Swiss Recruitment: Onward to 2021

By EMEA Recruitment
27 January, 2021
Swiss Recruitment: Onward to 2021

2020 did not follow any previously established pattern in the Swiss recruitment world. In Q1, we already had started seeing some drop-off in candidate movement related to APAC and the (at the time distant) pandemic.

Q2 was an interesting moment. The Swiss employment market slowed almost to a halt in some key sectors, but the underlying caution at the regional level ensured that it never felt catastrophic. Key positions and some essential contract/project roles contributed to movement in the employment market.

Q3 saw some recovery, as the realisation that some sectors were performing well versus the essential restructuring in others set in. Thankfully, the budgeting season we have historically seen always increase recruitment activity came back, albeit later (mid, rather than beginning of, November).

We can speculate quite confidently that some essential headcount had to be approved, and in some cases fixed-term contracts replaced permanent positions as a (hopefully) temporary measure.

So, what of 2021? A useful indicator EMEA Recruitment uses at year-end is January performance.

If January continues as busily as December, then we can predict at least a good first half of the year, as companies catch up with recruitment moves replacing or backfilling from the moves at the end of the preceding year. It is necessary to add a caveat here, though. Many clients remain apprehensive about the potential end date of lockdown, as well as the economic repercussions, which some feel we have yet to see.

Regardless, we can all agree these are exciting times, and recruitment requirements in Finance in Switzerland remain unpredictable. We certainly hope to see focus gradually swing back to technology (automation and predictive analytics) and how this can improve the efficiency of international Finance functions.

We would love to hear about your experiences in 2021 so far and how you think the pandemic may impact your recruitment processes moving forwards.

Contact our Director - Finance, John Bower, on [email protected] to discuss further or for any assistance with your recruitment needs.

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The Key to Success in Today's Recruitment Market

The Key to Success in Today's Recruitment Market

Thomas Powell, Recruitment Consultant, takes a look at the Finance and Accountancy recruitment market in the Netherlands and shares the key to success...

In today’s recruitment market, demand for talent is heavily restricted and continues to be candidate driven across the junior to senior level.  

To be at the top of the competition, it is crucial for you, as the hiring manager, to offer the candidate the right opportunity with clear plans of progression - not a sidestep where they are doing the same role for more reward.

We are noticing that the biggest motivation to move in today’s market falls to the following:

  • Lack of responsibility in their current role - in turn, looking to move to take on more responsibility and have each day be a new challenge where they learn and add value to a company
  • Looking for progression, wanting the step up - candidates in the mid to senior market are constantly looking for the step up in their career and will rarely make the sidestep for additional compensation

How can you do this when recruiting into your team?

First, what profile are you looking for? If you have a strong desire for a particular level of experience in local reporting, you know this is non-negotiable for your business.

However, think about why someone who does this role already would move to your company to do the same role. Think of ways this person can progress and move up in the company.

To retain the best talent in your company, this is what you need to be outlining. This is where you sell yourself to the candidate.

As recruiters, we hear, “This role will have progression opportunities” all the time. Be direct about what progression opportunities are available and ask the question of why the candidate should move.

Secondly, identify a success story. If you have a profile that may fall slightly below the criteria - maybe they don’t hold enough Dutch GAAP or don’t have enough payroll processing experience - offer the training and development to the candidate.

While this can take time, look at how attractive your role becomes and look at the success story you can create in your company. You as the manager have achieved this and, in turn, this profile is likely to stay with your business in the long term, given the time and value you have invested in them.

This is where EMEA Recruitment can add value. We are a candidate-driven business and skilled in mapping the candidate’s motivation to the right business, where they will add value to your organisation and thrive.

If you’d like to speak to me about how we can assist you in your search for talent, please get in touch with me at [email protected]

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Q2 2023: Finance Recruitment Market Update - Switzerland

Q2 2023: Finance Recruitment Market Update - Switzerland

As we concluded 2022, we experienced normal market conditions across Switzerland. And, as predicted, an extremely high volume of hiring started from January onwards. 

At EMEA Recruitment, we analyse market data so that we can understand trends and skills shortages to provide factual evidence to our candidates and clients. Some of this data - and feedback from companies that were recruiting during Q1 - has been used to produce the following overview:

German-speaking region

  • Over 100% increase in directly advertised Finance roles during January to March 2023 compared to the same period of 2022
  • Many roles seen in January were re-advertised in March, as they failed to attract the desired audience
  • Companies requiring fluent German language skills experienced the greatest difficulties in hiring
  • Significant increase in roles advertised by Swiss-owned international companies compared to those with non-Swiss ownership

French-speaking region

  • Similar volume of vacancies during January to March 2023 as we saw in the same period of 2022
  • Slight reduction in roles advertised by Swiss-owned international companies, but a corresponding increase in roles advertised by non-Swiss-owned international companies

Hybrid thoughts

  • Requiring 4-5 days’ attendance in the office does impact the diversity of candidates attracted to the role
  • We have seen very little evidence of fully remote roles being offered

Job-seeking process

  • Candidates are happy to look at attractive opportunities, but those in work are being selective about the roles they consider and are less likely to apply directly to advertisements given the limited amount of information available through that method
  • Given the high volume of roles available and the difficulties companies expect when replacing staff, top talent is being recognised more and more by their current employers - therefore, they are more selective about the roles that they would consider externally

What do we expect in Q2?

Business sentiment is still positive, so we expect to see a very busy quarter again for Finance recruitment. We also predict continued pressure on salaries as the battle for talent remains fierce.

Having access to current market information, whether you are job-seeking or recruiting, is more important than ever before.

If you would like to discuss your own career situation or hiring into your team, we would be happy to speak with you. Please reach out to Mark Robinson, Insight & Optimisation Director, for a confidential discussion: [email protected]

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Q1 2023: PSC Recruitment Market Update - Netherlands

Q1 2023: PSC Recruitment Market Update - Netherlands

2022 has undoubtedly been a time of reflection and change, and quarter 4 continued this trend.

We saw the increased demand for Logistics specialists within Procurement & Supply Chain and the emergence of new standalone categories in energy/utilities.

The current crisis in Ukraine - and the ongoing geopolitical influence across Europe - is having far-reaching effects.

Supply Chain has had a relatively smooth ride since its adoption in the late 70s with the introduction of Just in Time (JIT) methodology, created by Taiichi Ohno for the automotive industry (Toyota).

However, are we seeing the end of it? Logistics is a critical player in the success of the JIT process. Unfortunately, due to the rising cost of fuel and the lack of available drivers across Europe, it may not be sustainable.

What is the alternative?

Digitalisation is the apparent solution. However, are organisations willing to spend the money on implantation and development? This will not be a quick fix; another obvious answer may be Just in Case, which is very much the opposite of JIT.

Unless you have a crystal ball, we need to embrace multiple solutions, and digitalisation must be part of this discussion. Data is crucial in an ever-changing world, and systems must be more robust and versatile to external effects.

Change in the market

From a recruitment perspective, we have continued to see an evolving market again, driven by geopolitical influence and the rising cost of living.

Change is positive. It creates both opportunities and growth. EMEA Recruitment has adapted to these changes by continuing to listen and learn. Q4 saw the expectations of candidates change drastically, from wanting work-life balance in August (EMEA poll of 120 candidates) to salary negotiations in October. Now, the overriding message is job security.

From the aftermath of the Christmas rush - particularly within the FMCG sector - we will continue to gain valuable insight into the market. Organisations certainly recognise the vital role Procurement & Supply Chain plays in the overall success of a business and is no longer just a cost centre.

EMEA Recruitment are keen to support candidates and organisations in their ongoing development and transformation. For further infomation on how we can support you, please contact, Richard Bailey. We wish everyone good fortune for 2023 and look forward to what the year has to offer.

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Q1 2023: Finance Recruitment Market Update - Switzerland

Q1 2023: Finance Recruitment Market Update - Switzerland

As we enter the New Year, Mark Robinson, Associate Director in our Finance & Accountancy team, shares an insight into the Swiss Finance recruitment market...

First of all, Happy New Year to everyone. We hope that 2023 brings you good health, happiness and success.

The New Year begins with far greater confidence than in 2022, due to the control achieved over COVID-19 and, despite some current market challenges, the economy in Switzerland remains positive, particularly compared to European neighbours.

Inflation is expected to reduce to 2.4% (source: Swiss National Bank) and the country will continue to achieve growth in 2023.

Finance recruitment market

There is traditionally a lull in recruitment in December before an increase in activity in January. This means that companies find recruitment difficult in January, due to the higher level of competition.

However, in 2022, the market was busy all the way up to the festive season, with many companies continuing try to attract talent in a typically quiet period.

We undertook significant research in the last quarter of 2022 about the methods that mid to senior level candidates use when job seeking. This confirmed that professionals find direct job applications an increasingly inefficient and impersonal way to secure their next career move.

We heard strong preference for securing a new role through a recruitment consultancy or through a known network, which partly explains why so many companies are struggling to attract the talent they desire through simple advertisements.

The competition for quality candidates remains strong, with companies struggling to attract interest from the passive market. This is where EMEA Recruitment provides the most value, being able to use our network and market knowledge to ensure that the best - and most suited - talent in the market is made aware of opportunities that fit their career goals, even when those individuals are not actively engaging with the recruitment market.

Market shortage/pressure point

In 2022, one area where we started to see increased recruitment activity at large companies was in Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG), as the new reporting regulations came into effect.

As a new field of reporting, there are very few candidates who already possess this experience, so those individuals are likely to have a wide range of opportunities to choose from in 2023.

Is ESG an active area of recruitment or interest for you? If so, please get in touch. We would be happy to provide further information and share thoughts from the wider market about this subject.

Hybrid working – follow-up to Q4 2022

In our last newsletter, we discussed how hybrid working has brought many positives to the workplace, but has also resulted in some challenges for both employers and employees.

We have seen some pushback against working from home in the USA, most notably at Tesla and Twitter, but also some other companies in the tech sector. However, the vast majority of businesses are still very much on board with developing their strategies to make hybrid working as effective as possible.

We recently ran a LinkedIn poll to ascertain our network’s latest thoughts about hybrid working, as shown below:

What do you think are the biggest challenges associated with hybrid working?

  • 60% - Maintaining company culture
  • 26% - Onboarding is more difficult
  • 11% - Ensuring consistent policy
  • 3% - Identifying top talent

Will the challenge of maintaining company culture lead to changes to career development for candidates in the future?

Instead of staying with a company and progressing, these results suggest people are likely to move more regularly, as they are less engaged with their employer.

Those with a significant length of service at one company and a number of promotions on their CV/resume are typically the most desired candidates in the market. If individuals are less engaged with their employer, we are likely to see shorter tenures at companies in the future, so the most desired CV could look very different.


We are all used to a marketplace that changes quickly and can be affected by a range of global factors, but that does not make recruitment any easier. Switzerland is in a much stronger position than many of its neighbours, so we expect to see another exciting year of recruitment and new opportunities coming to the market.

If you would like to discuss your own career or are recruiting into your team, we would be happy to speak with you. Please contact Mark Robinson: [email protected]

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Successful Hiring in an Evolving and Competitive Market

Successful Hiring in an Evolving and Competitive Market

Over the last quarter, we have seen 14% inflation in the Netherlands. However, we have seen a buoyant market, despite a rather unstable financial climate.

Even with the cost-of-living crisis, hybrid vs. office debate, and a looming recession, we are still seeing candidates change roles.

It is still a candidate-driven market, so companies are having to put forth a strong value proposition to attract the right talent.

  • Is your business financially in line with the market?
  • Are you offering the right benefits?
  • Do you need to re-evaluate your recruitment process?
  • How is the candidate’s journey?

These are all questions businesses must answer before entering the marketplace.

There is a growing concern in the market, due to inflation, which has caused a rise in salaries. Businesses may have to offer competitive salaries outside of their yearly reviews to current staff for retention, alongside competitive pay to attract new staff.

Candidates are also looking for a business that can offer career development and provide a flexible working environment, which allows for a good work-life balance. Therefore, hybrid working is key to successfully retaining staff.


  • Make a clear choice - Is your compensation in line with the market and/or does your business have enough differentiators to compete with the marketplace?
  • Career development – Are you creating an environment where candidates can grow and progress their career?
  • Flexibility – Since the pandemic, the market is not just driven by high compensation, but also hybrid working.

EMEA Recruitment support

EMEA Recruitment is focused on working closely with both passive and active candidates. The aim is to ensure that we are clear on the drivers and motivators for candidates to move. This way, we are sure that the candidate we put forward for your roles are aligned with your value proposition.

Currently, most of our roles are filled through the headhunt approach, with candidates who may not be currently looking for a role. This success results from the insight we gain into our candidates’ longer-term aspirations.

Our focus:

  • Career consultation and advice – Understanding the vertical and horizontal growth of candidates.
  • Focusing on the employer and candidate journey – Understanding the timeline of the recruitment process to maximise chance of securing the ideal candidate.
  • Understanding what makes a candidate stand out.
  • Understanding a company’s value proposal and what makes a potential employer unique.

For more information on our approach, please contact Michael Bentil, Senior Consultant, in our Finance & Accountancy recruitment division in the Netherlands.

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Q4 2022: Finance Recruitment Market Update - Switzerland

Q4 2022: Finance Recruitment Market Update - Switzerland

As we begin the final quarter of 2022, one thing is for certain: the rate of change and challenge has not decreased in the last three months, but the Finance recruitment market remains extremely strong, with high levels of competition for candidates.

Candidate market

The unemployment rate in Switzerland remains low, at 2% in August 2022 (source: State Secretariat for Economic Affairs). This is a sign of a positive and stable economy, but also a factor in why some Finance roles are proving difficult to fill, as most people who were displaced during the pandemic have secured positions.

Highlighting a key shortage – Accountant and Controller level

Many companies have reported greater difficulties when recruiting for roles such as Accountant or Controller. One of the key reasons for the candidate shortage at these specific levels has been the move to remote shared service centres, which has reduced the flow of people entering the Finance & Accountancy profession in Switzerland.

The impacts on recruitment are:

For recruiters:

  • Traditional recruitment methods are not delivering success
  • Individuals who began their careers in 2020 have only ever known hybrid working, so this is a key factor in their decision-making
  • Employer brand and a relevant benefits package is extremely important
  • Recruitment processes are often not matched to the desired audience
  • Roles requiring languages in addition to English are significantly more difficult to fill  

For job-seekers:

  • High demand means greater choice of opportunities
  • Rising salaries
  • Changing job can be achieved quickly
  • Benefits and working conditions may be open to negotiation
  • Counter offers are being offered more regularly by employers

Counter offers made to candidates to retain staff in this competitive market include: higher salaries, enhanced hybrid working arrangement or even fully remote working.

At EMEA Recruitment, we share market insights with our clients before developing tailored recruitment campaigns that generate interest from the desired audience and lead to successful appointments.

In the current climate, an increasing number of clients are choosing to work with us on a retained basis, to ensure they are at the forefront of the battle for talent.

If you require help to recruit, please get in touch and we will gladly share market information. Please reach out to Mark Robinson: [email protected].

If you are considering your own career path, there is no better time to speak to an expert and ensure that you have access to the right opportunities.

Hybrid working – how does it impact recruitment and onboarding?

Experienced Finance professionals have reported finding it harder to integrate into a new company, primarily because of the lack of time spent physically in the same location as their colleagues and peers. Many people at this level are happy to spend more time in the office, particularly during their learning curve.

Individuals who began their careers during COVID have only ever experienced hybrid working (initially more heavily home-based due to lockdowns), so are used to spending less time in the workplace.

When we are working with a business, we make sure that we fully understand the hybrid working requirements of both client and candidate from the outset, to ensure a smooth recruitment process with clear understanding on both sides, and work with both parties to achieve the right outcome.

Once employment commences, we maintain contact with both parties to help with the onboarding process and maximise the chances of a successful appointment.

Future impacts of hybrid working:

  • Are hybrid policies consistent across existing and new employees?
  • Is it as easy to identify good performance and potential for internal progression?
  • Does hybrid working lead to less engagement and feeling of belonging at a company?
  • Will average tenure in companies decrease if people are less bought in to their employer?

We will be running a series of LinkedIn polls to gain further insight into some of these topics. We hope that you will participate and enjoy reading the results in our next newsletter.


Having access to current market information, whether you are hiring or job seeking, is more important than ever before.

If you would like discuss your own career situtation or hiring into your team, we would be happy to speak with you: [email protected]   

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