Swisslinx is celebrating its 20th birthday this year, and to celebrate, we’re speaking to some of the people who’ve helped make Swisslinx become the business it is today. Colin Tivendale started his career working in journalism and event promotion before entering the recruitment industry in 2002, where he’s remained ever since. Working within the recruitment markets of Digital & Technology and Change & Consulting, he’s worked his way up to Director level at Swisslinx and is looking forward to seeing the company continue to grow into the future. Here’s his story:“I worked in multi-lingual call centres before moving to recruitment”After moving on from his work in call centres, Colin first gained an insight intro recruitment when he worked at S3 in London on one of their Swiss desks. As an English, French and German speaker, Colin was able to further develop his multi-lingual skills during these early days of his career, before deciding to venture into more of a business development role.“I wanted to be based in Zurich at a company that placed a high value on the customer experience”Colin had his sights set on a boutique company where he could make a meaningful impact and commit to a long-term career. Swisslinx fit the bill – he joined in 2002 to specialise in technology, finance and business support, and has since added executive search, program resourcing and consulting to his skillset. His journey has seen him touch on most sales topics, including business development, research and account management across technology, corporate functions, finance and executive search, spanning the regions of Zurich, Geneva, Dubai/Abu Dhabi and London.“I manage a team of four in a space that is ripe for disruption”Colin’s team’s focus is primarily developing the business lines of the future for Swisslinx, which he believes to be Consulting/Professional Services and Executive Search for CIO/CDO and CTO functions. These spaces are primed and ready for disruption and Colin says better service levels can be delivered to customers by providing more transparency, a shorter timeline from engagement to hire and a more direct and delivery-focused execution style. “There have been so many highlights since I joined the company”Swisslinx has grown enormously during Colin’s tenure. When he joined the offering was mainly banking, and he’s proud of helping hedge this portfolio by introducing two large key accounts, one in reinsurance and one in industrial, garnering CHF 20-30 million per year spends. He’s also worked on the majority of the firm’s largest fee generating searches and placements.“I never thought I’d enjoy management as much as I do”Having seen the company grow from fewer than 10 people in one office to a 50 person company with offices around the globe, Colin says Swisslinx’s development has been significant – but there’s still a long way to go. He’s grateful to have who he believes are some of the most talented people in the local and international markets on his team and says their potential to grow and develop is unlimited.“If I ever start feeling too comfortable in my chair, I ask for a new project”Colin remains stimulated in his work thanks to the autonomy he is afforded at Swisslinx. He says he’s been given the freedom to develop business lines and add new elements to existing areas, which has resulted in the introduction of the Commodities and Natural Resources business and the recent focus on Consulting and Professional Services. The former was instrumental in Swisslinx moving away from being a generalist recruitment agency towards the highly specialised boutique model of today. Meanwhile, the Consulting and Professional Services offering provides customers with a sustainable and credible alternative to the established management and tech consulting firms.“Good recruiters are at their best when they are the broker directly communicating with the client and candidate”While Colin counts himself lucky to have started in recruitment in the early days of LinkedIn and new technology platforms, he maintains that the personal touch of a recruiter cannot be digitalised. As client needs continue to evolve at pace, Recruiters and Swisslinx as a business must be proactive to keep developing. “Here we are given enough freedom to innovate and create, coupled with just the right amount of support to succeed”In addition to having the autonomy and ability to craft, design and implement business plans, Colin loves working alongside people who are passionate about what they do. From the partners who have been with Swisslinx since day one to the management team and new joiners, he believes the most important elements are in place to continue to exceed expectations. Interested in learning more about what it’s like to work at Swisslinx or do business with the company? View our blog to find out more, or click here to meet other members of the team.
Swisslinx is celebrating its 20th birthday this year, and to celebrate, we’re speaking to some of the people who’ve helped make Swisslinx become the business it is today. Jennifer Bego has been with Swisslinx since 2005, when she arrived in Switzerland after spending a year in Australia. While she never anticipated such a long and successful career in recruitment, she’s loved every step of it. Here’s her story: “At university I never really imagined a career path for myself” Like many in this industry, Jenny didn’t grow up dreaming of becoming a Recruiter. Rather, the career is one she fell into, and she’s not looked back in 14 years. During her schooling and uni days Jenny wasn’t sure what career pathway might interest her, although she had the fundamental skills that make up a good Recruiter: communication, confidence and social intelligence. After graduating she was eager to start earning, and when searching for jobs within her skill set and qualifications she kept coming across recruitment vacancies. With no reason not to, Jenny interviewed for her first role – and the rest is history. “Swisslinx is family – literally” Many people say that their work is like a family, but Jenny really means it. Her then-UK-based father was recruited by Swisslinx whilst Jenny was travelling in Australia, and after her trip ended she returned to her new home of Zurich to join them. Her father suggested she consider a role at Swisslinx, and since then the company has had a hand to play in bringing her brother, his best friend and Jenny’s school friend to Zurich. She says the ripple effect of that first call from Swisslinx to her father has been amazing, changing the course of not only her life, but those of many people she knows. “My reasons for joining weren’t strategic – I really just liked the Partners” When Jenny first joined Swisslinx, she had no idea she’d had such an illustrious career with the business. With little thought to her future or any strategic reason for joining a company, Jenny says she simply liked the people she met at Swisslinx and wanted to work somewhere that seemed friendly and focused. Starting out as a researcher on the finance desk, Jenny soon saw herself drawn to the speed and style of the IT side of the business, where she’s been ever since. “In my 15 years I’ve experienced different roles all over the business” Jenny’s time at Swisslinx has spanned research, consultant and management roles, before she moved into her current Director position in January 2018. She says it’s important for her to remain hands-on and play an active role in managing accounts, particularly as Swisslinx retains the number one position in numerous Preferred Supplier Lists (PSL). Managing a team of Consultants, Jenny has contributed significantly to the strategy and growth of Swisslinx with the creation of new service offerings such as RPO. “15 years in any industry brings a lot of change” Jenny says one of the most dramatic changes she’s seen during her time at Swisslinx has been the introduction of automated and system-driven recruitment delivery models. Relationship building will always be a crucial part of recruitment, but the addition of new technologies has allowed many processes to become more efficient and effective. This has meant well-written CVs have become more important than ever in the recruitment process, as Recruiters can no longer discuss certain attributes of a candidate directly with line managers. In addition, Jenny has seen a growth in interest for flexible talent solutions such as RPO has stemmed from an increase in scale-ups and start-ups, as well as the candidate-driven market which requires more manpower to reach the top talent. Many roles end up being filled by the passive candidate market who can only be reached by active sourcing, which is in itself a hugely time-intensive task. This is an activity that is not a part of traditional HR responsibilities and is therefore typically outsourced to active sourcing specialists, such as Swisslinx, to run in tailor-made solutions such as project or long-term based RPO. “The people are what I love most about Swisslinx” Swisslinx has become a family to Jenny over the years, and she says the way employees are treated is unique. “They truly care and make you feel valued as a person” says Jenny. “The trust and freedom they provide creates a natural and deeply rooted sense of loyalty which I am sure is shared by many here.” Jenny says Olivier and Caroline extend so much trust in their team members and are flexible, understanding and supportive. In addition, Jenny says she’s stayed with the company due to its ethics and ways of working. Swisslinx has a strong moral compass, says Jenny, and will not “make a deal at any cost”. “It’s been great to see the evolution of the company and the success we’ve had over the past 15 years” Jenny says Swisslinx has become so well regarded in its market space and its expansion into new areas is testament to its ongoing growth and success. She’s particularly proud of the success the RPO model has already had and says the level of transparency Swisslinx works with fosters a high level of trust with both clients and relationships. “We’re seeing demand for RPOs and dedicated talent acquisition teams, and I’m excited about what’s coming in terms of the service lines we’re growing and offering,” she says. Start-ups and scale-ups are increasingly looking to Swisslinx to help fill their talent pipelines and build a database of candidates, which Jenny is keen to see develop into the future. “As long as I’m working in recruitment, I’m working at Swisslinx” Loyal to Swisslinx and excited for the future, Jenny is looking forward to helping consultants on her team develop and grow with the company – just as she has. Interested in learning more about what it’s like to work at Swisslinx or do business with the company? View our blog to find out more, or click here to meet other members of the team.
Swisslinx is celebrating its 20th birthday this year, and to celebrate, we’re speaking to some of the people who’ve helped make Swisslinx become the business it is today. Ed Cullen has a strong foundation in financial services, spending eight years in client-facing sales and relationship management roles before taking his expertise to recruitment at Swisslinx. Based in Zurich and Basel, Ed utilises his English and German language skills to lead business development and client management activities across the sectors of Healthcare and Life Sciences alongside Commodities and Natural Resources. He spoke to us about his journey with Swisslinx: “I wanted to join an established company with a personalised approach” When Ed made the decision to move from financial services to recruitment, he actively sought out established brands that aligned with his values. The personalised approach to recruitment Swisslinx have and the ability consultants have to be autonomous were particularly appealing. Ed says that Swisslinx is a “grown up” place of work where team members are empowered to work independently and with ownership of their own work, with clear targets and expectations in place to allow people to succeed. “I moved from a research role to Senior Manager” Joining Swisslinx in 2011, Ed worked in a research function for six months before taking up a consultant role in Commodities and Natural Resources. From there, he progressed to the role of Senior Consultant before advancing again to Managing Consultant, then settled into his current role of Senior Manager. While the team development and management side of his role are important to Ed - he’s led a team of nine before - he insists that he still handles his own client book. Being able to be hands-on with recruitment activities and client management is essential to Ed. “Swisslinx has given me the chance to grow my career” After eight years, Ed says he’s stayed with Swisslinx due to the flexibility he’s been afforded to pursue different ideas and grow his career, saying he doesn’t feel restricted by processes and bureaucracy that can feature in other companies. The educated, international team of colleagues at Swisslinx is another highlight, with Ed saying this creates an interesting and dynamic team environment. As an organisation, Swisslinx loves to celebrate success and the management team value people who show commitment to the business, says Ed. “Social media has completely changed the way people look for jobs” The rise of technology has touched every industry in recent years, and Ed believes social media in particular has had a big role to play in the recruitment landscape. Candidates expect to be headhunted more now than they did in the past, with social media allowing faster and more casual interactions between recruiter and jobseeker. And while in-house talent acquisition teams have grown in popularity, Ed says there is still a strong need for the experienced recruitment consultants at Swisslinx, with value added through the in-depth market experience and knowledge of sectors and roles that every member of the Swisslinx team has. Interested in learning more about what it’s like to work at Swisslinx or do business with the company? View our blog to find out more, or click here to meet other members of the team.
Swisslinx is celebrating its 20th birthday this year, and to celebrate, we’re speaking to some of the people who’ve helped make Swisslinx become the business it is today. After moving to Switzerland as a graduate in 1993, Caroline Ruedin worked for boutique recruitment consultancy Interskill. It was here she developed not only a broad set of skills that she would use throughout her career, but also gained an overarching understanding of the recruitment industry in Switzerland. Here’s her story: “I started out doing the absolute basics, which gave me a great grounding in recruitment” Throughout her eight years at Interskill (now part of the Adecco Group), Caroline covered many functions in the business. She worked her way through back office, research, account management, sales management and business development roles during her time at Interskill, working with clients all over Europe and attracting international candidates to Switzerland. In those days, relocation was a much more complex process, with work permits and regulations meaning candidate acquisition was complicated. Gaining an in-depth understanding of every aspect of service delivery across candidates and clients, as well as cultural differences when doing business across France, Belgium, the Netherlands, Italy and Luxembourg, Caroline was well prepared to take on the next challenge – co-founding Swisslinx. “We wanted to set up a business that was profitable but also provided a top-quality service to all stakeholders” The idea for Swisslinx was born from a desire to establish a recruitment consultancy driven by quality rather than KPIs, targets and profits, one that would focus on providing the best possible service to clients and candidates and grow organically as a result of its service excellence. This focus on service was something that was missing in the Swiss – and arguably the wider European – recruitment sector at the time. Caroline knew there was a gap in the market for the level of specialist service she and the partners wanted to provide and their shared experience in consulting and recruitment meant they had the skills and knowledge required to make it happen. “In the early days, our business objective was very streamlined” The fledgling days of Swisslinx were focused entirely on IT recruitment based in Zurich, which was the biggest business area for the IT market. Focusing on the banking and financial services sector, everything was created from scratch, developing contracts, marketing materials and everything you’d expect from a start-up. With no financial backing, Swisslinx was self-funded, and it was six months before the partners took salaries or any other employees were brought on. Looking back, Caroline says this was an intense period of her life but such a successful one, followed by quick organic growth and development of the internal team. “Competing successfully against global brands to become preferred supplier to many organisations is one of my Swisslinx highlights” In addition to sustained growth over 20 years, Caroline says a company highlight has been becoming preferred supplier to many leading organisations including Roche, UBS and Credit Suisse, competing successfully against large global brands to establish Swisslinx as a key market player. The addition of new service lines has also been a success story, with Swisslinx branching out into non-IT recruitment within finance and business, plus the addition of commodities and natural resources, (re)insurance and healthcare and life science desks. “We’ve seen so much industry change in the last 20 years” Caroline has seen a lot within her 20 years of developing Swisslinx, from how candidates are engaged through to how new business is approached and won. What was once a fairly linear process now looks very different, with more mediums and interfaces used to do business. One of the biggest developments has been how candidates seek employment. The previously candidate-driven process is now one where recruiters must actively seek out candidates. This has largely been driven by the arrival of job boards, social media and professional business platforms, giving candidates access to huge numbers of jobs and employers. Market conditions have led to pressure on the recruitment process, and Caroline believes it would be much harder to enter and compete in this market now compared to 20 years ago. There is an expectation for recruitment businesses to reinvent processes and marketing strategies, with much more to consider and a much quicker pace of work than 20 years ago. Caroline points to her dynamic, energetic team as being key to helping to adapt to this change and deliver in a more transactional recruitment culture. “I’m so proud of our team’s professional and personal development” Swisslinx cares about its people and nurtures an environment of trust, confidence and loyalty. Because of this, the team is cohesive and works like a family, with a low level of attrition many members of the team have worked in the company for more than 10 years. Caroline loves seeing Swisslinx team members grow and develop, as well as receiving the positive feedback from clients and candidates that this generates. Swisslinx has built a fantastic reputation and has remained completely independent, one of the few companies of its size in the market to do so. “Our caring culture guides the way we work with candidates and clients” The Swisslinx team is expected to treat every individual they work with with respect, care and provide the best possible service. There are high ethical standards in place, with honesty and transparency valued across the business. The training team members go through is very comprehensive, with coaching and mentoring to develop professional skills and ensure all members of staff deliver a consistently high level of service. “We have an enormous capacity to deliver on every role given to us” Swisslinx prides itself on its ability to deliver. Whether that’s for clients or candidates, Caroline says the team’s experience, connections and market knowledge means they can fill even the hardest briefs. One of the company’s USPs is being able to source extremely niche skills and requirements, and Caroline says she is confident they can fulfil even the trickiest requests. “I’m looking forward to continued growth and development” With 20 years under her belt, Caroline is looking forward to the future at Swisslinx and anticipates consistent growth in terms of both the business and the development of her team. Read more about Swisslinx’s strong history here, or meet other members of the team.
After an incredible two decades, the Swisslinx team is celebrating worldwide with our candidates and clients. We are incredibly proud of what we have achieved during this time. As well as being widely regarded as one of the best recruitment consultancies in Switzerland, we have been privileged to have worked with many exceptional candidates and clients. We take pride in our role as intermediary between client and candidate, providing solutions and often helping people change their lives at the same time as their careers. We continue to build on our service levels in changing times and count on many more successful years ahead. If you have ever worked at, with or alongside Swisslinx: thank you. We are deeply appreciative of your contribution to our success. We look forward to celebrating with as many of you as possible in Basel and Zurich in the coming weeks!
We’re delighted to announce that Swisslinx were once again awarded Best Supplier 2018 for the Roche HTS MSP program. As these roles are challenging to source and most positions are distributed to more than 10 suppliers on this account, this recognition is a huge achievement for us – particularly as it was our second year in a row to win. The award is significant as the suppliers involved all have an even playing field when sourcing for the roles, most of which require a mix of both life sciences and IT knowledge. This is a niche skillset and the talent pool tends to be limited, which means there is huge competition for every position. While the roles can be difficult to source, we gave every position utmost priority and threw ourselves into the challenge. This included incorporating previous managers’ candidate feedback into our search criteria, treating our candidates fairly and maintaining professionalism and discretion at every step. Our reputation as a reliable, top-tier consultancy means we receive high calibre referrals for candidates we can place in the future. Winning the accolade comes at an exciting time for our consultancy and contributes to our continued success in the ever-expanding healthcare & life sciences IT market. In today’s data-centred economy, our life sciences IT team is particularly busy sourcing and attracting the best talent in the field to enable our clients to use data to save and improve lives. We’re proud of our success in the hotly contested battle and would like to congratulate our fellow suppliers on what was a successful year for the program. About Swisslinx’s Healthcare and Life Sciences team Our Healthcare and Life Sciences team is active with clients all over Switzerland and focuses on the Commercial and Research and Development units in addition to our IT coverage. In the last 12 months we have completed four major projects for firms relocating offices to Switzerland, from talent mapping and compensation benchmarking through to search and selection and advising on employment contracts. Are you a candidate looking for a job in healthcare and life sciences IT or a manager looking to add talent in your team? Then please contact us to start a conversation.
Switzerland has once again been named the world’s most innovative country, claiming the title for the ninth year in a row. The annual Global Innovation Index ranks 129 countries around the world based on 80 parameters, including regulatory environment, gross expenditure on research and development and mobile app creation, making it an extremely thorough overview of which nations are pushing ahead with innovation. And as innovation is one of the key drivers of economic growth and prosperity, it’s in every country’s best interests to strive for ongoing transformation and technological change. Here’s how Switzerland keeps coming out on top: A history of new inventions Switzerland has the most patent applications relative to population size anywhere in Europe, thanks largely to the dominant pharmaceuticals and life sciences sectors. Pharmaceutical giant Roche led the way for Swiss patent applications, followed by the ABB, Nestle and Novartis. Filing 956 patents per million inhabitants, Switzerland was leagues ahead of the Netherlands, Sweden and Denmark, which all filed around 400 patents per million inhabitants. António Campinos, President of the European Patent Office, says Switzerland’s strong patent growth sets it apart from other European countries. “This emphasizes the outstanding innovation potential of the country, which continues to grow based on the rise of patent applications,” he notes. The commitment to innovation is demonstrated in the Exhibition of Inventions, an annual event in Geneva where inventors exhibit their products to investors, and in Switzerland’s proud history of bringing new products to market. The nation is responsible for introducing the modern zip (known as the coil zip), Velcro, white chocolate, muesli and the Red Cross to the rest of the world – and don’t forget about the Swiss Army Knife. Ongoing investment in start-ups and new technologies Switzerland has always had a firm focus on investment in innovation, particularly when it comes to start-up business and new technologies. A new fund of up to CHF500 million is testament to this focus on entrepreneurship, with backers of the Swiss Entrepreneurs Fund pledging to close the gap between start-up and established company. 2018 saw venture capital investment in start-ups break the 1 billion CHF mark, increasing by 32% from 2017. ICT investment grew by 120%, with biotech, medtech and digital health also receiving significant investment. The finance sector has long been a target for investors, with Zug’s Crypto Valley serving as one of the global blockchain hotspots and a high proportion of both fintech and IT security start-ups. With more than 300 start-ups founded in Switzerland each year, it’s clear that the nation’s propensity for innovation is only growing stronger. The CHF22 billion investment into R&D each year is further proof of this. A modern approach to education Switzerland boasts some of the top universities in the world, with both ETH and EPFL among the best in the world for robotics. The World University Rankings 2019 point to ETH Zurich being the second-best institution for computer science globally, with knowledge readily transferred between universities and the companies that surround them thanks to government funding of research and development. The focus on education extends as far back as primary school, where new teaching methods are part of the daily routine and there’s an emphasis on teaching skills, as opposed to pure knowledge. Lehrplan 21 is part of this. The curriculum for German-speaking Switzerland specifies not just the content that must be learned, but also the skills that pupils should acquire, with emphasis placed on learning strategies and problem solving. As pupils move through the schooling system, they may encounter the Swiss VET (vocational education and training) system which sees training geared towards demand for vocational qualifications and the jobs available. With one of the lowest youth unemployment rates in Europe, Switzerland’s modern approach to education and training is clearly paying off. Find your next job in Switzerland with Swisslinx At Swisslinx, we partner with some of the world’s most innovative and forward-thinking companies across the recruitment markets of financial services, digital and technology and healthcare and life sciences. If you’re looking for your next role in one of the most exciting and inventive markets in the world, we’d love to help. Take a look at our latest jobs or get in touch to start a conversation.
The pharmaceutical industry employs 135,000 people in Switzerland and contributes to 30% of its exports — more than the Swiss chocolate, cheese and watches export industries combined, making it a significant economic industry for the nation. It’s no surprise with Switzerland’s forward-thinking and innovative endeavours that two of the world’s leading pharmaceutical companies, Novartis and Roche, are companies born out of Switzerland. Other famous corporations in pharmaceuticals also employ heavily in Switzerland, including Celgene which ranks eighth in terms of its number of employees in Switzerland. Celgene has recently been acquired by Bristol-Myers Squibb for $74 billion, making it one of the top 10 most expensive mergers and acquisitions in history. So why have these pharmaceutical giants chosen Switzerland as an attractive location to set base and how is it significant to their success? Let’s consider the pharmaceutical industry in Switzerland and why it’s such a key player in the global market. Focus on speciality chemicals Despite Switzerland’s lack of natural resources, it still hosts a successful export industry due to its focus on low volume speciality chemicals which constitutes 90% of its product portfolio. Switzerland is known for providing bespoke pharmaceutical solutions through its access to and funding for intensive research and development of these fine chemicals. The global demand for these speciality chemicals is always increasing, which makes Switzerland’s assets valuable. Switzerland has seen many success stories and inventions in the pharmaceutical industries. Roche is credited with inventing Invirase, the world’s first HIV proteinase inhibitor drug in 1995 and later, co-created Funzeon, which stops the HIV virus from entering human cells. In addition, Novartis has been widely recognised for their work on cancer treatment through their aromatase blocker letrozole (Femara) which is used in the treatment of early-stage breast cancer. The Swiss pharmaceutical industry now offers more than 30,000 products and is well-positioned to make significant contributions to healthcare, both in Switzerland and worldwide. Intense research and development From as early as 1896, the region of Basel became the centre of 19th-century pharmaceutical industries since Switzerland had no patent laws. This was in direct contrast with the surrounding European countries and led to a migration of researchers to Switzerland who wished to work without restrictions. Currently, there are 900 pharmaceutical and MedTech companies which employ 50,000 workers in the region of Basel. Though patent laws have changed since the 1890s, Switzerland still hosts a supportive regulatory environment through its fair patent and pricing regulations. In addition, Switzerland’s current proximity to research institutions and sophisticated healthcare system provides an ideal environment for the intensive research of highly specialised products and the ability to test drugs to be sent to market. There is also high access to recruit highly qualified scientists from these globally ranking universities and their research teams. Novartis hired 23,000 science professionals including scientists and doctors to work on over 200 projects in clinical development worldwide, just as Roche employed 22,000 people to work in research and development. Switzerland hosts outstanding scientific and technological workforce with in-demand skills. In addition, there is a lot of financial support from pharmaceutical companies who have invested almost 7 billion Swiss francs into research and development in Switzerland. Supportive framework conditions Switzerland has free trade agreements with the EU and 40 other countries, including innovative key giants such as China and Japan which provide access to essential export markets. After Germany and China, Switzerland has the third most populated network of bilateral investment protection agreements. Switzerland’s pharmaceutical industry is supported by its global reputation for high-quality production standards, for being a strategic test marketer and being able to introduce new medical products at an early stage. This recognition of quality control saves Switzerland’s pharmaceutical industry between 130-300 million Swiss francs yearly when trading with the EU, the EFTA States and Canada. In addition, a single central authority, the Federal Coordination Centre for Biotechnology governs all biotech and gene tech licensing applications which leads to a minimalistic and streamlined bureaucracy procedure. Switzerland continues to rank number one on the Global Innovation Index due to its access to expert workforces, supportive governmental laws and its relation to the global trading market. Switzerland remains an attractive place to live and work, especially in such an important industry to Switzerland’s nationality and GDP as the pharmaceutical industry. Work in Switzerland’s pharmaceutical industry Now that you know more about the exciting contributions Switzerland has made in the history of the pharmaceutical industry, consider landing your next role in this booming industry and innovative country with Swisslinx. We also recruit talented pharmaceutical candidates to work in pharmaceutical hotspots worldwide. Contact us for more information or apply for your next role with Swisslinx today.
Technology continues to disrupt industries across the world in numerous ways; for example, the mobile phone changed the way we communicate. Then came cross-platform messaging platforms, such as WhatsApp, which nearly killed SMS. But disruptive technology doesn’t just involve replacing existing technologies; it also creates new marketplaces in itself, like Apple’s App Store and ss technology has continued to disrupt modern society, countries have been racing to keep up. Switzerland is rated the world’s most innovative country, and is leading the way with blockchain and fintech. But why Switzerland? Heinz Tännler, President of the Swiss Blockchain Federation offers the suggestion that start-ups are attracted to Switzerland due to its legal security, world-class infrastructure and the “Crypto Valley’s” strong ecosystem. What also makes Switzerland stand out is the government’s willingness to adopt and adapt to these industry-disrupting technologies as they emerge. It’s important to consider what’s happening in three key industries in Switzerland including fintech, cryptocurrency and blockchain, what led to their rise and the future of these industries within Switzerland. Fintech The popularity of fintech in Switzerland is no surprise. The nation is a world leader in financial services, featuring an array of financial institutions and a corresponding rise in innovative banking software. In addition, huge tech corporations such as Google and IBM have set up base in Switzerland. A lot of the fresh talent can be accounted for by Zurich and Lausanne’s first-class international universities for technology and engineering – a promising factor which may lead to the rise of innovation in the future of technology in Switzerland. This talent surplus is aided by the country’s high quality of life and salaries, attracting international talent and retaining more Swiss grads. Fintech’s current state in Switzerland sees it act as a home to 10% of all global European fintech enterprises with 46% of those in Zurich and 30% of these offering financial services. This can be explained by the fact that Switzerland supports fintech innovation through its financial market laws and the attractively low tax model for start-ups — leaving innovators feeling supported and encouraged. So what has the Swiss government been doing to aid the growth on fintech in the country? Thanks to The Federal Council’s sandbox exemption the start-up process is becoming more streamlined in Switzerland compared to other European countries. This means that under the Banking Act, public deposits that equal CHF 1 million or less won’t require a license requirement, and as of April 1st, 2019 this law has been extended for crowdlending business models as part of the Consumer Credits Act. The new fintech licence also became active as of the 1 st of January, 2019 which saw more lenient requirements when compared to fully-fledged banking licences — for instance, no interest needs to be paid on deposits and there are additional safeguards for customers. Government interest in the continued growth of fintech with these new laws and the rise of new talent, means it’s no surprise that investors are biting — in particular, venture capital giants such as Index Ventures and Google Ventures. Because of the focus on expanding this sector of finance Investments in Swiss start-ups hit the billion mark in 2018, with fintech accounting for CHF 685 million of this, making it Switzerland’s largest venture capital sector. These investments are only likely to increase, and with it, further advancements in fintech thanks to exaggerated buoyancy of government interests. Cryptocurrency Zug, Switzerland’s fastest-growing cryptocurrency hotspot, nicknamed “Crypto valley” has seen billions invested in the sector in just the last few years. Cryptocurrency has revolutionised financial services with its game-changing potential to increase efficiencies and decentralise services. Zug hosts low tax rates — the entire canton charges 14% corporation tax, making it an ideal spot to build a business. Innovators seem to agree as Zug had over 750 companies with over 3,300 employees registered in it by the end of 2018. To keep Switzerland at the forefront of finance innovation the government ensures the crypto-movement in Zurich, and other leading cities in Switzerland, thrives doing so with its’ advantageous elements of digital privacy, a stable economy and supportive IT laws, when compared to other European countries. In addition, companies have begun to form clusters to innovate their services to offer unique expertise in cryptographic and security issues. The Swiss government is clear in its stance to embrace all forms of technical innovations, shown through the way cryptocurrencies are treated as foreign currency, meaning there is no special law based around them. In fact, Zug became the first region in the world to accept bitcoin as a form of payment for a range of governmental services and in politics, and has just successfully completed a trial of blockchain-based voting. Furthermore, it established a digital identity system built on Ethereum as part of the new “e-government” initiative which offered blockchain-based digital IDs for the 30,000 employees working in the Swiss Federal Railway. Switzerland continues to integrate cryptocurrency into businesses, and even into government, due to its low security risk and high accessibility. Blockchain The biggest stakeholder in blockchain development is Switzerland’s affluent financial sector, one of the largest and most diverse in the world. SIX Group, which owns Switzerland’s Stock Exchange, is at present building a trading infrastructure for digital assets using blockchain technology. The government is also updating financial and corporate regulations to support blockchain advancements. Oliver Bussmann, president of the Crypto Valley Association has said that Switzerland is “a global leading ecosystem for blockchain technology. To establish that, you have to work on all dimensions: start-ups, investors, governments, corporations, R&D etc. You have to bring them together.” These factors are exactly what Switzerland’s government has considered and incorporated with the introduction of ICOs, which allow start-ups to sell digital crypto tokens to investors globally online and have accounted for over $9 billion in assets last year. Financial security is of utmost importance in fintech, and blockchain technology provides this along with five other sources of value. These include: 1. Simplification of internal operating procedures 2. Time-saving financial transactions 3. Optimised use of a company’s liquid assets 4. Reduced risk of fraud and efficient regulator 5. Supervised financial firm interactions Blockchain technology is still being developed and refined every day. It has countless possibilities for growth within the fintech industry and Switzerland’s governing parties are keen to play a leading role in cultivating innovation within its businesses. Disruptive industries still require established recruitment Swisslinx are market leaders in recruiting for the technology sector and financial services. We have been an established part of the recruitment landscape since 1999 and have successfully placed thousands of candidates in technology and finance roles, winning countless awards while doing so. We also have offices internationally and a home office in the heart of innovation capital, Zurich. Our expert consultants on hand are equipped to hire the best financial services and technology candidates for your company while being trained and steered by industry-leading experts so you can recruit reliably with Swisslinx. If you’re interested in working in these booming industries, we have exciting roles available in key tech hotspots in Switzerland, Germany and Dubai. Apply for a role with us today.
Doing business in Dubai: Trends and developments to keep an eye on Dubai has become an increasingly desirable location in which to live and work, with a competitive and diverse business landscape. New developments announced by the government look set to continue the emirate’s upward trajectory as a fully-fledged global business capital, and at Swisslinx we’re excited to continue expanding in this part of the world. With exciting developments in tech entrepreneurship, oil and gas movements and a booming finance sector, there’s plenty to keep an eye on. Here are some of our highlights: A growing market As the biggest re-exporting centre in the Middle East, Dubai’s economy has become more dynamic and diversified in recent years, with international trade growing at an average of more than 11% each year since 1998. The emirate also recorded 41% year-on-year growth in foreign direct investment in 2018, creating around 25,000 new jobs and reflecting investors’ optimism in the future of the local economy. As the leading hub for finance and transportation in the Gulf Cooperation Council, Dubai is also ranked in the first quartile for business activity, human capital, information exchange and cultural exchange. It hosts the headquarters for most major international corporations based in the GCC and is an international tourism destination, with entrepreneurship and private investments beginning to emerge to shape a culture of innovation. Alongside that, the UAE has reached the 11th rank in the World Bank’s Ease of Doing Business list for 2019 thanks to its modern infrastructure, supportive legislature and access to networking opportunities. Put simply, the Dubai business market is expanding in many different directions, making it an exciting time to be doing business in this part of the world. The emergence of tech entrepreneurship Early-stage start-ups make up nearly half of all companies registered in Dubai, according to Dubai Statistics Sector, with accelerators and incubators emerging at pace. The UAE sees high levels of commitment from the government and independent programmes to support the tech ecosystem, with Dubai Future Foundation and Dubai Future Accelerators supporting growth in innovation. Alongside incubators are initiatives such as the STEP Conference and GITEX Technology week, providing entrepreneurs and start-ups with the ability to showcase their work and engage with investors. Banking and finance gain steam The financial services market has long been a key pillar of Dubai’s economy, and this shows no sign of abating. So far this year we’ve seen the launch of a project aimed at providing 1,500 banking and finance jobs to Emirati citizens within 100 days and plans to triple the size of Dubai’s financial district (DIFC). This expansion is part of a move to cement Dubai’s position as an economic and commercial hub for the region, adding 13 million square feet to the existing Dubai International Financial Center. The DIFC investment hub is already high-performing, reporting its best-ever year for new company registrations in 2018 with a total of 437 new registrations. This saw an 11% rise in net profits for the year, taking the number of registered financial companies to 625. Transformation is ongoing within the UAE banking sector, with banks operating with high capital and a positive outlook for the sector both now and into the future. Oil and gas continues to recover As a major oil and gas hub globally, it’s no surprise that the UAE’s presence in this sector remains strong. After a well-documented price slump in late 2014 the market has recently shown continued stability with the current brent crude price averaging USD $67 - $71. The sector has seen a recent increase in exploration investment, demonstrating a renewed confidence in the market. The GCC has USD $835bn worth of active oil and gas construction projects underway currently. Development of the region’s major players is ongoing. Aramco has announced an expansion into international oil and gas exploration, likely putting them in direct competition with Exxon Mobil and Royal Dutch Shell, while ADNOC is actively seeking venture partners for its 2030 growth strategy. Such large-scale projects and ongoing investment in oil and gas suggests a burgeoning employment space for both local and international candidates. How Swisslinx can help you Established in 2007, our Dubai office has a focus on the Banking & Finance, Technology and Oil & Gas sectors in the Middle East and North Africa. Based in the DIFC, we have access to the huge number of opportunities available to clients and candidates here, keeping ahead of updated and trends within this part of the market. Our multilingual team of specialists are considered experts in their respective markets and have experience in recruiting for all levels of seniority up to and including C-Suite and Board Level. Our consultants have access to the most up-to-date information regarding the market and offer the best local advice possible to our candidates and clients. Get in touch with our Dubai office or view our latest jobs in Dubai and the UAE.
Doing business in Zurich: Trends to watch out for Since being named as the world’s most sustainable city in 2016, Zurich hasn’t rested on its laurels, continuing to flourish as a place to both live and work. The social, environmental, and economic factors that led to the award are things that the city has long been revered for, but it’s not something that’s happened by accident. With a desire to maintain its reputation as a “centre of economic life and education” (a line coined by the official tourist site myswitzerland.com), investment in Zurich’s local infrastructure continues at pace, while being conscious of its environmental impact; the city is one of the lowest generators of emissions and consumers of water in Europe. Why Zurich attracts businesses and people While it’s regularly ranked as the second-most competitive financial centre in Europe behind London, uncertainties around the future of the UK could well play into Zurich’s hands. Already home to 10 of the world’s largest financial firms, the engineering hubs of tech giants and a giant data centre industry, a local startup scene has emerged attracting talent from amongst the 60,000 students who call the city home. While some will naturally be keen to move into an established household name business when they come out of education, the chance to be a part of something new and exciting is just as attractive to the modern workforce. Zurich offers the best of both worlds. Zurich’s low rate of 3.0% unemployment is on a par with the national average, below that of Basel (3.6%) and Geneva (4.9%) and far better than the European average of 6.8%. The business setup is there to cope, no matter how many people want to call the city home! Sensible city planning Of the 425k people who currently call Zurich home, 68% of them are of working age. That’s 2% above the national average in Switzerland and 3% above European averages. Those may sound like small margins, but in a city that’s seen annual population increases of 1.8% over the past decade, it may look from the outside to be a growing city with limited space to expand. In other regions that could create some serious logistical nightmare — over-urbanisation has a habit of pushing the cost of living way up — however, Zurich isn’t just any other city. The planning department at the City of Zurich recognised this trend well before it became a problem, implementing an active policy to make better use of abandoned industrial sites to provide affordable studio spaces and rehearsal rooms. This has seen great redevelopment in Zurich-West, where the former derelict buildings are becoming lively spaces full of contemporary art. Refurbished shipping containers have become pop-up retail spaces and dingy back streets and railway arches now house some of the most desirable restaurants and cafes in the city. Providing a launchpad While Zurich is home to many large corporate financial services organisations, such as UBS, Credit Suisse, Swiss Re and Zurich Insurance, it’s increasingly becoming known for its positive startup environment. Areas like Kreis 5 provide the perfect spot for coworking, and the many meetups, tech conferences and incubator schemes have helped fuel the thriving startup scene. With the close proximity to those making financial decisions, some for these companies can be expected to break out of startup mode in the coming years. Exactly who it will be is a matter for debate, but there are some strong contenders. Of course, the apple doesn’t fall too far from the tree, and within the financial sector companies such as Advanon and Wefox are attempting to challenge the traditional norms of the industry. The medical folk are arguably even more active when it comes to innovation, with Ava becoming a vital service for women across the world, and Versantis, Xeltis and Cutiss showing strength in the pharma and medical devices field. Whether it’s Selfnation in fashion, ComfyLight in home security, Nezasa in travel or Beekeeper in employee communication, every corner of the city has a potential ‘next big thing’ on its hands. For any company considering where to base their HQ, Zurich surely must close to the top of the list. Make your business move with Swisslinx As a specialist recruitment company providing talent solutions across Switzerland and internationally, we’re proud to stay ahead of the curve when it comes to technology and recruitment trends. With a Zurich base, we are active partners to new startups and larger organisations emerging in the city, and have a thriving network of skilled, vetted candidates ready to make their mark in this market. Find out more about what we offer here.
How is technology impacting healthcare and life sciences? The impact of digital technologies is being felt in nearly every industry around the world, and healthcare and life sciences are no exception. With the advancement of technology accelerating and the costs of software and hardware plummeting – it’s no surprise that the role of tech in healthcare is set to increase in the coming years. So what are the areas you should expect to see growing within the healthcare and life sciences industry? How will Artificial Intelligence have an impact on healthcare and life science? AI has enormous potential for the healthcare and life sciences industry, with machine learning technology poised to radicalise how the market operates. Increasingly intelligent machines can access, interpret and process R&D data that has previously been siloed, allowing for greater personalisation across the industry. This enables researchers to better understand biological information, in turn helping them to develop more targeted – and effective – therapies. We can expect to see automation play a bigger part in drug discovery and development processes, with smart machines learning how to complete routine knowledge work in order to free up human experts for value-added work. Automation can be used to hit key stages – such as hypothesis to target, target to hit – faster, saving time and money for life science organisations. Already we’ve seen Oxford researchers develop AI to diagnose scans for heart disease and lung cancer, and connected devices being used in the homes of patients the world over to feed their data through to care practitioners, creating better monitoring environments and earlier interventions. Blockchain’s global impact on life science and healthcare Blockchain’s use in life sciences and healthcare can lead to enhanced collaboration, traceability, trust and auditability, according to Deloitte, with the data sharing and authentication technology touching functions including clinical trials, claims processing, supply chain management and financial transactions. Blockchain will also have an impact on handling identity, allowing electronic health records to be combined into a single patient record that is shared system-wide without the loss of privacy or security. This will give patients full access to their own data and introduce a less fragmented system of tracking information across different providers. Blockchain can work alongside other technologies, including wearables, to securely collect detailed, real-time medical information from patients that can then be timestamped and made immutable. Blockchain has enormous potential when it comes to streamlining and enhancing communication in the entire life sciences and healthcare ecosystem, but this relies on the adoption and trust of stakeholders – including healthcare professionals, drug developers and patients themselves. The benefits of Virtual and Augmented Reality in healthcare and life sciences Augmented and virtual reality have numerous practical applications within life sciences, most obviously when it comes to allowing patients and professionals to visualise and practice situations in a ‘real world’ setting. Immersive AR and VR tools are already going beyond simple gameplay to more practical, progressive applications. AR and VR technologies will allow people to explore ‘what-if’ scenarios and practice new techniques in a digital reality. From a consumer perspective, digital reality can be used to assist patients to carry out exercise and therapy programmes in the comfort of their own homes. Meanwhile, such technology can help surgeons to prepare for and perform surgery, with German company ApoQlar developing a Virtual Surgery Intelligence tool to render MRI and CT images in 3D. So what does this mean for candidates? The innovation of technology is already beginning to touch so many different parts of healthcare and life sciences it’s clear anyone working within or looking to break into this industry must have a willingness to adapt and take digital developments onboard. Move forward with your healthcare and life sciences career. Contact us to see how we can help, or view our latest jobs. here.