Recruiting Top Talent in Sweden

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Swedish Top Talent

Hiring the right talent in Sweden to expand your company can result in a thriving business with numerous opportunities. However, the recruitment process can be complicated when you have no physical presence in Sweden yet. Our PEO and EOR service can be the solution for your company.

Recruitment can be a tricky business, especially when a company is venturing into unfamiliar countries and exploring new markets. This is the perfect occasion to bring in a specialist to oversee the process for you.

Bradford Jacobs’ benchmark platforms as a Professional Employer Organization (PEO) have worldwide reach and include a total understanding of the challenging complexities of Sweden’s economy and employment market. You can trust Bradford Jacobs to put the brightest talent in place for your company.

The Recruitment Process in Sweden

Swedes take pride in their egalitarian society, and it is a philosophy that is found in the workplace, where the management hierarchy tends to be flat and mirrors the liberal and open-mined attitude to international trade. Sharing ideas is encouraged – even if it is the boss who always makes the final decision.

The recruitment process, too, can be open-minded. Rather than receiving a CV and written references, some employers prefer phone numbers of previous bosses to hear what they had to say about a candidate, rather than be hung up on grades and qualifications.

Similarly, employers are happy to take a phone call from job seekers asking relevant questions about the position and like the candidate to emphasize how much they want to work for the company as well as wanting the job.

The services sector, primarily financial and business services, account for around 80% of employees in Sweden. The Public Employment Agency and Migration Agency highlight sectors with skills shortages, such as architecture, civil engineering, construction, interpreters, lawyers, and medical secretaries.

In-comers can be reassured that Sweden provides a comprehensive framework of regulations and statutes that safeguard the rights of employees.

Recruitment is the first stage of making your company operational and competitive in Sweden. It is vital to know where to locate the finest talent to be a perfect fit for your company’s expansion plans.

Foreign companies intending to open a limited liability subsidiary (aktiebolag) in order to recruit staff and then run payroll, must follow strict procedures to register and onboard employees. Procedures include:

  • Register the company with the Swedish Companies Registration Office (Bolagsverket) and the Tax Agency (Skatteverket) for income and corporate taxes
  • Minimum share capital of SEK 25,000 (€2,440, US$2,762) to be deposited in the bank to receive deed of deposit
  • Register names and details of all ‘beneficial owners’, those who own or control the limited company
  • Register employees with the Swedish Tax Agency (Skatteverket) to receive a personnel identity number (personnummer) and for assessing entitlements such as maternity, pension, sickness and unemployment benefits for employees
  • Register with the Swedish Social Insurance Agency (Fӧrsäkringskassan)
  • Companies posting employees in Sweden must register with the Swedish Work Environment Authority (Arbetsmiljöverket) if the assignment lasts more than five days. Failure to register risks a fine of SEK 20,000 (€1,952, US$2,209)
  • Comply with payroll regulations to transfer employees’ salaries electronically by the 25th of the month, the 20th in December
  • Ensure employees receive a written agreement or formal contract within 30 days of starting work to comply with Swedish labor legislation

Legal Checks on Employees in Sweden

Scope:  There are no statutory regulations covering pre-hire checks. However, employers are restricted in obtaining background on medical or criminal records by the constraints of the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). Applicants can supply such information although there is no legal requirement.

Education and References Checks: Allowed with the applicant’s consent.

Criminal Record Checks: May be required for specific occupations, such as in childcare or teaching. Should not be processed electronically due to data privacy laws.

Credit Checks: May be carried out by the employer if relevant to the position, such as for cashiers or accountants.

Discrimination: Employers cannot ask questions reflecting discrimination over pregnancy, for example, or membership of trade unions.

Medical Checks: Genetic tests are prohibited but employers can ask for medical examinations and drug or alcohol tests and can refuse to hire applicants who will not undergo such tests.

Required: Applicants must comply with all work permit and visa immigration requirements.

Basic Facts on Hiring in Sweden

Companies hiring staff for expansion into Sweden must comply with a framework of rules and regulations on employment and taxation that are applied at state and municipal level. Some areas are not subject to mandatory state regulations, which is when collective and trade union agreements and directives from the European Union (EU) can come into play.

  • To comply with Sweden’s labor legislation, employees must be given a written agreement or formal contract within 30 days of starting work detailing essential information – name of employer, address of workplace, salary, type of work, basic entitlements for example
  • There are no mandatory language laws for contracts, but employees should fully understand the language in which their employment terms are explained
  • Employers with 10 or more employees must have a written policy on the workplace environment. If more than 25 employees, written policies must explain measures in place to prevent discrimination and promote equality
  • The Sweden Employment Protection Act recognizes two main types of contracts: open-ended indefinite contracts and fixed-term contracts, with the emphasis on long-term, indefinite contracts. Probationary periods up to a maximum of six months are permitted from the start of the contract

After hiring and onboarding, employers must be aware of other considerations:

Minimum standards apply to such as sick leave, minimum wages, working hours, maternity allowances, paid vacations, termination and severance, notice periods and social insurance payments. Other rules regulate workplace discrimination. 

To hire employees, companies must follow strict procedures to set up a legal entity in Sweden to run their own payroll. These include:

  • Register the company with the Swedish Companies Registration Office (Bolagsverket) and the Tax Agency (Skatteverket) for income and corporate taxes, Value Added Tax and F-tax for self-employed, if necessary
  • Minimum share capital of SEK 25,000 (€2,440, US$2,762) must be deposited to receive bank’s deed of deposit
  • Register names and details of all ‘beneficial owners’, i.e., those who own or control the limited company
  • Register employees with the Tax Agency to receive a personnel identity number (personnummer) for assessing entitlements and benefits
  • Company registration with the Swedish Tax Agency for withholding and remitting employees’ income tax and registration with the Swedish Social Insurance Agency (Fӧrsäkringskassan)
  • Companies posting employees in Sweden must also register with the Swedish Work Environment Authority (Arbetsmiljöverket) if the assignment lasts more than five days. Failure to register risks a fine of SEK 20,000 (€1,952, US$2,209)
  • Comply with payroll regulations to transfer employees’ salary electronically by the 25th of the month, the 20th in December