Sweden 11 min

Tech recruitment in Sweden: uncovering hidden remote-working talent

Written by Nadia Vatalidis
Nadia Vatalidis


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New research shows Swedish companies are having trouble finding tech professionals in their own country. When looking for IT skills outside of Sweden, they don’t venture too far from home. Remote surveyed more than 1200 hiring managers – 208 in Sweden – across a wide range of industries, in companies of all sizes. The goal was to analyse how companies deal with the lack of technology talent in Sweden and in the world. The results of the 2022 Remote Tech Talent Report showed an overwhelming opportunity for Swedish companies to improve the results of their IT recruitment efforts. 

Highlights include:

  • Only 16 percent of Swedish companies say they look worldwide to find the tech talent they need.

  • Sweden is the country with the highest proportion (24 percent) of companies saying they have difficulty finding talent in their home market.

  • Swedish companies recruiting internationally for IT skills turn to Europe (38 percent) to source talent more than any other location.

Sweden is lagging behind in tech talent recruitment opportunities 

Sweden is open to remote work but they’re not taking full advantage of global opportunities. More than half (57 percent) of Swedish hiring managers search exclusively in their own country to find tech talent. This indicates the country’s HR leaders are open to remote work. Only the Netherlands has a lower percentage for local talent searches. 

  • United States: 68 percent

  • United Kingdom: 63 percent

  • France: 62 percent 

  • Germany: 59 percent

  • Sweden: 57 percent

  • Netherlands: 52 percent

When you compare global hiring practices, however, Sweden comes in dead last. More than a quarter of all companies (26 percent) in Remote’s survey say they’ll hire anywhere in the world, but only 16% of Swedish companies are willing to take the leap.

What motivates Swedish HR leaders to hire remotely?

Having a legal entity is the driving factor for hiring remotely in Sweden. It’s another indicator of the conservative nature of Swedish companies when it comes to global hiring. Nearly a third (31 percent) of talent acquisition professionals say they hire tech skills in places where they already have a legal entity. 

Sweden is experiencing the most difficulty sourcing talent in their local market. The Remote survey showed 24% of hiring managers are finding it a struggle to find homegrown IT skills.

  • Netherlands: 35 percent

  • United States: 30 percent

  • United Kingdom: 27 percent

  • France: 24 percent

  • Germany: 24 percent

  • Sweden: 16 percent

Why Swedish companies hire remotely

  • Having a legal entity: 31 percent

  • The pandemic opened doors to hiring remotely: 27 percent

  • Hiring talent in regions with plenty of English-speaking talent: 27 percent

  • Unable to find talent in the local market: 24 percent

  • Trying new markets strategically: 24 percent

  • Diversifying the team: 23 percent

Looking for knowledge workers in a crowded market

Swedish hiring decision makers are missing a trick when it comes to finding untapped talent pools. There’s widespread interest in hiring in traditional tech talent hubs, but those places  are crowded with competition from other companies. What’s more, Swedish companies overwhelmingly prefer other European markets. 

To identify the best global opportunities for recruiting tech talent, Remote used Gartner’s Emerging IT Talent Hubs in 2022analysis as a guide to support our own research. Some top existing markets where Swedish hiring managers say they are very likely or somewhat likely to hire include:

1. London, United Kingdom: 64 percent

Top reason to hire: Registered business entity in the country

Supply-demand ratio: Low

2. Berlin, Germany: 60 percent

Top reason to hire: Know many native speakers in the region

Supply-demand ratio: Favorable

3. Paris, France: 60 percent

Top reason to hire: Good source of talent

Supply-demand ratio: Moderately favorable

4. New York, United States: 57 percent

Top reason to hire: Good source of talent

Supply-demand ratio: Low

5. Tokyo, Japan: 49 percent

Top reason to hire: Try out new markets

Supply-demand ratio: Favorable

6. San Francisco, United States: 48 percent

Top reason to hire: Good source of talent

Supply-demand ratio: Moderately favorable

Swedish hiring managers unsure about tech hiring opportunities

Perhaps more interesting in Remote’s research is the lack of certainty in Swedish hiring managers when it comes to considering tech markets outside of Europe. Large percentages said they were unsure about hiring tech skills in other continents:

Proportion of employers uncertain about hiring in each market

  • San Francisco: 22 percent

  • New York: 21 percent

  • Tokyo: 19 percent

  • Paris: 18 percent

  • Berlin: 17 percent

  • London: 14 percent

Sourcing talent from existing tech hubs can be more expensive, competitive, and logistically complicated. This is especially true for Swedish companies who tend to limit their activities to countries closer to home because they have the toughest conditions for tech talent recruitment. Existing tech hubs tend to suffer from a combination of low supply-demand ratios, high salary expectations, and difficulties working with the Swedish timezone.

Download the 2022 Remote Tech Talent Report for a full analysis of tech talent recruitment in established tech talent hubs (and uncover 15 emerging tech talent hubs around the globe).

Opportunities for Swedish employers to find elusive tech skills

The good news is Swedish hiring managers are also looking in emerging tech hubs for talent. These less popular areas are excellent places to find candidates with solid experience in tech.

Our survey respondents say they are very likely or somewhat likely to hire remotely for tech talent in the following markets:

1. Helsinki, Finland: 64 percent

Top reason to hire: Good source of talent

Supply-demand ratio: Very favorable

2. Warsaw, Poland: 48 percent

Top reason to hire: Good source of talent

Supply-demand ratio: Moderately favorable

3. Mexico City, Mexico: 45 percent

Top reason to hire: Give people a chance to work for our company

Supply-demand ratio: Very favorable

4. Melbourne, Australia: 44 percent

Top reason to hire: Know many native speakers in the region 

Supply-demand ratio: Favorable

5. Johannesburg, South Africa: 43 percent

Top reason to hire: Give people a chance to work for our company

Supply-demand ratio: Moderately favorable

6. Budapest, Hungary: 41 percent

Top reason to hire: Give people a chance to work for our company

Supply-demand ratio: Moderately favorable

Download Remote’s Tech Talent Report to access the full list of 15 emerging tech talent hubs around the world, complete with hiring profiles for each market.

These emerging market choices are likely to return a better result for recruiting efforts as remote talent in these regions are actively seeking roles from global employers offering flexible working conditions. 

Why it matters where you look for tech talent

Companies all over the world are competing for the same scarce skills. Of the 208 hiring managers Remote surveyed in Sweden, the most sought-after roles by Swedish companies are in demand globally. For example, the table below shows a side-by-side comparison of the top five tech roles Swedish managers plan to hire in the next year and the overall demand from 1485 global responses. 


Percentage of Swedish companies looking to hire

Percentage of global companies looking to hire

Project Managers



Data Engineer



Cybersecurity roles



Front end/Back end or Full Stack Engineer



Systems Engineer



Without doubt, it’s a crowded field. Hiring managers all over the world are competing against each other for the same skills. 

This is where hiring globally can give Swedish hiring managers a competitive advantage. When everyone is looking to fill the same roles, tapping into an emerging market can feel like striking gold in the hunt for tech talent. If your company is open to building a globally distributed team, you have the added benefit of creating a more diverse team as well as opening up to an exponentially larger pool of experienced and elite performers.

Making an ethical impact in emerging tech talent hubs

When asked to name the biggest ethical impact to hiring from emerging tech hubs, the vast majority of hiring managers from Sweden were quick to assess the positive benefits for everyone involved. Only five percent of respondents didn’t point to specific benefits of hiring in emerging markets. 

Benefits raised about hiring from emerging tech talent hubs

  • Giving people the opportunity to build a career without having to move to another country: 56 percent

  • Enabling communities to grow through maintaining local talent: 42 percent

  • Increasing diversity in the workforce: 41 percent

  • Don’t know: 3 percent

Swedish human resources leaders are aware of the challenges that can occur when hiring in new regions, but relatively small percentages say they’re facing those obstacles in their business. Nearly a third say blending work and management cultures is a challenge. Slightly more than a quarter say local legal requirements are something they struggle with. 

Overall, Swedish HR leaders show confidence in how to conduct remote business. This could be due to careful consideration before entering new markets or the decision to only work in markets where they have a local business entity. When asked about the challenges their business faces when hiring tech talent in new regions, this is how they responded.

Challenges raised about hiring from emerging tech talent hubs

  • Bringing together different work and management cultures: 32 percent

  • Learning about local legal requirements: 27 percent

  • Language barriers: 26 percent

  • Learning about local regulations around payroll: 22 percent

  • Having to work across multiple time zones: 20 percent

  • Managing payroll: 20 percent

  • Understanding the common benefits in that region: 15 percent

For companies who don’t have a legal entity in the emerging tech markets, Remote can help manage the complexities of hiring and staying compliant. As an employer of record (EOR), Remote’s global hiring platform handles local payroll, taxes, benefits, and offboarding requirements so your team can focus on growing your business. Even if you want to hire only one employee or contractor in a region, Remote removes the hassle with best-in-class compliance so you can grow your global team with confidence.

Get more insight into resourcing tech talent

The 2022 Remote Tech Talent Report aims to help hiring managers and decision-makers from Sweden and around the world. Insights from this research, combined with Remote’s in-house expertise, are distilled into practical advice and tactics for employers who want to find and recruit top tech talent to meet their needs and stay competitive.

Download the report now.

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