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Hiring & Recruiting in ChSwitzerland.










Country Capital



Swiss franc (CHF)

When expanding into Switzerland, the hiring and recruitment process might seem straightforward — conduct interviews, draft employment contracts, and set up payroll. However, navigating the complexities of employing workers in a new country can present unforeseen challenges, especially when you have to ensure compliance with all of Switzerland’s employment laws.

Recruiting in Switzerland

The first step to a successful hiring venture is determining where to advertise your openings. Overall, the country has a small labor market, high competition for jobs, and a highly skilled workforce. Some of the top online job boards include:

The country has 4 national languages — German, Italian, French, and Romansh. You can post your vacancies in any of these languages based on the location and position.

If you’re primarily recruiting recent graduates or students, you can use studyinginswitzerland.com. Most recruiters use job boards, company websites, networking, or newspaper ads to find candidates. In terms of social network recruiting, LinkedIn is the top choice. Many recruiters also contact people directly, so you can do the same or work with a recruiter who can handle this communication on your behalf.

Hiring regulations in Switzerland

Recruiting in Switzerland requires a complete understanding of the applicable laws. For example, companies can contact references that a candidate provides in a CV or application; however, requesting a medical check is only permissible when justified by the nature of the work and with the employee’s explicit consent.

Other regulations include:

  • Drug screening is generally not allowed unless certain safety requirements justify it, such as the work of a truck driver.
  • Credit checks are usually not allowed unless the information is relevant to the job, such as an accountant position.
  • There are no regulations in place for social media, but companies can screen professional sites such as LinkedIn and Xing.

Generally, companies can handle an employee’s data only if the information concerns the individual’s suitability for the job or is necessary for the performance indicated in the employment contract. This regulation also applies to pre-employment screening practices. Some exceptions are in place, such as asking the candidate for an excerpt of their criminal register if the position justifies doing so.

How to hire employees in Switzerland

Before hiring employees in Switzerland, you’ll need to pinpoint any cultural expectations or employment compliance laws that could impact negotiations. For example, wages are often determined by seniority, but companies are increasingly adopting a pay system based on performance.

An employee’s compensation includes salary, pension, insurance, and similar benefits. Employers often review wages towards the end of each calendar year and institute a pay raise starting on the first of the upcoming year. About a quarter of all employees in Switzerland belong to a trade union, which could also impact salary negotiations.

Switzerland employment laws

Switzerland employment compliance doesn’t stop at onboarding; companies must ensure compliance throughout the entire employment lifecycle.

The standard workweek in Switzerland is 45 hours for retail employees, office personnel, industrial workers, and technical personnel. All other workers have a fixed 50-hour workweek, but employers can stipulate different hours, not exceeding the statutory maximum hours, depending on the job requirements and industry.

Overtime is permitted but must not exceed 2 hours per day and 140 or 170 hours per calendar year, depending on if the employee is working a 45- or 50-hour workweek. Overtime must be compensated at a rate of at least 125% or time off in exchange for the extra hours.

Onboarding in Switzerland

Although Switzerland employment laws do not require companies to write an employment contract for most positions, employers are required to provide the employee with a written statement of terms of employment within 1 month of their start date. You should include employment terms such as the name of both parties, the employee’s function, weekly working time, compensation, benefits, and termination requirements. Make sure any compensation amounts are in Swiss francs rather than another currency.

Companies can choose how they want to onboard employees. Try to tailor your process to your company by including any necessary training that fits the position and your company’s culture. Other onboarding tips include:

  • Onboard multiple new hires at the same time to streamline the process.
  • Review the employment contract with the employee during their first day or week.
  • Provide your company’s code of conduct and related documents.

Grow globally with G-P.

G-P never forgets that behind every hire is a human being. That’s why we’ve backed our fully customizable suite of global employment products with our robust team of HR and legal experts, so we can remain at your side, ready to support you as you build your global teams. With the #1 Global Growth Platform™, you have the recruitment tools and services you need to find your perfect full-time or contract match.

Contact us today to learn more about how we can help you recruit, hire, and onboard anyone, anywhere.


THIS CONTENT IS FOR INFORMATIONAL PURPOSES ONLY AND DOES NOT CONSTITUTE LEGAL OR TAX ADVICE. You should always consult with and rely on your own legal and/or tax advisor(s). G-P does not provide legal or tax advice. The information is general and not tailored to a specific company or workforce and does not reflect G-P’s product delivery in any given jurisdiction. G-P makes no representations or warranties concerning the accuracy, completeness, or timeliness of this information and shall have no liability arising out of or in connection with it, including any loss caused by use of, or reliance on, the information.

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