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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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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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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Proud to Celebrate 15 Years of EMEA Recruitment

Proud to Celebrate 15 Years of EMEA Recruitment

We are delighted to be celebrating the 15th anniversary of EMEA Recruitment, after opening for business in 2007.

EMEA Recruitment was founded 15 years ago by Paul Toms and his wife, Kelly. With their experience recruiting in international markets, they originally focused on Finance & Accountancy recruitment in the Netherlands.

Their approach swiftly developed to include professional services recruitment in Switzerland and the wider EMEA market. We now have offices in Amsterdam, Zug and Nottingham, with a growing team of specialist Recruitment Consultants.

Paul remains hands-on in the business, helping professionals manage their careers, working with multi-national organisations to recruit the strongest talent, and supporting our recruiters with training and development.

Paul and Kelly’s first employee, Izabela Darmstetter, is still with the business, as an Associate Director. We also recently celebrated the ten-year work anniversary of John Bower, Director.

Over the years, we have welcomed recruitment expert Paul Macildowie as Chairperson and professional services recruitment specialist Richard Bailey as Managing Director.

Richard reflects on the last 15 years: “Lots has changed over the past 15 years, but fundamentally, we’ve always wanted to work with great people. Our employees, past and present, have consistently pushed growth with their committed professionalism.

“We’ve always had a lot of fun on the growing EMEA journey – a big thank you is needed to all our employees, but also candidates and clients who partner with us, and businesses we partner with.”

He adds: “We will continue to push to become the recruitment partner of choice for multi-nationals across Europe. Looking forward to further future growth.”

More recently, Michelle Ewing, Director, was welcomed to the board of directors, taking female representation on our board to 40%. We are also proud that 50% of our managers are women.

As a people business, we are committed to promoting Equity, Diversity & Inclusion in the workplace, both internally and externally, with our clients. By working with us, our clients can be confident that we act as a neutral third party in the recruitment process.

We are proud to be the ED&I recruiter of choice for many multi-national businesses, as reflected by ongoing events, training and candidate appointments.

As the world of work has changed, so has our approach. Our Consultants are specialists in their markets and disciplines, ensuring that they can deliver expert insights and updates to our network. We are seeing an increased focus on ED&I, remote working and sustainability.

We have acknowledged these changes and adapted EMEA Recruitment to become an agency of choice for our clients and candidates - but also an employer of choice for our Consultants.

As we look ahead to the future, we are excited about upcoming projects and partnerships, including our own commitment to fighting the climate crisis.

If you would like to find out how you can work with us, please get in touch with John Byrne, if you are based in Switzerland, or Richard Bailey, if you’re in the Netherlands.

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Female Leadership

Female Leadership

Female leadership is probably one of the most talked about topics in multi-national businesses today. We are seeing in the market that companies, as part of growth plans, quote that they are looking to increase female leadership, but are falling short of their target percentages.

This begs the question: are women not being offered equal opportunities, or are they more hesitant to put themselves forward?

EMEA Recruitment held a recent study to see how many men versus women would apply for the same role by looking at the job description. The results show that only 30% of women had applied for the role. The main reason was that women look to tick almost all the boxes required for the position, whereas men will apply if they tick around three to four requirements.

In Europe alone, almost half (46%) of women are employed, while just 35% of those were managers (as of 2021).

Another statistic from Catalyst shows that, among the largest publicly-listed companies in the EU in 2021, only 20% of executives and 8% of CEOs are women.

The key questions

  • Is discrimination happening due to women starting families, causing a generational gap in female leadership?
  • Do women find it hard to return to leadership roles after taking a career break to raise a family?
  • Are certain industries more forthcoming with female leaders than others?

Adapting the “Rooney Rule”

Several companies have now implemented a version of the National Football League’s Rooney Rule, which requires any team hiring a head coach to interview at least one minority candidate.

One business created a requirement that half of the final candidate shortlists for any executive positions must be women; in the last two years, the proportion of women on the executive team has risen from 25% to 40%.

In summary, female leaders can find their strength, express their voice and apply their talents when given these opportunities. They can also shape the conditions for others, supporting and influencing the systems that make the world welcoming to women’s contributions.

The progression of women in the workplace – and in leadership – isn’t just a women’s issue. It is an issue for all of us, so we can build communities in which we tap into the very best from each of us.

Here at EMEA, we provide our clients with relevant market information in a consultative approach - topics are also discussed through our roundtable events with clients. EMEA’s inclusive recruiter approach to each search means we have a deep understanding of the candidate and employer's expectations and needs.

If you’d like to discuss how we can help you build diverse teams, please get in touch with Hannah Mallia

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ED&I in the Employee Lifecycle

ED&I in the Employee Lifecycle

Keely Straw, Manager of Human Resources, shares knowledge on how you could improve your employee lifecycle, and her experience hosting EMEA Recruitment’s first face-to-face ED&I Roundtable event...

In my Q3 2022 newsletter, I shared insights on the future of work and what that means for Equity, Diversity & Inclusion (ED&I).

By making small changes throughout the employee lifecycle to accommodate a diverse workforce, organisations can improve employee experiences and boost engagement at every stage of the employee lifecycle:

1. Attraction - Brand reputation improves from employee, customer and stakeholder perspectives

2. Recruitment – Providing inclusive candidate journeys creates equal opportunities and allows organisations to draw from a wider talent pool

3. Onboarding – Demonstrating inclusive practices sets a first impression that encourages trust and loyalty

4. Development - Productivity improves, because data shows that employees with disabilities take less time off and stay with companies for longer

5. Retention – Turnover rates drop when everyone feels included and valued

6. Offboarding – Gathering employee feedback helps provide data and insights that can be used to improve ED&I policies further

Through my ED&I and HR networks, I have heard that many companies are already doing this and leading the way to make positive changes; they are eager to create a culture that is inclusive for everyone, regardless. Others are only just starting this journey.  

While there is plenty of information available online, at virtual online events and shared across social media, there isn’t anything local to Switzerland for ED&I leads to come together to share topics and success stories.

That is why, this month, I hosted EMEA Recruitment’s first face-to-face ED&I Roundtable event in Zurich.

This was an opportunity for ED&I leads - from multiple industry sectors and size - to come together, share insights on ED&I strategies and how to implement one, as well as other topics.

I would be keen to 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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