Hiring staff

The quality of the workforce is a key factor in the success of any business activity. There are numerous organisational, budgetary, technical, social and legal factors that need to be taken into account when taking on new staff.

The relationship between employer and employee is subject to federal and cantonal legislation. These include the federal labour law, the code of obligations, the law on professional training, the laws on social insurance contributions, and so on.

Two key elements of work in Switzerland are:

  • Individual work contracts

These define the rights and obligations of the employer and the employee. There are no set rules regarding the form of the contract. In the case of contracts with apprentices or short-term workers, written confirmation of the terms of employment becomes obligatory at the end of the first month of the employment relationship. The individual work contract may have a fixed term or be open-ended.

  • Collective bargaining agreements

The employer and the trade union in a given business sector conclude a collective bargaining agreement, in which the two sides of industry define the minimum terms and conditions (such as minimum levels of pay) that the work contracts are required to meet. In Switzerland, there are ten or so compulsory and 1500 non-compulsory collective bargaining agreements. The compulsory collective bargaining agreements are always applicable in the sectors for which they have been concluded. The non-compulsory collective bargaining agreements are only applicable if the parties to the contract are members of associations that have signed the collective bargaining agreement.

Hiring staff

One of the main tasks of HR management is to recruit new employees. There are two options: internal recruitment and external recruitment.

One good way to recruit staff is through the regional placement offices (ORP), whose mission is to find positions for people who are out of work. Turning to the ORP network gives you access to the widest range of candidates in Switzerland. The job-seekers, who come from all business sectors and professions, include specialists and managers, and are available for immediate employment. Financed out of unemployment insurance, the placement of staff on fixed, part-time or temporary contracts is free of charge. In addition, the ORP employment agency has at its disposal considerable financial assistance for entrepreneurs.