Spotify Careers: What You Need to Know

Spotify careers span a wide range of roles: engineering, content, analytics, product management, business development, design, HR, Legal and more. Work on Spotify began in 2006 when Swedish entrepreneur Daniel Ek decided to try to create a music platform to stream music while providing some revenues to the music industry.

The intention was to address the music piracy problem. Today, Ek serves as the company’s CEO and there are over 4,000 employees in 18 locations. The company’s headquarters are in Stockholm, Sweden where there are approximately 1,300 employees.

In 2017, it was reported that Spotify’s New York location had 832 employees and 1,000 more were to be added. Compared with the 30-50 workers in San Francisco, the company’s New York presence is relatively huge.

Fortunately, there are over 1,100 Spotify employees on Blind so we can share some unique insights.

How do I get a job at Spotify?

The first place to look is the Spotify careers page where you will see both categories and locations. Check out some of the available jobs and where you would like to work. You can also look at the Spotify careers page on LinkedIn and apply with your profile on that site.

It’s well known that getting a referral can be helpful when you are seeking a new job, so if you have personal and professional networks you can reach out to try to find someone to provide you with one. You can also try your contacts on LinkedIn and if you don’t have many it might be a good idea to build them up. Also, you might ask for a referral on Blind like this user did.

Fortunately, we at Blind have over 1,100 Spotify employees on our platform so we can share some insights about Spotify careers to help you hopefully.

Insights from Blind

“The process is different based on the role you are interviewing (backend engineer? data engineer?) but would roughly consist of a phone screen with a recruiter, a phone screen with an engineer, then a day of interviews at the office you’d be working at (about spotify careers of interviews and an hour lunch).

The day is heavier on the technical portions but the cultural interview and fit is weighed heavily throughout the process (basically we don’t want assholes who won’t want to work as a team, regardless of engineering talent). You should be able to ask the recruiter about the process since they’re Spotify employees and will organize the day.” Feb. 24, 2018 (read more here)

“Find a Spotify recruiter on LinkedIn. These folks are from a staffing agency who work for Spotify on a contract basis. Directly getting in touch with one of them will help.” Jan. 7, 2019 (read more here)

“Read up a little bit on scio- their home-grown big data framework.” Jan. 17, 2019 (read more here)

“Just talk a lot about diversity and inclusion and you’ll be fine (kidding, but probably not really; they love to talk about it). Their core values came out of an HR roadshow a few years ago, and aren’t actually followed in my experience, but you’ll get some longtime kool-aid drinkers that will preach them.” Nov. 23, 2018 (read more here)

“I was approached by a recruiter on linkedin. I replied the same day and didn’t hear back for 2 months. I’d steer clear.

If they don’t have a tight recruiting game then they won’t land the top engineers. Don’t want to work in a shop full of b level players do you?” Jul. 22, 2017 (read more here)

How is the compensation?

The average employee salary at Spotify is about $125,000 and the average software engineer salary is $194,000 according to Paysa.

Insights from Blind

For the Stockholm location, one user posted this salary: “57K SEK * 12 = £66K annual which still is not too cool when compared to what developers get in Bay Area or Bangalore.” Dec. 1, 2018 (read more here)

“The reason is largely because of the taxes and social welfare system. For example Spotify makes a contribution to your state pension that’s above your salary or they pay you during parental leave. However if you don’t have kids and aren’t planning on staying in Sweden you’ll never be able to make the compensation back.” Sep. 14, 2018

“My TC is about $210k at the current stock price for a L4 role, I did come in at a good time but barring a recession I think we’ll continue to do well. Also it’ll be a step up on the resume. Recruiters at top companies have been contacting me very aggressively.” Jul. 30, 2018 (read more here)

“Spotify definitely lowballs, but if you negotiate, they’re surprisingly responsive. My comp is $200k+ but would have been a lot lower if I hadn’t played hard to get or leveraged other employers’ interest in me. I think I lot of young new grads just can’t believe they have the opportunity to work for a “cool” company and will take whatever offer they’re given without question.” April 16, 2018 (read more here)

“The big problem is TC. Just the salary number is sometimes not bad, especially for incoming hires, if you negotiate well. But TC is way lower than at other tech companies of similar size/status because the stock package sucks and will probably continue to.” April 26, 2018 (read more here)

“My salary comp is north of 170k with a 400k cost basis for options. I’m a 2.5 but negotiated/played hard to get with my TA. My raise this year was only 3%, sadly. I joined a year ago, too, if that helps.” Apr 28, 2018

“Compensation is below market. No raises or bonuses in general unless your manager really pushes for you. The average target “raise” is 3%.” April 16, 2018

How is the culture?

Spotify’s company culture emphasizes a sense of belonging, celebrating achievements, family fun, healthy employees, and a social spirit as a part of branding. As far as the atmosphere is concerned employees have written in online reviews the culture tends to be relaxing and even fun.

Insights from Blind

“Good benefits as it relates to work/life balance and no expectations to work late hours or weekends. The NYC office is fairly American in other ways– firing underperformers and requiring fewer meetings to make decisions.” Mar. 29, 2018 (read more here)

“It’s a cool place for the most part but lacks structure and clear career advancement. The good parts of Spotify are amazing at first but as you get deeper in your career, it can start to feel like a waste of your time and effort. There’s been sort of a mass exodus recently (not just attributed to the direct listing).” Nov. 2, 2018 (read more here)

“Although I cannot speak specifically for internships of your specified field, I can confirm that Spotify frequently hires interns, several of my colleagues started out as interns.” Jan 19, 2018 (read more here)

“Lol are you kidding half the leads do half days constantly and nobody cares. New York takes sick days like you wouldn’t believe and nobody cares. You get away with a lot more if you have kids though.” Jan. 19, 2019 (read more here)

How are the perks?

Free concerts might be one of the most appealing perks. How about 6 months of parental leave, fertility assistance, and egg freezing? These are clearly benefits not perks — they have their appeal nonetheless. This next one might be attractive to some employees. Have you heard of holiday swapping? At Spotify, you can work on Christmas Day and take off a different holiday.

What are some issues that might impact employees?

In 2016, it was reported by Business Insider Nordic that internal discontent was driving away many employees. Nepotism, backstabbing and confusion were mentioned as factors. In 2018, the company was sued for gender discrimination.

How diverse are the employee ranks?

About 38% are females, 6% are African-American, and about half are caucasian.

What are some of the advantages/disadvantages to Spotify careers?

Spotify only recent generated some profits, so its business model doesn’t appear to be a proven one — at least not yet. If you are looking for stability it might not be a good bet. If you are young and risk-tolerant then it might be a good choice. In some cases, you might also make more money if you don’t work at Spotify because the bigger tech companies like Apple, Facebook and Google may have larger total compensation packages.

If you want to work at an American Spotify office if you don’t like New York or some of the other locations you probably won’t be that happy. If you are interested in the international locations then that could work well but of course there might be some passport/VISA issues.

Spotify careers are not for everyone. For example, in one of our surveys about 40% of Spotify employees on Blind who responded indicated they were not paid fairly.

To put this fact in context, Spotify is not a huge company with tens of thousands of employees like Google, Facebook, Microsoft and Apple. It’s also not nearly was well-established so one reasonably might expect some differences between Spotify careers and those at other companies.

Image Credit: Jon Åslund, Wikipedia, no changes, CC BY 2.0

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