With 16 years’ experience working in digital agencies and hiring for digital and tech roles, our recently appointed Swiss MD, Charlotte Vitoux spoke to us about the current state of the market in Geneva, where she is based.
One of the main current recruitment trends, accentuated by the pandemic, is a growing demand for interim managers to work across a range of digital and tech projects. “Thankfully the Swiss market is holding its own but clients are understandably looking for interim solutions given the uncertainty about the future, so they don’t really want to take any risks,” says Vitoux. “That said, they still need to deliver in the short term so senior level interim managers who can provide flexibility and the right digital experience is precisely what they need.”
Given the nature of the work, organisations seek true technical experts in their fields. The hot areas of demand are in data and digital transformation and change management as well as UX, UI, and CX specialists. Cybersecurity, ERP and e-commerce expertise are also sought by everyone. But as Vitoux stresses, “Although in demand, tech professionals need to accept that the market is difficult, so they must be willing to take on temporary assignments, which are exciting and challenging.”
Experience and evidence of entrepreneurship outside their day job is also well regarded by employers. “Clearly candidates need to stand out to boost their employability. One of the ways they can do this is by demonstrating other interests, perhaps a side hustle. This shows that they are agile, commercially minded, strategic and willing to step out of their comfort zones. Having the right attitude is critical – the more well-rounded an individual you are, the greater your chances of landing that next assignment, especially in the present climate.”
Having a sound knowledge of French and English is also important in such a multicultural and cosmopolitan city. “Although candidates are expected to have an excellent grasp of both languages, much depends on the company. For some English will be the predominant language, so you’ll be working in English but using French outside of work for example. Most of our candidates are European so will have good language skills.”
The other big benefit for tech and digital jobseekers is the enviable work-life balance and quality of life. “It’s truly fantastic here in Geneva – as a friend of my mine said, my evenings are like my weekends and my weekends are like my holidays,” adds Vitoux, a yoga teacher and mountaineer in her spare time. “The people here are so relaxed, they’re very focused at work but then kick back afterwards. It’s heaven for anyone who loves hiking, swimming and the big outdoors. The countryside is less than a 10 minute drive away from the city centre!”
Charlotte’s top tips for digital and tech jobseekers
- Be open minded/flexible to interim roles
- Upskill and keep learning/refreshing skills
- Adopt a proactive and inquisitive mindset
And advice for hiring managers…
- Consider people from outside your industry
- Interpersonal are as important as technical skills
- Be bold and courageous in your hiring decisions!
If you’re looking for your next interim digital or tech assignment or for an informal chat, you can contact Charlotte at email@example.com or call +41 22 807 04 38.