Finding and recruiting Top Talent in Iceland can bring potential tripwires for companies taking steps to build their international profile. The “Land of Ice and Fire” in the North Atlantic is as big as Denmark, Belgium, and the Netherlands combined. Iceland may be outside the world’s top 100 nations for Gross Domestic Product, but its citizens are the world’s sixth richest on per capita GDP.
Iceland is not part of the European Union but enjoys a strong relationship through the European Economic Area Agreement of 1994, which brought together the EU states and the four members of the European Free Trade Association (EFTA) – Iceland, Liechtenstein, Switzerland, and Norway – to benefit from freedom of movement for people, goods, services and capital.
This potential – and the challenges it brings – underlines why Bradford Jacobs’ global experience is indispensable for taking the smartest recruitment route into Iceland.
Iceland has successfully left the economic collapse of 2008 far behind. It now has a thriving tourism sector, although with skills shortages in some sectors and one of the lowest unemployment rates in Europe. Besides tourism, leading sectors include medical and pharmaceutical products, geothermal and hydropower, and traditional and hugely important aluminium smelting, fishing, and fish processing. Iceland aims to boost skills, innovation, and diversification in the economy and workforce.
Encouragingly for incomers, Iceland is expected to need 2,000-plus foreign workers each year to join the workforce and balance the effects of an ageing population. Recruits offering the expertise to match the skills shortages will have an advantage. The recruitment process for individuals can hinge on finding companies that need those skills, then searching their job sites for vacancies and looking for contacts such as LinkedIn.
Upon arrival, recruits will find that Iceland’s Labour Code and a raft of supplementary legislation, plus collective and trade union agreements, safeguard the employment rights of employees. Recruitment is the first stage of making your company operational and competitive in Iceland. Once recruited, companies must consider the implications of handling payroll for their staff and deal with the tax and social insurance authorities. Foreign companies can establish a subsidiary to undertake these responsibilities, but strict registration procedures must be followed.
These include the following:
A variety of legislation protects employees in Iceland against discrimination both in the workplace, at the pre-hire interview stage and in how positions can be advertised. Apart from general rules under the Labour Code, specific legislation includes the Act on Gender Autonomy, the Act on Equal Treatment in the Labour Market, the Act on Equal Treatment Regarding Race and Ethnic Origin, and the Act on Equal Status and Equal Rights of Women and Men.
Employees’ background checks can include the following:
Companies hiring staff for International Expansion into Iceland must comply with a framework of employment and taxation regulations. Some are subject to mandatory state regulations, while collective and trade union agreements can improve on the basic statutory minimums.