Wednesday, 9 September 2015

Demand for Talent in Switzerland

by  Krisha Mirpurim, head of marketing, Nicoll Curtin

The IMD put together an annual report on talent, ranking countries on their performance to sustain their talent pool.  The survey looks at
  • Investment and development
  • Appeal factor
  • Readiness
In 2014 Switzerland came top of the table followed by Denmark and then Germany.  Reading this report coupled with the global talent index for 2015 (Hedrick and Stuggles) it surprises that Swiss market is facing a problem in attracting good talent.  Is this a problem with niche markets or it something affecting the full IT and Change market?

To help understand the challenges facing the Swiss market we speak to Tom O’Loughlin Associate Director at Nicoll Curtin.
“I don’t think that this is a country specific issue but rather a market shift that is impacting the demand for skilled talent.  In the Swiss market we have seen an increase of 25% in salary packages offered to candidates over the past couple of years.  While this might be a short term fix I feel that employers need to start looking at the global market rather than just the local talent pool.  With a small ageing population the Swiss market should start looking internationally to help match their talent gaps.

With unemployment at 3%, impending potential immigration quotas and high local salaries, this poses a problem from three fronts; firstly skilled talent is not generally “available” on the local market and needs to be actively sourced and enticed, secondly there is a reticence for global talent to relocate with the negative publicity and uncertainty that the quotas might bring and finally the high salaries make it more expensive to have labour based in Switzerland compared to other developed countries. This last one is probably the most worrying long term to the Swiss economy, as coupled with a strong Swiss Franc, it means companies struggle to be competitive on price in global markets, especially in the manufacturing sector, but it also applies to the financial and service sectors too.

Some of our clients are adapting to these pressures, investing more in talent research and differentiating their products/services from global competitors, rather than competing on price. Those that aren’t are finding themselves increasingly having to cut costs and settle for second best in talent which can lead to a dangerous negative spiral.”

Have you noticed a shortage of talent?  If so how are you handling it?

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