Sweden continues to shine despite EU sluggish growth

11102014aThe Swedish labour market has in comparison done fairly well during the last 10 years of financial turmoil. Since 2005, about 350.000 new jobs have been created, all of them in the private sector (public sector has actually seen a decrease in jobs). There are many factors contributing to this. The economy has been well managed and is diversified, while a combination of low interest rates and tax cuts has increased consumer spending power.

About half of the new jobs have come from big companies (200 employees or more), although small companies play an increasingly important part in job creation. Within Sweden Stockholm is still the main engine for growth, while the North of Sweden has seen rise in employment due to an expansion in the mining sector.

The sectors that have the highest recruitment need is IT & Telecom, with about 76% of companies stating that they have attempted to recruit staff the last 6 months. In 2012 that number was as high as 85%. Other sectors such as construction (65%) and manufacturing (62%) also have a high recruitment demand.

Unfortunately Swedish companies could have done far better. About one in five positons aren’t filled. The main reason for this, according to The Confederation of Swedish Enterprise, is 11102014bthat candidates lack the right skillset/experience. There are in many sectors a mismatch between (job) supply and (talent) demand. 65% of companies mention this as the main reason they are not able to fill their roles, having the following effect on the business:

  • Planned expansion was halted (30%)
  • Had to say no to order (25%)
  • Had to cut down on production/service (23%)
  • No consequences (22%)
  • Had to outsource order to other provider (14%)

Within Sweden, informal contacts is the most common way to recruit (77% are using that as a mean) and also the recruitment channel companies are the most satisfied with. Other common channels are utilizing open applications, turning to the state employment agency (low cost high dissatisfaction), using recruitment agencies or social media channels.

Group of business people and men handshake reflected onto tableThat there is a lack of the right skillset is not the only reason why companies aren’t able to find the type of talent they are looking for. Using the wrong sourcing channels, inability to attract/approach skilled individuals, or relying too much on what has “worked in past” (such as informal networks) contribute to the difficulty of filling positions were talent is in short demand.

What we have seen in the marketplace is that companies that are able and willing to think outside of the box, but most importantly invest in understanding the talent pool before they engage with it, are able to beat the competition in attracting the sharpest minds.

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