The Stockholm School of Economics is one of Europe’s leading business schools. Linda Tarmet, HR Business Partner, and her colleagues are working full-time in maintaining the good reputation and becoming even more international than they already are currently.
“The next step is our largest bachelor program, Business and Economics, that will be conducted in English in 2020. Then all of our programs will be in English. I think that will help make us even more attractive as a school internationally, both for students and staff,” says Linda.
Another important part of international growth is a balance between Swedish and foreign students. The goal is to have a distribution of about 50/50, which is the case for their master’s program. English is already the company language, and the school is doing a solid job of attracting the best skills in each area. They do this with the help of the Tenure Track strategy. This means that the candidates first sign up for three years and are then evaluated according to certain predetermined criteria. If the candidates meet the criteria, they will receive a contract for another three years. The duties include research, teaching and continuing to strengthen the Stockholm School of Economics as a school. After the second three-year period has passed with subsequent evaluation, the candidate will be permanently employed.
“We use Tenure Track for a number of reasons. One of the reasons is that most of our competitors use the same system and it is a way for us to become more competitive in the international market. Tenure Track is also an important part of developing some of the best researchers in our fields in order to strengthen Sweden’s competitiveness through science-based teaching and research. It is a way to ensure high quality of our research.” says Linda. “We recruit at all levels, but Tenure Track is an important part of our long-term strategy to ensure competence.”
“And we have to work fast – otherwise the candidates can receive other good offers”.
Attract female scientists
“Like many other universities and colleges, we work actively to try to increase the number of female professors. Equality and diversity are incredibly important issues at the School of Economics, and we work hard to try to create diversity at our institutions and departments. In most of our areas, women are an underrepresented gender and many of our competitors are obviously also trying to attract these people. Since we are not as large and do not have as many resources as some of our larger competitors, there are sometimes challenges in attracting them here. In the long term, we need to work with different strategies to strengthen the diversity of the school and increase the number of female researchers. Of course, we are working to try to attract women to all levels and a more long-term strategy is to get more women on the Tenure Track and give them opportunities to grow.”
Just attracting women is one of their biggest challenges, says Linda. Also to ensure that recruitment takes place in much the same way at the various institutions. Some have worked longer with international recruitment and established their network properly, while other institutions are a bit newer in the field.
Competitive in an international market
When asked if there is anything the Stockholm School of Economics is extra-proud of regarding recruitment, Linda responds that in many institutions they are really good at recruiting faculty staff.
“We are good at being in an international market and finding the best talents wherever in the world they come from. Given how small we still are, we are good at attracting them to Sweden so that not only the school, but also Sweden, becomes more competitive. “
The Stockholm School of Economics is a privately-owned school, which means that they are not as driven to follow many of the rules that state universities and colleges need to adhere to.
“But of course, all our openings must be put into open competition with the best-suited candidate.”
Digitized recruitment process
Since 2018, they have been working with Varbi to receive their applications digitally, unlike the manual process they had before.
“It works very well, it’s nice to have everything gathered in one place. We went from a very manual process with a lot of mailing and paper handling. It took a lot of time for us at HR to keep track of various documents, such as expert opinions. Now everything is in the system and we can spend time on other things that are of greater value for the organization. It’s very nice to have digitized the recruitment process. “
They also emphasize the importance of having a tool in place when implementing the GDPR.
“It was received very well in the organization. We started to introduce Varbi among Professional Services first, it went fast. Then it goes gradually for the institutions. A couple of them already have established networks where the application process is handled, but we see that the rumour going around internally among the institutions that Varbi works very well and that there are many who are using it.”
Keep the Swedish foundation
Although international growth is one of the main focuses of the school, at the same time they do not want to lose their Swedish foundation.
“In order to be attractive to other students, there needs to be a Swedish aspect too, you want to learn Swedish culture and the language – it is part of studying abroad. We believe it is of great importance to attract the international students. It is an exciting part of studying abroad. I think that is a success factor. It will be fantastic to be able to follow this journey and to continue to work on attracting, recruiting and retaining the absolute best candidates in the field,” Linda concludes.