CM: Add innovative flexibility to labour-related services

According to Statistics Estonia, 63.3% of the working-age population were in employment in Q1 of 2015, while 6.6% were unemployed.

Tension has grown on the labour market because the employment rate is rising, unemployment is falling and there are fewer and fewer working-age employees to be found, which in turn increases pressure on salary growth.

For companies, the chance of staying afloat in conditions of such merciless competition comes down to finding new solutions and learning from the experience of close neighbours. More and more companies are using the services of HR companies in Estonia, from recruitment services to labour-for-hire. Growth in labour rental services is a strong and very clear trend throughout developed countries, and its positive impact on society as a whole is both noticeable and quantifiable.

The tense situation on the labour market means that there is constant demand for new solutions in HR services. The Barona group, which launched operations in 1999, has become the market leader in Finland thanks to its continual development and the fact that it offers its clients original solutions. So what kind of innovative solutions should be introduced to the Estonian labour market?

The dearth of specialists and skilled workers is creating a situation where it is increasingly necessary to outsource labour from other countries. Beyond Estonia and Finland, Barona has been operating for years in Russia, Poland, Sweden and Norway. Long-term experience in the field, a large network of contacts and an innovative archiving system for candidates enable them to find just the people their clients are looking for. The company also organises recruitment drives through a variety of media channels, which in turn boosts its reputation.

An innovative video interview tool is used in screening potential candidates from abroad which helps the company narrow down its choices. It also removes geographical obstacles and gives the client more opportunities to save time by reviewing the interviews online, anywhere and at any time. Barona’s international archives have the contact details of 200,000 job seekers, almost 14,000 of which are in video format. The company’s website gets around 100,000 hits a month.

The contact details of Estonian specialists working abroad can also be found in the Barona archives. Many of those who have gone abroad for work are currently looking for ways to return to their home country. Estonia is not only interested in drawing talented people back to it – its labour market requires skilled and experienced workers.

There is a separate department within the Barona group for engineers. Those searching for specialists in engineering can make use of Barona’s experts in the field. Engineers can be found via the Barona recruitment system or one of the many recruitment channels in other countries. Barona’s IT subsidiary has channels as far afield as India, from which specialists have been recruited for the Finnish labour market.

 

In order to offer a head-hunting service for senior staff, Barona has established an independent trademark: Momentous (www.momentous.fi). Helping out with large-scale needs and complex solutions is an interactive communication tool through which the client and Barona can quickly and easily exchange orders, feedback, comments and questions within a closed group of contacts. All of the information related to the recruitment process is in one place and the system works anywhere over the Internet. It is a great way to communicate.

In addition to HR services, Barona offers ‘settling in’ packages – depending on the specific agreement, workers recruited from elsewhere in Estonia or from abroad are offered either an accommodation service or more extensive assistance that includes arranging visas, organising transport and tickets, accommodation, running the bureaucratic gauntlet, introduction to the local customs and area and more. Another trademark, Forenom (www.forenom.fi), has been created for these services. It currently offers almost 50,000 accommodation sites and has close to 6000 business clients in Finland, Sweden, Norway, Russia and Estonia. Its well-developed, rapid-response booking system and 24-hour customer support enable anyone to find the kind of place they want with a minimum of effort.

In order to solve the major shortage of skilled workers and specialists, a service that encompasses settling in, training and retraining has been developed for potential candidates. The settling-in service helps new workers adapt to their new workplace. If a company is unable to find the workers they need from the labour market, training is the answer. The Barona group has a subsidiary called Saranen Consulting (www.saranen.fi) which offers services that cover training, settling in and consultation.

Recent years have shown that young people face difficulties entering working life: they are not sufficiently motivated, lack work experience and/or have yet to determine which career path to take. If vocational studies were to be more closely linked to practical work, students would gain a better understanding of their profession and would be able to start working as soon as they graduated. Such a service could be offered by HR companies. The only problem here is financing – an area in which the state could be of help, since the strength of the skilled labour force has a direct impact on the economic development of a state.

An ever-dwindling labour force is creating a situation on the market where new and more complex solutions need to be found. The Barona group is always happy to map its clients’ needs, find the best solutions for them and offer a high-quality service that helps to resolve manpower problems.

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