Make sure your recruiters are in compliance for work permit holders!

Red Ring Binder with inscription Permits on Background of Working Table with Office Supplies, Laptop, Reports. Toned Illustration. Business Concept on Blurred Background:MAKE SURE YOUR RECRUITERS ARE IN COMPLIANCE FOR WORK PERMIT HOLDERS!Recently, I spent quite a bit of time with a CHR in Sweden who already had a person on staff and it was now time for a renewal of his work permit. There was just one catch. The person had started his new job without the position having been advertised on Eures first.

My initial advice was to contact the recruitment firm to see where, and how they had found this talented new employee and if Eures was part of the battery of places where they routinely source talent. We also had a long discussion on how important this person is to the growth of the company and how he quickly had become a key player.

One of the many questions he had that afternoon was whether the fact that there is a widely known labor shortage would remove the demand for the advertisement as it’s obvious that the talent is needed. Sweden doesn’t have a labor shortage list that is used in Denmark and in so many other places, therefore, it’s still an obligation to fulfill the requirement for the announcement for an open position within the EU.

Soon thereafter it was clear that this had not been done by the book, and alternate routes to possible employment in Sweden had to be considered.

All countries have their own nuances when it comes to immigration. The Swedish labor market can’t supply the skills that the companies need so looking outside Sweden for talent is a must for many companies that want to grow and thrive. This is far from unique as most countries in the world are looking for skills that are hard to find. Hence, most countries are doing what they can to walk the tightrope between protecting the domestic workforce while having a reasonable immigration process for talent.

One way of safeguarding that local Swedes, or our fellow Europeans, get an opportunity to seek these positions first is to advertise job opportunities within the union and Switzerland. In Sweden, the employment agency (that may be closed down soon) also hosts the European Job Network portal Eures. Unless a position has been advertised there for at least ten days you are not compliant and your risk a denial of an application or if the talent is already here, an eviction from Sweden is imminent.

So why do we talk about recruiters?

Well, finding tech talent especially, but also for many other positions recruiters often engaged  and the Eures site isn’t typically where talent is found, therefore using that as a channel is often overlooked. Global HR and global mobility managers who have outsourced the search don’t usually get heavily into the nitty-gritty with the components in the search, recruitment, and signing of the person because… well it was outsourced. Part of the package that you buy is that it should work through all the layers of staying compliant with many legalities and background checks.

The Swedish Migration Agency has some MUST HAVES to approve a work permit application to Sweden. There are some very clear guidelines here and advertising at Eures is essential and has been the cause for denial in many instances.


  • In the summer of 2019, the practice that you can outsource the advert completely is hindered since each company must create their own login. If your recruiter didn’t ask you for the log in the announcement on Eures may have been overlooked. Don’t move forward until that has been handled.
  • When you outsource the recruitment remember to have Eures as a mandatory step in the service scope.
  • When you hire someone that is already working here with a different firm ask to see the full approval letter from the current employment.
  • Do a pre-assessment of a candidate to see if everything is in order before signing the dotted line.

So what can you do to make sure there isn’t a problem in the future?

Where we see that many companies forget crucial steps is when they hire someone who is already here working for someone else. Not seldom are these hirings done without involving HR who will usually know to check that there is a permit at all.  Yet what is easy to miss if the person is allowed to change employer or role and how far he or she is in the permit duration which is vital information for the future. Having to send home a talented co-worker due to a lack of very detailed knowledge is a severe punishment and not necessary. We have for this reason a Visa Exploration service in order to help our clients follow the protocol for a safe hire.

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