• Language

Why the HR Manager returned to Boliden

HR manager Jonas Lindgren's return to Boliden raises a question: Is there a connection between coaching youth sports and managing HR in a modern mining company? It may surprise you, but there is! Boliden's Jonas Lindgren has experience in both, as well as many other HR-related roles along the way. "The most enjoyable part is helping the organization achieve its goals and getting everyone to work in the same direction," he says.

With relatives working in the mining industry, Boliden has always been on his radar. While still a student, Jonas gained valuable experience through summer jobs as a measurement technician and at the enrichment plant. These experiences offer priceless insights for anyone, but perhaps even more so for someone working in HR for a diversified conglomerate like Boliden, which is involved in a wide range of commercial activities and manages a large and varied workforce.

'We're a large, geographically diverse company,” says Jonas, who is based at Boliden's office outside Skellefteå. "I work closely with HR in other locations and offices, but the challenge is how diverse our operations are, both geographically and in terms of our activities."

To illustrate this challenge, Jonas mentions the contrasting environments of their mines. "Take Aitik outside Gällivare, an open pit mine," he says, "compared to the vastly different underground conditions at Garpenberg. Our head office supports both these operations, essentially living in both worlds. It's demanding but incredibly interesting." 

Broad Experience in Personnel Matters

Jonas brings to the table not only broad experience within Boliden, but also deep expertise from various HR roles in other organizations. After graduating with a degree in HR from Mid Sweden University, he worked as a recruiter for several years before joining Boliden as a personnel developer. He then ventured into the public sector for a while before returning to Boliden. So, what keeps drawing him back? 
"I truly enjoyed the summer jobs and the research for my thesis," Jonas explains. "The mining industry has always held a certain appeal for me. Additionally, Boliden's reputation as a great employer, evident in its community involvement such as sponsoring Skellefteå AIK jerseys, also played a part in my decision."


Connecting Sports and HR

So, what is the connection between team sports and the role of an HR manager?  
"I played sports all my life and enjoy working in teams. When I stopped playing myself, I started coaching children and young people, and that was what I really enjoyed. I wanted to build teams, strengthen groups and get them to work towards a common goal. I thought, 'What in working life can mirror that?’” 
  Drawing parallels between his coaching days and his current role in HR, Lindgren emphasizes the importance of teamwork and building strong groups. "The most enjoyable aspect is building teams and strengthening groups, getting everyone to work in the same direction," he says.


Mapping Future Needs

This passion for teamwork translates perfectly to Jonas's work in HR. His days are filled with a variety of tasks demanding strategic thinking and proactive problem-solving. Since rejoining Boliden in 2019, he has spearheaded the development of their talent acquisition team, which supports managers with internal recruitment. In his current role, he oversees personnel matters for six departments and also manages sponsorships, where Boliden is actively involved in various associations and initiatives. Another crucial aspect of his role is anticipating future needs and attracting the expertise required for the ever-evolving mining industry. 

With his deep involvement in HR, Jonas emerges is a natural choice to discuss the recent changes he observes in the Skellefteå area and Upper Norrland in general. 
"It's a bit of a mixed bag,” Jonas begins thoughtfully. "The housing issue is certainly a challenge," he acknowledges. "It was undeniably easier for people to settle and find their own place quickly just a few years ago. Nowadays, our new recruits often find themselves living in the temporary accommodation we provide for extended periods." 

Despite this hurdle, Jonas highlights positive aspects. "There's a growing pool of newcomers and an influx of new industries, which offers advantages," he explains. "This collaborative effort to attract skilled professionals to the region is a positive development. Additionally, the investments made in Norrland and Skellefteå are highlighting this region within Europe, which is undeniably good news." 
He also commends Skellefteå municipality for its proactive approach. "They've made significant strides in adapting to the new conditions," Jonas observes. "The establishment of an English school and the development of infrastructure specifically designed to benefit newcomers are prime examples of this." 


Many Exciting Positions

Whether newcomer or local, there are exciting opportunities for those interested in the mining industry and Boliden in particular. As Jonas points out, Boliden offers a wide variety of positions. 
"There are electricians, mechanics, drivers, cleaners, but also engineers, economists and communicators,” he says.  
“There’s probably something here that could be of interest to you, regardless of your background. And don't just send in an application and be satisfied with that; find out about the company, research it and get to know it.” 

The HR manager's advice rings true. It's exactly like how Jonas, years ago, landed a summer job as a measurement technician. He took the initiative. 
"I just went in, introduced myself and said I was interested in working there in the future. That was probably much more effective than sending in an application. So be curious and open, dare to make contact. It's really isn’t dangerous." 


If you want to know more about Boliden, you are welcome to contact the various units within the company. Whether it's about internships, visits or job applications, you will find both e-mail addresses and telephone numbers on Boliden's website. 


Boliden Head Office

Boliden Group
Klarabergsviadukten 90
P.O. Box 44, SE-101 20 Stockholm
Tel: + 46 8 610 15 00
Fax: + 46 8 654 80 90