Banks, News, Workplace

Swiss resiliency ?

Signs indicate that previous Swiss resiliency to European troubles is now wearing off.

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Advice, Economy, Human Resources, News

How to Keep your Job in Switzerland

Over the past 12 months, unemployment rose over 50%. In 2012 roughly 90,000 will be cut in CH. Here are some tips to keeping your job in Switzerland.

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Human Resources, Miscellaneous, News

The Invisible Promotion

There is an increased workload for those who survived cuts and downsizing. This is the world of the ‘invisible promotion,’ where you keep your job but have to do as well a part of your fired colleague’s or dismissed boss’s...

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Current Events, Economy, Miscellaneous, News, Procedures

Multinationals Reconsider Switzerland

According to a SwissHoldings survey conducted in 2009 across 80 of the largest multinational groups operating in Switzerland, there is considerable anxiety and uncertainty over the degradation of working conditions and ‘standard of living’ in general. The erosion of banking secrecy is no the only illness affecting the health of the Swiss economy. Switzerland is [...]

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Applying for jobs, News

Job Applications – Evolution in the Swiss Marketplace

With the fall in the number of job vacancies in Switzerland and the rise in the number of job seekers, the job application process has become more labyrinthine and delicate. To stand out and succeed in getting an interview and ultimately getting a job offer, much more effort and attention to detail is required. Increased labor supply and decreased demand have resulted in company HR stafff and recruiters becoming much more strict in their requirements.

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Banks, News, Workplace

Swiss resiliency ?

Posted on 27 December 2012

Signs indicate that previous Swiss resiliency to European troubles is now wearing off.

On the one hand, Swiss residents are caught between the hammer and anvil of dropping salaries (and higher unemployment) from cheaper labor entering Switzerland from neighboring EU countries and rising cost of living, principally from enormous inflation in housing costs, health insurance premiums, and transport costs. The result has been a steep decline in the standard of living of Swiss residents since the introduction of the bilateral agreements ushering in labor mobility and removal of border controls.

And the latter has also engendered substantial costs for middle and lower class residents, who bear the major impact of the steep increase in criminality.

The construction industry, which was doing well through most of 2012 has now slowed as banks are toughening their criteria for new real-estate loans. The Swiss National Bank’s maintenance of artificially low rates, combined with aggressive creation of new money (mainly to buy up euros and dollars to manipulate the Swiss Franc exchange rate) has fueled a real-estate asset bubble as investors seek to shelter liquid assets from the inflation caused by monetary policies.

Statistics from Q3 and Q4 of 2012 show continued increases in unemployment – where the term is defined as those unable to find employment – throughout the major urban areas.

The largest contraction in 2012 has been the financial and banking sector, hard hit by multiple assaults on banking secrecy and scandal. The sector continues to downsize and adapt to a new emerging paradigm.

The sector that continues to outperform in Switzerland is the luxury industry, with expensive watches and jewelry defying any possible strengthening of the Swiss Franc. The luxury sector added jobs during 2012 and is expected to continue to grow in 2013, a result of growing markets in Asia and emerging economies.

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Current Events, Economy, Residency

Rising Immigration Causes Rents to Rise in Geneva

Posted on 13 December 2009

geneva_housingHousing prices across the entire lake leman region, from Geneva to Montreux, are rising eith the influx of foreigners seeking work in the Romandie area. Higher unemployment in neighboring France, Italy, and Germany have resulted in substantial increases immigration of workers seeking jobs in Switzerland. The National Bank of Switzerland (BNS) recently published a study of the trend, linking the wave of immigration to rising property prices and rents. The BNS is one of many government organs or agencies whose federal workers have lifetime employment with indexed salaries.

According to a report by Wuest & Partner, over the past 3 years, rents have risen by more than 10% in Geneva, Lausanne and Zurich. Across all of Switzerland renters appear to have been the most penalized by the trend of rising property prices. In Switzerland only one third of households are property owners.

Geneva, Lausanne, Vevey, Aigle, Zurich and Lugano are among the 10 regions with the strongest rise in the number of resident foreigners. According to the OFS (the federal bureau of statistics) the trend has accentuated steadily over the past 4 years, with 2008 the year with the largest wave of immigration since statistics were collected. The immigrants came mainly from neighboring European countries.

The BNS however refrained from venturing a precise quantitative relation between the flux of new immigrant workers and the extent of the rise in rents. Rather, they limited their conclusions to anodyne observations on the ineluctable relationship between supply and demand.

The Europeans who have moved to Switzerland over the past several years have occasionally chosen to purchase their lodgings, in which case their purchases have influenced the rising prices of small multifamily houses or villas or apartments.

A percentage of the new immigrants do not seek residence in the urban centers but rather in small tax shelter cantons like Schwytz or Zug. There has been a substantial rise in the already high property prices in Zug resulting from the phenomenon of European immigrants seeking fiscally advantageous domiciles. It has forced a substantial number of indigenous residents out of the town because of the rising prices.

According to the BAK in Basel, the property shortfall in the affected areas will result in a drop of roughly 20% in available properties for purchase or rent, causing further rises in property prices and rents.

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Economy, Employment Contracts, Insurance

Swiss Labor Market Remains Tense

Posted on 07 December 2009

swiss_labourThe Swiss employment market continued to deteriorate in the 3rd quarter with some sectors of the economy struck harder than others. The most jobs were lost in the luxury industries and watch making sector with the unemployment rate skyrocketing nearly 300% in a period of 12 months. Also the number of unemployed increased by roughly 150% over the same 12 month period. Workers in energy and real estate saw the number of their unemployed double over the past year.

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Economy, I.T., Job Offers

Full employment for IT professionals

Posted on 29 November 2009

job_it_specialistThe recent development of social networks is symptomatic of the trends toward permanent connectivity and total IT immersion. In this new context, Web 2.0 is creating a growing space of new services essentially without limits. Content is disseminated by all kinds of networks at higher and higher bandwidth.

But in order for our economies and societies to enter this new networked phase — « always on » — there are several conditions which must be satisfied.

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Employers, Luxury Industry

Luxury Brands Reduce Staff

Posted on 12 April 2009

luxzury_brandsThe luxury and watchmaking industries are undergoing some strong setbacks from slowing orders and several luxury brands have begun letting go employees. Top companies already began shedding jobs last autumn. Nonetheless, as often happens in downturns, some companies are also hiring as well. The paradox is that companies look at the business downturn as an opportunity to better optimize the company competitive position, firing less performing staff and hiring others. Continue Reading

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Banks, Current Events, Geneva, Workplace

HSBC to move into new office complex at Geneva airport

Posted on 14 March 2009

In Geneva, HSBC will be moving over 1000 of its employees to a new business center in Blandonnet near the Geneva Cointrin Airport, a new office complex which is expected to become an important concentration of jobs in the canton of Geneva.

Already several top brand name companies have set up offices there, among them Ralph Lauren, IBM, L’Oréal, and the TCS. HSBC will begin the big move next year. HSBC will thus be regrouping a total of 1300 jobs in the new complex. HSBC employs more than 2000 staff in Switzerland, of which approximately 1550 are located in Geneva.

One of the directors of HSBC Switzerland, Claude Brodard, remarked that every year, HSBC Switzerland has added between 150 and 200 new professional jobs. In 2008, which was a bad year for most, HSBC Switzerland grew by 17% over 2007.

HSBC Bank Switzerland to move in 2010Currently HSBC is spread out over 12 different sites in Geneva: there are 530 employees in the offices on rue de Lausanne, 210 more in the HSBC building on rue Montbrillant, 160 additional employees in the stately offices on quai General Guisan which look out over the lake, another 160 jobs are in the rue des Noirettes complex which also houses UBS, still another 140 jobs are located in the premises on quai Wilson on the Eaux Vives side of the lake, 130 workers are in other ‘main offices’ at rue Alfred Vincent, and finally another 300 employees are dispersed over offices at rue de la Synagogue, place Longemalle, quai Mont Blanc, rue du Rhone, and rue de la Navigation.

Pictet Bank had a similar problem years ago, which it solved by building a huge office complex in Acacias. Mirabaud also consolidated, regrouping all its jobs in one premises one Plainpalais.

Evidently, HSBC’s decision to move over a 1000 jobs to the new Blandonnet center near the airport has overjoyed the developers RI Realim, who had considerable difficulties filling it. The 30,000 square meter center is now headquarters for companies like Gillete, Procter & Gamble, Verisign, Bacardi, and some NGO’s.

The third building of the center – the one in which HSBC will move – has not yet been completed. Already 75% rented by its agent SPG Intercity, the new building housing HSBC will also be home to L’Oréal, which is regrouping 200 jobs there. Transocean – the American oil drilling firm—will be settling its career professional in the same building.

The new office center will house a total of 4500 workers, meaning Blandonnet will extend over more than 85,000 square meters. The center is putatively equipped with high tech cabling infrastructure, as well as modern central heating and ventilation, which means windows that don’t open.

Apparently HSBC HQ in London carefully studied the proposal, worried over the proximity of the huge oil storage drums nearby, one of which exploded in 2005, but they concluded that there was no danger. Beginning in mid 2010, HSBC’s staff will move to the new premises, which can accommodate up to 1270 employees. The Bank is said to have paid between CHF 500-600 the square meter for the new office space, which means a yearly rental price of roughly CHF 10 million, a lot of money for offices with windows you can’t open. The Bank expects to economize at least 10% in comparison with current costs attendant on 12 dispersed office locations.

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Work in Switzerland, information about salaries

Posted on 23 February 2009

“What salary should I request for a job in Switzerland?” — it’s a question a lot of people from outside Switzerland try to answer. Salaries in Switzerland are higher than elsewhere? Myth or reality?

Most surveys estimate that salaries in Switzerland for skilled workers are generally two or three times higher than in most other European countries. In 2006, the salary in Switzerland averaged 5674 Swiss Francs, it’s approximately 68k Swiss francs per year. So, Switzerland has a relatively high level of pay. However, the Swiss cost of living is also very high compared with countries in the EU.

For job positions like executives, experts, managers and specialists, the average salary ranges from 4700 (Hotels, Restaurant…) to 11,220 Swiss francs (banking and financial sector). The most qualified earn almost 7400 Swiss francs, averaging all sectors of activity together.

In 2006, the best salary was on the banking and financial sector but with the global economic crisis and recessionist tendencies, probably the average salary will go down. Though it isn’t certain since a lot of banks have been giving out bonuses during the crisis. Top management may have some trouble but since they earn a lot more than any employers one can’t predict the future salary in this sector.

salaries in Switzerland

You can’t convert you’re current salary to swiss francs, indeed… it’s the same job but you must take into account the cost of living in Switzerland. Your net pay will be higher in Switzerland than in France: all social security deductions – pension systems, unemployment insurance represent 13-15% of the salary and it’s about 23% in France.
In Switzerland, payroll taxes related to health insurance are paid in full by the company but you have to pay your contribution to health insurance (LaMal)… it’s mandatory so you need to purchase one.
Between 2005 and 2006, the salary has increased in Switzerland by 0.1% (all professions and sectors). Maybe you think, it’s the crisis in 2008 so we can use this statistics of the SFO (2006). Actually it’s right; some studies indicate for 2008 a pay increase of 2.6% over the previous year.
The government has made available on Internet some tools to calculate salary for a region
Salary in Geneva
Average Salary in Switzerland
If you’re a job seeker looking for an opportunity in Switzerland feel free to upload your CV on

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