free support for diversity management skills. 

Credits: Markus Pentikäinen / Keksi

Credits: Markus Pentikäinen / Keksi


Finnish and/or Swedish skills are a significant integrating factor. An employee’s sense of achievement, self-confidence, and involvement will increase when they can express themselves in the local language. This improves both the functionality of the work community and the ability of the employee to integrate into Finnish society through hobbies, for example. Language skills are useful in making friends and make it easier to understand Finnish society and culture. 


The Building Finland’s Future project revealed that one of the greatest thresholds for integration is the language barrier. Help your expert to overcome it. Consider how to best help them learn the local language in the workplace. Is your work community ready for multilingualism and for supporting the development of the Finnish or Swedish language skills of international employees? Is it possible to take some time at work to learn the language? 


Direct the expert to language training or arrange it. Information on language training is available from public and private operators in the region. For example, take a look at the Työpaikkasuomi and Työpaikkaruotsi language courses, for which the company may receive financial support.  


Kielibuusti offers tips and materials for practical multilingualism in the workplace, such as support for using Finnish, Swedish and English. The site contains self-study materials, videos, a blog, tips for language learning at work, tools for language learning planning and direction, and pedagogical materials, among other things. 

Spouse and family

The spouse and family have a key role in how the expert enjoys themselves. According to research, a significant share of international assignments are interrupted because of family-related reasons. In other words, it is a good idea to support the family members!  


Increasingly, the spouses of international experts are also high-level professionals who want to advance their own careers in Finland. Answer their questions already during the recruitment process. As an employer, you can help them establish contacts with potential employers in your own network, as well as provide them with language and/or cultural training in their new surroundings. Furthermore, involve the family in the social events of the work community. 


You should inform spouses about mentoring programs and active groups on social media platforms. Your city, a local higher education institution, or other party may organize support activities for spouses. A tip: type "Spouse program + your region" into the search engine.  


The spouse may be entitled to the employment services of the TE Services and receive integration and employment support services from the municipalities. Initial integration services for immigrants include counseling and guidance, an initial assessment, an integration plan, and integration training. A spouse participating in integration training may be entitled to Kela’s unemployment benefit. 


More information about opportunities and services for spouses is available from public operators in the region and international networks, such as cities, higher education institutions, TE Services, EURES experts, International Houses, or NGOs. Find out what your area has to offer! 


Building a good future for children is a major attraction factor for Finland, and this is intrinsically linked to the education system and a safe society. Tell families with children about Finnish early childhood education and care, kindergartens, preschool, and school. Remind them of basic services, such as children’s health clinics and health care services for family members. Also mention that a family member of an international employee permanently residing in Finland is entitled to Finnish social security and Kela benefits under certain conditions. 


Regional operators, such as cities and International Houses, provide information on family matters. For an initial information package, please refer to the International recruitment guide.  

Balance between work and free time

Not all attracting factors that commit employees to Finland can be acquired as training or offered as benefits. An essential such factor is the Finnish working culture itself, which is characterized by a low hierarchy, easily approachable managers, and trust between the employer and the employee. These things are self-evident for a Finn, but this is not the case for international employees. 


The Building Finland’s Future survey and Staria’s report came to the same conclusion: international experts do not choose Finland because of finances, but for the sake of an excellent balance between work and free time. According to Staria’s report, immigrants perceive the Finnish working culture as less performance-oriented and competitive and generally less stressful than the working culture in their country of origin. People come to Finland for the high quality of life and to be happy. This is an asset that should be made tangible to the expert. 


Studies show that experts highly appreciate the fact that they have time for themselves and their families in addition to work. You can direct the expert to hobby opportunities. Finnish cities also offer plenty of cultural activities.  


Give the international expert an opportunity for a meaningful life that makes them feel appreciated and an equal part of the community and culture. As a result, they will remain in your company for a long time. 

Links to support engagement 

There is a lot of support available for employers on how to engage employees. Explore the regional services, for example.  


There are many International Houses across Finland, for example in Helsinki, Tampere, Turku, Kuopio, Joensuu and Oulu. They collect information and help regionally with international recruitment issues, such as with settling-in services.

International recruitment guide 

Check out our comprehensive International recruitment guide. The guide offers detailed information, instructions, and links for each step of the recruitment process.