Stockholm makes it easier for refugees to meet startups

Tech companies and asylum seekers gathered for a unique event where Stockholm City will present "a new model for recruitment".

Stockholm makes it easier for refugees to meet startups
Photo: Melker Dahlstrand/

“Some 20 companies looking for talent will meet and mingle with newly arrived job-seekers,” explained Marie Sundström, project manager for Talent Attraction at Stockholm Business Region, before the event.

“I think this is the first event where there’s actually an opportunity for the companies to present themselves for the talents and also the first event with a group of talents present. We have invited companies that hire a lot of international talent, companies that don’t require employees to speak Swedish, and asylum seekers with tech skills.”

The event has been months in the making, and is a collaborative effort between Stockholm Business Region, recruitment firm Incluso, and Sipu, a capacity-building consultancy that runs Sync Accelerator, a talent development and matchmaking programme for newly arrived tech workers.

“Since our job is to attract international talent, and last year a huge number of refugees came to Stockholm, we wanted to find out how to source talent from this group,” Sundström said.

“So when Incluso, a company that specializes in recruitment services for international talent, asked us to collaborate, it was a no-brainer.”

The goal of the project, which kicked off in November last year, is to help new arrivals in Sweden to integrate faster, while allowing tech companies in need to fully utilize the competence and skills entering the Swedish workforce.

“This event is an opportunity for us to present a new recruitment model, and for companies to meet with potential recruits,” said David Lundborg, CEO of Incluso.

“As we talked to companies, it was clear that they had no natural opportunity to meet and present themselves to newly arrived talents, and vice versa. We hope to change that – and the first chance for actual connection is at the event.”

The “new recruitment model” produced by the collaboration reduces the stress on both companies and job-seekers, he added

“With this model we take all the risk, we do the searching, and we handle the regulations around permits,” Lundborg said. “We offer three different options for companies: internships, staffing, or employment.”

Many companies appreciated the event.

“It is hard to get an accurate impression of candidates when looking at their CVs. The event was a great way to get to meet people face to face and see the individual behind the piece of paper,” said Caroline Eriksson, recruiter at Tobii group.

This article was produced by The Local in collaboration with Stockholm Business Region.