Interview with a recruiter
Karin Björkman has been working with international recruitment for more than 20 years.
- You have worked with recruiting internationally. What can you tell us about the quality of head-hunting in Sweden and abroad?
I am sure that there are many good head-hunters in Sweden, but generally what I see, is that they are biased and could learn from abroad countries in being more open-minded and seeing the fact that there is a person behind a CV. For example, replying or sending an update in a recruitment process is very important, so the candidate knows what is going on.
- Are Swedish employers more demanding than in Switzerland or any other country you have worked in?
Perhaps not more demanding, but they would always play a ‘secure’ card, is my impression.
- Do you think Sweden has trouble with unemployment and flexibility?
Yes, the LAS regulations are very much in profit of the employee, so many employers are hesitant to hire unless it is the ‘perfect’ candidate.
- What have you learned from your abroad experience?
I have learned to be more open-minded, to see value in people and be less biased. And to act. A no is also an answer.
- When it comes to multilingualism, how do you think it helped you?
Speaking a language is very much more than being able to ‘speak’ the language. You learn about a language or country's cultures and values which gives you the ability to understand people better. You become more open-minded.
- What would you implement into the Swedish system to help recruiters' and jobseekers' knowledge that you have gathered through years of work abroad?
Be less biased, see the added value of what a person brings to a job and the benefit of a diverse workforce. Also, I would seek to train the recruiter, a Talent Acquisition person or any hiring manager in what recruitment is. It is a profession in itself!
- What is unique in Sweden when it comes to the employment system and what should other countries learn from us?
The Unions are very strong in Sweden, which is often beneficial for the employee, there is a strong social system, so an employee is always ‘secured’ of certain benefits. The fact that there are parental leave schemes and a good system to back up that parents can continue working after the birth of a child.
- Is there anything you would like to add and teach us about your experiences or your company?
I have met with many great talents throughout the years. Even if one needs to adjust to a new country and environment, one must not forget the own values and knowledge one brings into a new situation.
You can find the original interview here on Your living city.