The Work in Estonia web portal attracts talents from around the world to Estonia

Sander Nõmmik
Author Sander Nõmmik

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 potential.

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 the world.”

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.