Inission Lohja: Word-of-Mouth Helps in Finding Foreign Personnel

The Lohja-based contract manufacturer is seriously investing in the orientation and job satisfaction of its foreign staff. Word-of-mouth also works well in recruitment.

Inission Lohja, a contract manufacturer in the electronics and machinery construction industry located in Lohja, has long been supplementing its workforce with experts recruited from abroad.

The company’s CEO, Pekka Väyrynen, says that, out of about 150 employees, 10–15 percent are non-native Finns. They perform the same tasks as native Finns, such as manually manufacturing electronics and operating sheet metal machines, bending robots, and other machinery.

“Foreign employees have also progressed to team leader positions. They lead shifts and they lead them well,” says Väyrynen, with satisfaction.

Good Orientation is Everything

Inission Lohja has acquired international personnel from countries such as the Philippines, Thailand, and various African and European countries.

“Especially those from Asia have good networks among themselves. In the era of social media, it’s easy to keep in touch with their home countries, and information about job opportunities in Finland also spreads. Word-of-mouth is a good channel for finding foreign workers. International workers have not been as successfully found through TE services,” continues Väyrynen. 

Inission Lohja’s operational manager Vesa Leppänen says that all employees, regardless of nationality, are treated equally in the company.

“We operate according to Finnish laws and values. At the same time, we consider the special features and religions of different cultures. We also strive to understand different people and their needs. After all, all native Finns are different too,” says Leppänen.

Leppänen believes that the orientation of foreign staff must be done especially carefully so that new employees can start working safely, productively, and with quality from the beginning.

“Limited language skills may require that more time be allocated to orientation. The best way to instruct on work tasks is to show in practice how something is done. Especially in matters of work safety, it’s important to ensure that the employee has definitely understood the instructions,” emphasises Leppänen.

A Team Like a Miniature World

Basri Ahmedov moved to Finland from Bulgaria over 16 years ago. Inission Lohja has been his first and only permanent workplace in Finland.

“When I arrived in the country, my language skills were so weak that I only knew a few words in English and Finnish. This company has given me a lot and the opportunity to advance in my career,” says Ahmedov.

CEO Pekka Väyrynen, Basri Ahmedov, and COO Vesa Leppänen examine the quality of work at Inission Lohja. (Photograph by Meeri Utti)

During his long career, he has performed a wide range of production tasks from operating bending machines to programming production robots.

He currently works as a foreman in the factory’s bending department. His team of 8–9 people comes from Afghanistan, Bulgaria, Gambia, Iraq, and Finland.

“We are like the world in miniature. Working in a multicultural team is good. I haven’t noticed a difference whether colleagues are native Finns or from somewhere else. Everyone is part of the same team,” he says.

Even Small Things Increase Motivation

Inission Lohja is part of the international Inission Group, headquartered in Sweden. The languages spoken at the Lohja factory are Finnish and English.

According to Pekka Väyrynen, teams are composed so that sufficient language skills are always available. Employees who speak Finnish or English better support their colleagues whose language skills are not yet at the same level.

Väyrynen believes it’s essential to emphasise that every employee’s contribution is important to the company.

“Our foreign employees are also actively involved in various development projects and are often asked to present our newest machines to visitors. This increases motivation and self-esteem,” he says.

According to Väyrynen, employees appreciate even the small things that take into account different cultures and religions. A good example is the staff dining. There are always options available for those who, for example, do not eat pork for religious reasons.

“Also, in planning employee vacation times, the needs of people from different backgrounds should be considered,” notes Väyrynen.

While Finns generally take their holidays in July, foreigners often want to align their free time with holidays in their home countries. According to Väyrynen, the differing vacation requests fit quite well into the company’s calendar, as not everyone should be off at the same time.

Väyrynen has not heard of conflicts arising from different cultures, nor have they emerged in the company’s job satisfaction surveys.

“We have a zero-tolerance policy against racism and all forms of discrimination. We address such cases immediately. Inappropriate behaviour can lead to a warning very quickly,” says Väyrynen.

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