Design Hiring in Sweden 🇸🇪

Rättvik, Dalarna

The missing data

Let me fast forward a bit.

The survey results

This survey was open to all people searching, screening, and hiring for design roles in Sweden. In total, 64 awesome human beings shared their insights during a period from May 5th and June 5th, 2020.

Main findings

  • When hunting for designers, the number one place “recruiters” look at is LinkedIn, followed closely by their professional network (people they know or have worked with). Applications via job pages and email are also looked at but less important for the respondents. Those in recruitment or management roles rely more heavily on all of the 4 sources mentioned.
  • Spring 🌻 and Autumn 🍁 are the two main periods for recruiting designers.
  • An updated portfolio is critical in getting past the screening step and being called for an interview. Referrals from former managers and colleagues, a good LinkedIn profile, and a CV in a printable/storable format are also vital things to have.
  • The main thing “recruiters” want to see on a design portfolio is a well-reasoned explanation of methods and thinking behind the designs, followed by samples of the work itself. Key learnings and ways of working (agile, scrum, etc..) are also valuable. The design of the portfolio itself is secondary.
  • The most recurrent steps on the hiring process mentioned are interviews with team members, culture fit interviews, and design exercises. Portfolio reviews and c-level/founder interviews are not uncommon either. Psychological and reasoning tests are not very popular.
  • The hiring decision is mostly taken by a single person, usually it is the Head of Design or highest-ranking designer in the organization that makes the call.
  • The majority of the respondents say money is not a topic until after they know they have the right person (contract/terms interview). Some ask for a ballpark figure from the candidate on the first interview.

Role groups

Since the survey respondents had a variety of different roles, it felt relevant to cross-tabulate the data available to check for variations in answers according to their role in hiring organizations.

Where do you search for designers?

During which time do you normally recruit more?

What design roles have you looked for?

What are the essentials you require from a candidate?

What makes a good LinkedIn profile (or CV)?

How important is an updated portfolio?

What is more important to see on a portfolio?

How important is a personalized cover letter?

How important are written articles/public presentations?

How important are references from former managers/colleagues for the screening process?

Do you screen out candidates you think are “overqualified” for the role?

What steps do you have in the last stretch of the hiring process?

Who has the final say on the hiring decision?

When do you talk about money?

How important is a logical reasoning test for the hiring decision?

How important are references from former managers/colleagues for the hiring decision?


Respondent roles

Relationship with the hiring organization

Hiring organization size



Where are you working from?



Closing remarks

First of all, I want to thank all of the awesome human beings that shared their insights on this survey, this data would not exist with your willingness to answer the call of this very unknown designer.

Want to help next year’s edition come true?

Remember to comment, like, and share this report. You can also sign up for the Design Hiring in Sweden newsletter to get updates regarding this or the next survey or reach me at



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Tiago Almeida

Tiago Almeida


A Portuguese Designer and Unicorn in Training™, living the lagom life in Stockholm, Sweden.