How tech is changing the way Swiss companies hire
How tech is changing the way Swiss companies hire

How tech is changing the way Swiss companies hire

Many new hires found themselves in limbo. They had successfully gone through the interview process only to start their new jobs from home rather than the office. It was a surreal experience. And for some, it was also frustrating.

26 November 2020

The challenge most new hires face is being visible. They need to be seen so they can demonstrate their value within the firm. But how do you do that when you are stuck at home? If you cannot make a big enough impact when you join, there is a risk that you won’t make it past your probationary period.

From an employer’s perspective this would be terrible. Adding a new hire costs a lot and an early departure represents a significant loss. Subsequently, the way companies are hiring is changing, especially here in Switzerland.

Sourcing candidates requires good technology

In Switzerland, finding talent is tough. There has long been a shortage of skilled workers and the pandemic has exacerbated this problem. The hiring freeze during the lockdown led to a build-up in demand, which unleashed itself once the lockdown ended.

Consequently, it is more important than ever to use technology to find the right candidate. Otherwise, it is like looking for a needle in a haystack. This is where professional recruiters have stepped in.

For instance, apart from job fairs, conferences and meet-ups which are difficult to attend during the pandemic, professional recruiters meetmany top candidates online. Social media platforms like LinkedIn for instance, have allowed their networks to grow far more rapidly and reach further than they would in the physical world. Recruiters can reach out to candidates at any time of day and from any location – there are far fewer barriers than there were before.

Technology is proving to be a game changer for ‘search’

New and powerful sophisticated technologies are now emerging that are set to revolutionise the way recruiters search for candidates. Although still in their infancy, these technologies could radically change the way ‘search’ is conducted in the recruitment industry.

For instance, search bots are being developed, which can crawl through websites and social media accounts to find the perfect candidate. AI algorithms are also being used to analyse data collected by these bots to whittle down a potential hireable universe of candidates that recruiters can target. The beauty of this approach is that data will be collected regardless of whether a candidate is actively searching or not.

The power of the key word search

Key word search tools are another powerful technology that are already being used by some recruitment firms. CVs, social media profiles, web forums and company web pages can be scanned for keywords that can reveal certain qualities about a candidate. At the screening stage of recruitment, it is an extremely powerful tool.

It can reveal the languages they speak and the level of their fluency, which is extremely useful to know in Switzerland. It can also be used to check the level of competencies that a candidate has listed on their CVs.

This technology could even be used to understand the inner psychology of a candidate, by studying their political views and interests to see whether that candidate is a good fit for the company.

The increasing use of psychometric testing

One development that is increasingly being used are psychometric tests. In many cases candidates are assessed even before a formal interview takes place. Employers do this to glean more information about the candidate and understand their strengths and weaknesses in greater depth. It can also help them identify certain qualities and values that a company finds desirable.

The pandemic is likely to increase the use of psychometric testing. Many companies are now managing a more disparate workforce, so the qualities they look for in candidates has changed. For instance, a candidate’s ability to work autonomously in a remote setting might be deemed more favourable than their ability to navigate office politics.

Technology improves the hiring process

Technology is not just changing the way companies hire in Switzerland. It is also enhancing the quality of candidates being hired. It is fair to say that technology is here to stay, here in the recruitment industry.

Luca Semeraro

Head of Badenoch & Clark
Zurich, Switzerland

Follow Luca on LinkedIn