Sweden is an attractive country to relocate to and we find it interesting to see what brings talents here, why they choose Sweden, how they settle here and how are their experiences.
We have spoken to Greg who has been living in Sweden for a couple of years now and he has set up an organisation called New to Sweden. He has a passion for diversification and here you can read and get inspired by his dedication of helping internationals navigate their way into the Swedish job market.
You have founded ‘New to Sweden’. Why? And what is ‘New to Sweden’?
New to Sweden is a non-profit organization that helps people with international backgrounds integrate into the Swedish labour market. We work with that from three different angles:
- We work with internationals and make sure they have all the job guidance they need to enter the market seamlessly. (We provide workshops, guidance pages, etc.)
- We work with companies to make sure they are ready to hire people with different backgrounds. We’ve provided workshops to companies like Google, SEB, Nordea, Tele2, etc.
- And we work within the community to help people understand the value of someone who is different from they are. We’re actually launching a national inclusion campaign this year to discuss this in greater detail.
Why is the work of ‘New to Sweden’ so important to companies in Sweden?
I’m sure your work through Beyondo echoes much of what we know, but there are many studies that prove the benefits of a non-homogenous workforce, and it’s in a company’s best interest to diversify its team. And that’s just from an economical standpoint, there are many reasons to do this from a moral point of view, too. Read here, how you as a company can benefit from New to Sweden's programs.
How can we help companies in Sweden to see the added value of internationally experienced candidates?
Data helps. We do a mix of data-based information and storytelling, so that leadership can understand why they should be investing in a diverse workforce. To be honest, the value is quite obvious, so it just takes someone to point it out to the right audience.
There are a lot of internationally experienced candidates with good skills already living in Sweden but do not have a network here. How can the companies find these skills here, instead of having talents relocating in for jobs?
Great question, and that’s something we’re looking to help with. We have a LinkedIn channel (Working in Sweden), that has a large following of highly qualified international job seekers here in Sweden. That’s one possibility. Another is to work with an agency like Beyondo, where you have talent that’s ready to start their career here!
Many companies do recruit globally to solve their competence supply here. Would you say that the competence is to find within Sweden already, only would a company be open to adjusting their needs a little bit?
100% of the competence is here already. Our team is made up of 20+ individuals who all had a hard time finding work here in Sweden, and I wouldn’t trade this team for anyone else. Remarkably talented, motivated and innovative, and this is just a small sample. There are thousands more out there.
What kind of jobs do international talents tend to secure a job in Sweden?
This is the sad part. Some are lucky enough to find work in their fields, but unfortunately many do not. Underemployment is a major issue in Sweden. You’ll find people with university degrees grabbing gig economy jobs, or something in transportation, cleaning, or warehouses.
How would you advise a company why diversification is beneficial?
Does your company want to grow? If you would like to compete globally, you need an international workforce that will understand the needs of clients beyond Sweden. And Sweden’s demographics have changed here so much, you’ll need an international workforce to help understand your domestic needs too.
Sweden is known for its high gender equality, which is also a part of diversification.
There has been a focus in Sweden on diversity equating to gender diversity. Gender diversity is incredibly important of course, but there are many types of diversity that a company can improve at the same time. Trying to fix one problem doesn’t mean ignoring another.
Are you as a company interested in learning how you can diversify your organisation? Do reach out to Greg and his team at New to Sweden!
Greg - Thank you!
And, out of curiosity, what made you move to Sweden and how long have you been living here now?My wife! We both met while we were travelling about 16 years ago, and after a few years of long-distance relationship-ing, we decided to tie the knot :) And, I have been living here for 8 years now!