As you may have figured out by now, you will need to suggest a concrete number by the end of the recruitment process. This number should be precise, realistic, and fairly accurate. If you are already working in the sector in question, you will probably base your salary requirements on your existing and previous salary, with a few thousand kronas added. If you are just entering the market, though, it is extremely difficult to access such information. To further complicate things, giving a reasonable salary proposal will impact your chances of signing for the position — there’s a risk your hiring manager will consider you unprofessional if you suggest a number that doesn’t correspond with what they have in mind.
Where do you find out?
If you are lucky — very lucky — you have a good friend who actually knows what salary level you can expect and who is willing to share that information with you. However, this is rare. Most Swedes are reluctant to tell others how much they earn, and if pressed they are likely to give a vague answer.
One option is to buy the information. For the sake of transparency, all taxpayers’ details are available for anyone to purchase, on ratsit.se for example. This means you will need to use a specific individual for reference, so this system works if you have the name and address of a person who is comparable to you in terms of sector, profession, work experience, and expertise. Please note that not all people find such a method ethical, so if you end up purchasing someone’s income details, think twice before you tell them.
Another reliable source of information is your trade union. This, naturally, relies on you being a paying member, so this makes up another reason to join a union. Please note that Swedish trade unions are organized per sector, so joining an appropriate one will be useful when you are asking for salary statistics as they are basing their data on their registered members.
Not the type of help you expect
To be clear, there are several things your trade union or trade union representative will not do: They will not take care of the negotiation in itself. More surprisingly, they will not tell you an exact number to propose to your hiring manager. Instead, they will provide you with detailed tables where they have gathered information on pay based on gender, age, location, years of work experience, education, etc. It is up to you to interpret these tables and figure out what would be a suitable number for yourself. Remember to add ten percent to give room for negotiation and compromise.