How HR Can Prepare Foreign Hires For Work Success in Sweden


Image of human hands holding plant shaped like arrow: how HR can prepare foreign hires for work success in Sweden

Even before the star employee relocates to Sweden, HR can make preparations to ensure the transfer is successful for both the expat and the host office.

Recruiting top talent is part of HR’s role. It is not only finding talent but developing and retaining talent that is part of an HR success story.

The hidden clues to thriving in the Swedish workplace can be easy to miss. The expat may hesitate to ask questions for fear of seeming incompetent. A majority of the expat stars we have surveyed are very focused on making their transfer a great move. While they yearn for the tools to succeed, sometimes they meet cultural roadblocks.

Of course, “You don’t know what you don’t know” is a challenge since some customs and behaviors in a new country just seem strange. At times, how Swedes place a value on certain ways of communicating and problem solving just can’t be guessed.

These 3 tips will help prepare foreign hires for work success in Sweden.

  1. Swedes tend to be less transparent with their feelings than some other nationalities. A Swedish boss might see what an employee is doing, they will note the dress, the tardiness, etc. but they will not say anything. At best they will hint. Make sure your talent learns the unwritten rules of their Swedish office ahead of time.
  2. Sweden is a consensus culture. Consensus is something that is highly valued. Swedes tend to involve everyone in decision making. To listen to what everyone’s opinions are before the agreement is reached is something that is considered ideal. A new expat needs to remember this during meetings.
  3. Swedes, at times, can be awkwardly silent. They are comfortable during lulls in conversations where people from other countries might rush to fill the void. Small talk is not something that is considered the norm in Sweden. If something important needs to be said say it. If not, don’t. It is good for an expat to learn these unique styles of communication so their feelings are not hurt.


Knowledge and Tools: The Keys to Succeess In a New Country

Moving across borders to a new job is a major life change for the expat, and it’s a major investment for the employer. With proper preparation, it can be a win-win for both the company and the employee.

That’s why we created NIM.MERSION’s Expat Success: Professional Inspiration course – to conveniently prepare employees for Sweden, from any location, at their own pace.

The videos and worksheets in this course will help expats hit the ground running in their new assignment. The training is packed with real life advice from both current and previous expats and local managers who understand the most common obstacles and how to overcome them. The worksheets help expats apply the knowledge they learn in this course and provide useful information from Swedish locals – everything to help expats prepare for a successful experience both personally and professionally.

If you are interested in learning more ways of helping your transferee succeed in Sweden, Please contact us.


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