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In this episode of the EMEA Recruitment podcast, we’re joined by Marco Dirren, the CFO at Implenia in Switzerland.

“No matter what your area of expertise is, you need to fit the culture of the company.”

Marco speaks to Paul Toms after a “challenging” two years, in which Implenia went through a transformation, at the same time the world was dealing with the pandemic and developments in Eastern Europe. Marco feels the whole company learnt a lot on how to cope with these situations, which he believes you can’t learn by reading textbooks.

By using the “brainpower” of his team, Marco has managed to find the best solutions for the business, while finding a release in his private life through family and sport. He also values time alone, in order to reflect.

Marco compares his current role with Implenia to sports; when you’re in the zone, he explains, everything falls into place. He’s proud to have gone through a transformation in a difficult market, but understands that not everyone in his team handles pressure in the same way – part of his job is to be aware of the soft factors, as well.

Marco feels his emotional stability is a gift, which not only gives him a clear mind during crisis situations, but also motivates the team. During the early part of his career, Marco felt he spoke too much, always trying to get his ideas across. After some personal development, he values listening to others’ opinions and getting a new aspect on problems.

Something else he invests in is the early stages of the recruitment process. He not only tries to match the current market, but also works with recruiters to tap into a wider pool of candidates (although he insists that partners must understand the culture of the company).

We find out a top tip from one of Marco’s previous managers on how to prioritise your work day. He also discusses the power of sleep in forming a resilient attitude.

Digitalisation and data are two challenges currently facing Chief Financial Officers, Marco believes, as older members of the team must let go of old methods and try to have some flexibility. By being adaptable, companies will be able to attract and retain talent, he explains. For example, Implenia values diversity of mindset in the recruitment process.

We end the episode by finding out how Marco recovers after a frustrating day.

If you’d like to connect with Marco, he is active on LinkedIn, although he typically only accepts connection requests that are personalised: https://www.linkedin.com/in/marco-dirren/

You can listen to the full episode on your preferred podcast app or below:

You can also listen on YouTube:

Alternatively, follow this link: https://emearecruitment.libsyn.com/emea-recruitment-podcast-133-learning-to-listen-marco-dirren

If you’re looking for a particular part of the episode, use these timestamps:

01:03: Managing a transformation during a crisis
02:18: The strength within a team
04:49: Handling stressful situations
07:53: Marco’s emotional strength
11:29: How Marco learned to listen
18:36: Investing in the recruitment process
22:29: How Marco structures his day
29:42: Challenges for the future CFO
33:54: The importance of diversity
36:11: How Marco recovers after a bad day
41:23: How to reach out to Marco


Operation Smile is the official partner of the EMEA Recruitment podcast. By raising vital funds and awareness for this cause, we hope to create 100 new smiles through this partnership. If you can donate anything to support us, please visit emearecruitment.com/operation-smile


The EMEA Recruitment podcast is hosted by Paul Toms, our Founder, and Rose Jinks, our Senior Marketing Executive.

Find out more about our specialist recruitment services through our website: https://www.emearecruitment.com/

Or stay up to date via LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/company/emea-recruitment-limited/

If you’d like to message Paul, connect with him on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/paultoms/

You can also follow Paul on Twitter: https://twitter.com/paul_toms


If there are any topics you’d like us to discuss in future episodes of the EMEA Recruitment podcast, please contact Rose: rose.jinks@emearecruitment.com