Your Move paves the way for expats to return home by connecting them with potential employers and workplaces tailored to their skills and interests.
The founders of startup Your Move, Reinis Znotins, Ilze Garoza, Andris Siders and Janis Kreilis, don't discuss moving away from Latvia. Quite the opposite - they're calling for Latvians to return.
Reinis Znotins, one of the founding team members of Your Move, is a familiar name in Latvia's startup scene, thanks to his involvement in Anatomy Next, a Latvian startup developing 3D technologies for medical professionals. Following his departure from Anatomy Next, Reinis set out to realize a new idea and helped to create Your Move: “Our goal is to help find quality employment for those who wish to return to Latvia. We evaluate employers, as well as a company's work environment, wages and working conditions. We then connect these Latvian and foreign professionals to companies in Latvia that are looking for global talent.”
It's not difficult to evaluate potential employers: “It's essential that wages are paid officially; this clearly shows whether or not a company cares about their employees. Unfortunately, many companies still embody a post-Soviet mentality and haven't brought their business model into the 21st century,” explains Reinis.
Your Move both scouts out potential employers and employees, as well as can be found online by individuals interested in finding or posting a job. "The majority of our clients are companies which have difficulty in finding employees in Latvia. On the other hand, many firms value international experience and a broader understanding of various markets, as well as language skills." Reinis shares that people from all levels of the workforce are looking to return, though Your Move markets itself to highly qualified individuals.
Your Move focuses on finding employment for professionals working in:
- business management
- a wide array of technologies
While the startup focuses on helping Latvian citizens return home, they also have clients from many other countries. "Most of the interest is from Europe and the United States, particularly from Scandinavia, Germany and of course Great Britain. Latvian citizens consider returning to their homeland largely due to emotional factors - they want to live near their friends and family, and communicate in their native language. However, foreigners with partners from Latvia, as well as students who wish to remain in Latvia following their studies and those who have chosen Latvia as their new home, are also looking for employment opportunities in the country. For example, a girl from Nigeria who studied here wished to find a job following her graduation. She found one."
How do employers view a potential employee from Nigeria? Reinis shares that there are many workplaces in Latvia where speaking Latvian isn't essential. "We try to work with every company individually to understand how important a Latvian environment is for them. It's all about finding a workplace where an employee fits in.
And what is Reinis' promising to those who wish to return? A higher quality of life for a lower cost. “Latvia's quality of life is actually remarkably high if you are well employed. This is often overlooked due to a stark contrast in wages. We're trying to explain to people that it's unreasonable to compare Latvia's wages with those of other countries. You can earn 2500 euros after taxes in London, but your quality of life there with that salary is worse than in Latvia earning 1500 euros. The quality of life here with comparatively few expenditures is very high. Latvia isn't very populated, everything is available, the price of real estate is relatively low, society is increasingly multicultural and the people are open. Everyone we know who has returned from abroad is very happy here.”