The Idea of Job Swap

For some people, the term job swap is a strange concept, but the process is not as uncommon as one would think and is gaining momentum in large companies. Nevertheless, it is something smaller scale businesses can consider as well.

In essence, the idea is an opportunity to work in a similar firm as your own, but with a new workplace, colleagues, and environment. Such an arrangement can be settled between two parties, likely for employees who come from same departments or similar niches, where, they are able to exchange workplaces, obtain (and give) new ideas, insights and valuable experiences.

Besides that, there are undoubtedly many other surprises that come with a job swap. Even the little things can be a refreshing change when pursuing the job exchange option, like having an espresso machine that produces much tastier macchiato than what you have had at your old headquarters.

If arranged wisely and cautiously, job swapping programs can save money, time and effort.


Of course, the perks from a job swap are much more than potentially better coffee at the new workplace.

As a manager or employer, when you consider swapping, this is likely a chance to open your mind to running your office and operations differently. Job swaps can also be beneficial for an employee especially if for those that felt this was an opportunity to develop their knowledge further or tap into skills that are not currently sourced in the current place of work or role.

Experiencing a different work culture and environment while remaining in the same field of your expertise will also add some value to you and your ongoing work with a new perspective.

Generally speaking, job swapping can occur in two ways; thus, it may also determine the benefits an involved party is to gain from the pursuit. First, it can involve the swapping of employees between companies situated in one country. Second, such an exchange can happen at an international level – a company from Iceland can arrange to swap employees with a company in the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, Denmark or elsewhere.

There are existent internal job-swapping platforms that can efficiently facilitate the process for companies in-house that have multiple locations. For example, sending a sales representative to another branch to become familiar with that region’s market which then also allows for cross training and development while breaking down departmental silos or having that same person transfer to the marketing team because of their interest in that career path can help to retain an all-star employee rather than potentially losing them to another company that has a similar opening.

Interested parties can open company profiles at such platforms, fill in their requirements and find a suitable match for them. Job swapping is currently also trending in Iceland where several agencies can facilitate the process.

A job swapping arrangement can be one way to spice up the life of an employee who might need a little push or to be re-engaged with what they do. Negotiating this will help an employee become more productive and feel more valued for their skills.

Temporary Projects

When companies are hiring people, they are not solely arranging a contract with the person, which can last a year, five years, ten years and so forth. When a company hires a new staff member, it means it is also ready to invest in the person. The time and resources spent on recruiting and training an employee are high and the time between can cause a missed project, deadline, and even the business itself to slow down while getting staffing up to normal levels.

In some cases, the circumstances may allow that job swapping works as an alternative to traditional hiring. That is particularly true if it concerns a project where a temporary workforce is needed.

Needless to say, that hiring for temporary work can be frustrating because of the time it takes to recruit when the time is of the essence for these types of assignments and trying to convince someone that the short-term job is beneficial when most are looking for long-term employment.

Invite a swap employee when a specific project needs to be handled with the utmost competence and attention. And especially if your own employees do not have the level of expertise to complete that specific project. Once the project is complete, the employee returns to their original position. This is a win-win as it can also help companies to move their existing idle staff, let’s say during off-season periods, and offer them a new platform to learn skills which they would, in turn, come back and apply to their original workplace.

An incoming employee, who may have advanced expertise in a particular field where your department is weak, can also bring knowledge to be shared with others.

As job swapping is like an exchange program for those who are already employed, this means human relations are also in question. Whether a business is to negotiate a job swap, bear in mind this might sound somewhat odd to some people. Communicating the goals and benefits to your employees can be critical.

Last but not least, this can particularly work well for those who feel that they have been stagnant in a role or just looking for a change. A job swap can notably simulate a new working experience, from which a person can collect authentic experiences but remain with an employer.


Swapp Agency is an innovative recruitment firm in Reykjavik that focuses on helping people find jobs and companies to fill their openings in Iceland.

Swapp offers a range of services to their clients in operational support.

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