Celebrating 20 years at Swisslinx: An interview with Director Colin Tivendale

Posting date: 06 March 2020
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

In a post-pandemic world, which jobs will continue to thrive?

The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on economies and corporations has been dramatic, to say the least. Countries around the world have been forced to grapple with enormous change and adjust to the new normal of remote working, and the increasing use of digital technology. As we move into the post-pandemic world, professionals will have to be more self-reliant and flexible – and seek out the most in-demand roles to future proof their careers. Before the outbreak, the job market was still highly competitive and ever-evolving, but with the pandemic disrupting the landscape, certain roles will grow faster than others. Therefore, it’s time to take a look at the jobs with the highest demand, to help talent leaders and candidates make better decisions post-pandemic.   Cybersecurity roles   Cybersecurity is one of the most in-demand roles in technology. Over the years, cybersecurity job postings have increased dramatically and with the pandemic forcing many companies to adopt a remote working culture, this has posed new security challenges. Research has shown that the number of cyber-attacks in Switzerland during the height of the pandemic was up three times more than normal. Since there are more people now working from home, there’s more data available in the cloud, which means many companies are more vulnerable to attacks. In early 2021, many security bodies in Switzerland were targeted by malicious email that appeared to come from trusted organisations, like the police and banks, further exemplifying that cybersecurity risks have become a huge problem. Therefore, cybersecurity experts will be hugely in-demand and these professionals can look forward to many opportunities in the field.   Data analysts and scientists    Research has shown that by 2025, 97 million new roles will emerge, most of which will be driven by automation and data. In a post-pandemic world, there’s no doubt that businesses will continue to rely on advanced technology to understand the origin of different data sets. This means that data analysts will be highly sought after over the next few years. With more people working remotely and with more technology-based roles on the horizon, the amount of data generated is only going to increase. All of this data needs to be managed and analysed to understand correlations, and to draw meaningful conclusions. Big data is everywhere now and the pandemic has accelerated this shift toward machine learning and smart communication.   Software developers   It’s no secret that Switzerland’s technology scene has become one of the most advanced in Europe, with Zurich standing up as a powerhouse for the country’s digital technology. There’s a great demand for software developers with growing numbers in Switzerland, and research has shown that there was over 155,700 registered software developers in 2019, a figure which has likely grown since. Companies will increasingly need software developers to build the digital infrastructure for their projects in the post-pandemic world. Also, artificial intelligence investment increased during the pandemic, with more companies implementing AI into their products and processes. This means that businesses will need developers with AI skills and experience. And with more people spending time online, the role of developers has become even more crucial for a wide range of businesses.   Why not contact our friendly team of recruitment specialists?   There’s a wide variety of roles set to thrive in the post-pandemic world, but what remains clear is that these jobs will be digital and technology-focused. At Swisslinx, we’re committed to keeping pace with all the changes within the digital and technology markets. Our team of recruitment specialists have years’ of experience in recruiting top candidates, and we’ve built excellent relationships as a result. Whether you’re looking to recruit or are seeking new roles in Switzerland, contact us today to speak to a member of the team. We’re always happy to help. <!--[if !supportLineBreakNewLine]--> <!--[endif]-->

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