Klarna Employee Reviews about "swedish"

Updated Sep 1, 2020

To filter reviews, or .
3.4
62%
Recommend to a Friend
51%
Approve of CEO
Klarna CEO and Founder Sebastian Siemiatkowski
Sebastian Siemiatkowski
183 Ratings
Pros
  • "Fast paced environment, freedom to try different ideas, teams composed of professionals with different skill sets(in 38 reviews)

  • "Killing checkout products and great people to work with(in 17 reviews)

Cons
  • "Poor middle management with low understanding of issues(in 15 reviews)

  • "the CEO; the Swedish version of Elizabeth Holmes (in some sense)(in 11 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

Reviews about "swedish"

Return to all Reviews
  1. Helpful (3)

    "Great people to work with but working on the products is a joke"

    2.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Stockholm, Stockholm
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at Klarna full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    There are such amazing people working at Klarna and this is the best part of it. Klarna has good benefits but still pays only the average of the market, I definitely expected more from a company in this size. Pro-bono tip: If you are moving from another country, pay attention to negotiating your salary. Klarna doesn't see any problem paying 20% and some times even 30% less to people from other countries that don't know how much the market pays.

    Cons

    Klarna only seems to be a cool start-up and to have an innovative vibe but looking from inside it is another big paternalistic and micromanaging bank. The teams, product managers, designers, don't have any freedom to make decisions when it comes to product decisions. I've seen the CXOs being abusive many times and they love to put their fingers in every small task, even they not fully participating/understanding the products' cycles. Domain leads are nothing less than "yes sir" employees that accept any CXO request without challenging anything. The operation model seems to change every six months and it's far to be working, making everything even worse, with a lot of miss-communication and objectives misalignment among teams and domains. Also, don't expect to have your work valued there if you are not Swedish, US citizen, or just do what you are asked to do. If you want to work on the products at Klarna, I'd recommend you to think twice.

    Continue reading
  2. Helpful (27)

    "The Sebastian cult"

    2.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee 
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at Klarna full-time for more than 5 years

    Pros

    + you work with the latest tech + the majority of people on the individual contributor level are very smart and hard-working people + good benefits package + you learn a lot on a lot of levels (politics included)

    Cons

    - the CEO; the Swedish version of Elizabeth Holmes (in some sense). Over the last few years he has transformed from an inspiring leader to an arrogant copycat of Steve Jobs, who personally handles (i.e., micromanages) all important projects and fires people at will when they do not execute exactly what he orders. It is amazing to see how many C level executives have been fired. The ones remaining nowadays are hand picked individuals from the earlier years of Klarna (who grew with the company and the Sebastian cult mentality) and learned not to challenge him. - the majority of middle management must become YES-people as well (if they have not become already). I still do not understand why they hire competent people when all they want is someone to say "YES Sebastian, this is a great idea and I will execute it exactly the way you want me to. I know ... it doesn't matter if it is shady in terms of legal, compliance, privacy and if it will create huge technical debt that will eventually make us redo all the work from the beginning in a few years (which will eventually slow us down) ... if you want it now, I will do it now!" - the new operating model has segmented the company so much that eventually no one knows what the others are doing and everyone re-implements the wheel and does things in the way that will make them reach Sebastian's goal faster. Even if it makes no sense - the new operating model forces so much administration work to the team managers (or competence leads as they are called) that some of the smartest people in Klarna have become in reality glorified secretaries - a few year's ago product was harassing engineering with some seriously incompetent and arrogant product managers. Now they don't have to do that anymore ... product owns engineering completely. Engineering (or the "geeks" as Sebastian refers to them in some internal circles) gets to play with any cool toys they find out there on the internet as long as they can build pretty castles on the sand - do not expect career development opportunities (after a certain level) if you are not high five-ing everyone around you and shouting "Klarna is awesome". So many people have been playing this game and they even admit it in 1-1 conversations simply because they want to get a title that will help them step up to a new role in another company - all successes (real or fake) are celebrated but no lost deals or general losses are even ever mentioned. It feels that the company actively tries to hide problems and not learn from the mistakes of the past - you will work a lot. As a manager it is an unwritten rule that you have to pick up the phone and work at any given point (including during your vacation). This might become true even for individual contributors in some cases. The strangest thing is how the company has successfully managed to blur the limits between personal and professional time. I guess that is what Sebastian meant when he famously said "I do not believe in the work-life balance"

    Continue reading

  3. Helpful (12)

    "Great colleagues - terrible culture when it comes to management"

    2.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Stockholm, Stockholm
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at Klarna full-time

    Pros

    There are a lot of great people working at Klarna and there are many opportunities to advance or change path within the company. They also arrange a lot of events, guest speekers etc. that are really interesting.

    Cons

    The management is not working, at least in the lower levels. Most managers/team leaders are quite inexperienced as managers, they get close to no leadership training and there is a culture of micromanaging. From what I have seen many team leaders seem to point fingers and blame their team whenever something goes wrong, rather that owning up to it themselves and taking actions - something very different from normal Swedish work culture. My team leader treated people in postions below her terribly, really a bully rather than a manager. That said, there are good managers there too, but until the company culture changes and they start valuing good leadership I would advice people who value competent leaders to think twice before joining.

    Continue reading
  4. Helpful (5)

    "Culture"

    3.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
     
    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at Klarna

    Pros

    The company is a rising star in the FinTech world... exciting time ahead with their global expansion.

    Cons

    If you are not Swedish you can get stuck in your career path.

  5. Helpful (44)

    "midgrowth company still stuck in startup mentality"

    2.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Stockholm, Stockholm
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at Klarna full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    Work at Klarna is fast paced, if you have the drive, you will always have a project. There are many great people working here, the big-data/finance/tech/risk sector is a very lucrative field, and if the company wants, it can go very far. The office space is modern and well run (thanks in part to the amazing reception staff and cleaning crew).

    Cons

    Last minute projects, emergencies, outages, pushed deadlines are constantly an issue. The "Klarna way" basically means scramble and make sure that things don't fall apart, fix problems when they arise, or if they do fall apart, make sure that you have someone to blame or be able to cover your tracks. Launching new products, services, protocols, routines, systems before anyone has had a chance to test them, and doing so without telling relevant departments is a very amateur mistake and it's done over and over and over again. Klarna is not organized enough for 1200+ employees and acts like a very immature company. It might look like there is a good organization chart and communication flow, but all of these things break down when you look at who is placed in what positions. Higher level positions here have a very high churn rate and this is a scary thing to see. Most of the mid level management positions have 'moved up' in the company over the years, but do not have any management experience. Instead, they have earned 'experience' at Klarna during the start-up phase and do not bring anything new to the table. When you see middle management online shopping, taking the company car out for golf, throwing parties and flaunting unnecessary business travel, you know there's a problem. To prospective employees: expect a much lower salary than competitors. When I say competitors, I mean international companies in the Tech/Finance industry. Even when comparing Klarna to other Swedish companies, there is a large disparity when it comes to salary and benefits, this company does not participate in Kollektivavtal. The Male-Female ratio is very off when it comes to management/engineering/higher paying positions in this company, and I can't blame other women for not working here. Let's face it, if you're a well educated female with a background in business or any of the STEM fields (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics) you can do a lot better than Klarna. Why would you work for a Swedish company that doesn't value it's employees and pays 50% lower wages than anyone else in the UK or US and 25% less than other Swedish companies. Obviously, you go to one of the other companies instead. There is no real career path/room for improvement in many parts of this company. Too many times have I talked with colleagues and found out that they have been doing basically the same lower level job for far too long. If you are not a favorite of the middle management groups, you will probably not get any promotions or raises (not that these exist for many because of the salary review structure). You are basically expected to be happy with your salary, and getting more and more work added on, without any change or opportunity for bettering things. It's really strange that management and talent acquisition don't know why they can't attract real talent and keep it. In many start ups and companies that I have worked for in the past, the blind survey asks whether or not employees think they receive the appropriate compensation for the work they do. This question is usually a good judge of how much an employee feels recognized. I imagine if this question was on the Klarna survey, it would not look very good. Once the company has reached this stage in it's growth, it really should look at how to improve the career paths and working standards for it's employees. Sooner or later, this will catch up to Klarna, hopefully they can figure things out before people start jumping ship.

    Continue reading
  6. Helpful (65)

    "Interesting, but not very nice"

    2.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Stockholm, Stockholm
    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Klarna full-time for more than 3 years

    Pros

    I've worked for Klarna for more than 3 years now and seen several departments. A lot can be said about the company and I've tried my best to summarize it here Pros: * Cool technology * Interesting work * Successful company * The sky is the limit mentality

    Cons

    * Too little team work and collaboration. Most people do their own thing and report up to their manager, but there is very little information spread among colleagues * Poor management skills in low or intermediate levels. It appears that managers are selected based on their knowledge of the business, not on their ability to manage. I want my manager to know what the business is about and what I'm doing, but more importantly I want my manager to see me, to help me grow, to clear away any obstacles that prevents me from performing my best, to work with long term strategies, to build a team spirit, to help the team grow etc. This is not in focus at Klarna. You do your thing and that's it * Terrible project management skills. Unclear project goals, no process of determining which projects to start, poor follow-up, common scope changes etc * No long term perspective on personell. You are only measured by the value you bring to the company. If you do a great thing in a not so important project, no one cares. If you perform poorly but still profitable on an important project, you are a hero. This leads to the position being more important than your performance, which in turn leads to a not so sharing environment * Very hierarchical (for a Swedish company) * Very little feedback is given. If you've done something that you're proud of wou don't always get to show it or get cred for it

    Continue reading
  7. Helpful (71)

    "Money culture"

    1.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Frond End Developer in Stockholm, Stockholm
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at Klarna full-time for less than a year

    Pros

    Since it is a well funded startup and a financial company, there is a pile of money to recruit the best tech talents from around the world. The office looks stylish and can WOW you for the first few months.

    Cons

    Not only finance business attracts certain types of people, but the lack of experience from management side made it a chaotic environment. HR regularly promotes the "ever changing and challenging" environment of Klarna is the direct result of its dynamic environment, but if you've worked there a couple of months you know it's just bad management. Klarna is not more famous than Google or Amazon. Do you think they are more chaotic? Burn out and back stabbing is unfortunately common. This was one of the worst companies I've ever worked for in Stockholm. But since they have money, they can afford to loose people and replace them with new ones who don't have a clue what they are getting into. Klarna doesn't have a good reputation in Swedish media and IT echosystem. Maybe that's why they so aggressively recruit from abroad. Nevertheless, I wish I knew about Glassdoor and read some reviews before accepting the offer.

    Continue reading
  8. Helpful (65)

    "Unethical and greedy company"

    1.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee 
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook

    I worked at Klarna full-time

    Pros

    Klarna have made some money which they are using to build their brand hard. Toxic ambition.

    Cons

    Most of Swedish know that how unethical this company is and stay away. Money is God and anything else doesn't matter. Young and immature company. People playing politics and good at licking boot gets promoted without skills to backup. Lies and charms during recruitment masks what is going to come. Most of people are unhappy and company have extremely high turnover. People are fired unethically and on whim. What seems to be positive review here, are done by there HR and branding department is to cover up the dirty side. Unethical business practices geared towards screwing customers and making more money from them.

  9. Helpful (8)

    "High-growth FinTech"

    3.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Analyst in Stockholm, Stockholm
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at Klarna

    Pros

    - High growth and strong international expansion - Organisational structure has become more professional - Great new offices

    Cons

    - Young inexperienced staff and managers - Confusing routines and reporting responsibility - No clear career path for employees - Ridiculous attempts to brainwash employees with "Klarna values" - Still a very "Swedish" company

    Continue reading
  10. Helpful (12)

    "Klarna TLV is a great place to work in!"

    5.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Product Manager in Tel Aviv-Yafo
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at Klarna full-time for more than 3 years

    Pros

    - Brilliant Engineers. - Great atmosphere and culture. - Pair programing (for real).

    Cons

    - Swedish headquarters often cause overhead and unnecessary bureaucracy. Things are not moving as fast as they should. - Promotion opportunities are limited. - Compensation and bonuses.

    Continue reading
Found 11 reviews