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Old 27.10.2009, 11:14
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recently my recruiter told me...

....that the company he works for (medium sized known recruiter based in UK and Germany) is no longer interested in doing searches for clients in CH. Reason he gave me is that companies here became ridiculously nationalistic..basically hiring Swiss first and firing foreigners first as well.

I also read somewhere that in these tough times most countries take that approach.

Anyone heard similar opinions, thoughts?
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  #2  
Old 27.10.2009, 11:32
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Re: recently my recruiter told me...

Expats in the Kingdom can expect to be fired first. It's the law. No exceptions.
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Old 27.10.2009, 11:34
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Re: recently my recruiter told me...

The word your searching for is Xenophobic. I said it a few months ago I was actually told by one company that they were interested in hiring Swiss Nationals only... wait for it... for a job overseas...
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Old 27.10.2009, 11:44
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Re: recently my recruiter told me...

doesn't surprise me. as economic times get tougher, you'll see more "british jobs for, british workers" mentality.

i guess you could console yourself by knowing that hiring on a non-meritocratic basis will probably lead to the company being less competitive and being responsible for providing fewer jobs in the future versus more meritocratic organisations.
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Old 27.10.2009, 11:55
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Re: recently my recruiter told me...

I don't think it has to do with xenophobia though. I think it is more the mentality that one should look out for ones own citizens first. I.e. when jobs are scarse, make sure that the locals have jobs first before offering jobs to people further away. Nothing strange really, has been done in all times in all parts of the world.


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The word your searching for is Xenophobic. I said it a few months ago I was actually told by one company that they were interested in hiring Swiss Nationals only... wait for it... for a job overseas...
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Old 27.10.2009, 14:48
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Re: recently my recruiter told me...

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....that the company he works for (medium sized known recruiter based in UK and Germany) is no longer interested in doing searches for clients in CH. Reason he gave me is that companies here became ridiculously nationalistic..basically hiring Swiss first and firing foreigners first as well.

I also read somewhere that in these tough times most countries take that approach.

Anyone heard similar opinions, thoughts?
true. also kind of obvious, and only to be expected.

I am surprised people find it sooo outrageous...
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Old 27.10.2009, 14:51
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Re: recently my recruiter told me...

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true. also kind of obvious, and only to be expected.

I am surprised people find it sooo outrageous...

did I say I'm surprised and outraged? where did you get this idea? stating the obvious and merely want to get a feel for how this is experienced by follow EF members perhaps?
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Old 27.10.2009, 15:07
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Re: recently my recruiter told me...

My employer downsized significantly in my area this year and I cannot say that it was at all based on Nationality. There were a lot of policies which I basically agree to: Age, years of employment, family status (children) were all factors that were part of the process to define who had to go. I can imagine that many companies did the same and I would not find it a surprise to see that the expats are above average represented in the group "not so old, not many years of service and no kids to support". So while I can imagine that many people start to fall back into some sort of "tribal" behaviour, the same result could come from some socially friendly policy I would support.

On the hiring side: I am looking very actively for a job and therefore have monitored the Swiss market in the last six months or so. There are simply more candidates around than for example two years ago. Back then many companies were desperate for well educated people and willing to train them to some extent to match the new role. So an engineer could have started a sales career or a software developer could have gone into banking. This year I only got interviews where the match was very close to 100%. Expats usually are a form of compromise: they bring in the knowledge, but do not speak the necessary language, often cost more, usually leave again after some time... all in all on average a worse investment than a local candidate (if one is available easily).

I do not think it is impossible to find a job at the moment, especially in the highly specialized areas like pharma or finance. But that a head hunter decides that the chance is so low that it is not worth the hassle says a lot.
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  #9  
Old 27.10.2009, 15:19
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Re: recently my recruiter told me...

Meanwhile, some companies are having extreme difficulty in finding competent employees here for some of the more specialist tasks. For example, mine had to bring in an IBM expert from Portugal because there were none available here it seems...
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Old 27.10.2009, 15:42
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Re: recently my recruiter told me...

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There were a lot of policies which I basically agree to: Age, years of employment, family status (children)

How do age or number of children relate to competence in performing the job?
Any company pursuing HR policies you listed will eventually regret it. At least their shareholders will.
Unless you're working in the public sector.

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Old 27.10.2009, 16:19
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Re: recently my recruiter told me...

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How do age or number of children relate to competence in performing the job?
Any company pursuing HR policies you listed will eventually regret it. At least their shareholders will.
Unless you're working in the public sector.

I have to agree, I have not seen this kind of selection process here, and I worked for a swiss company that laid of many thousands of people (can you guess which one lol) the criterea seemed to be
1. most expensive - contractors, not permie's or manager!
2. most knowledgable
3. those that didn't have friends in high places
4. anyone else (not swiss or managers)
5.(and last) swiss

and it was easy to see why the company was / is in so much trouble.

It was also an eye opener that so many managers kept there jobs, even when they had lost all there staff.
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Old 27.10.2009, 16:34
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Re: recently my recruiter told me...

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[SIZE=2]How do age or number of children relate to competence in performing the job?
Assuming equal competence, it would be reasonable (IMHO) to also look at age and dependents.
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  #13  
Old 27.10.2009, 16:35
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Re: recently my recruiter told me...

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How do age or number of children relate to competence in performing the job?
Any company pursuing HR policies you listed will eventually regret it. At least their shareholders will.
Unless you're working in the public sector.

I have seen this one coming... I wrote "were part of" the process. So the company did not just keep "old idiots with many children", but when there were two employees with similar performance and competence, the company decided to fire the one who would be more flexible to find another job (even in another Swiss city which seems to be a major move for most Swiss). I personally believe that the company will regret it anyway as this will lead to a very unhealthy age distribution... but on the other hand I do agree that some colleagues with two babies and a wife which cannot work as she currently has to take care of them would be hit harder with uneployment than a "DINK" expat.
I know that many people on this forum, especially with cultural background from the US (and partly the UK), will disagree with this and think only of the share-holder value, but I personally believe that stakeholders in a company are more than just a resource. And some age groups might be highly motivated by being offered higher job security instead of that extra bit of bonus.
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Old 27.10.2009, 16:47
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Re: recently my recruiter told me...

There was a once a boat race between The Company and The Competition.

Both teams practised long and hard to reach their peak performance and
on the big day they were as ready as they could be.

The Competition won by a mile.

The Company team was very discouraged about this. Senior management
decided that the reason for the crushing defeat had to be found and a
working party was set up to investigate the problem and recommend
appropriate action.

Their conclusion was that whereas The Competition team had eight
people rowing and one steering, the Company team had one rowing and
eight steering.

So the senior management immediately hired a firm of Top Consultants to
do a study on The Company team's structure. Millions of pounds and
several months later they concluded that 'there were too many people
steering and not enough rowing'.

To prevent losing to The Competition team the next year, The Company
team structure was changed to three 'Assistant Steering Managers', three
'Steering Managers', one 'Executive Steering Manager' and a 'Director of
Steering Services'.

A performance and appraisal system was set up to give the person rowing
the boat more incentive to work harder.

The next year, The Competition won by two miles.

As a result, The Company sacked the rower for poor performance, sold off
all the oars, cancelled all capital investment for new equipment and halted
the development of a new boat.

The money saved was used to fund senior management's performance bonuses.
.
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Old 27.10.2009, 16:59
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Re: recently my recruiter told me...

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How do age or number of children relate to competence in performing the job?
Any company pursuing HR policies you listed will eventually regret it. At least their shareholders will.
Unless you're working in the public sector.
I've worked for quite a number of different employers. Many of them would keep especially older people who had been with the company for a long time, but weren't much good anymore otherwise.

I used to very much disliked this policy, but have since become to appreciate it. I mean, as people get older, some just can't keep up anymore. If you put a 50-year-old with low qualifications by current standards on the street, what are they going to do? They'll most certainly end up depending on government aid. By keeping them employed, the company basically contributes to society by not making a person become a burden to everyone.
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Old 27.10.2009, 17:04
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Re: recently my recruiter told me...

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I've worked for quite a number of different employers. Many of them would keep especially older people who had been with the company for a long time, but weren't much good anymore otherwise.

I used to very much disliked this policy, but have since become to appreciate it. I mean, as people get older, some just can't keep up anymore. If you put a 50-year-old with low qualifications by current standards on the street, what are they going to do? They'll most certainly end up depending on government aid. By keeping them employed, the company basically contributes to society by not making a person become a burden to everyone.
As an individual, I can appreciate this and it appears to be typical of 'Germanic' work cultures.

As a shareholder or colleague, I'd rather have competent people working in my company, or working with me.
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Old 27.10.2009, 17:09
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Re: recently my recruiter told me...

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I've worked for quite a number of different employers. Many of them would keep especially older people who had been with the company for a long time, but weren't much good anymore otherwise.

I used to very much disliked this policy, but have since become to appreciate it. I mean, as people get older, some just can't keep up anymore. If you put a 50-year-old with low qualifications by current standards on the street, what are they going to do? They'll most certainly end up depending on government aid. By keeping them employed, the company basically contributes to society by not making a person become a burden to everyone.
I also dislike this policy, but I reckon in 30 years time, I'll grow to appreciate it!
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Old 27.10.2009, 17:35
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Re: recently my recruiter told me...

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I used to very much disliked this policy, but have since become to appreciate it. I mean, as people get older, some just can't keep up anymore. If you put a 50-year-old with low qualifications by current standards on the street, what are they going to do? They'll most certainly end up depending on government aid. By keeping them employed, the company basically contributes to society by not making a person become a burden to everyone.
Just for the record, this was absolutely not the situation I am describing. Not only are the people in my department all educated, I do not believe that companies are welfare institutions. But giving those who need it the most a bit more job security is a strong motivator and everybody who has worked at a company that has just went through job cuts knows how important motivation is (always, but especially then).
I have seen some older colleagues who can easily outperform most youngsters thanks to their knowledge, connections and experience. However, some older colleagues tend to become "company blind" and do things for the sake of a process "that has always been like this". I have no problems to fire constant underperformer. That companies in Germany keep employees with more than a decade no matter how useless some have become is not "germanic culture" - if you believe that Germans are not efficient I wonder how the country has become what it is today... it simply is the legal situation: It is basically impossible to fire them. This is the other extreme and I am happy that Switzerland is not there and probably never will be.
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Old 27.10.2009, 20:57
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Re: recently my recruiter told me...

The company I work for is going through a smallish redundancy process. I've not seen any Swiss nationalistic approach to the headcount reduction. Formally and informally, it is based on performance and job relevancy. It's also taken in consideration, which functions can be nearshored and which ones are required to be Swiss based.

The company I'm talking about is 100% Swiss.

So no xenophobia perceived, at least on my side of things.
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Old 27.10.2009, 21:05
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Re: recently my recruiter told me...

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If you put a 50-year-old with low qualifications by current standards on the street, what are they going to do? They'll most certainly end up depending on government aid. By keeping them employed, the company basically contributes to society by not making a person become a burden to everyone.
Actually they are un-contributing to society, by providing protection to someone that has not done any effort to keep updated and valuable. Its everyone's responsibility to be useful and to keep on being useful in whatever one does. If you become obsolete, its most probably your fault. Should companies reward that kind of attitude and lifesyle? Certainly not. These people should be fired and retrained, privately or with government support.

If you support this kind of attitude, you are sending a very dangerous message to younger people.

Last edited by flavio; 27.10.2009 at 23:28.
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