Surfshark is a cybersecurity company originating from Lithuania, and offers products such as a VPN (virtual private network service), a data leak detection system Alert, Antivirus, and a private search tool – Search.
Surfshark has over 3000 servers in 65 countries, and in 2020, they were named the best VPN of 2020 by CNN. By the end of 2020, they were among the top three most popular VPNs globally.
We talked with Regimantas Urbanas, Chief Marketing Officer of Surfshark, about its most significant achievements, stellar growth, cybersecurity trends, and much more.
🔵 Could you tell me about Surfshark’s journey – how did you get started, and what are some of the top achievements/milestones you’ve achieved to date?
The most significant milestone I’d say is that we managed to reach our first million paying customers in just 30 months. When comparing growth patterns with other companies, it’s similar to Spotify. Meanwhile, we’ve grown even faster than Netflix because it took them 42 months. So, we managed to get into the top positions of the VPN market very quickly. Within the first year of marketing, we established ourselves among the top five VPNs globally, and by the end of 2020, we were in the top three most popular VPN companies.
This is all thanks to our team of professionals. When I joined in the summer of 2018, we had only three people working in marketing. Now, it’s close to 60.
But we are not a VPN-only company. We’ve entered the broader cybersecurity and privacy field and launched three more products (Surfshark Alert, Surfshark Search, and Surfshark Antivirus) to offer our customers the complete security and privacy package. All of those products are also available in a package called Surfshark One.
🔵 How did you achieve such fast growth?
There have been internal and external reasons, but I’d say that we were in the right place at the right time. The world has been going through turbulent times over the past few years. For example, China increasingly started making aggressive actions in Hong Kong, and suddenly, all the neighbouring countries of China wanted to protect their internet searches, social media, etc. That’s when we saw a massive spike in adoption in countries like Taiwan or Hong Kong. Currently, we’re the number #1 VPN brand in Hong Kong.
We also operate in an industry that grew massively during the first wave of Covid. People stuck at home were both working and doing other things online. Many people got more interested in using VPNs, and we capitalized on that.
We had the capital to grow and take aggressive steps at the right time. Our goal was to humanize security and make it accessible to everyone. That’s why we started using comics and similar content in marketing, trying to be more human and relatable without overwhelming people with complex terms.
🔵 The foundation of a successful company is usually built upon a real-world pain that founders discovered because they experienced the pain or their market research was top notch. What kind of pain did you find when Surfshark got started?
The idea for Surfshark came from our CEO, Vytautas Kaziukonis. He discovered VPN technology 11-13 years ago, but it was a very niche product at that time. However, he is a visionary and saw where the world was moving – the time spent online was increasing, and there are always potential security threats tied to the internet. So he saw vast potential.
VPNs have historically been very complicated to use. His idea was to launch a product that is easy to use, which speaks the language of everyday customers and still offers all the security benefits of a classical VPN. Also, unlike our competitors, we were the first VPN brand that never had the word VPN in our brand, because we didn’t want to be defined by these three letters and knew that we would be willing to offer other security/privacy solutions.
🔵 Why is the cybersecurity field currently so trendy, not only for cybersecurity experts, but also for aspiring marketers, developers, etc?
All successful people want to work on products that are or can be successful because that’s your opportunity to make the most significant impact in the world. As a marketer, my personal reason for joining was the ability and chance to build a household name — a brand known for all the people who want to take care of their protection and security.
It’s quickly becoming a mass market, where our products are used by millions of customers. Since the beginning of Covid, an even larger share of our life has moved online. The more we depend on the online world, the more important it is to protect the data. There is no corporate office network that can protect your computer access at home, so you should be in charge of protecting that.
🔵 Could you talk a bit more about how Surfshark as a company works and functions?
Currently, over 300 people work at Surfshark. Our company consists of customer service reps, the marketing department, the infrastructure team, and developers.
Our customer-facing team is working with our customers to ensure that they have the best experience and understand how to extract value from Surfshark.
Our marketing team takes care of our messages to appeal to potential users across the world and makes sure that we’re communicating the value of our products. We’re a global company with users in more than 140 countries, so we want to be relevant and understandable in different languages.
As a VPN service provider, our primary technology is operating loads of servers (over 3000 worldwide), and Surfshark’s infrastructure team makes sure that they are as fast and reliable as possible. When planning the locations for our servers, we want to ensure that there’s always a physical server not further than 300 km from our users.
Surfshark is available on all possible platforms – Android, iOS, SmartTV, Windows, macOS – and we offer our customers a seamless user experience. This is possible because our developers and large UX team optimize each step of the customer journey of our products.
These are the key teams in Surfshark. In addition, there are supporting administrative functions like HR, Finance, and others.
🔵 What unique challenges does your industry present for developers, product managers or marketers?
Every team has different challenges. From the technical point of view, when offering security and privacy-related services, you need to take extra care of the security of your product because you would never allow your product to be compromised in any way. We’ve promised our users that we never collect any data about them, we don’t log their usage, and no one can intercept our connection or service. It’s a big challenge to keep the product as secure as people expect.
From a marketing perspective, it’s different from products that have a lot of data about their users and can upsell or cross-sell to specific segments. As a VPN provider, we don’t collect any specific data about our users.
🔵 Why should someone come and work for Surfshark?
We’re a disruptive, challenger brand, and we came here to change the status quo in that industry. It’s always more enjoyable to work for a company that wants to redefine and shift the industry by setting new standards. As a brand, that’s what we’re doing, and we have people who want to be the best in what they do.
As a CMO, I would love for Surfshark’s brand to become synonymous with online privacy and security. To build a brand that would pop up on top of your mind when thinking about internet security.
From the technical side, the leading product requires different solutions. It’s easy to be a mediocre product, but it takes a lot of mastery and skills to become number one.
When talking about benefits, there are plenty. Since the beginning of Covid, we’ve adopted a hybrid work model to give people the opportunity to combine the best of both worlds. We also offer two months of working from anywhere. And of course, there are many other typical benefits such as physiotherapists, loads of training, etc.
I’d say that Surfshark as a start-up is the best-kept secret of Lithuania at the moment. Many people know the product, but not so many know the connection to Lithuania.
🔵 What are three cybersecurity trends to watch out for in 2022?
People want to prevent the damage instead of fixing the damage. We’re developing products based on that insight, such as creating an alternative identity or reclaiming your data from websites to prevent them from getting exposed in a hack or data leak.
One trend that I see is the possibility of not putting your actual data in danger while surfing the web by using a one-time credit card and an alias instead of your real name. That’s just one idea on removing personal data from your online activities.
The second trend is that people don’t want to engage with security products actively. They want the security products to be effective, powerful, and work in the background without disturbing them.
Last but not least, companies that started as VPN or antivirus companies may now expand into neighboring territories. Everyone is trying to take a more significant share of the cake and offer full-service packages.
We want Surfshark to be like the Revolut of cybersecurity. Revolut became the super app for personal finance – enabling people to trade crypto and stocks, exchange currencies, put money into a savings account, and get insights about their savings, all in one place.
I would love it if Surfshark became a super app for privacy and security. A central app for everything related to your data and online privacy, where you can control what’s happening with your data and toggle various layers of protection.
Check out Surfshark’s open positions on MeetFrank:
Developing business-driven ecosystems and enterprise architectures all have a clear objective to make clients’ lives easier and businesses more effective and functional.
Multinational strategic change and technology company Nortal’s Partner and Head of Technology Jarkko Enden explains why digital ecosystems utilising modern CRM and ERP solutions are a hot topic in IT at the moment and how teams at Nortal embrace it.
Hello Jarkko! Tell us a little about yourself.
I have 20 years of experience in different areas of software and IT service development. This includes enterprise architecture, full stack development, concept and business development, agile processes, DevOps, software architectures and quality management processes.
Healthcare is topically my strongest area, since I’ve worked as CTO in a healthcare company. I also have a long background in developing with Microsoft’s tools.
Your role, Head of Technology, covers a wide range of responsibilities. When did you start at Nortal and how does your daily work look like?
My career at Nortal started about 4 years ago, after working in healthcare technology for almost 20 years.
At that point Nortal had worked with healthcare clients mainly in the Baltics, and my role as a Lead Architect was to kick-start this business in Finland. It was quite a big risk, but during these four years we managed to grow this part of our business exponentially, and currently our teams consist of more than 60 experts.
Currently I’m the head of our Technology & Business Solutions unit, developing our internal processes and solution portfolio, as well as overseeing the work of various development teams. I also work as an enterprise architect in large digital ecosystem projects.
Nortal in Finland has 4 offices (headquarter in Helsinki), nearly 200 employees and 35 years of history! The company is providing technological solutions and consulting in all domains – healthcare, public sector, industry, enterprises etc.
The importance of education is a trending discussion in the computer science sector. Do you think studying is worth the effort for an IT expert?
I have studied at Helsinki University and have a master’s degree in computer science.
It is many times said that you really only learn once you go to work. But as a serious IT expert, it helps to have theoretical knowledge to be able to look at the big picture.
At Nortal you talk a lot about ecosystem thinking. What does the notion mean and why is it a hot topic now?
Basically, this idea comes from the fact that the whole world has gone digital. Nortal’s digital ecosystem approach initiates a shift toward viewing IT as an ecosystem, rather than a simple business function.
As technology can change entire industries’ business models and create new business opportunities for innovators, IT must become a strategic partner to management and an enabler of business transformation.
For us at Nortal, we strive for long customer relationships. Our aim is to be the enterprise architects of the digital transformation of our customers. We are very much focused on business benefits and tailoring solutions for each customer.
To put it very simply: IT is not a business unit anymore, but rather an enabler for the entire business ecosystem. It’s quite natural that this is a hot topic in an exponentially digitalizing society.
No arguments there, digitalisation is far-reaching and full of potential. What tools do you use at Nortal to make this happen?
Our aim is to utilize the most modern and robust tools available. Depending on the customer case naturally. We want to make sure that our tools and architecture solutions support modern environments and are also future-proof.
In our customer projects we aim to utilise secure, cloud-native solutions and hybrid cloud architectures. We have deep expertise in all the main cloud environments (Azure, GCP, and AWS).
Nortal values cross-functional teams. How do you implement it in Nortal’s daily life?
Especially in larger projects our teams are built around business processes instead of technologies, and they are composed of cross-functional experts. In one team you might have CRM and ERP experts, and custom software developers, all working towards the same goal.
However, certain dedicated projects might have expert teams focused on a specific system, such as CRM.
At Nortal, we value cross-functional know-how and learning. We have a ‘Friday Techie Show’ for all our developers and IT experts, where people get to present their work and findings to others.
Also, our Finnish IT architects have their own group, which normally gets together quite often to discuss architecture decisions, technologies and current business topics.
Our senior architects also typically contribute their know-how for sales activities.
Give our technologically talented readers some tips. What does it take to become an IT architect?
Generally, a senior IT architect needs to have a good understanding of enterprise architectures, business processes, data solutions, and client communication, to mention a few. Leading architects also need to develop suitable leadership skills, which in today’s working culture have to be based on merits on architectural thinking, and not top-down management.
The role of a solution architect at Nortal is a very strong and responsible one. Architects have an important role in projects, but they also hold the torch of implementing practices around the organization.
Nortal is a strong supporter of constant learning and education. We support our employees in applying for certifications in different areas, such as Microsoft Dynamics and cloud technologies. All Nortal group employees are also entitled to use one workday per month for education.
What’s hot in the talent market and what sort of specialised expertise are you currently looking for?
CRM is a hot topic right now, especially as part of a comprehensive IT architecture renewal program. CRM, customer relationship management, is traditionally viewed as a standalone sales tool. In the modern world it is actually a lot more than that. CRM (or XRM) is an essential part of a modern enterprise ecosystem.
Nortal is currently looking for CRM specialists/architects to take part in these ecosystem projects.
Do examples inspire you? Who is your role model or guru if you can say so?
This is easy! Martin Fowler, who is perhaps the best-known software architecture expert in the world. Among other things, he is considered to be the father of microservice architectures. He introduced innovative solutions already as a young IT guru in the 1990s. He is still a visionary in his own field of designing software.
It’s evident that joy is built into your profession! But how do you take your mind off business?
I have a passion for music, and I tend to joke that I’m another failed rock star. Back in the day our band was close to making it, at least we thought so.
I still play guitar in a few bands. Together with Nortal’s Chief Legal Council we have a group, which you can see as the house band at Nortal’s parties.
Join Nortal’s amazing team! Check out their active job openings:
Just 20 years ago Jüri Tarkpea, now the VP of Platform Engineering at Fleet Complete, had a software company in a small Estonian town called Tartu. Their one-of-a-kind GPS tracker first caught the eye of Skype founder Toivo Annus and just 3 years ago the whole business was acquired by a huge global player Fleet Complete. Talk about a success story! 📈
Fleet Complete is the global leader in providing IoT solutions with the goal to reduce waste around anything that involves vehicles 🚚.. As their product falls on the B2B side, the wider audience might not be aware of all the Fleet Complete devices that surround us. But be well assured, they make our daily life a lot easier.
According to Jüri, Fleet Complete is like a fox 🦊 – agile and adaptive to every situation. Small enough to be flexible and fast. Big enough to serve huge global partners.
Read the interview to find out how the team gets stuff done and how they work with influential clients like Ford, AT&T and many more.
No mission statement is better than an insider giving us the overview of the company. Please tell us what does Fleet Complete do? Where could one find your product?
Essentially, we have two core values that we provide to our customers.
Firstly, reducing waste around everything that involves vehicles and other assets of a company. In addition to that, we also try to maximize the benefits that come out of these assets. Usually, it involves location tracking.
Location visibility is the cornerstone of our service, because once you get to the location, you can do business calculations, maintenance reminders and all sorts of reporting about anything related to the vehicles and assets. So, what we really do is help fleets thrive.
What exactly do you mean by “fleets”?
In our case they are bicycles, cars, heavy trucks, helicopters, boats and everything in between. If one knew where to look, this is exactly where our products are to be found — attached to all sorts of vehicles. Of course, in reality there are few who know where to search.
In fact, as we operate on the B2B side of the business world, the knowledge about us in general public is not high at all so that sometimes even the employees of the companies that use our products don’t know about all the systems we are providing them. They might know that some devices are being used but not if they are provided by Fleet Complete or somebody else.
We look at it as a good thing, after all, one of our ideals is that we take away the problems, not replace them with new ones. In that sense, being unknown is a really good thing — because everybody remembers troublemakers.
What is your career story in the company? How did you find Fleet Complete or how did Fleet Complete find you?
My career started almost 20 years ago as a developer with two friends. At the time we had a little software company in Tartu with a few map applications. There was one specific app that allowed one to see one’s location on an old soviet military map, using GPS trackers. At that time, it was a unique offering.
What is maybe interesting to mention is that Toivo Annus, the founder of Skype and one of the first business leaders in technology, used to have a hobby for off-road vehicles’ orientation back in 2004-2005. People who drove those vehicles started buying the software to know where the bogs and trenches are and this is how Toivo found out about us.
One of the companies he had invested in was Oskando which was focusing on GPS trackers´ hardware, so at one point it was only natural that he came to us and made an offer to merge.
Following that, we expanded to Baltics and found the first resellers in Eastern Europe and Nordics. Then we merged with a Danish company and we started growing bigger than just a Baltics’ company.
Three years ago, this whole thing was acquired by Fleet Complete and today I serve as the Global VP of Engineering. I think that most of the people working in the Estonian office today are on the same trajectory of one day contributing to this company and team at the highest possible level.
Wow, that’s one interesting journey you had! What is the common value that connects different international experts in the team?
“Getting stuff done”. In the corporate environment it can be really hard to maintain our own face and the personal style of communication.
Luckily, I believe that we have managed to do that. We are not afraid to express our opinions and we all bring our best to the table for the mutual goal of getting stuff done. So, I guess it is the common mindset that most connects us.
During these unprecedented times, how are things going with Fleet Complete?
When the first wave of COVID hit, very soon after, we started breaking many monthly records in sales. Our products and services proved to be extra valuable during these unprecedented times when life needed to become more digitalized in order to minimize physical contact between people.
So, the year has turned out quite well. In fact, so well that we have started a new hiring cycle to keep up with the customer demands.
At the same time internally, we switched to remote work mode from day 1 without any impact on the business. So, we are very flexible and allow everyone to decide what is the best working setup for them. Also, during that time we were offering virtual workout sessions with coaches on wellbeing as well as physical exercise.
While the company’s headquarter is in Toronto, Fleet Complete has 12 offices all around the world. Picture from Tartu office opening.
The company is rapidly expanding and Fleet Complete just opened a new office in Tallinn. Congratulations! Who are you looking for to join the team?
Indeed, thank you!
As I mentioned earlier, “getting stuff done” mindset plays a big role in our company. Therefore, we are first and foremost looking for people who align with that mindset.
In addition to that I want to say that we have seen too many success stories over the years of people who on the paper should have not been hired but aligned with the mindset, had grit and have now achieved great things.
Working in a company that is growing that fast is not always easy. It means that we also look for people who are searching for professional challenges. We do not have the luxury to decide everything for our employees, on the contrary, we are counting on them to make up their own mind and in case of urgency have the confidence to make the decision on their own.
If you are looking for professional challenges, share the “getting stuff done” mindset and are ready to take the lead when needed, we are a perfect match.
Specifically, we are looking at the moment: mobile developers, QA engineers, full-stack developers, UX lead and many more. Feel free to join the team:
You said that switching to remote work happened rather smoothly. Do you have any secrets on how you did that?
We support productivity. You should work where you are the most productive, be it the office, home or remote office — it doesn’t matter.
In addition to that I believe we are a supportive bunch that want to achieve great things and to have fun along the way.
Also, the self-development aspect is worth mentioning. During a short period of time you can see the strengths of each employee and we try to play on their strengths, we try to encourage their personal growth. From a materialistic perspective, our employees can choose their work equipment. We don’t offer golden laptops, but we’ll do as much as possible to help our employees to be more productive.
Thanks for taking the time to chat with us! To end the interview, we’ve got 5 rapid-fire questions to you.
If Fleet Complete would be an animal, what animal would it be?
A fox, because of agility and ability to find solutions. Adaptive to every situation.
What is the best thing that happened to the whole team this month?
Excellent question! We just launched our next generation web platform product for retail customers of AT&T of US.
Who is Fleet Complete’s biggest client in the world, in Estonia?
AT&T globally and Eesti Energia in Estonia.
What’s your favourite part of your current job?
Never had a boring day.
What do you believe is the biggest strength of your company right now?
Small enough to be agile and be able to execute rapidly. We are also big enough that we serve as partners for world’s biggest car manufacturers (Ford, General Motors, Daimler, Mitsubishi) and telecom companies.
European startup ecosystem and tech sector appear to be in greater shape than ever. Over the past 15 years, the European software industry has grown by 194%, outpacing the rest of the European economy 5x as of 2018.
But what about the market for tech jobs in Europe? Has the demand for top talent also grown along with the industry?
We took a deep dive in the MeetFrank job market data and found some interesting facts. Here are some of the findings from our analysis:
European tech sector grew by 1143% in 2014-2018
Tech sector employment is growing fastest in France, Ireland and Portugal
46% of job offers are seeking software engineers
Designers and tech management have to face the fiercest competition when applying for work
Companies are more eager to offer relocation than the job seekers are interested in it
Want more? Read the full article to get a complete overview of the European job market for startups and the technology sector in general.
The state of the European tech ecosystem in 2020
In 2019, European tech startups won a record $30.86bn in venture capital funding, a 40% up from 2018 and 1143% up from the €2,48bn it received back in 2014.
The funding in 2019 even outshone those of the Asian and US markets, which actually saw a slight decline in investment. The fastest-growing sector is fintech, pulling in over $8bn worth of investments.
The number of unicorns in Europe has risen from 22 back in 2015 to a staggering 99 in 2019, being still far behind USA and China though, as each has slightly over 200.
During the first three quarters in 2019, the UK leads in terms of total VC investments – €7.9 bln – followed by Germany with 4.4 bln and France with 3.9 bln, while Germany was ahead by relative growth.
Paris, London and Stockholm are the top locations with startup investments, while London, Berlin and Paris have the largest tech communities (graph below).
More investment and growth means a need for more talent, so it should not come as a surprise that the tech sector workforce is growing faster than regular enterprise in Europe, which currently stalls at 1.1%.
The tech employment growth is not equally distributed, with France ahead with an impressive 7.3%, followed by Portugal and Ireland, both with over 6% growth. Another tech hub Germany stands at 4% with the UK and Sweden not making the top 10 – most likely a sign of saturation in the sector.
But now, let’s dive deeper into MeetFrank stats and have a good look at what is actually going on in the EU labour market at the grassroots level!
What kind of jobs are companies offering and how many people apply for them?
Currently, the field with the biggest demand for workers is by far software engineering, providing 46% of all job offers, followed by sales & business development at 12%. It is also the field with the biggest share of applications although considerably smaller, standing at 35%, as sales & business development has 17%.
Software engineering is one of the four fields, next to finance, IT & sysadmin and data & analytics, in which the ratio of offers to applications is negative, signalling a lower level of competition.
Fields such as sales & business development, marketing & media, tech (project) management have a strongly positive ratio, meaning higher competition among workers.
Which are the most competitive fields?
In terms of competition, the design is currently the fiercest field with 41 applications per job opening, followed by tech (project) management with 39 and marketing & PR with 35 applications.
However, users applying for finance and IT & Sysadmin jobs have been able to enjoy considerably lower competition, with only 11 and 13 people competing for the jobs. Software engineering, the field that is most well-paid and sought-after among employers, also enjoys a relatively low level of competition with 15 applicants per job.
Salary offers for 6 most popular roles
In terms of the average sizes of the salaries offered across the EU, top-end management jobs are the highest. However, since these make up a small part of the whole, we looked at the salary offers for the most popular jobs.
Once again, software engineering emerged in the top with an average offer of 3996 euros, making it currently the most perfect field to be looking for a job: a high average payment with a fairly low competition rate and a lot of offers to choose from.
The average salary levels for IT & sysadmin and tech (project) management are also high with an average around 3200 euros, underlining the fact that specialized tech experts are currently valued the highest in the EU labour market.
Top skills required in tech-related roles
With software engineering being the most in-demand profession at the moment it shouldn’t come as too big a surprise that the top sought-after skills are regarding that field.
Business development, project management, sales management and English are expected from sales & business development managers, while English is also the highest sought-after skill for customer support. IT & Sysadmin candidates are currently most valued for their system administration and DevOps skills.
% of jobs supporting relocation vs job seekers interested in relocating
Open labour market and labour mobility are one of the backbones of the EU economic zone and nearly half of the offers at MeetFrank are living up to that spirit – in fields such as finance and customer support and data & analytics, over half of the job offers have the relocation possibility. However, the picture differs radically on the workers’ end as only around a fifth of software engineers – the field with the highest score – are willing to leave their current country of residence, with the number gradually dropping from there.
How to attract TOP talent in 2020?
As the tech sector in Europe is currently booming, finding top talent can prove more difficult than it used to. It will definitely cost employers more as salary is the biggest motivator for over three quarters of job seekers and the average payment in some popular fields such as system engineering is booming.
However, there are some of the following things you may want to double-check that you are doing right, to become a more attractive employer:
Salary – check if the pay you are offering is competitive in the respective field as 75% of the MeetFrank job seekers say that salary is their biggest motivation for changing their workplace.
Make sure you put effort into mapping out growth opportunities and describing the new challenges your company offers in the company profile as over 60% of job seekers ranked these motivations high for changing their job.
Be a flexible employer by offering flexible work hours and remote work opportunities as these were also listed among the top motivations.
Europe’s tech sector has been enjoying an unprecedented speed of growth the last couple of years and the increase of venture capital investments from the US and Asia seem to ensure that this will continue for at least some time now. This will naturally sprout bigger competition when hiring talent and also create greater work mobility, so employers need to be ready to offer greater payments and come up with great motivational offers and perks to make themselves more attractive in the labour market.
The job seekers will enjoy the rise in wages and more opportunities but also an increasing rate of competition. They will need to see if their competencies are what the market currently needs and figure out a way to stand out from the crowd.
There is possibly no other industry where skill has a shorter relative life-span than in the IT industry. One day, you’re just about caught up with all the current skills of the period, and the next, someone goes and invents an entire new programming language.
Take this alongside the general premium on candidates in STEM occupations, and the IT industry is faced with two interesting challenges. On the one hand, candidates with enough skills to even get hired in the first place are relatively scarce. So, as talent looking for a shot at IT jobs in Finland, you have a realistically good chance of finding the job you want.
On the other hand, the fact that the ICT industry constantly lives on the boundaries of human capacity and invention lends its own challenge. It means that candidates that were eminently qualified when hired may barely cut it a year later.
That is the skills conundrum facing the global industry and the local market for IT jobs in Finland. If you are a candidate looking to get in on these jobs, you’ll need to constantly be on the school run; learning, un-learning and re-learning as fast as you can.
Do you have what it takes to succeed in these jobs? What are the skills that you need to focus on? We have the stats and facts you’ll need right here.
IT jobs in Finland: An overview
Like some of its neighbours, Finland also has a strong ICT industry. As at 2017, the sector employed about 6.8% of Finland’s workforce, the highest in the EU at the time. Compared with the EU average of 3.7%, the country boasts almost double that figure.
The IT industry and the larger technology industry, are considered the most important export industry in Finland. Employing a total of 700,000 people directly and indirectly, the sector is responsible for 70% of all investment in research and development in the country.
Operations of tech companies in Finland also represent more than 50% of all Finnish exports. Unsurprisingly, the ICT industry brought in a turnover of more than €12.6 billion in 2017, 6% more than the previous year.
One of the biggest advantages that Finland offers international businesses is its relatively low cost of doing business. The country has the world’s highest data usage per capita and second-highest mobile broadband penetration rate. This ensures that companies and startups spend less on R&D while encouraging more companies to spend in the country.
In 2015, the country ranked sixth in Europe for ICT R&D expenditure as a percentage of GDP, at 5%. Conversely, the average cost of a 20-man R&D team in Finland is 50% less than what obtains in Silicon Valley. Considering this, it’s not surprising that more and more IT companies are choosing to call Finland home.
Who do companies want to hire?
From MeetFrank data on offers for IT jobs in Finland over the first half of 2019, candidates in senior and mid-level positions received the joint highest offers. An almost similar amount of offers was made to lead IT and systems admin professionals while the least offers were made to junior and entry talent.
The data shows a market trend that bends more towards experience and skill. Talent that wishes to get in on the act for IT jobs in Finland would do well to acquire the necessary skills that will help them start a little further along the ladder.
The top ten companies leading in recruitment for IT and systems admin professionals over the period include Visma and Factory Harmonizer. Others include Särmä Digital Oy, Kuori Oy, Sales Communications Finland Oy, Haahtela Group, Mavericks Out, Eficode, Rapal and Cuuma Communications.
Up-skilling and re-skilling for IT jobs in Finland
Skills are a bigger issue for IT and systems admin jobs than for most other occupations. Candidates must constantly be on the sharp edge of what is current in their profession to be considered relevant and worthy of hiring.
In a recent report by the Brookings Institute, the World Economic Forum reported that 54% of talent in ICT will need re-skilling and up-skilling by 2022. That means more than half the global ICT workforce will need to skill up in just about 3 short years.
From MeetFrank data, the top five skills in demand for IT jobs in Finland over the first half of 2019 are instructive. Required in 14% each of all job offers, Docker and DevOps were the most in demand skills for the period.
Systems Administration, Jenkins and Linux made up the rest of the top five with 7%, 6% and 4% respectively.
Considering that Finland lays claim to being the country that gave Linux to the world, candidates for IT jobs in Finland may well be wizards in the language. That should come in handy too, since Statista reports that 80% of ICT companies around the world have an unsatisfied demand for Linux-speaking professionals.
Want to increase your hiring ceiling for IT jobs in Finland? MeetFrank data indicates that to earn more than €5,000 a month, talent must be competent in Docker, DevOps and Jenkins.
How much can you earn on IT jobs in Finland?
IT jobs in Finland are amongst the best paid jobs in the country. From MeetFrank data talent in these jobs earned an average of €4,000 over the first half of 2019, with some entry positions even starting at that amount.
The average minimum salary for the period was €3,047 while the average maximum was €5,313. That puts the mean at around €4,000. The highest salary recorded during the period was much higher than the average maximum though, at €7,600. Quite a payday.
Entry candidates earned an average of €4,600 a month and juniors earned only a little higher, taking home an average of €4,720 a month. Mid-level talent earned €5,154 on average while senior and lead talent earned €5,515 and €5,592 respectively.
Data on salaries from month to month indicated that average salaries held between a low of €3,663 and a high of €4,675.
Talent making a run for positions in IT jobs in Finland should keep an eye on the market, so they know the necessary trends and demands that will shape hiring.
This is made extremely easy by MeetFrank. You can use our insights to get information on the jobs that interest you and the requirements of hirers. Simply download the app for Apple or Android today to get started.
Recruiters can also use MeetFrank to iron out their recruiting challenges. Do you have an issue you’d like to resolve know your hiring process? We can help you. Reach out to start a conversation and see how MeetFrank works.
For a long while now, Lithuania has been steadily building a reputation as an incredible place to live and work. The country offers the promise of an affordable lifestyle in an environment that is cleaner, healthier and more tech savvy than most.
However, the allure of Lithuania’s serene rivers and forests is only eclipsed by the country push to become Europe’s premier hub for IT and tech. And if current reports are anything to go by, the country is fast becoming “a force in IT”.
Especially in the area of Fintech, the country has deliberately set out to create an environment that embraces and encourages technology and tech companies. In the areas of policy, legislation and funding, a lot of effort has been put into making Lithuania the IT destination of choice.
With its burgeoning reputation as one of Europe’s most exciting tech hubs, there’s no doubt that the country is succeeding. Opportunities for IT jobs in Lithuania are expanding by the day and it’s safe to say that IT talent has never had it this good in the country.
If you’re interested in the prospects for IT jobs in Lithuania, there’s a lot to look forward to. This article will go into some detail about the atmosphere for IT and systems admin jobs in Lithuania as well as the hiring trends and preferences for these jobs.
Drawing on data culled from MeetFrank, we’ll explain all you need to know about earning potential for IT jobs in Lithuania and the skills you need to succeed.
Lithuania is becoming a force in IT
The Lithuanian government, like its Estonian counterpart, made a conscious decision to invest in IT some 20 years ago. It quickly established certain wins, such as becoming the city with the fastest public Wi-Fi in the world and with the 3rd most affordable internet in Europe.
But the country didn’t stop there. It decided to invest heavily in its IT talent, aiming to encourage a multi-lingual pool of highly talented and educated IT talent. The end result of that investment now is a pool of over 31,500 IT professionals, with up to 2,000 graduating yearly.
The country’s talent has English proficiency of 85% and was ranked 13th in the world for IT skills in 2017. Bloomberg also ranked the country as the 8th best in the world for percentage of graduates enrolled in higher education.
The concerted drive towards creating an IT advantage has led to intense interest from some of the largest companies in the world. As at 2017, the country hosted 13 of the 20 largest IT companies in the Baltic region. It is currently home to tech giants such as Google, IBM, Wix, Uber, Unity, Revolut and a host of others.
All the data points to incredible success in Lithuania’s IT drive, and only within a few short years. The country was ranked 1st in the world in fulfilling business needs for ICT and in 2018, it was ranked 16th out of 191 countries, on the Doing Business Index.
In recent times, the country has put even more effort into setting itself up as a Mecca for Fintech companies, and it is succeeding here as well. As at 2017, it was reported that a total of 117 Fintech firms were operating in Lithuania, a rapid increase from the 45 companies reported in 2013.
By creating a regulatory sandbox and government policy that favours the creation of Fintech startups, Lithuania has put itself in a position to benefit handsomely from companies that want to hedge on Brexit.
IT jobs in Lithuania are growing in leaps and bounds
The extremely positive outlook towards IT companies in Lithuania is creating a ripple effect on IT jobs in the country. As more Fintech startups are being born in the country and as more IT giants establish operations in Lithuania, there is greater demand for IT professionals to fill crucial roles.
Unsurprisingly, MeetFrank data found that offers for IT jobs in Lithuania grew by 45% between January and July 2019, compared to the second half of 2018. With more companies hiring on MeetFrank, there are even more opportunities for talent to find the jobs that tick the right boxes.
Hiring trends for the first half of 2019 indicated that there was greater demand for mid-level IT and systems admin professionals, over other roles. Offers for seniors came in second, with the least offers going to candidates in lead, junior and entry roles, respectively.
The companies that have been most active in hiring for IT and systems admin experts, according to our list of top 10 most active companies include Adroiti and Baip. Others are Danske Group IT Lithuania, Cognizant Technology Solutions Lithuania, Protingieji kurmiai UAB, UAB Inventi, Franmax UAB, UAB DPD LIETUVA, Telia Lietuvoje and Avia Solutions Group (CY) PLC.
Where do IT and systems admin professionals on MeetFrank want to work? According to our data, preferences are spread across the Coolest Offices, Startups and companies offering Remote work. Those companies that fit the bill and that are also hiring for IT jobs in Lithuania include Adroiti and Telia.
Average salaries for IT jobs in Lithuania
From MeetFrank data, average minimum salaries for the first half of 2019 were €1,238 while the average maximum was €2,397. The highest salary offered during the period was €4,000.
IT and systems admin professionals in entry roles earned an average of €1,733 per month, with juniors earning slightly higher at €1,891 per month on average. Mid-level professionals earned €2,349 and seniors earned €2,662.
Candidates occupying lead roles were the highest earners during the period, taking home an average monthly salary of €2,778.
Monthly salaries held steady between a high of €2,233, which was recorded in April, and a low of €1,533, recorded in June.
Top 5 skills for success in IT jobs in Lithuania
Out of 35 tracked skills required for IT jobs in Lithuania, we tracked the top 5 in-demand skills. Systems Administration was the most in-demand skill, being required in 9% of job offers during the period.
Linux, Windows and Systems Operations were joint second, being required in 8% of offers respectively. SQL completed the top 5, required in 7% of the total job offers on the platform.
For talent that intend to set a higher earning ceiling, what skills do you need to possess to earn higher than most? According to MeetFrank data, you need competencies in Systems Administration, Systems Operations and SQL to earn more than €2,500 a month.
Make your mark with MeetFrank
MeetFrank was created to help democratise the job market. We help talent find the necessary information they need to make the best decisions possible on their hiring opportunities for IT jobs in Lithuania.
And for recruiters, MeetFrank makes life easy by connecting companies with talent that ticks all the boxes for them. If you’d like to know more, get in touch with us to see how MeetFrank makes recruitment easy.