Cross-Border Recruitment for CH (SECO)

What does the state secretariat for economic affairs (seco) regulation state?

Provisions concerning Private Placement Services under the Federal Act on Employment Services and the Hiring of Services (AVG)

Pursuant to Art. 2 paragraph 3 of the provisions concerning Private Placement Services under the Federal Act on Employment Services and the Hiring of Services (AVG), employment agencies need to obtain a SECO licence in order to arrange commercial employment placements in Switzerland. Pursuant to Art. 3 paragraph 1(a) of the AVG, one of the conditions to secure such a license is that the placement agency must be registered in the Swiss Commercial Registry and must have a physical office location in Switzerland. (Further information available in the SECO memorandum).
This means that foreign agencies without registered offices in Switzerland are prohibited from directly arranging commercial placements in Switzerland. Not complying with these regulations can mean that both the client and the agency can be liable for penalties enforced by the state secretariat.
The following points are important to keep in mind:

  • There are two kinds of licenses – regional (cantonal) and national (for all of Switzerland),
  • The invoicing procedure has to go through the partner with the license,
  • The same rules apply to Executive Searches with Retainer.

What is not allowed:

  • To only have a letterbox company in Switzerland,
  • Direct placements of candidates through foreign agencies without a valid SECO license and an official registered presence in Switzerland or a partner who fulfils the requirements,
  • For foreign agencies to place temporary candidates in Switzerland.

As a Swiss based company, Talentory is authorized by the SECO authorities to provide placement services within Switzerland. We offer our services as a third party facilitator to foreign agencies who wish to collaborate with Swiss companies.
How does it work?
The foreign agency and the Swiss employer in question, both need to register on the Talentory platform. This establishes the contractual basis between all 3 parties. The employer provides Talentory with the particulars of the open position and the conditions that have been agreed (job description, salary range, success fee and payment terms). The Talentory Success Team representative creates the position on the platform and links it to the agency and the employer. The relevant conditions are captured on the position. From this point on, the candidate profiles are captured on the platform for review and can be submitted via the platform to the employer for consideration. The entire recruitment process is tracked and transparent. In the event of a placement, Talentory will invoice the employer for the agreed success fee amount. The agency then invoices Talentory for the fee, minus a service fee of 5%.
What does it cost?
Talentory charges a service fee of 5% of the full placement fee amount. This service fee is charged to the agency and applies to both contingent and retained searches. In the case of a retained search, invoicing occurs according to an agreed payment schedule. There is a minimum service fee, per placement, of CHF 500.
In exceptional cases only, where the placement has already taken place and Talentory is engaged only for billing purposes, the service fee charged is 10% of the full placement fee amount. Cases such as these also require the employer to be registered on the platform (to avoid such events in the future).
Positions that are provided by Talentory (published by employers with Partner contracts) are subject to the standard fee split and other conditions (according to the standard pricelist and General Terms and Conditions), regardless of whether the employer is in Switzerland and the agency is not.
In the event that a published „cross-border“ position is cancelled without a successful placement for any reason, an administration fee of CHF 340, – will be charged to the search consultant.
In the event that the employer agrees to reimburse the agency for any expenses and costs incurred during the course of the search process, Talentory needs to be informed of this in advance. Such expenses can only be invoiced together with a placement or down payment fee. In such cases, the expenses are exempt from the Talentory service fee percentage.
The payment term of the invoices to the agency is 14 days after Talentory has received the funds from the employer. The standard payment term for employers is 30 days from the invoice date. If deviations apply, please contact our Customer Success Team for guidance.
If you have any questions regarding the information above, please do not hesitate to contact us at: + 41 44 404 10 20 or via