Recruiting Top Talent in Norway

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Norway Top Talent

Finding and recruiting top talent in any overseas territory poses many challenges for companies building their international profile.

This certainly applies to the competitive employment market in Norway, one of the most prosperous nations in the world – and one of the most beautiful with fjords, mountains, lakes and the Northern Lights among the leisure options.

Bradford Jacobs’ benchmark platforms as a Professional Employer Organization (PEO) have worldwide reach and include a total understanding of the challenging complexities of the Norwegian employment market. You can trust Bradford Jacobs to put the brightest talent in place for your company.

The Recruitment Process in Norway

Recruitment in Norway leans towards permanent employment, with fixed-term and temporary employment allowed only in certain circumstances. Part-time and temporary workers must be treated as fairly as full-time workers in terms of pay, rights and benefits with the same conditions applying to agency employees.

Opportunities are bound to center on the capital, Oslo, and other urban centers such as Bergen and Trondheim. English is widely spoken, but many companies and organizations use their national language, so learning Norwegian will open many more doors for foreign jobseekers.

The employment market is competitive, with Norway’s unemployment rate of around 4.6% among the 10 lowest in Europe. Networking, making contacts and ‘word of mouth’ play a leading role in recruitment … another reason for mastering the language. Many companies place vacancies on their own websites rather than with agencies.
Recruitment is the first stage of making your company operational and competitive in Norway. It is vital to know where to locate the finest talent to be a perfect fit for your company’s expansion plans.

Foreign companies opening a subsidiary in order to recruit staff and then run payroll, must follow strict procedures to register and onboard employees. Procedures include:

  • Begin registration process for a private limited liability company, ‘aksjeselskap’ (AS), through the Brønnøysund Register Center
  • Complete the ‘Foundation of a private limited company’ form
  • Open a bank account and deposit share capital – a minimum of NOK 30,000 (€2,887, US$3,266) and obtain bank’s ‘deed of deposit’ after outside auditor confirms the balance in the account
  • Employers must be registered on the Central Coordinating Register for Legal Entities, to receive a unique organization number
  • Log necessary documents with the Norwegian Register of Business Enterprises, online (fee NOK 5,570, €536, US$606) or via the post (fee NOK 6,797, €654, US$740)
  • Register for Value Added Tax (VAT) if annual turnover is expected to exceed NOK 50,000 (€4,811, US$5,433)
  • Register for mandatory workers’ injury insurance and occupational pension plan
  • Register company with the Tax Administration and the Labor and Welfare Administration (NAV) to remit deductions for tax and social insurance

Additional payroll support includes:

  • Registering the employee on the Aa Register of the Norwegian Labor and Welfare Administration (NAV), which logs virtually all employer-employee relationships, via the a-melding link
  • The Aa Register must include the employee’s Employment ID, type of employment, occupation code, start and end date, working hours and termination terms
  • Registering employees with the Tax Administration and Labor and Welfare Administration for remitting employees’ withheld tax and social insurance contributions
  • Creating contracts. Employment relationships should be based on written contracts as stipulated by the Working Environment Act

Legal Checks on Employees in Norway

Scope: Employers are permitted to verify information given to them by the applicant.

Criminal Record Checks: Only permitted for occupations with specific requirement to obtain a certificate of ‘good conduct’.

Education and References Checks: Permitted with the applicant’s agreement.

Credit Checks: Permitted only for high-level positions with financial responsibility and in the final stages of the recruitment process.

Personal Information: Under the Personal Data Act, checks are not permitted on areas which may be considered discriminatory, such as religious or political views, family life, ethnicity, disability or sexual orientation.

Health Checks: Permitted if specifically relevant to the role.

Required: Checks that applicant has necessary permits and visas to work in Norway. Some professions, such as lawyers and accountants, require a certificate of ‘good conduct’ from applicant.

Basic Facts on Hiring in Norway

The Norwegian Employment Protection Act states that all employees have the same rights, and most employment contracts are regulated by the Working Environment Act. Companies hiring staff for expansion into Norway must comply with a framework of legislation surrounding employment. These include:

  • Written contracts detailing essential elements of the job are required for all employees. In the case of foreign employees, the contract should be in a language they fully understand. If an agreement is verbal, it is equally binding legally
  • The contract includes the following: Names and addresses of employer and employee; the workplace location, role and start date of employment; duration if fixed-term or temporary and any probation provisions; holidays and holiday pay; terms of notice; salary and payment schedule; working hours and breaks; and collective agreements affecting the employment
  • All employees must be registered with the State Register for Employers and Employees
  • Employers with 10 or more employees in office, industrial or commercial establishments must post staff rules in the workplace
  • The emphasis is on permanent open-ended contracts, although fixed-term contracts are allowed within certain restrictions. Temporary employment agreements cannot exceed 15% of the total workforce

After hiring and onboarding, employers must be aware of other considerations:

Minimum standards apply to such as sick leave, minimum wages, working hours, maternity allowances, paid vacations, termination and severance, notice periods and social insurance payments. Other legislation regulates workplace discrimination. 

To hire employees, companies must follow strict procedures to set up a legal entity in Norway to run their own payroll. These include:

  • Begin registration process for a private limited liability company, ‘aksjeselskap’ (AS), through the Brønnøysund Register Center
  • Open a bank account and deposit share capital – a minimum of NOK 30,000 (€2,887, US$3,266) and obtain bank’s ‘deed of deposit’ after outside auditor confirms the balance in the account
  • Employers must be registered on the Central Coordinating Register for Legal Entities, to receive a unique organization number
  • Log necessary documents with the Norwegian Register of Business Enterprises online, by post or personally
  • Register for Value Added Tax (VAT) if annual turnover expected to exceed NOK 50,000 (€4,811, US$5,433)
  • Register for mandatory workers’ injury insurance and occupational pension plan
  • Register company with the Tax Administration and the Labor and Welfare Administration (NAV) to remit deductions for tax and social insurance