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Companies in Sweden overlook global technology competence

Only 16% of Swedish companies are looking for technology competence worldwide, according to a new study – despite better access to talent elsewhere than in the home market or at traditional technology hubs.

Internet, everywhere, December 7, 2022: Only 16% of Swedish companies state that they look worldwide to find the technology talent they need. This is a significantly lower percentage than the global average of 29%. In addition, Sweden is the country with the highest percentage (24%) of companies that say they have difficulty finding talent in the domestic market. The global average is 19%. While many Swedish companies focus on the domestic market and traditional IT talent hubs when looking for technology talent, emerging IT talent hubs, which have better access to talent, receive less attention. This is shown by the new Remote Tech Talent Report study.

Wanted to analyze how Swedish companies deal with the lack of technical talent in Sweden

The study was commissioned by the HR company Remote, which with its platform and services helps companies manage a globally distributed workforce, and was answered by 1,485 decision makers globally, of which 208 were from Sweden. The purpose was to analyze how Swedish companies deal with the lack of technical talent in Sweden and in the world.

The results show that when it comes to international recruitment, Swedish companies are most likely to look for talent either in the home market (57%) or in existing technology hubs in Europe (58%), such as London, Paris and Berlin. Helsinki can be considered an emerging technology hub and is, shared with London, the most popular city when Swedish companies look for technology expertise abroad. 64% of companies say they would hire talent from London or Helsinki if they could find the perfect candidate there. The most popular tech hubs outside of Europe are San Francisco and New York.

Other emerging IT talent hubs, such as Warsaw (48%), Mexico City (45%) and Budapest (41%), lag behind most traditional tech hubs in popularity. When put in relation to the content of the report Emerging IT Talent Hubs in 2022 from Gartner Inc. which analyzes the existing and emerging IT talent hubs globally, it appears that London has extremely few people with technology skills in relation to the number of technology jobs available there . As an example, Mexico City has a situation that is four times better than London’s as measured by the number of people with technology skills divided by the number of technology jobs. Nevertheless, it is still more common for Swedish companies to turn to the London market when looking for technology talent internationally. This means that there is a significant gap between where Swedish companies actively recruit and where there is the most available technology talent.

“Given the enormous opportunities to hire talent globally, talent shortages appear to be less of a problem than they are often made out to be,” says Job van der Voort, CEO and co-founder of Remote. The study shows that companies must look beyond the domestic market to cover their needs for technology talent. Technical talent exists, but it is spread all over the world and in order to access the talent, companies must meet the challenges that it brings.”

The study shows that some Swedish companies have, however, started hiring from the global skills pool. 16% of all Swedish companies have already hired, or are trying to hire, globally. 24% of these say they do this because of the lack of tech talent locally. The most common driving forces for hiring globally are that the pandemic has brought about a transition to remote work and that it brings an opportunity to broaden their search (35%) and because companies want to hire in areas where there is a large proportion of English-speaking people (29%).

But while some recruit internationally, 45% of Swedish companies continue to focus solely on Sweden. When asked why Swedish companies choose not to turn to emerging technology hubs, the most common answer is that it is largely because they do not have legal entities in these markets (20%), or simply because they have never hired from there before (23%).

Work culture and legal requirements – the main challenges

When hiring in new regions, many Swedish companies believe that it entails challenges related to local legal requirements and work culture. According to the study, the biggest challenges are:

• Bringing together different work and management cultures (32%)

• Dealing with local legal requirements (27%)

• Language differences (26%)

• Local rules around payroll (22%)

• Working across multiple time zones (20%)

Remote’s Tech Talent study was conducted among 1485 hiring decision makers globally, of which 202 are from Sweden, and who hire remotely. The interviews were conducted by Focaldata during September 2022 via online survey.

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