Sweden is known as one of the globally most competitive, innovative and productive countries. With cutting-edge expertise in key sectors and the home for world leading companies, Sweden offers attractive investment and market opportunities.
In fact, Sweden is currently ranked number one on the Forbes’ annual list of the Best Countries for Business. A key feature of the Swedish economy is the openness and liberal approach to trade. Sweden has even been ranked as having the best reputation according to the RepTrak reputation ranking in 2016. The Swedes are highly educated, they cope extremely well with business English and they have a strong international mindset. They truly think big; from creating a concept from start to finish, they always seem to have global market in their focus.
Ease of doing business in Sweden
Sweden is placed 9th out of 190 countries on the World Bank’s Ease of Doing Business ranking. There is no change from last year’s rank, as Sweden was placed also 9th in 2016. According to the ease of doing business indicators, Sweden’s strengths are in getting electricity, placed 6th, registering property, placed 10th, and starting a business, placed 15th. There is room for improvement though, as Sweden is placed 75th out of 190 countries in the ease of getting credit. This indicator measures how well regulations and institutions support lending and borrowing. Other relatively low points Sweden gets in paying taxes (28th) and dealing with construction permits (25th).
Economy and politics
The Swedish economy expanded 0.4 percent in the first quarter of 2017, according to Trading Economics. The main growth drivers were fixed investment and household consumption. On the production side, production of goods increased by 0.5 percent and service-producing industries grew by 0.9 percent. The GDP growth rate forecast varies around 0.6 to 0.5 percent in upcoming quarters. GDP annual growth rate is estimated to grow up to 3.6 percent from current 2.2 percent.
Sweden has a high employment rate and a skilled labor force, with high level of women’s participation in the workforce. The unemployment rate is estimated to be 6.3 percent at the end of 2017.
Sweden’s position as one of the world’s most highly developed post-industrial societies looks fundamentally secure according to BBC news. The Swedish general election will be held in fall 2018 and growing worries about immigration have boosted support for the hardline Sweden Democrats, echoing the rise of populist parties across Europe.
What to keep an eye on
The rise of the anti-immigration movement. Swedish government is struggling over the migrant crisis, which is causing concern among Swedish citizens. The decline in support of the Social Democrats is part of a long-term trend, with voters being attracted to the anti-immigration Sweden Democrats.
Intensified competition in job market. Demand for labor is expected to remain high, which will lead to a gradually declining supply of skilled workers in many occupations. Today’s forecasts predict that the Swedish educational system will not meet the overall demand for labor, according to the European Job Mobility Portal.
We had a chance to interview Ulrika Danielsson (Partner, Finnveden Executive). We asked Ulrika few questions about the headhunting and recruiting market in Sweden:
How do you see the situation at the moment?
At the moment, there is a boom both in Sweden and in many parts of Europe, which means it is a challenge to find talented candidates. The market is theirs and they can often choose between several interesting job offers. It is also evident that company loyalty is no longer as strong, employment times tend to be shorter and the threshold for changing jobs is no longer as high.
Are there some industries in Sweden which are growing faster than others?
Yes. Especially the construction industry and all industries linked to the automotive industry.
What kind of roles and talent are companies looking for?
Leaders capable of scaling up a business.
Good modern leaders able to uplift and develop their staff as well as their organization as a whole.
Is there some kind of talent shortage in Sweden?
It is difficult to find technology managers for positions within the IT sector.
The increasing industry digitalization creates new demands and expectations on employees.
Are companies looking mostly for Swedish people, or are they also interested in people from abroad?
International groups are often more focused on finding the right skills and competence. In smaller companies language fluency is often a key factor.
How do you see the development of recruiting and headhunting markets in Sweden over the next couple of years?
There is an ongoing and increasing labor mobility. The increasing digitalization helps to speed up recruitment and employment processes. At the same time, we can see that there are also increasing requirements for control and quality assurance. We believe that within executive search, personal meetings and networks will continue to be of great importance, also in the future.