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Klarna is a Swedish e-commerce company that makes online shopping a frictionless experience with a one-click process. They provide their customers with a simple and secure buying experience from start to finish. As a rapidly growing Nordic company, their main focus is on raising the business to a global level by offering something different to other payment service providers. To scale in the right way they need good developers to build their products. We learn how Klarna uses Stack Overflow to reach the agile and passionate developers they need to grow their business.

The Challenge: Building a Diverse Team

Philip Alsén, Manager Search & Sourcing at Klarna said, “The challenge we face is being a player in a competitive market. Stockholm is a tech hub which means there’s lots of competition around technical talent. This makes it difficult for us to find the right people at the pace we need.” Findings from Stack Overflow’s annual user survey support the fact that it’s difficult to hire developers in this market. 72% of Swedish developers are employed full-time, and 55% say that the most annoying thing about a job search is finding one that seems interesting.

Klarna believes in a multicultural environment and have relocated people from all around the world to work in Stockholm. Philip needed to reach out to developers across the globe as he continued to grow his team. He was using other recruitment channels to connect with developers, but none of them were attracting the diverse group of people that he desired.

It’s important that they hire developers who really care about the quality of what they build. Klarna uses loosely coupled microservices to quickly build and release new features on a daily basis. Finding ‘great’ developers with broad skillsets rather than language specific ones is a continuous challenge for any company.

The Solution: Engaging on a Global Scale

Klarna used Stack Overflow on a regular basis as many of their developers went to the platform to get answers to their questions. Philip said, “I was familiar with Stack Overflow as our developers and I use it as a source of knowledge. I was excited to find out that you can also hire developers from all over the world.” It was clear to Philip that we really understood the developer community.

Philip purchased a combination of 12-month Top Spot adverts for Klarna’s most urgent hires and 12-month Standard adverts to maintain an ongoing presence. The adverts were targeted at the global market with the intention of offering relocation to the successful applicants. He created a company page where he had the freedom to set up information about Klarna.

The Results: Quality Applicants that Converted to Good Hires

The quality of the applicant pool was good and diverse regarding the global scope they reached. Having job listings on Stack Overflow enabled Klarna to touch people in parts of the world where they weren’t able to before. Philip said, “Stack Overflow is the best channel from an international perspective, you can’t reach this number of talented developers on any other platform.”

One particular feature that stood out to Philip was Joel’s test. The intention of this test is to help employers attract developers to their company by answering 12 questions about how they do software development. Initially, he didn’t turn this feature on. Klarna fulfilled all the requirements of Joel’s Test and when he decided to tick all the boxes people started to apply quickly. It was evident that developers who read the job posting also cared about how you do software development. He saw the number of applications increase dramatically.

Klarna has made multiple hires over the last couple of years including their two most recent developers who they hired through Stack Overflow within 50 days of posting a job listing. They continue to run annual campaigns on Stack Overflow to make sure they have a strong employer brand amongst the developer community. They saw a significant return on investment and found the channel efficient in terms of money and time. Philip said, “It was very easily handled from our perspective. I like the way we publish adverts as it’s a smooth process that shows clear statistics. I really like the company page as it gave us lots of freedom to create and publish content.”

The developers they hired were relocated from Brazil and Russia and were both passionate people with a drive for self-development and learning. Both love open source and help out in the community whilst working on independent projects in their spare time. They’re versatile in different technical skills and have the ability to tackle difficult problems whilst learning new technologies. Philip continues to use Stack Overflow job listings and has recommended us to a third party. Philip said, “I would recommend Stack Overflow to other companies. In fact, it was only the other day that I told an industry colleague about the benefits.”