Zipping around the world – global mobility the Spotify way

Our employees move between countries because that’s who they are, and who we are. We enable people to move because we like to hire the right people regardless of where they happen to live at the time of applying. And the Spotifiers who already work for us get the opportunity to move when it’s better for us and for them to grow somewhere else. Consequently, our workforce is diverse, and global mobility is central to the Spotify culture.

The traditional expat concept where employees are sent on 1-5 year temporary assignments, on a combination of home and host terms and don’t fully integrate with the local way of living is complex. It doesn’t fit with how we jive and our culture, and would hinder our growth both in employee numbers and diversity. It’s simply not us to have the ‘foreigner’ on different terms than the local employees, or to only give executives and more senior management the opportunity to get international experience. The Spotify approach to global mobility has been successful so far, and maybe this is why:

 

  • We hire people in the new location on a local contract and with local terms. If we’re moving existing employees, the current contract is terminated and they are re-hired in the new location. No one is an expat or a guest, they’re simply Spotifiers who joined from a different country.

 

  • We acknowledge that moving to a foreign country is challenging – so we help! The smoother a relocation and the more fluid the settling-in period is, the better the experience for everyone – so we focus on and invest a lot in this. Still, we learn as we go and do not rest on our laurels until the individual people experience is awesome.

 

  • We make it easy to find new friends and have a good professional life in the new country through great emphasis on social activities, a playful and fun culture, and values that are shared within the global Spotify family. It’s easy for Spotifiers to feel at home anywhere!

We’re a global company in hyper growth and our people are critical for achieving our mission. There’s a huge difference between being a global company by geographical coverage, and being a global company by heart and soul. The latter can only be accomplished through people, and we’re giving it a shot!