There is a huge disconnect in the job market. Companies are struggling to find the right candidate. Meanwhile, candidates are struggling to find the right job.
But to understand this problem, we need to break it down. Let’s first begin with companies trying to hire.
I cannot hire
There is a shortage of talent in Switzerland, which is one of the reasons why salaries are so attractive. It’s the law of supply and demand – there’s not enough supply to match demand. Companies therefore have to raise salaries to attract the candidates they are after.
However, it’s still difficult to find and attract the right candidates, even with an attractive salary.
Companies often believe that this is because those perfect candidates are either not on the job market or are working for a competitor. However, this is not always the case. Often candidates just don’t want to work for that company.
One of the biggest mistakes that companies make is that they are too focused on what they need and not necessarily on what the candidate wants. They don’t market themselves well as a company that a candidate might want to work for. The danger is that a poor employer brand like this can then become a recruitment liability.
Quite often it starts with the job advert – they can be badly written. They often consist of a bucket list of desires and requirements, which a good candidate might not care about.
Why should they apply if they are comfortable where they are? Why should they apply if they don’t fit all the stringent requirements for the job that are listed? For instance, if they don’t have a Master’s degree and the job doesn’t require it, why add it as a desirable attribute?
The job application process should also be effortless. You need to remove all the barriers for applying for a role. This could include reducing the requirements for the role to the bare minimum. Companies could also get an experienced human resources person to write the job advert well, rather than rely on the hiring manager.
I think the biggest problem where companies go wrong is that they try to squish a square peg into a round hole. Even if the job requirements are complex, having the flexibility and foresight to change that role to suit the candidate could be a winning strategy.
I cannot get hired
Now let’s flip over to the other side. There are many candidates that I meet that complain they can’t get hired. They apply for jobs that they know they are suitable for and yet they don’t make it to the interview process. Worse still, they get interviewed but the company doesn’t see their full potential.
Where these candidates go wrong is that the hiring process is not necessarily based upon their ability or even suitability for the role. The company needs to like you and see you as a good fit for them. Simple things can go a long way.
If you are a foreign candidate, then make an effort to educate yourself on the etiquette and culture of the Swiss recruitment process. Good manners, a well written covering letter and some effort and knowledge of Swiss culture and values can go a long way.
Networking is also incredibly important in Switzerland. A common problem I see are candidates that have worked for just one company for their entire careers. Often, I meet these candidates after they have lost their jobs. These people are often highly skilled and talented at what they do. However, they have no network beyond the company they had work for.
I also think it’s important to be digitally literate. If you are reading this then you probably are. So many people forget how valuable a social network like LinkedIn can be as a networking tool. Reskilling and upskilling are also important. Continuous learning is absolutely crucial in this fast-paced world. If you keep your skill set up to date, then your experiences are valued.
Finally, I think it’s important to remember that although the hiring process can take time in Switzerland, Swiss companies also take really good care of their employees.
I therefore believe that candidates should view the hiring process as an investment in themselves. Once you are hired you may be happy with that company for a very long time.