I’m British But Must Say Swedes Do It Better

I’m British But Must Say Swedes Do It Better

I have realised recently that Swedes do it better. No I’m not just talking about the amazing food, awesome fashion and flatpack furniture, I’m talking about talent management AKA recruitment.

Being based in the UK I came up through the ranks within the recruitment field and up until working with Scede, I always questioned my approach when working with clients. In a market driven by targets and quotas, sometimes the sales aspect takes over your thoughts and decisions. I knew that this fundamentally didn’t fit with me, or my drives and how I wanted to recruit, this is why I joined Scede. However, it wasn’t until I started working with Swedish clients that I realised I preferred their working culture a lot more.

I have been working with awesome clients like such as Mag Interactive, Acast to name a only a few and I LOVE WORKING WITH THE SWEDISH! I’ve stopped doubting myself and realised that Scedes working culture, my own, and the Swedish completely gels. And do you know what I’ve also found? They dislike the sales heavy UK recruitment as much as I do!

This is my opinion why; The Swedish are very humble people. Bragging or being salesy doesn’t wash with them. Job Titles don’t mean a thing, everyone can have a say and every opinion matters. CEO’s often work alongside their colleagues in the same office, or even the same desk. They emphasise the collective well being, over individual success. Transparency and honesty are vital attributes. Perhaps this working attitude is part of the reason why Sweden ranks overall Number 1 in the “good country index” and Number 1 in 'Prosperity and Equality'.

And my absolute favourite....They’re striving to close the gender gap. The parental leave can be split evenly between men and women, and they ranked Number 4 in closing the gender pay gap, in the Global Gender Gap report, compared to the UK being ranked at Number 20.

Although I was apprehensive about my first meeting with a Swedish client, the meetings I have had with the CEO’s and CTO’s are a joy. I don’t feel I need to prove my worth in one single meeting. Instead, we talk about the market and their business, much less about me and my recruitment successes. But don’t be fooled, they still expect hard work. The proof of the pudding is in the results you deliver, and if you put the success of the company over your own.

Working with our amazing Swedish partners has made me realise that If we took away the hierarchy in the UK, we’d take away the ego. And business, as well as equality, would be a lot more similar to Sweden. 


Written by Lucy Gould, Principle. Lucy has consulted for Acast, MAG Interactive and more.

If you’d like a discussion with Lucy about building out a first rate effective team for your business, email us here.