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PageGroup Recruitment Snapshot Q1 2020: Swiss candidates look to improve skills and find temporary work
The employment market across Europe and Switzerland has rapidly changed due to the impact COVID-19, or Coronavirus, had on the economy when the lockdown to control the virus took effect.
PageGroup’s propriety survey data gives you a snapshot of the employment market across Europe and Switzerland, with our data collection running from 20th March, 2020 until 20th May, 2020, with a total of 5,075 returned surveys from 13 countries*.
Challenging conditions in the market
Over 50 % of Swiss professionals who are currently applying for jobs and took part in our survey said they were currently unemployed. Of these respondents, 62 % explained they had been searching for work for between 0-3 months, highlighting the immediate impact the lockdown had on employment.
“Remote working was a project many companies in Switzerland thought of, but did not have as number one priority on their list. This crisis has proven us how agile and flexible we can be. Thanks to the fantastic support of our IT team we were able to work fully remotely, almost overnight. Our consultants adjusted very well to the new circumstances and their high engagement towards the company makes me very proud.”
Julien Gibert, Senior Executive Director Switzerland
People looking to develop skills and work / life balance
However, there are bright spots. Over 36 % said they were looking for a job to develop new skills, compared to the [47.8%] who said they were looking due to unemployment.
19.9 % of people searching want a better work / life balance, again highlighting a slight change in rationale for changing job, as an improved salary dropped to just 16.5% of people.
Supporting the idea that people are changing jobs for reasons outside of benefits packages, over 23.5% of people said they wanted to change due to a lack of professional growth, asking the question – what can employers do to halt this talent drain?
Nicolai Mikkelsen, Executive Director Switzerland, explains:
“As in every crisis there are industries that thrive. In this case we saw an interesting increase in Healthcare, Life Sciences, IT, Supply Chain and the Food industry. Due to the digital transformation of several companies the demand for support roles in IT and Customer Service augmented. Stock fillers were needed during this time and we supported major food companies around the globe finding the best talent available for them in a record time.”
What should employers talk to talent about?
According to our survey, employers can look towards great relationships [96.9 %], being socially responsible [88.1 %], work / life balance [86.7 %], access to training [81.8 %], and parity between men and women in the company [67 %], as key areas to focus on when searching for new talent.
Conversely, focusing on international mobility [36.6 %] is no longer the magnet for talent that it was. However, as the current exceptional situation develops, so might the drivers for change regarding people searching for new opportunities.
“Many companies ask us what they can offer to attract the right people. Salary is important, but is not self-sufficient anymore. Remote working and flexible hours are benefits you need to offer in the new normality. Candidates in Switzerland would like to have this option and combine it with working in the office on a weekly basis. Our newly released salary surveys in Switzerland list the benefits employers should consider to attract the best talent in their industry.”
Julien Gibert, Senior Executive Director Switzerland.
Customer facing roles feeling the pinch
In terms of discipline, the lockdown has noticeably affected professionals in the Sales sector with over 10 % of respondents. Other disciplines affected are Finance and Accounting with 9.4 % and Banking and Financial Services with 8.4 %.
These figures highlight the uneven effect the Coronavirus has had on employment, hitting customer facing roles and sectors much harder than manufacturing or logistics, at 1 % and 5.9 % respectively, for example.
How much does experience count?
The crisis is seemingly age agnostic, with job applicants spread evenly across all age ranges. However, there is a grouping around people aged 40-49 years [26.9%] and 50-59 [20.3%], showing that employers have potentially been reducing their exposure to high salaries of long-term employees.
This number is also reflected in the seniority of job applicants, with 24.5 % having more than 20 years-experience and 12.9 % between 16-20 years in the workplace.
The world of flexible work is calling
In terms of the world of flexible employment, meaning Interim, temporary and contracting contracts, many job applicants would consider this area for their next role, at 69.6 %.
Interestingly, what attracts people to flexible work is their ability to enrich their skills and experience [57.5 %], the opportunity to work for different employers in new positions [36.3 %], the flexibility these types of role offer [22.3 %], and of course, the chance to turn the temporary position into a permanent one [59.2 %].
Our survey also highlighted the reasons people are somewhat apprehensive in taking flexible roles, mostly focused on the lack of financial stability [75.6%] and not developing their skills [29.5%].
However, the potential for lack of engagement due to the temporary nature of the roles [29.5%], and for future employers viewing temporary roles negatively [12.8%] also highlight areas where hiring managers looking for talent can find quick wins.
Nicolai Mikkelsen, Executive Director Switzerland :
“Candidates have been very active in their job search lately. This enabled us to create a pool of top talents. We advised our clients to maintain their recruitment processes to secure the best profiles for their companies. Page Personnel can help to rebound successfully into the new normality. Get in touch with our experienced consultants.”
If you would like to discuss how we can help with your recruitment needs, get in touch with one of our specialist sales consultants.
*Countries participating in the survey: France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Netherlands, Belgium, Poland, Switzerland, Austria, Portugal, Turkey, Sweden and Luxembourg.