Estonia, a tech-savvy and ever-globalizing country, has lately been busy developing many initiatives to help and encourage foreign talent to relocate here. Work in Estonia, launched on April 28 by Enterprise Estonia, a government agency, is the most ambitious welcoming program yet.
The goal of Work in Estonia is to simplify the process for
local companies to employ overseas experts and to introduce
Estonia as the perfect destination for fulfilling one’s
Because it is a member of the European Union, there are no
obstacles for EU citizens wishing to move to Estonia, but the
country has recently made it easier to employ foreign
specialists from non-EU/EEA countries as well. Work in Estonia
is tasking itself to gather all the relevant information on one
platform – both for employers and potential employees.
Expats, who have already relocated to Estonia, cite many
reasons why they’re happy with their decision. Work in Estonia
aims to share these positive experiences with future recruits,
as well as informing them about practicalities – first
regarding relocating, and then about daily living and working
in Estonia. The website will also advertise relevant job
opportunities in Estonia.
“At first glance, it may raise a few eyebrows that one small
Nordic country could compete for talent alongside places like
London, Berlin or Silicon Valley,” says Kristel Kask, the
project manager of Work in Estonia. “But in reality, Estonia
has several advantages that make it an attractive place for
many future-orientated, high-achieving talents from all over
Kask gives some examples. First, people moving to Estonia from
Western countries consider the main motivator and attraction of
Estonia to be its compact organizational hierarchy, which
enables people to climb up the career ladder more rapidly than
in other countries. Teams are smaller and everyone has the
chance to have their say in decision-making. The country is
regarded as straightforward and open-minded.
Second, the high level of English language skills is considered
a very positive thing. Non-Estonian speakers do not generally
feel helpless in Estonia – indeed, the country is in the top
ten in the English Proficiency Index.
Third, the Estonian living environment is considered to be
notably safe, affordable and easy-going. Life is not
over-regulated and the pace of life is not as hectic or
stressful as in larger global cities. In just half an hour one
can be out of the city and surrounded by unspoiled nature, and
even in the towns, the level of pollution is very low – Estonia
is among the countries with the cleanest air in the world,
according to World Health Organization.
Fourth, dealings with both the state and with business are
regarded as efficient. As public services are digitalized,
everything in Estonia takes place quickly and painlessly.
Expats say they particularly appreciate the opportunity to
directly interact with officials.
And last, but not least – the cultural opportunities are
endless. Despite the small size of the country, it is possible
to attend great concerts and other cultural events non-stop.
Often referred to as ‘e-Estonia’ and even ‘the little Silicon
Valley of Europe,’ Estonia is punching above its weight in ICT.
Therefore it comes as no surprise that most of the hiring is
conducted in this sector.
Companies like TransferWise, Skype and Kuehne + Nagel are just
a few examples of Estonia-based employers who are already
actively recruiting globally. The demand for top specialists is
expected to grow in the future as well, in line with the growth
of ‘e-Estonia’ and its ICT sector.
Work in Estonia’s aim is to make international recruitment
easier not just for ICT companies, but also for companies
hiring in other sectors such as the mechanics and electronics
industry, and finance. “The web page will provide relevant
information about international recruitment for employers, in
order to help the hiring process go smoothly,” Kask says,
adding that Work In Estonia is also a good channel for
companies in Estonia to promote themselves and make it easier
to be seen by the international talent pool.
The team behind Work in Estonia is certainly ready to welcome
new specialists to Estonia – “Welcome aboard!” – as they say.