2020 did not follow any previously established pattern in the Swiss recruitment world.
In Q1, we already had started seeing some drop-off in candidate movement related to APAC and the (at the time distant) pandemic. Q2 was an interesting moment. The Swiss employment market slowed almost to a halt in some key sectors, but the underlying caution at the regional level ensured that it never felt catastrophic. Key positions and some essential contract/project roles contributed to movement in the employment market.
Q3 saw some recovery, as the realisation that some sectors were performing well versus the essential restructuring in others set in. Thankfully, the budgeting season we have historically seen always increase recruitment activity came back, albeit later (mid, rather than beginning of, November). We can speculate quite confidently that some essential headcount had to be approved, and in some cases fixed-term contracts replaced permanent positions as a (hopefully) temporary measure.
So, what of 2021? A useful indicator EMEA Recruitment uses at year-end is January performance. If January continues as busily as December, then we can predict at least a good first half of the year, as companies catch up with recruitment moves replacing or backfilling from the moves at the end of the preceding year. It is necessary to add a caveat here, though. Many clients remain apprehensive about the potential end date of lockdown, as well as the economic repercussions, which some feel we have yet to see.
Regardless, we can all agree these are exciting times, and recruitment requirements in Finance in Switzerland remain unpredictable. We certainly hope to see focus gradually swing back to technology (automation and predictive analytics) and how this can improve the efficiency of international Finance functions.
We would love to hear about your experiences in 2021 so far and how you think the pandemic may impact your recruitment processes moving forwards. Contact our Director - Finance, John Bower, on firstname.lastname@example.org to discuss further or for any assistance with your recruitment needs.