Last week we hosted our first ever Stockholm Hibob event with the mighty Teamtailor, discussing all things employee experience and the future of work.

Our panel was moderated by the wonderful Lisa Wetter (Talent Manager at Fishbrain), and featured valuable insight from:

  • Guenda Malinverni, (Recruitment Lead, iZettle)
  • Helena Sjöberg (HR Lead, Microsoft)
  • Johanna Wikland (Global HR Director, Starbreeze Studios)
  • Maja Samuelsson (HR Director, Mojang).

So after taking a quick breather to digest all that information and travel, I’ve combined my notes into 5 key takeaways to help future-proof your very own employee experience at work:

1) What is the ’employee experience’?

  • Lisa kicked off the talk by defining the employee experience as synonymous with the human experience. According to Lisa, the employee experience is a journey in dialogue with the mood curves that make up our personal lives.
  • To design more impactful experiences that enable your employees to do their best, HR should apply the principles of neuroscience to test and understand how different people work well in different environments.

2) What does a great candidate experience look like?

  • All the panelists agreed that if you’re a genuine ambassador hiring for your company, then that’s great. But you must be realistic of the day-to-day requirements: by portraying the reality of the job, not selling the dream.
  • As Johanna noted, if, like at Starbreeze it’s an unstructured environment because that’s what encourages a more productive, agile culture – then it’s essential to be very clear about that with your candidates from the beginning!
  • The candidate experience can also depend entirely on how HR is organised. For example, it’s important to think carefully if a centralised or decentralised recruitment function is right for your organisation, as this will affect the entire narrative of the experience.

3) How do you handle growing pains?

  • One way iZettle managed their hyper-growth was by maintaining a strong sense of pride, belonging and purpose among their people. This meant sharing a clear articulation of their vision, and celebrating the successes of both their employee and customer community.
  • This also means HR should be coaching managers to spread the role of culture throughout their teams. At Microsoft Sweden, Helena’s HR function achieved this by training executives to sponsor themes genuinely close to their hearts.
  • Combined with all of this, data is key. It’s essential to understand the inner-workings of your organisation, by finding every single opportunity to connect the dots!

4) How can you instill great learning and development strategies into your experience?

  • If you’re blessed with a generous investment for learning, sometimes it can be a curse deciding how to use the budget! Do you work with the employee’s ability, or do you let them decide their courses for themselves?
  • At Mojang, Maja gives her employees the autonomy to decide what to do with their budget. She finds her people are far more engaged with the training by framing it as non-mandatory education that could “help with your own employability”.
  • Or why not try implementing reverse training: by matching traninees with the leadership team. As Helena from Microsoft put it, this way you can gain new perspectives, no matter how big your organisation is.

5) What does the “future of work” and the future of HR look like?

  • There are a completely different set of expectations laid out by the modern workforce – particularly in tech – which need to be managed accordingly.  At top Stockholm gaming studios Mojang and Starbreeze, Maja and Johanna have tackled this by instilling a culture of freedom that closely aligns with values of transparency and accountability.
  • HR and Talent managers need to think more like marketeers: really understanding what will drive candidates to say yes, and what makes a more engaging employee experience through great internal comms.
  • In our oversaturated digital world, it’s even more important to be clear, and sometimes, less is more. As Helena concluded, communicating with clarity and empathy is essential if you want to have influence and be heard.

The employee experience is part of the holistic human experience, meaning it’s a universal concept – regardless of region or industry.

But given the egalitarian, early adopting culture of the Nordic region, with tech exits averaging at around $4.1billion annually, I think we can all learn a lot from the successes of the Nordic employee experience.

So here’s to our incredible speakers and the entire TeamTailor family for hosting with us!

Keep your eyes out for more of Hibob throughout the Nordics this year.


from Verity Raphael

Verity Raphael is a Senior Marketing Executive based in the London office. Since graduating with a Masters in English, she has progressed from sales to marketing at Hibob: helping the European People and Talent community feel more valued and connected to their company and colleagues. Outside of work, her passions include modernist literature, underground music, Scandinavian design, positive people and art galleries.