Bloggen för Expats | Immigration to Sweden | Moving to Sweden | Relocation to Sweden

The painful mistake made by 90% of new hires to Sweden

Aug 22, 2017 anne_pihl
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You’ve got a great new job in Sweden, cracked open the champagne and called your mum. Next on the list is to update your Facebook & Instagram status and check out the latest fashions in snow wear. Right?

Wrong. What really needs to happen next is some serious planning, both by you and by your HR department.

People don’t plan to fail, they fail to plan

Never was this saying more true than in the case of relocation. Moving to a new country can be a very daunting experience, even for the well-travelled, and Sweden is certainly no exception. Planning is an absolute requirement for success.

Relocation is one of the most stressful things a human can experience after death and divorce

A failed relocation is very costly for both you and your company. Anyone working in HR knows the true cost of hiring an employee as well as the enormous cost of a failed hire. Add in the financial expense of relocating you (and your family) to another country and failure really starts to cost.  And that’s not to mention the personal costs, which can include low self-esteem, family problems and depression, all of which inevitably also cost employers in the form of decreased productivity.

Three planning priorities for a successful relocation to Sweden

Every country presents its own unique relocation challenges. Three key challenges await anyone moving to Sweden with work. Unfortunately many new hires and HR departments underestimate these challenges and fail to plan for them, with often very painful consequences.

1. Immigration
Getting a work permit for Sweden can take a lot longer than you might expect. (Work permits are required by citizens of most non-EU countries). Once you have successfully acquired a work permit, the second challenge is ensuring that all the conditions are strictly adhered to. Non-compliance on any terms by you or your HR department  will lead to automatic disqualification when it’s time to get your work permit renewed, whatever the reason for the oversight and regardless of how much you and your employer want you to stay on in Sweden.

2. Accommodation
Sweden has one of the toughest rental markets in the world. Simply stated, you will need good contacts and/or deep pockets to find a new home in Stockholm or any other Swedish city. Focusing on work is difficult when you don’t have the basics in place. For more detailed information about finding suitable accommodation, average rental prices and the latest property prices, see our blog.

3. Culture Shock
Culture shock is very common and often unanticipated by expats in Sweden. Even more surprisingly, it often hits hardest among expats from other western countries. This is because those moving from outwardly very different cultures tend to be better mentally prepared for significant differences. 70% of relocations fail due to accompanying families not being happy in their new environment, even if all is going well at work. Preparation and coping strategies are therefore vital.

Planning and support are key

Planning and support make a huge difference to the chances of a successful relocation for you and your company. Getting off to a great start has an enormous impact on acclimatization and productivity.  Expert help is available to speed up immigration processes, to quickly find suitable accommodation and to help you and your family to get settled in Sweden. Contact us at Relocate to Sweden to find out how our relocation services can help you and your employer.

Relocate to Sweden provides expert advice and hands-on help for companies recruiting internationally or transferring staff to Sweden. We help your international recruits with the entire relocation process including immigration, home finding, tax consultancy, registration with Swedish authorities, schools, health care, language and intercultural training. Email us at or call us on +46 8 361011 if you would like help. You can also read more about our relocation services at or follow us on social media for tips and advice

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