Getting a job in Switzerland is one thing but I expect if you read this that you don’t just want an average job where you get to do average work. If you do, please stop reading here.
In this article I’m going to talk about where you can find the best jobs in Switzerland and why they usually can’t be found on job boards.
The Company X Story
Let’s take company X as an example here. The managing director, Carl, from company X, an international company in Switzerland with 230 employees, is looking to expand his business further to Emerging Markets, let’s say Russia.
He looks at his current staff and can’t find anybody who is able to support him on his mission due to a lack of skills or high workload, so he decides to hire somebody new.
He starts with asking his network of people he trusts but can’t find anybody at this time. He asks his employees they should get in touch with him if they know somebody who is interested in such an opportunity.
4 days later, Carl receives an email from one of his employees, Mike, who says he knows a guy, Igor, who worked in Russia for 12 years and has led business development projects at his previous company for 5 years. Mike also mentions he met Igor at an industry conference 3 months ago and they have met a few times since.
Carl decides to give it a try to call Igor to see what he has done in the past years and see if they match in terms of personality. Carl thinks it’s probably a better idea to do it his way than to bother with HR and having to wait 4 weeks until he receives 30 CVs from people he doesn’t know to sort through.
Carl and Igor have a great chat for 20 minutes on the phone and Carl invites Igor to come over to his office next week to get to know him and the people he will potentially be working with. After that, another interview is happening with HR and Igor is hired.
For Carl and his organization, issues like work permit and not speaking the local language was unimportant because he hired Igor for his personality and not just for his skills.
What We Learn From This Story
This story is not a fairy tale. It happens every day in Switzerland. I know tons of such stories from friends, readers and coaching clients.
Carl had a critical position to fill. This was not an average position where he could simply hire somebody who could merely do the job. This role requires leadership and a strong personality.
The job from Carl has never been advertised and falls into the category of the hidden job market in which you find approx. 80% of all jobs located in Switzerland.
Igor had zero competition in this game. He was the only one Carl talked to and this is what happens in many cases. Why would Carl need to talk to more people if Igor is great for that job and aligns with Carls values?
So Where do You Find These Great Jobs?
These great jobs are created when more is needed than simply somebody who can do the job. This is in many cases happening in growth phases so you should watch out for product launches, project launches, expansions and any other change that is initiated by growth.
Simply replacing somebody at a company that has done the same boarding job the past 3 years won’t give you a lot of fulfillment if you are looking for a real challenge.
Set up Google Alerts to monitor industry news or news related to specific keywords. You want to know what’s happening so you can leverage that information into making new connections and open doors to new career opportunities.
Why the Best Jobs are Not on Job Boards
As you can see it in company X’s example, that job never made it to a public place and there are several reasons for that.
1. It simply did not have to
Why waste time screening CVs if you get a referral from a co-worker or employee?
2. It would have taken too long
The entire process or writing a job description, advertising a job and screening CVs takes an awful lot of time. Why waste time with it when you have a great talent at your finger tips?
3. Carl wanted to hire somebody he can trust
Why would Carl hire somebody he does not know at all if he can hire somebody his employee knows? If his employee trusts him, the chances are high that Carl can rely on that. These critical jobs are in many cases filled by somebody the organizations already knows as a 1st or 2nd degree contact.
If you have ever hired somebody yourself into a critical position, you know exactly what I’m talking about. I have hired people into critical positions and this principle applied in many cases.
As mentioned above, this scenario is happening every day in Switzerland. People hire people they like and trust. Period.
What You Can to do Today
Find 3 people in your network or outside of your network you are genuinely interested in.
Research the people on LinkedIn and Google and find out as much as possible about them.
Message the 3 people with a note about their work or what you found out about them and why you would like to learn more about their goals and them.