From West to East


Workers' mobility is far from being an East to West one-way street. Many Scandinavians found their professional fortune in one of the new EU Member States.

After the 2004 enlargement, many Scandinavian companies directed their interest towards the Baltic countries and Poland, setting up offices in Vilnius, Riga, Tallinn and Warsaw. Intensified exchange among these countries has since contributed to increasing workers’ mobility in the entire Nordic region. With its large network of local and regional advisers, EURES proved to be an important factor in this positive development.

Even though many people would have expected a movement of workers mainly from the New Member States towards Scandinavia, there has been intensified mobility of Scandinavian jobseekers towards the Baltic States. A prominent example is the experience of Stockholm-based company Anthill. This firm provides a broad variety of customer services such as IT support, information dispatch, sales and marketing, surveys, research, messaging and communication, but also more ‘traditional’ services like call centres or telemarketing.

With branches in Finland, Poland, Estonia and Lithuania, Anthill recruits workers from Scandinavian countries for placements in all of its Eastern European branches. The company employs over 1000 people in 14 different sites. Since its services are usually provided in one of the Scandinavian languages, the enterprise is constantly looking for new recruits from Sweden, Denmark, Finland and Norway to fill in vacancies in the Baltic countries.

“We hire a lot of people through the EURES network”, says Carina Saarestic, recruitment manager for the Baltic region. “We are looking for people from the Scandinavian countries who are willing to transfer to and work in one of our offices in Estonia or Lithuania. In our premises in Vilnius and Tallinn, we also hire local people who speak Scandinavian languages”.

Certain language skills are of course required, but the company is always looking for open-minded and enthusiastic employees, who are willing to learn and develop. The majority of staff are in their 20’s or 30’s.

Most Scandinavian people who come to work in Tallinn integrate very easily in the new environment. “As lifestyle in the Baltic region is quite similar, they have no problems in finding friends and settling down in the host country. The feedback is usually very positive”, says Carina.

EURES is a long-standing and reliable partner for the company. New employees usually stay for around six months before moving on to another job or returning to their home country. Anthill recruitment officers are therefore frequently in contact with EURES advisers. “We prefer working with the people from the EURES network, as they have expert knowledge on negotiating contracts and administrative issues. EURES services are efficient and moreover, free of charge”, says the Baltic recruitment manager about her cooperation with EURES. “They give useful advice and know how to help companies according to their needs.”

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