What are the things you as an employer or recruiter need to consider when hiring foreigners, including those who already have Swedish work permits? Are there any risks? How do you evaluate a work permit? Lastly, what is the Visa Exploration Program and how can it help you when you are hiring foreign talent already in Sweden? Let’s dig into these questions and answer them.
Hiring immigrants with work permits has its own risks
Many companies are currently reducing their workforces and many software engineers are victims of losing their jobs. However, IT professionals have a very good chance of finding new jobs. Additionally, recruiters may be able to recruit people already here.
The easiest and the hardest recruitments are done in-country. Obviously, you can always hire a Swedish national or permanent resident without risk. However, the seemingly easy transitions of people already in the country with a permit can be very tempting for a quick hire already on the ground. For the most part, it’s an easy hire, also the fact that someone else assumed the moving costs to Sweden and the initial familiarization in the country and now you can get that talent without a great deal of administration.
Yet, these are what we call risk applications! Why?
It’s because when you “take over” the permit from another company you also assume the responsibility for all the employment terms BEFORE the person has become your responsibility. Each and every requirement must have been fulfilled in order for the application to successfully go through a second permit process. It’s not unlikely either that with a “change of employer” application even blatant omissions in the requirements will still pass. The moment of truth comes, if not before when the final application for a Permanent Residency comes up. Hence, this is the most important application which will complete the immigration procedures for your talent forever.
How to evaluate a current work permit
So, if you, as an in-house or specialized recruiter, in good faith, hire someone, don’t take for granted that all is clear for your new team member to stay in Sweden. Most Swedish HR has read about and commiserated with ABB and Ali Omumi that were evicted due to mistakes made by a previous employer. There are many similar cases. Behind each one of them is a person whose life is shattered. This is not seldom due to mistakes that the employer made unknowingly. As you may know, the word “kompetensutvisning” is a unique word for Sweden. It translates to evicting talents that have been given a job and have worked in Sweden.
Employment-based Immigration needs validation
So, for recruiters, it is essential to do a deep background check so all the checks and balances are in place. You don’t want your client coming back to you in two years asking how come you found someone that will now be evicted from Sweden. That is not good for business.
Damage Control – what can be done?
Just last week we did a Visa Exploration for a new client and unfortunately, it was too late to help. It turned out that the person was here illegally and had already been evicted due to complicated immigration history. Overstaying the Schengen visa is difficult to rectify after the fact. In this case, it was too late to save the situation. If we had been involved earlier things could have been straightened out to everyone’s benefit.
The Visa Exploration Program is something that we started a few years ago when several of our clients “inherited” issues with current staff that had happened with earlier employers. Oversights can happen, almost anywhere, and the willingness to be part of the solution even when the talent is on the move is usually very high. However, there are employers that refuse to correct mistakes, which they can do. They will also often refuse to share the supporting documentation that you need to file an application. It is possible to handle these cases anyway, but they need way more time and effort.
Redundancies in Sweden create opportunities for recruiters
This spring we have seen a number of companies that are reducing their workforce. Not to mention that talents are scrambling to offer their skills to new employers. It’s key to getting the needed data to know what you are walking into.
We sometimes come across candidates who know that there’s a problem and they don’t want to let the recruiter or prospective company know until you are at the very end of the recruitment process. It’s hard not to feel the urge to raise the salary even by quite a bit at that point. However, is that enough? You want to know before it’s too late if an EU Blue Card is the only solution.
The war for talent is real. How can you sign someone without risking an eviction of an employee that you have employed?
Do what many companies do already! Put in a clause that the job offer and employment are dependent on an approval of the work permit. Also, don’t forget with the new immigration law updated on June 1st, 2022, an employment contract must be in place before applying for a permit, so you want to be certain that you have a good situation at hand.
More importantly, do the visa exploration so you don’t come across a problem at a later date. A Visa exploration digs far deeper than just looking at the residence card. In fact, it involves reviewing the entire history of ALL mandatory requirements to see that they have been fulfilled.
Following a strict protocol will protect you from future problems.
Would you like more info about work permits in Sweden?
Are you an employer or recruiter in Sweden who would like some consultation when it comes to hiring local foreign talent? Do you want to know more about our Visa Exploration Program? Or perhaps you have a question or two regarding work permits in Sweden?
Whatever the case, feel free to reach out to us here at Nimmersion. We would love to help you! Get in touch and we’ll get back to you as soon as possible.