How is Switzerland responding to Covid-19?

Posting date: 09 April 2020
Covid-19 continues to have a stronghold over much of the world, creating uncertainty and change in many markets, not to mention economies and lives. The virus has impacted all of us in one way or another, yet the response to it varies from person to person, country to country. The government has categorised the Swiss situation as “extraordinary”, with a raft of measures put in place to contain the coronavirus as well as protect people, businesses and the nation. So how exactly are the Swiss handling it?

An extraordinary situation with extraordinary measures


Because of the “extraordinary situation” label given to Switzerland’s Covid-19, authorities have been able to take over specific powers from the nation’s cantons and impose measures to restrict conditions in the country. This is the first time these legal provisions have been applied in Switzerland, with new conditions including a ban on all private and public events, and the closure of restaurants, bars, cultural spaces, sporting facilities and schools. Business providing essential services – such as grocery and food stores, pharmacies, post offices and banks – remain open and serving the public.

Recommendations and restrictions


While stopping short of some of the stricter enforcement measures other countries are imposing on its people, Switzerland has issued very clear guidelines to help prevent the spread of coronavirus. These include a recommendation to all citizens to stay at home unless necessary, particularly those who are sick or aged 65 and older, as well as announcing a nationwide ban on gatherings of more than five people. Some individual cantons have taken this further, forbidding over-65-year-olds from leaving their homers outside of specific circumstances. Borders are closed and the message is clear: stay home and be sensible.

Economic support


Switzerland has been a world leader when it comes to supporting its businesses, announcing a CHF20 billion package of emergency loans to support small businesses on March 25 and disbursing more than CHF15 billion to just over 76,000 companies within the first week, prompting Bern to double the initial package. This will provide relief to companies with liquidity problems, allowing those hit by the crisis to defer payment of social insurance contributions temporarily. The measures also apply to the self-employed. The scheme has been viewed to be so successful in terms of efficiency and speed that Swiss banks and government have been liaising with European counterparts to share information on the scheme’s structure. In many cases, business loans have been granted and money made available within 24 hours of completing the simple online application, a level of efficiency that was been widely applauded by the business community.

Like other nations in Europe and worldwide, Switzerland has responded to the economic implications of Covid-19 by offering support to companies whose employees are facing reduced hours due to a lack of work. Currently one quarter of Switzerland’s workers are on reduced hours (short-time working) in a bid for businesses to save costs without making redundancies. Employees are compensated 80% for the loss of income caused by this, with an unemployment insurance fund helping to cover the shortfall.

More testing, earlier


While the rate of cases in Switzerland is high, the nation is proving to be one of the world’s most successful countries in dealing with the pandemic’s later stages. Authorities started in February by testing people who had travelled from high risk areas or had come into contact with an infected person, but this approach intensified as the virus spread. The population is now being tested at a higher rate than any other country and potential cases are being tested earlier, with a strong focus on high-risk groups. This is a more comprehensive strategy than what is being seen in the United Kingdom and elsewhere around the world.

Public sentiment


The vast majority of people in Switzerland are following the government measures, according to a Swiss Broadcasting Corporation survey, with the nation’s sense of civic responsibility ensuring people take the social isolation guidelines seriously. Just under 70% of survey respondents say they are optimistic that Swiss hospitals can cope with the number of patients, with 40% of respondents in favour of relaxing the Government-imposed restrictions. With these restrictions currently extended until April 26, time will tell what other developments will unfold this month and over the course of the year.

Supporting our candidates and clients


While it is too early to say how the coronavirus situation will impact recruitment in Switzerland long-term, we are already feeling some ripples. Contract workers have already been impacted by Switzerland’s closed borders, with some who were preparing to take up contracts in the country now shut out due to not having the required permits. This has led to more recruitment from within the Swiss market, with predictions that permits will be limited post-Covid-19 as a response to increased unemployment. 


Swisslinx has been able to facilitate workers starting on a remote basis under the border closure situation changes, while the Swiss authorities are providing flexibility around the rules applicable to remote workers by allowing them to stay on CH contracts despite working abroad.


Some of Swisslinx’s key clients have offered solutions to ensure workers are paid in full. These include encouraging flexibility for remote work, compensating part of the employer costs in cases of short-time working compensation, and honouring contracts and finding solutions to enable these.

There has been a natural slowdown in recruitment activity in some markets while others are thriving, and the rise of virtual interview tools and techniques has helped to ensure candidates and companies can continue to be active in their search. Meanwhile, as workers around the country adopt to new working-from-home measures, we might see new ways of doing business emerge from this pandemic, bringing new meaning to flexible working.

At Swisslinx, our team is hard at work to ensure our candidates and clients can continue to make contact and work together. For us, it’s business as usual – albeit from home – and we’re always looking to hear from anyone considering their next steps. Contact us here to start a conversation about how we can help.

How to be successful in the final round interview

As a candidate, the final round interview is the last opportunity to show why you’re the best person for the role. What happens in the first interview can be dramatically different from the final round, so that’s why it’s all the more important to prepare thoroughly and expect to be asked some challenging questions. Hiring managers do not often make final round interviews for candidates they’re not serious about. Therefore, when you’re invited to the final round, the hiring manager already knows that you have the skills for the job. What they’re going to be looking for is how you present yourself under pressure and whether you’re a suitable fit culturally for the organisation. Here’s a swift guide for how to give yourself the best chance of succeeding in the final round interview and securing a job offer.    Review the company and position   Once you’ve made it to the final round, you need to make sure you completely understand the position and the company. The final round may be much longer and involve more people. This means that professionals should review the job specifications again beforehand and be prepared for in-depth questions. At this stage, hiring managers want to determine fit and whether or not the candidate is a team-player. Companies will also use a final round interview to learn how you manage deadlines and juggle workloads. Hiring in a pandemic is no easy task, so companies will likely be paying extra attention to detail and focusing on the candidates who show the most potential. This means it’s important that you thoroughly research the company and come prepared with what you like about the company. Having that extra preparation will increase your chances of being offered a role.    Share your knowledge and expertise   While many final round interviews will be based on how you fit into the company or the team, hiring managers will still want to verify your technical skills and competencies. So, it’s crucial that you effectively share your knowledge and expertise during the interview, and quantify wherever possible. This means discussing your key accomplishments and how they were achieved, as well as any notable skills relevant to the role. For example, you might have excellent time management skills, so you will need to explain how these skills have helped you perform. Whether it’s through project management software or your strategic planning, you must show the unique qualities you bring to a company. Also, always show confidence and evidence of all your skills and experience.   Ask the right questions   In the early rounds of interviews, it’s important to ask thoughtful questions, but in the final stage, you’re going to need to show you’ve thought more seriously about what it would be like to work at the company. Therefore, professionals in the final round should ask questions about what the first month on the job would be like and if there will be any training, as well as what the performance expectations will be when you join. These type of questions show hiring managers that you’re already engaged and eager to be a part of the company.   Show your commitment and passion   In the final round, hiring managers will want to ensure candidates are interested in staying for a long period. Arguably one of the best ways to show you’re a committed professional is by discussing your long-term career plans, and how it’s connected to the role you're interviewing for. Hiring managers want to find candidates who have a strong work ethic and have the potential to be high performing. This means you need to demonstrate a passion for the industry and that you’re genuinely interested in this specific field. For a company, the final round interview is all about evaluating a candidate’s characteristics and attitude, so make sure you tell stories of how you solve problems and why you enjoy your work, which will no doubt help you stand out from other candidates.   Are you looking to advance your career?   At Swisslinx, we have a motivated and friendly team of recruitment consultants who are dedicated to building great relationships with clients and candidates. We specialise in recruiting for a varied range of sectors, including financial services, digital and technology, healthcare and natural resources. Our team works to the highest standards and we’re committed to delivering an exceptional recruitment service on a daily basis. If you would like more information on how we can help your career and even prepare for your next role, contact our team today.

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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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