1. About SwedenSweden
  2. Working conditions
  3. Sectors and companies that are recruiting
  4. Applying for a job
  5. Major recruitment pointers
  6. Recruitment Resources and networks

1. About Sweden

A military power during the 17th century, Sweden has not participated in any war for almost two centuries. An armed neutrality was preserved in both world wars. Sweden’s long-successful economic formula of a capitalist system interlarded with substantial welfare elements was challenged in the 1990s by high unemployment and in 2000-02 and 2009 by the global economic downturns, but fiscal discipline over the past several years has allowed the country to weather economic vagaries. Sweden joined the EU in 1995, but the public rejected the introduction of the euro in a 2003 referendum.

Population: 9.1 million

GDP per inhabitant (2009): USD 39.100,-

Unemployment rate (02/11): 8.4%

2. Working conditions

Keeping your distance from the person you are talking to and refraining from all contact during a conversation is the rule. In order to greet someone, offer them your hand and exchange forenames. When the relationship reaches the stage of friendship, you can enjoy it with a “kram,” a warm embrace. Clothing is quite formalistic, except in banking and financial environments.

Legal working hours : 48 hrs / week max. Average: 42.7 hrs / week

Length of trial / notice period: 3 – 6 months

Employment formalities: Work permits are not required. As a Member of the EU, this country subscribes to the free movement of citizens within the Union. The Swedish, foreigners already established in Sweden and EU nationals are prioritised for jobs. The potential employer will process work permit for non EU citizens.

3. Sectors that are recruiting

Telecom, Computer Software, Pharmaceuticals, Biomed/biotech, Consulting, Automotive, Manufacturing industry, Raw materials-based industry.
Volvo – Ericsson – Electrolux – H&M – SandvikSKF – Scania – Astra Zeneca – ABB – IKEA…

4. Applying for a job

Application documents: CV/Resume in Swedish or English. Cover letter. E-mail is the primary channel for all correspondence.

Advice regarding the CV: No more than 1 or 2 sheets for a CV (certain applications might require more). Suite of positions are presented in a chronological, reversed order. Emphasize later achievements by a more detailed, yet concise description.

5. Major recruitment pointers

Business Etiquette/knowing how to behave during interviews: Punctuality is highly valued, so be on time. Swedes tend to keep a relatively large distance when speaking to each other. Make no discrepancy based on seniority or status and pay equal attention to all counterparts in the room. Make sure never to interrupt; it is considered a sign of arrogance. Study the company in advance and ask initiated questions. Dress code is smart and conservative, but avoid anything that might be considered flaunting.

Languages you must be able to speak: Swedish. Fluent English is used in business.

Flagship training: Umeå School of Business (USBE), Baltic Business School (BBS), Jönköping International Business School (JIBS), Stockholm School of Economics (SSE)

Compensation&Benefits / Taxes: A profit-sharing scheme is often offered. 5 weeks of paid vacation per year.

6. Recruitment resources and networks

Important business networking sites: LinkedIn

Best sites for jobs: Swedish Embassy (administrative formalities, practical details of staying + job links): www.swedenabroad.com, www.monster.se

Where to network: Alumni. Professional associations. Foreign or domestic Chambers of Commerce.