Helsinki Freedom

entered by Helsinki Partners

In 2025, Finland could be short of up to 25,000-40,000 software professionals due to the weak incidence between the supply and demand of labour. The number of foreign professionals must increase in Finland and Helsinki in order to ensure the functionality of the labour market and growth of the companies in the future.

For Helsinki, one of the biggest challenges in attracting foreign talent has been rather low awareness of the city globally. Even though Helsinki has been succeeding in global comparisons between cities and studies show people living in the city praise its safety, functionality, and interesting career opportunities, Helsinki has simply not been attractive enough for international talent to consider it as a potential new home. 

The Helsinki brand is based on the people that make the community. The content on MyHelsinki’s website and social media channels is created about locals by the locals; this was the guiding principle when starting to build the new talent attracting concept. Helsinki wanted to know what does ‘good life in Helsinki’ mean to people living in the city, and what do they value the most. These were the stories Helsinki wanted to share with the world.

The new city of the free

The concept of Helsinki Freedom is very value-driven and founded on the bold claim that Helsinki is the new city of the free, providing its citizens the kinds of freedoms only possible through the Nordic model. The team focussed on the freedoms they believe you and your loved ones to be truly free: affordable education to fulfil your potential; free healthcare that protects you and your children from bad luck; trust and order that allow you to walk the streets with no fear; employee benefits that allow you to both work and take care of your family; well-maintained and safe public parks, forests, and beaches that allow you and your children to enjoy nature and clean air for free.

Residents were asked to share their stories about the most important aspects of their everyday life. The concept team also conducted an international survey in eight major cities to grasp the most valued areas of life on a global scale. The answers all related to personal freedom and the team identified these as deeply rooted in Helsinki’s DNA.

Attracting talent with a values-driven approach

At the core of the awareness building campaign was an original Instagram mini-documentary series created by award-winning Finnish documentary directors. Within the five- week campaign period, a new episode came out every week, supported by a comprehensive content package on MyHelsinki’s digital platform.

Overall, Helsinki Freedom content has thus far produced 30.6 million paid media impressions, 2.4 million video views, and 288,000 website visits. Even though people were not able to move freely during the campaign period, the stories reminded people of the very basic elements of good life. The concept of Helsinki Freedom presented a successful start for Helsinki’s value-driven approach in talent attraction.

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