The 10 Best Employers in Sweden

Company logos of Swedbank, Spotify, Google, IKEA, SEB, PwC and H&M

Sweden is home to delicious meatballs, Ingmar Bergman films, beautiful supermodels and August Strindberg plays. But it is also home to some of the most attractive and largest businesses in the world that employ thousands of workers. From finance to technology, you will find some of the world’s most well-known and best employers in Sweden.

So, how did this happen? A concoction of competitive tax rates, a small regulatory framework and a population that is one of the most talented on the planet.

The next question is: which are these firms? Universum, a labour market insights firm, has put together a comprehensive list of the top employers in Sweden by using its Most Attractive Employers ranking study.

These are the 10 best companies to work for in Sweden.

10. Nike

Industry: Retail

Headquarters: Beaverton, Oregon, US

Number of employees: 76,700

Founding year: 1964

Just do it. This iconic slogan summarises the international retail juggernaut’s global empire.

While Nike is famous for its swoosh logo and partnership with famous athletes from all over the world, the company has remained on top of the sports apparel mountain by centring its corporate culture on creativity and innovation that routinely adapt to the present day’s consumer preferences.

It has had its ebbs and flows since its inception nearly 50 years ago, but Nike’s workforce has helped it maintain its staying power. Nike’s investment in health insurance, parental leave, flex time, employee discounts and a myriad of other benefits has paid dividends.

9. SEB

Industry: Finance

Headquarters: Stockholm, Sweden

Number of employees: 15,714

Founding year: 1972

Skandinaviska Enskilda Banken AB, or SEB, is a major financial institution in Sweden that serves consumers, private businesses and institutions. What has made SEB a successful bank in an ultra-competitive industry has been its diverse business model, branching out into life insurance services and a Nordic-based credit card product called the Eurocard.

It continues to adapt to the latest developments in the industry, and it remains an attractive place of employment for its relaxed but productive office environment that provides a work-life balance. One of the unique benefits it offers are holiday cottages for its personnel – try asking for that from your employer right now!

8. EY

Industry: Professional services

Headquarters: London, England

Number of employees: 284,000

Founding year: 1989

Any young person who wants to get into business dreams of landing either an internship or a full-time employment opportunity at EY. The multinational professional services giant offers a wide range of accounting services, including tax, auditing, consulting and advisory. The company has branched out into other areas, but it continues to be prevalent throughout the global economy.

People want to work at EY for its plethora of opportunities, whether it is working under seasoned veterans or travelling around the world – even interns are extended the chance to visit different countries for work. In addition to these privileges, you’re also given competitive compensation and a wide range of benefits.

7. Handelsbanken

Industry: Finance

Headquarters: Stockholm, Sweden

Number of employees: 12,549

Founding year: 1871

It’s hard to believe a company can be more than a century old. But that is the age of Svenska Handelsbanken – and then some! This is a financial institution that specialises in many banking services, including investment banking, stock trading, consumer banking, life insurance and corporate transactions.

Despite being founded in the 19th Century, Handelsbanken possesses a progressive corporate culture that is comprised of equality, diversity and inclusivity – and these characteristics are integral to its daily work. It emphasises these elements because it believes eclectic backgrounds and experiences can contribute to the business with unique perspectives.

6. Swedbank

Industry: Finance

Headquarters: Stockholm, Sweden

Number of employees: 15,983

Founding year: 1820

Yeesh. Is Sweden just comprised of banks? Well, the thing with Swedbank is that it has expanded beyond the borders of Sweden by providing asset management, retail banking and payment systems throughout the Nordic-Baltic region. For instance, it accounts for 60% of Estonia’s payments market share. With more than one million clients, it proves that the business is doing something right.

Although it has been hit with a reputation-damaging money laundering scandal, the new leadership aims to clean up the company culture with sweeping reforms and a governance overhaul.

5. PwC

Industry: Professional services

Headquarters: London, England

Number of employees: 250,930

Founding year: 1998

PricewaterhouseCoopers, better known as PwC, is a multinational professional services behemoth comparable to EY. It’s one of the Big Four accounting firms (along with KPMG, Deloitte and EY) and the second-largest professional services firm network on the planet, operating in 158 countries and generating $42 billion in revenues.

Like its competitors, PwC is an incredibly attractive place to work for the opportunities it presents to its interns and employees (travel, compensation and perks). What’s more, it has tremendous confidence in all its personnel, whether they’re newcomers or seasoned veterans. For any business-minded graduate, it can be an appealing thought to develop and manage global brands’ risk, strategy and product/service quality.

4. H&M

Industry: Retail

Headquarters: Stockholm, Sweden

Number of employees: 123,283

Founding year: 1947

H&M pioneered the concept of fast fashion, the process of fashion retailers capturing trendy clothing designs from the catwalk or celebrity culture and shift them to retail stores at an inexpensive price. It’s known for its breakneck speed to stores – and to the garbage.

Although H&M helped create this global phenomenon, the company has transitioned operations to be more environmentally friendly and ethical. It doesn’t appear to have hurt its bottom line, boasting a 2018 global operating profit of $1.7 billion. Employees, whether at head office or a store, are offered retirement benefits, vacation times and insurance perks.

3. IKEA

Industry: Furniture retail

Headquarters: Delft, Netherlands

Number of employees: 211,000

Founding year: 1943

Who doesn’t love IKEA? Well, let’s rephrase that question. Who loves the cheap prices at IKEA but hates putting together the furniture?

That said, despite IKEA destroying romantic relationships and causing heart attacks throughout the world, the company remains a powerful and successful furniture retail juggernaut that continues to expand across the globe.

Many people also fail to realise how innovative the IKEA brand is as the company routinely improves upon its products and comes up with unique designs. Is this enough to attract the best and brightest? Perhaps not, but this will: tuition assistance, pet insurance, employee discounts, a ‘Tack’ retirement plan and a generous prescription drug plan.

Grab the meatballs!

2. Spotify

Industry: Technology

Headquarters: Stockholm, Sweden

Number of employees: 4,165

Founding year: 2006

Spotify is a case study in business that took something that worked (music streaming via illegal means) and then legally integrated it into the global marketplace and adapted it to the latest technologies. It was a gamble that paid off, as Spotify now partners with some of the largest brands in the world – arts, entertainment, automobiles and technology.

It does generate most of its revenues from advertising, but the Spotify corporate culture is about innovating and giving its employees autonomy. Any testimonial from past or current workers is usually the same: the workplace is employee-friendly as personnel are trusted to be creative and are compensated to match their importance and responsibility.

1. Google

Industry: Technology

Headquarters: Mountain View, California, US

Number of employees: 119,000

Founding year: 1998

Wait a minute. Isn’t Silicon Valley in the US? Yes, but that hasn’t stopped Google from placing its footprint in other markets around the world. This initiative to expand the Google brand beyond the borders of America has included Sweden, making it the largest employer in the country.

And this is how the search engine giant remains successful, as it taps into the top talent pools worldwide, including the highly educated and remarkably skilled Swedes. Google, indeed, designs its workplace policies to keep you longer at the office, but the benefits and perks make it worthwhile, which include free food, comfortable ergonomics and a lot of on-site fun. Indeed, Google has pioneered the modern-day office perks to garner the attention of the best of the best in technology.

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On global surveys of the best countries to live and work, Sweden usually earns a top ranking. But why is Sweden the top destination for people to relocate to for their careers? It can’t only because of its beautiful scenery and an affinity for Ingmar Bergman, meatballs and gorgeous supermodels. The nation’s businesses have contributed to the success of Sweden, producing a whole host of jobs with top salaries and amazing corporate cultures.

Like every other nation on the planet, Sweden does have its faults and hiccups. However, the benefits far outweigh the drawbacks – and who doesn’t love Scandinavian literature? This is now a good excuse to ditch Biloxi, Mississippi or Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan!

Do you work for any of these companies in Sweden? Share your experiences with us in the comments section below!

 

This article is an updated version of an earlier article that was originally published on 4 July 2015.