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    Hire Employees in Switzerland - Overview

    The economy of Switzerland is one of the world’s most advanced and a highly-developed mixed economy. The service sector, Political stability and Economic stability have come to play a significant economic role, particularly in the Swiss banking industry and tourism.

    The economy of Switzerland has ranked first in the world since 2015 on the Global Innovation Index and third in the 2020 Global Competitiveness Report. According to United Nations data for 2016, Switzerland is the third most prosperous landlocked country in the world after Liechtenstein and Luxembourg.

    map of switzerland

    Facts & Stats

    Population 8.82M (Labor Force 5.15 million) Capital City Bern Languages Spoken Swiss-German (62%) French (22.8%) Italian (7.9%) Other languages (23.6%)
    Currency Swiss Franc (CHF) GDP per capita $ 91.991,60 (2021) Ease of Doing Business 36th in the world
    Minimum Wage Ranges from 19 CHF – 24 CHF/hour (Canton-based) Average Wage 6,300 CHF/month (6,805 USD) Paid Leave Minimum 4 weeks paid vacation annually

    Switzerland: Business Environment

    Business outlook

    Due to the global challenges brought on by the pandemic saw Switzerland lose 2.9% of its GDP in 2020. This loss was like those experienced during the 2008 global financial crisis. Since then, The Swiss economy has recovered by 6.5%, with its recent GDP sitting around $737.838 billion USD for 2022. This means that Switzerland retains to be a safe haven within Europe and remains a land of opportunity for both individuals and businesses to live and work. Overall, Switzerland has a highly liberal economic structure which means it is able to quickly adapt to internal and external challenges. It is an excellent choice for those looking to do business.

    Business regulation

    Switzerland is renowned for its stable and reliable business environment, which is supported by its well-developed legal system and robust regulations. The country’s business regulation and labor laws provide a framework that promotes fair competition and helps to ensure that companies operate ethically and sustainably. Swiss business regulation is designed to protect both domestic and international investors by creating a level playing field, promoting transparency, and ensuring compliance with the law.

    Switzerland has a comprehensive labor laws framework that governs the relationship between employers and employees. The country’s labor laws are designed to protect workers’ rights, promote fair treatment and compensation, and create a safe and healthy working environment. The laws provide clear guidelines for everything from working hours and wages to health and safety standards, and they are continuously updated to reflect changes in the workforce and the economy.

    This commitment to fair labor practices has helped Switzerland to build a reputation as a country with a highly skilled and productive workforce, which is critical to its success as a global business hub.

    Business culture

    The business culture in Switzerland varies depending on which region you are doing business in. As Switzerland is a linguistically diverse country, this makes navigating the business culture quite complex. Doing business in the French-speaking region will vary greatly from doing business in the Italian region, or the German region. Nonetheless, there is still a pervasive Swiss way to do business that is recognisable across the country. Swiss companies are generally hierarchical, with a top-down decision-making process.

    The business culture is very conservative and formal. This culture is also reflected in what values the Swiss place a strong emphasis on which include punctuality, frugality, responsibility, and tolerance. Anyone visiting Switzerland for any reason will find that these values penetrate everyday life and how the country is run. The Swiss are very direct in how they communicate but will always be polite in their delivery.

    Recruiting employees in Switzerland

    Recruiting employees in Switzerland – Overview

    If you need to recruit employees in Switzerland, it is important to take into consideration the regional differences in languages spoken. Although you will find that many Swiss candidates will be multilingual, it’s important that you specify exactly what language is required in the role you need to fill. Once you have determined this, you will find that Switzerland’s talent pool is small but full of highly educated and qualified individuals. Recruiters and employers within Switzerland mainly use job boards, company websites, networking, or newspaper ads to find candidates.

    Most important recruitment tools in Switzerland

    There are several ways to recruit employees in Switzerland, but if you need to hire quickly, posting your job advertisement on one of the top 3 online job boards is sure to get your role in front of a wide audience.

    • Jobup.ch
      The number 1 job site for finding French-speaking professionals in Switzerland. However, you can still use the platform to recruit employees that speak other national languages too. The platform has been running for just over 22 years as of 2022 and has around 18,000 job ads posted weekly.
    • Jobs.ch
      The leading job board to find candidates across Switzerland. The site boasts around 3.2 million visits a month. Although it has been online since 2000, Job.ch has belonged to a larger group called JobCloud, which also runs Jobup.ch.
    • Praxisstellen
      Dedicated to supporting companies and organisations to find qualified medical staff or support staff in the medical sector. Each month this site receives close to 210,000 visits, with jobs posted daily.

    On top of these three job boards above, there are various other sites you can post your job ad to that are just as popular including monster.ch. and Neuvoo Switzerland. If you aren’t interested in navigating these options straight away, you can also utilise LinkedIn to post the role you need filling or sift through a range of quality talent or graduates looking for work.

    Interviewing employees in Switzerland

    Interviewing employees in Switzerland – Overview

    The Swiss values punctuality and direct communication, so when interviewing Swiss candidates, it is important that the interview is well-structured. Swiss candidates take interviews very seriously and you can expect that candidates will present neatly and well-groomed to any interview. Interviews are commonly conducted in person, but there has been a sharp rise in remote interviewing practices. Some larger firms will also include various assessments during the recruitment process and undertake anywhere from 1-5 interviews depending on the role and level of qualification required. It is recommended to take into consideration the native language(s) of an interviewee or employee when drafting employment contracts, conducting interviews, and assigning tasks.

    Can I ask the candidate’s previous salary in Switzerland?

    Asking a candidate for their previous salary is not disallowed in Switzerland. Despite this, it is not common for local companies to ask about this fact from a prospective candidate. If you do ask, the candidate can be well within their rights to decline to disclose this information.

    What is the typical salary increase at a new job in Switzerland?

    It is common for candidates to seek anywhere from 4% to 12% when changing jobs in Switzerland. Salary negotiations are common ground in the Swiss job market and the Swiss are aware they need to prove themselves when negotiating any new salary expectation.

    Onboarding employees in Switzerland

    Onboarding employees in Switzerland – Overview

    The onboarding process in Switzerland generally begins as soon as an offer has been accepted. The timeframe it takes to onboard a new employee varies by sector, organisation and whether the candidate has working rights in Switzerland. Employees are to be provided with the relevant forms that can set them up appropriately to meet their income tax obligations and social security obligations. Employers are expected to provide an employee with a written agreement stipulating exactly what is expected and agreed upon in the first month. National labor laws are expected to be followed by both the employer and employee.

    Best remote working tools to use in Switzerland

    Switzerland, like many other countries, has widely adopted various remote working tools, including Microsoft Suite, Google Suite, Jira, Slack, and Cisco Webex. However, the Swiss start-up culture in remote working tools and software is flourishing, leading to increased use of cutting-edge technology developed by local developers. The proliferation of innovative solutions not only made Switzerland a leader in the transition to remote working conditions during the pandemic but allows it to remain effective in embracing remote working tools.

    Holiday season in Switzerland — 2024

    The holiday season in Switzerland varies by Canton with holidays ranging from 9 to 15 days a year. Nonetheless, employees can expect up to 9 public holidays a year in most Cantons. The dates and holidays include:

    DateHoliday name
    01 Jan, 2024New Year’s Day
    29 Mar, 2024Good Friday
    1 Apr, 2023Easter Monday
    9 May, 2024Ascension Day
    1 Aug, 2024Swiss National Day
    15 Aug, 2024Assumption Day
    25 Dec, 2024Christmas Day
    26 Dec, 2024St. Stephen’s Day

    Depending on where an employee is working will depend on if you need to factor one of the possible 23 Canton-specific public holidays into their holiday calendar.

    What is the typical salary increase employees in Switzerland expect?

    The typical annual salary increase in Switzerland currently sits between 1%-2.5% depending on the sector.


    If you are looking to hire talent in Switzerland, it is important to take into consideration the national labor and immigration laws. Only Swiss nationals and those holding a valid Swiss working permit can legally live and work in Switzerland. If you are seeking to hire a freelancer in Switzerland, it’s important to be aware of these factors.

    It is also important to consider the costs of hiring a freelancer in Switzerland in comparison to hiring elsewhere. Although you will find high-quality talent across Switzerland, for freelancing work, you will be paying a high premium to use locals’ talents. Employees and employers are afforded a range of protections under Swiss labor laws making it a more ideal place to organise permanent or fixed contracts.

    Only those holding working rights are able to work and live in Switzerland freely. European or EFTA nationals are able to live and work freely in Switzerland. Switzerland has a highly competitive and small job market, meaning foreigners from non-EU/EFTA countries need to be highly qualified and sponsored by a local company to be eligible for a work permit.

    If a company is looking to expand its business operations into Switzerland as a subsidiary or as a branch office, there are strict rules that need to be followed to be successful. Here is a brief guide on how to open either structure in Switzerland,

    Swiss Branch Office

    To open a Swiss branch office, the representative of the international company must supply a range of legal documents about the company to the Swiss Authorities. These include:

    • Documents showing evidence of parent company registration in its home country.
    • Commercial Register excerpt from parent company’s country
    • Decision documents regarding the establishment of the Swiss branch office
    • Documents proving the Swiss branch office will have the same activities as the parent company.

    If successful, the company will be required to supply the Swiss authorities with updated details on their operations within Switzerland.

    Swiss Subsidiary

    Switzerland does not place restrictions on foreign ownership, at least one person must reside in Switzerland for every type of company. Individuals outside of the EU who plan to run the subsidiary in Switzerland or move foreign staff members to the area will need a work permit.

    Any foreign company looking to open a Swiss subsidiary will need to undertake considerable research as each canton has unique laws regarding incorporation. Language is also a crucial factor to consider, as Switzerland has four national languages, with most business procedures conducted in German, Italian, or French.

    To open a private limited liability company, there are several steps to complete including checking the trade name, putting paid-up capital in a bank, notarizing Articles of Association, submitting declaration forms, registering at the Commercial Register, paying Stamp Tax, registering for VAT, and enrolling employees in the Social Insurance system.

    If you are looking to hire in Switzerland, you can choose to find, hire, and onboard talent, while navigating the local labor laws or you can use a Global PEO/EOR such as Horizons to simplify the process. Horizons can not only help hire and onboard new talent to your business in Switzerland but manage your international payroll in compliance with Swiss local laws.

    Hiring in Switzerland, Made Easy

    Your business can easily hire employees in Switzerland without opening a local entity. We handle local employment law, complex tax regulations, and international payroll in 180+ countries worldwide. All you need to do is focus on your business.

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