In this article I’m going to talk about the different types of companies you should be looking to work at as an English speaker. It will help you to find more companies that hire English speakers in Switzerland.
You can find a list with 122 Companies That Hire English Speakers in Switzerland here.
Note: If you are looking for an extensive list of Technology Companies in Switzerland, check out the 160+ Technology Companies in Switzerland That Hire English Speakers.
1. Large International Companies
This is probably the most obvious company type. Look at the large international corporations around you if this is a kind of company you would like to work at. They have huge office buildings, tons of job openings, of which some or even many don’t require German or French and are usually the easiest to find.
Google for “largest companies in Switzerland” or similar and you will find them.
Another source to find them is job boards. These companies usually have many open positions posted there.
Examples are UBS, Credit Suisse, Novartis, Roche, Syngenta, Bayer, Barclays Bank, Deutsche Bank, etc.
Have a look at this list to find more of these companies.
Here are some more foreign companies in the Basel area.
2. International Small to Medium Sized Companies
They are one of my favorites because these companies are responsible for the major growth of the economy and therefore jobs. In Switzerland, these companies have usually between 10-250 people working for them and represent approx. 99.7% of all businesses. Everything bigger is almost a large company in Switzerland.
It’s a bit more difficult to find them as they don’t usually advertise that many positions. LinkedIn can help a lot here with its feature to show you only companies of certain sizes.
Do a people search on LinkedIn for a keyword in your industry and the location you are looking to work in and limit the searches to companies with 11-50 and 51-200.
Examples are Keymile, SICAP, etc.
3. International Startups
I am currently coaching a client who is looking to move into the startup scene in Switzerland. I always knew that Switzerland was a hub for startups but what the research we did by now showed is amazing. It’s a major growth industry you should definitely look into.
Join some of the startup groups for Switzerland on LinkedIn and see where the people work at. That’s how you find the company names and at the same time the owner or a partner.
Examples are Cargo Media, Doodle, etc.
4. Companies Who Don’t Require Specific Language Skills
I know this differs from profession to profession but there might be some companies where you don’t specifically need German or French. Maybe these companies specifically focus on English-speaking communities in Switzerland. In the finance area this could be a company that deals with foreign investors or foreign funds.
You could do a search on Google to find these companies. Another option would be to join some industry groups on LinkedIn and ask a public question. Many people love to help out others.
Somebody recently posted a question in our LinkedIn Community, Career Network Switzerland, and received 18 comments within a couple of hours. You can see the discussion here.
If you are not a member yet, join over 1600 colleagues in the Career Network Switzerland now.
5. Companies Expanding to Switzerland
This is a big one. I worked with a large Telco company a few years ago when they expanded to Switzerland and they were hiring massively. The company grew their operations very fast and had big problems to keep up with the hiring.
You find these companies by reading your industry news. Add yourself to some newsletters and buy relevant magazines.
Look up your local chamber of commerce, either in Switzerland or the country you are in at the moment. If you are British, join the British Swiss Chamber of Commerce. Attend a few of these events and ask around which companies are expanding to Switzerland. Maybe even an attendee is in the process of expanding right now.
Another brilliant source is the Swiss embassy in your home country or the country you are currently residing in. Find the person who is responsible for inward investment and for promoting Switzerland as an expansion possibility.
One example company that expanded to Switzerland a few years ago is HUAWEI.
6. Companies Who Specifically Need Your Native Language Skills
If you are in banking and speak fluent Spanish, find the responsible person for the Mexican clients at all the banks in Switzerland. If you are in sales, find a company which is dealing with clients from a country that speaks your language.
These companies or people are a bit harder to find but absolutely worth it because they are specifically looking for your language skills.
Find some people at local communities if you live in Switzerland with the same nationality as you. Join their events and find out which companies could fit this criteria for you.
You officially have the license to be a spy for once.
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