How to Find Jobs in The Other 99.9% of The Companies

When I am coaching job hunters, I ask them for a list of where they want to work. In 90 % of the cases, the companies on those lists are large or huge companies. The interesting thing is, these companies are only 0.1 % of all companies in Sweden. Basically, everyone is targeting this small share of companies, often with low success. In this post, I want to share how you can find smaller startup companies.

What Companies Are Out There?

In Sweden, there are around 1.1 million companies today. Do you know what size these companies have? Actually:

  • 0.1 % are big companies (more than 250 employees)
  • 0.5 % are mid-sized companies (50-249 employees)
  • 3.0 % are small companies (10-49 employees)
  • 22 % are micro-sized companies (1-9 employees)
  • 74 % are one man companies (0 employees)

Graphs showing the frequency of Swedish companies depending on size

So the large share of the companies are either one man companies or micro-sized companies. Look here if you want to dig deeper into the stats.

I am not saying, don’t apply for jobs that are at the big corporations. But, from my experience, one reason to why people are not applying for jobs in these smaller companies is that they don’t know they exist. I want to show you how you can find these companies with a focus on startups.

Corporate skyscrapers from below

Before we move on, remember that 58 % of all companies in Sweden is hiring. This means, most companies out there is actually looking to hire new employees. So, even if you don’t see that they are actively putting out job ads, they are often happy to meet new talented people like yourself.

Small companies and especially startups are very good targets for many reasons. They have ambitions to scale and hire new people and from personal experience, many of them are open. Many startups already have international staff in their team.

Computer showing part of Google Analytics and a phone

A startup is an early stage company. Some of them have little to no revenue. It is usually said that startups are companies that are searching for a scalable business model. So, they are still looking to find that perfect fit with the market that can facilitate growth.

How to Find THE Job in a Swedish Startup


There are tons of sites that you can find startups and startup events. For events, you can look up Meetup. Here is an example of a monthly recurring event called STHLM tech. Two other good ones are Startup Weekend and Startup Grind.

Besides going to events, you can also look at various sites where startups show their business. One such site is called The Hub. The Hub is a place online where startup companies can look for their new hire and also find investors. I would recommend you to contact the ones of the companies that you find interesting. As I said before, most companies are actively hiring. Sometimes, it just doesn’t say.

Magnifying glass and a book

Two other great sites are Angellist  and Nordic Tech List. Angellist has around 1 000 startups registered and Nordic Tech List has around 6 100 companies. These are similar sites in the way that they also register startups so that you can read about their companies.

Finally, you can also look at various incubators in Sweden. Incubators help startup companies grow. There is an organization structuring all the incubators called SISP. You can look at the one closest to you and then see what companies are active at this site.

If you need help writing the spontaneous applications, read more about it hereThis post will help you with what you can write in that first connection/email.

startup employee sitting with his Macbook Pro and a Book that says Traction

Most People are Only Targeting Big Companies

Most people are just targeting the biggest companies in Sweden. But these companies only make up 0.1 % of all the companies. So, there is a big part of the job market that most job hunters are not targeting. For instance, many people are missing out on the startups that are all around Sweden these days. So, browse around the sites I mentioned here and see if you find any interesting companies and make some spontaneous applications.


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One Response to “How to Find Jobs in The Other 99.9% of The Companies

    7 years ago

    Thank you so much. This is a new information for me and I have seen unpaid internships which is a good way of getting inside first.

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