Insights from our Talent Acquisition Roundtable in Zurich

By EMEA Recruitment
30 November, -0001
Insights from our Talent Acquisition Roundtable in Zurich

On June 15th 2023, Keely Straw and Cameron Davies held EMEA Recruitment's first Talent Acquisition Roundtable in Switzerland. Keely shares insights into the event below...

The focus was to bring together senior Talent and Recruitment professionals to discuss relevant topics. We had identified that there aren’t many events focused on Talent and Recruitment specifically from a networking perspective.

The event topic was Breaking Barriers: Unveiling Unconscious Bias in Talent Acquisition. In partnership with Swiss Marketplace Group, Oerlikon, we were joined by Talent and Recruitment professionals from companies such as Syngenta, ABB, Takeda, Lonza, Glencore and Julius Baer, to name a few.

The roundtable began with an engaging introduction from Tshidi Khunou at Swiss Marketplace Group and Madlaina Brogt at Lonza, both emphasising the importance of recognising and challenging our unconscious biases, particularly in the context of Talent Acquisition. Their insights set the stage for subsequent discussions and debates - how can we influence hiring managers?

Throughout the event, participants had the opportunity to reflect on their own companies’ biases and gain a deeper understanding of how these biases can influence decision making within the recruitment and selection processes.

We explored a range of topics, including application processes, interview structures, Diversity & Inclusion efforts, influencing hiring managers and ATS/HRIS systems. This brought us nicely onto the topic of AI and how that will impact selection processes moving forwards.

The structure of the event allowed us to have a true discussion, with respectful debates and questions; we truly delved deeper into practical strategies and best practises for unconscious bias within Talent Acquisition.

One highlight of the roundtable was assessing applications and selection processes and the role that plays with unconscious bias, whether it be language capabilities, industry experience, age, or gender. There were some interesting concepts on how to utilise automation scoring techniques for candidates’ applications, which are then forwarded to the designated recruiter to follow up with a screening interview. It was a very interesting process, which provoked a debate on whether that would improve unconscious bias or have a negative impact.

The event concluded with a collective agreement that we could discuss unconscious bias for a lot longer, and that we may need another event to continue the topic. Following feedback from the attendees and local market, we will be focusing our next event on AI - positives, negatives, and whether we should embrace AI within our recruitment processes.

The next Talent Acquisition Roundtable will be held in October. If you are interested in attending, please email me directly at [email protected]

More insights

The Relevance of an EDI Strategy - and How to Implement One

The Relevance of an EDI Strategy - and How to Implement One

Keely Straw, Associate Director, discusses the relevance of an EDI strategy and offers an insight into the ED&I Roundtable we held in Zurich.

In October, EMEA Recruitment partnered with Rubén Ramirez, Group Head Diversity and Inclusion at Syngenta, for our first ED&I Roundtable in Zurich.  

This was an exclusive group, where leaders in ED&I across Switzerland gathered to discuss:

  • Identifying your momentum and stage in your ED&I journey
  • How to design an ED&I global strategy – identify needs for each population and engaging that population
  • How to engage leaders and the employee community
  • How to identify and measure progress

The session was very engaging, leading to further questions and topics of conversation. The main takeaways from some our participants were:

“There was never a better time to bring EDI to the forefront of strategic business discussions: social and economic change, ESG requirements, and creating a strong sense of belonging are boosting EDI conversations.

“To deliver a strong EDI agenda, we need courageous leaders and sponsorship. EDI also needs to be structurally embedded in our business processes. And no one size fits all: the EDI journey will need to start somewhere - and to be learned step-by-step along the way.”

Michaela Dedic - Diversity & Inclusion Leader at Novartis.

“Hints and insights on how to improve a DEI strategy, how to set up a good measurement system and appropriate metrics, and how to build the narrative of it… and show it to the key stakeholders.”

Piera Marongiu – DE&I Leader - Integrate Include Engage

“An open dialogue around values and needs is key at all levels of the company, as well as strong support from leadership to foster a culture of engagement and trust.

“Progress needs to be measured regularly with the right KPIs to check EDI strategy adapts and also takes business, as well as local, needs into account. This takes time, ongoing commitment, and a long-term perspective.”

Simon Kernahan – DE&I Consultant – Thriving Talent

I have seen in the market that candidates are wanting to work for organisations that align to their values, which includes robust ED&I strategies and polices, as well as sustainability and ESG. But how do you align those values across multiple generations within one workplace? Slight differences in work ethics and priorities can create tension.

We will continue to discuss ED&I topics and look forward to sharing more details of our next event with you soon.  

Last quarter was extremely busy across all HR disciplines for EMEA Recruitment. Despite this being a busy time for HR, focusing on end of year/New Year budget reviews, hiring freezes, planning new headcounts, role creation and projects for 2023, we had one of the best quarters in relation to successfully completed assignments. 

I would be keen to hear your thoughts across the market and understand if you would be interested in future roundtable events, either dedicated to ED&I or broader HR topics. In addition, I would welcome the opportunity to hear how diverse your employee lifecycle is and how this compares with the general market consensus.

Please feel free to contact me directly to see how we can support you: [email protected]

Read more >
International Women's Day 2021 - #ItsNotJustADay

International Women's Day 2021 - #ItsNotJustADay

This International Women’s Day, we want to highlight the importance of supporting females every day. We’re using the hashtag #ItsNotJustADay to remind other organisations that championing strong women is an ongoing commitment.

We want to celebrate all the female leaders within our network that we have the pleasure of working with, through a snapshot of the past 12 months:

Read more about our fantastic events, as well as keeping up to date with future plans, here:

All past episodes of the EMEA Recruitment podcast are available here:

You can also find out more about the wonderful members of our team through their profiles:

We’re also proud to reveal our latest initiative to promote Diversity & Inclusion in the workplace. We are supporting the Boardroom, an exclusive, members-only club for senior women leaders in Switzerland, founded by Diana Markaki.

According to a recent PwC report, Switzerland lags significantly behind the international field in terms of gender diversity; only 16% of board members at the 100 largest Swiss companies are women. the Boardroom hopes to create and cultivate an active pipeline of qualified female leaders to fill corporate board positions.

the Boardroom is a strong network that supports and encourages women to achieve their professional goals, enables companies to retain and promote senior female talent, and helps boards achieve gender parity.

Not only does the Boardroom help female leaders land a board seat, but it also helps them succeed when they get there.

Are you looking to promote gender equality in your organisation? Your female leaders could benefit from the education, coaching, networking and inspiration of the Boardroom. Please contact Diana Markaki to find out how to apply or to ask any questions you have:

If you have any questions or comments regarding Diversity & Inclusion, please contact Charlotte Cruise, our ED&I Ambassador.

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We're Working to Bridge the Gap between Humans and Machines

We're Working to Bridge the Gap between Humans and Machines

EMEA Recruitment is proud to be working in collaboration with St. Gallen University’s Institute of Cognitive Automation to bridge the gap between humans and machines.

This research intervention is working with project leaders across Switzerland’s leading businesses, who want to help close the gap between automation and human augmentation.

We know that 70% of digital transformations within businesses fail, but the failure rate has actually increased with technology. St. Gallen University has found that 85% of Data Science projects add no value to a business.

We know that the Future of Work is not solved by one company. Therefore, St. Gallen University’s Cognitive Automation Institute has worked with us to find companies who want to optimise human augmentation.

Project leaders from these businesses are now participating in research to find out where and how they’re going wrong.

The project is broken down into two phases:

Phase 1: Structured Interviews

All participants will receive the critical human and machine teaming design criterion, using a method of inquiry to identify the design challenges in cognitive automation.

Phase 2: Empirical Study

For selected companies, a human and machine solution that addresses the criterion would be defined at a pragmatic level, e.g. process level or judgment level. To impact the company on the criterion identified.

We are delighted to be collaborating with St. Gallen University’s Dr. Chantelle Brandt Larsen on this research.

We look forward to supporting the Institute of Cognitive Automation and our partner businesses throughout this research project, and to working towards a human and machine solution to change the Future of Work.

You can read more about our ongoing partnerships here:

If there is anything you’d like to discuss with us or for more information, please contact Mark Robinson in our Swiss recruitment team.

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