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EMEA Recruitment: The Bastion of People-First Recruitment

After celebrating 15 years in professional services recruitment, we are delighted to unveil a new era of EMEA Recruitment as the bastion of people-first recruitment.

In 2022, we celebrated the 15th anniversary of EMEA Recruitment. Since we were founded by Paul and Kelly Toms in 2007, we have always focused on building strong relationships with clients and candidates across Switzerland, the Netherlands, the Nordics, and the wider EMEA region.

Having been established for 15 years, during which time we have expanded into new disciplines and markets, we felt that the time was right to re-develop our vision and values to reflect where EMEA Recruitment is now.

Our people-first approach has been fundamental in becoming a strategic partner to some of the most reputable businesses in the world and a trusted advisor to our candidates. Moving forward, Paul wanted this to be the focus of our mission – to become the bastion of people-first recruitment.

While discussing and debating our renewed vision and values, the team listened to one another, challenged each other’s ideas, and championed the collective message. This process followed the methods our Consultants use when working with candidates and clients, thus creating our three core values:

  • Listen
  • Challenge
  • Champion

To reflect this new mission for the business, we also decided to tweak the EMEA Recruitment brand with a fresh look.

Our new logo, colour palette and website honour the brand that we have built over the last 15 years, while signalling our renewed focus on people-first recruitment.

Richard Bailey, our Managing Director, says: “I’m really excited that our new website is going live, which features our new branding and values. Over the past 15 years, we have been incredibly proud of the relationships and networks our team have generated.

“We have taken time to listen to our team, our candidates, and our clients on how we can further add more value in recruitment. Our strategy continues to provide the best recruitment experience for everyone, and we remain committed to training our team and building our network with partners, clients, and candidates.”

He adds: “Recruitment is fundamentally a brokerage of people working with people. Putting people first is essential. A person’s skills can be measurable, managed and developed, but how influential are they within their teams? Or how good a leader or team-player are they? This requires a well-trained Recruitment Consultant to understand each personality and match good people with good career opportunities.

“We are proud to have worked with some of the biggest brands globally, and have helped them develop strong and diverse teams. We look forward to the future, as we build networks to further advance our clients’ and candidates’ ambitions.”  

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10-Minute Interview: Running the London Marathon for Operation Smile

10-Minute Interview: Running the London Marathon for Operation Smile

It’s now under a week to go until Neil Cope, Manager of our Procurement & Supply Chain recruitment division in Zug, runs the London Marathon on behalf of Operation Smile.

Neil sat down with Tamika Gayle, Marketing Executive, to discuss his training regime, what he’ll be thinking about as he runs, and whether he’d do it again.

How do you currently feel about running the London Marathon for EMEA Recruitment & Operation Smile?

I’m excited, as it’s my first marathon. I’ve been a recreational runner for a long time and have always liked it. My main aim is to just get around and finish!

How long have you been running for?

Through childhood, but more through other sports, such as football predominantly. When I was at school, I was doing cross country; for sports day, I did the 1,500m races instead of the 100m sprints.

After that, I went on to play a lot of football in my 20s, and then in my mid-20s, I started to prioritise running more.

What has been the hardest thing in preparing for the marathon?

The hardest thing has probably been injury management and the combination of adapting my training for the distance. I’ve completed three half marathons previously, but not recently.

Adjusting from a recreational 5k/10k/10-mile run is obviously a huge difference when preparing for 26 miles.

Have you always run long distance?

Yes, I have always run long distance - 5k to 10k is more middle distance, but that’s debatable. I have always liked endurance sports and long distance, whether it’s cycling or running.

Have you ever run a marathon before?

I’ve never done full marathon before, although I have done the Robin Hood half marathon twice and the Worksop half marathon twice, as well.

I completed the Worksop half marathon in October 2018/19 in one hour, 19 mins and 58 secs, which is my personal best. Unfortunately, in current conditions, I won’t be able to copy that pace, but hopefully I will be able to one day.

Has it been more of a physical or mental challenge for you so far?

It’s been more of a mental challenge - deciding what to do on the weekend, whether it is cycling or running, does take up half your day.

How many miles do you think you’ve run in preparation for this marathon?

Not enough to be honest – but there is still a bit of time. I’m averaging 20 to 30 miles a week. To manage a bit of cross training, I have been cycling on average three to five hours a week on top of that.

What completion time are you aiming for?

Three-and-a-half hours would be ideal. I would be annoyed if it took any longer from a boredom point of view. Eight minutes per mile is my aim.

What do you think about as you are running?

I’m a bit of a daydreamer. I also like changing routes, so I think about the route and the different surroundings. Sometimes, I listen to football-related podcasts, think about work and home life - that sort of thing.

What has been your main motivation for running?

I’m expecting a child later in the year, so I’m keen to finish a marathon before the baby arrives!

What will you do to celebrate after you cross the finish line?

Other than stagger towards the finishing area, I would like to go for a drink and something to eat together with my partner and my colleagues from EMEA, who will be there supporting me.

Would you be up for doing it all over again?

At this point, I would say yes – although I’d probably change that answer at the finish line! I would like to get the injury in my Achilles sorted first though.

I would also love to do a sub-three-hour marathon once in my life.

What advice would you give to aspiring marathon runners or anyone who would like to start running?

In my opinion, running is the best thing you can do for yourself as a human being and for a healthy lifestyle.

Running is simple and the easiest exercise you can do - you don’t need any assistance from a machine or a bike. It’s also anti-aging!

If you’re able to support Neil, please donate to Operation Smile:

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Neil Cope to Run the London Marathon in April

Neil Cope to Run the London Marathon in April

On Sunday 23rd April 2023, Neil Cope, who manages our Procurement & Supply Chain recruitment division in Switzerland, is running the London Marathon to raise money for Operation Smile.

Towards the end of last year, the Operation Smile team offered us one of their charity places at the London Marathon. As EMEA Recruitment’s resident running enthusiast, Neil was top of the list for the coveted spot.

Operation Smile has been the official partner of the EMEA Recruitment podcast since 2020. During this period, we have raised almost £9,000 for the charity, which has transformed the lives of 60 children or adults with cleft lip and palate.

Through fundraising for this upcoming event, our goal is to create another 16 smiles and transform the lives of children around the world.

All at EMEA Recruitment have a special connection to Operation Smile, as our Founder, Paul Toms, was born with a cleft lip and palate himself, and has shared his personal journey with us all.

Having completed half-marathons, 5k and 10k races in the past, Neil has never faced the challenge of a full marathon. Nevertheless, his training is firmly underway, and he is supported by his colleagues who partake in EMEA’s weekly running club.

You can read more about Neil’s story, keep up to date with his training, and donate to Operation Smile on the Enthuse platform:

Paul said: “Since our partnership began a few years ago, I am humbled by the time, effort and imagination that has poured into the partnership from the team at EMEA and our network. The outcome so far of transforming the lives of 60 people born with cleft lip and palate is amazing, and we want to do more!

“We have several other events in the pipeline starting with this one, which is going to be a challenge for Neil. There’s not a huge percentage of people who run a marathon in their lives - it’s tough mentally, physically and requires a lot of training, so I am full of admiration and gratitude for what Neil is doing. I hope he can enjoy the occasion in the knowledge that every step he takes towards the finishing line will be helping Operation Smile bring smiles to 16 more children around the world.

“I know life is tough now. The cost of living is rising, and disposable income is reducing. However, what price can you put on the ability to smile? Please donate. Any amount - no matter how small - is much appreciated and makes a huge difference. Best of luck Neil, and thank you to everyone who donates to this fantastic and worthwhile cause.”

We’re sure you will all join us in wishing Neil good luck for the race in April!

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EMEA Recruitment Partners with CSCMP Switzerland Roundtable

EMEA Recruitment Partners with CSCMP Switzerland Roundtable

EMEA Recruitment is honoured to announce our official sponsorship of CSCMP Switzerland Roundtable.  

The Council of Supply Chain Management Professionals is an organisation that has organically grown to become a leader in Supply Chain networking, predominantly for Swiss-based Logistics and Supply Chain Management professionals.

Its mission is to connect like-minded Supply Chain professionals, develop their leadership and management skills, and further educate those looking to learn more about the Supply Chain discipline.

We have proudly sponsored six CIPS (Chartered Institute of Procurement & Supply) Switzerland events, the latter ones in partnership with CSCMP Switzerland Roundtable. We are delighted to be continuing our professional networking within the local market.

Most recently, we sponsored the Competitive Advantage conference in Zug, back in May 2022, exploring how to link Procurement and Supply to corporate direction, top-level strategy and executive decisions.

The annual event brings together top P&SC professionals from prestigious organisations, such as Biogen, Unilever and Hitachi Energy.

Neil Cope, Director of our Procurement & Supply Chain recruitment team in Switzerland, said: “We are delighted to be sponsoring and work in collaboration with the CSCMP Switzerland Roundtable.

“Our Procurement & Supply Chain recruitment division has gone from strength to strength in the Swiss market. A core component of that has been the networking collaborations we have built – the CSCMP organisation has organically grown and is a leader in the Supply Chain network.”

He added: “We look forward to working with them and assisting in the hosting of future events held in Switzerland.”

To hear more about attending future events, please reach out to Neil: [email protected]

In December 2022, Neil conducted an Executive Interview with Helmut Leitner, Board Member of CSCMP Switzerland Roundtable and Founder of Heliblick, a management consultancy that developed the iBsing framework.

You can read the full interview on our website:

To find out more about CSCMP Switzerland Roundtable, including membership options and future events, please visit its website:

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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]

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The Last Thing that made you Smile | World Smile Day 2022

The Last Thing that made you Smile | World Smile Day 2022

To celebrate World Smile Day 2022, we’re sharing the heart-warming responses to the question, “what was the last thing that made you smile?” on the EMEA Recruitment podcast.

The podcast is produced in partnership with Operation Smile, an international medical charity that provides life-changing surgery and support to children and adults with cleft lip and palate.

It’s a cause close to our Founder, Paul Toms’ heart, as he was born with a cleft lip and palate himself. When interviewing guests on the EMEA Recruitment podcast, Paul asks them to explain the last thing that made them smile.

You can listen to some of the answers from our guests below:

Thank you to Dorie Clark, Markus Graf, Francesca Gino and Marco Aspesi, for sharing such lovely stories! Be sure to check out their full episodes:

Throughout our partnership, we’re hoping to create 100 new smiles. It costs just €180/182CHF/£150 and takes as little as 45 minutes to provide cleft surgery on an Operation Smile medical mission.

If you can donate anything to help us reach our goal, please visit:

Recently, we also welcomed Operation Smile UK’s new Executive Director, Mairead O’Callaghan, onto the EMEA Recruitment podcast to discuss her 11 years with the charity.

She also explained the charity’s goals for the next decade, as it celebrates its 40th anniversary in 2022.

Find the episode on your podcast app or watch on YouTube below:

Paul explains his connection to Operation Smile: “I can’t compare the challenges I faced with those of the young children Operation Smile help. All I can say is that, from my experience over the years, I changed from being afraid my uniqueness would define me, to embracing the fact that it defined me.”

Operation Smile is the official partner of the EMEA Recruitment podcast. If you’d like to find out more about our partnership, visit:

Operation Smile United Kingdom is incorporated as a company limited by guarantee in the UK (No.04317039) and is a registered charity in England and Wales (No. 1091316).

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EMEA podcasts

The EMEA Recruitment podcast welcomes guests from across our network and beyond to share their career journeys, advice, and inspirational stories. 

We’re delighted to welcome Kathy Magee, Co-Founder, President and CEO of Operation Smile, to the EMEA Recruitment podcast. “You're changing a child's life, but you're also changing this world t

10 May 2024

We were delighted to welcome Terhi Nori, Global Lead for Project Workstream at ABB, onto the EMEA Recruitment podcast. “We create our own journey and our own story… it’s just a

30 Oct 2023

To celebrate World Menopause Day, we were honoured to welcome back Sally Higham, Director – Head of Talent Attraction at Lonza and Executive Menopause Coach, to the EMEA Recruitment podcast.

18 Oct 2023

Executive Interviews