Attracting talent is one challenge – but keeping foreign employees at a company is another. Alghazi works extensively with entire recruitment and relocation process, making sure that employees are taken care of every step of the way.
“We work with a firm which helps our employees with things like visas, banks accounts, and going to the tax authority,” she says. But it’s more than that.
“They’re coming to a new country where they don’t know anyone, and joining a new culture with a different language. Our mindset is that we should help them at work and socially,” Algahzi explains. “So at Lifesum we have a lot of activities together at work to let employees integrate and build personal connections.”
Lifesum has group lunches – some of which are specifically hosted in Swedish as a learning opportunity – and activities like yoga, Monday breakfast sessions, and biweekly after-work drinks.
“This Easter we had a lunch for all our relocated employees and whoever else wanted to join – painting eggs and learning Swedish culture together,” she says.
And life at Lifesum is no exception – integration assistance within the Stockholm startup world is standard. The very foundation of the Swedish model is a happy, healthy population, and Stockholm startups want their employees to thrive, not just survive.
“Over the last decade we have relocated a lot of people to Stockholm,” says Philip Alsén, Manager of Talent Acquisition at Klarna. “So we’ve learned what works and what doesn’t. And we’ve learned not to leave them on their own.”
The company offers relocation services to some 60 to 80 foreign recruits each year, and tries to make the transition as smooth as possible.
“It’s important that employees can focus on the things that matter. They don’t have to do all the research themselves and they don’t have to reinvent the wheel,” he says.
In addition to assistance with visas, getting a personal number, and finding housing, Klarna offers free language classes – with a private tutor – for employees.
“It’s totally optional though,” he adds. “We work in English and we deeply believe you don’t need to know Swedish to live and work in Stockholm.”
It’s all about personal desires and satisfaction – and not just for the employee, but for their families.
“An employee is only as happy as his or her family is,” he says. “So we dedicate a lot of resources to the spouse as well.”