From idealization to realization

The Hidden Gems Fall application is now open. Are you our next GEM?

Tampere University becomes pioneer in dual-career support with a completely new approach! Are you not familiar with the dual-career term and its challenges? Let me introduce you to the role of spouses when it comes to talent attraction and retention!

Nowadays, highly skilled talents are a scarce resource and Finland is aggressively fighting to attract the best and the brightest during this war of talents. While companies and countries are fighting to become the most attractive places to work and live, People have been forgotten in the process. The talents themselves and the spouses have been found to play a critical role in the decision process to accept, complete and extend international assignments. The amount of couples where both partners are engaged in work relationship has drastically increased in the past years, hence companies must embrace new approaches to attract and retain those talents. In fact, employer spousal support has the potential to reduce the risk of premature return and of complete assignment failure.

How can Finland differentiate itself from other giant countries one would ask? By taking care of its people. Apart from being the happiest, the greenest and safest country in the world, the main reason why talents accept international assignments is that people lay at the core. That is exactly what Tampere University is achieving with its new motto; Human Potential Unlimited.

One of the newest service innovation at Tampere University is it’s dual-career supporting programme, the first initiative in Finland. After securing funding from the European social fund institution in March 2018, the Hidden Gems programme was born. The aim of the project is not only to support the employment, but also to facilitate the full integration of the spouses in the Finnish society. By collaborating with the local ecosystem, the Hidden Gems engage companies in reflecting on internationalization, their benefits and the potential growth possibilities by enabling them to tap into the “hidden expertise” of international talents!

Within the last eight months, 35 spouses of international researchers have had the chance to participate in the six months’ Hidden Gems supporting programme. While writing those words, one third of the Gems have secured employment in Finland, two Gems are currently negotiating a contract with local firms and most of the others are attending the full-time Finnish language course offered by the Unemployment office as part of the integration plan. From the perspective of the spouses, the results indicate that the Hidden Gems programme provides valuable benefits as regard to both spousal adjustment and employability in Finland. More specifically, according to the spouses, the Hidden Gems spousal support programme supported them in their career-orientation, networking, peer support and self-confidence. For the curious minds, here is a map of the background of the participants that secured employment.

As part of the Talent Boost agenda, Tampere University is proud to collaborate closely with the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment and Tampere city on such important issues. The Hidden Gems continues to offer its support programme at the Tampere University next September. The application period is open from the beginning of June 2019 until the end of July. During the Fall 2019, the Hidden Gems spouse supporting programme begins collaboration with the city of Tampere for developing the services for international talents and their families at the upcoming International Tampere hub. Together, we wish to create a one-stop shop for companies and talents together with the service provider’s in Tampere ecosystem. The fight hasn’t been won, but we are participating in reaching people’s, companies’, Tampere’s and Finland’s full potential. Finland works, now let it work for you!

Are you our next GEM? Apply to participate in the next programme starting on September 9, 2019.