MRINetwork® Conducted its 2013 Human Resources & Candidate Survey

Quality Candidates Still Difficult to Find in German-Speaking Switzerland Despite 4 Percent Unemployment Rate as Revealed in Recent Survey of Hackmann Search + Partner

November 14, 2013 // // Hamburg, Germany - New data from Hackmann Search + Partner, reveals several challenges for employers trying to locate quality candidates in Switzerland, despite the approximate four percent unemployment rate. The executive search firm and affiliate of MRINetwork®, recently conducted its 2013 Human Resources & Candidate Survey, focused on gaining greater insight about recruitment and retention practices in the German-speaking region of Switzerland. The survey, which polled 210 executive, managerial and professional candidates, as well as 104 human resources professionals on the 2013 hiring landscape, found that compensation, ageism and lack of succession planning are major factors inhibiting recruitment and retention, even though over 50 percent of candidates are considering cutting ties with their employers.

German-speaking Switzerland companies are realizing that recruitment of top candidates is increasingly difficult in the rebounding economy. Surveyed human resources professionals report their top three concerns include finding qualified staff, employee retention and the ability to offer competitive compensation. Surveyed candidates who indicated they would consider changing jobs noted the top three factors in their decision are increased responsibilities, the ability to work in a less political company culture and higher compensation. It appears that employers are becoming more aware of these concerns, resulting in a growing focus on succession planning, staff retention and recruitment of talent.

"It is becoming increasingly apparent that the low unemployment rate in Switzerland does not provide a complete picture regarding the employment landscape and hiring trends in the region,” says Andrew Travers, managing partner of Hackmann Search + Partner. “A growing number of companies are challenged to recruit and retain quality talent. The 2013 Human Resources & Candidate Survey has helped us gain insight from candidates about what is causing these challenges, so that we can better advise clients on the driving forces behind attracting, hiring and keeping top performers."

Additional conclusions from the Hackmann Search + Partner survey include:

  • Many employees do not feel confident about their job status, income or responsibilities. They complain of missing communication links, not just in terms of feedback or praise from managers on job performance, but also regarding the company’s performance and profitability.
  • 40 percent of applicants say they are stressed at work frequently during each week or several times a month.
  • 50 percent of candidates felt their companies would not be likely to hire mature workers over 60.
  • Companies not located close to a major city are experiencing issues with filling apprenticeships, lower-level technical and factory positions.
  • The line between candidates who are passive and those who are actively seeking is quite fine. Many will stay waiting for “promised changes in responsibilities”. The active job seekers are getting ready to depart, for them it has never been easier to “click and apply” for their new role. Yet few HR professionals or hiring managers are adopting a different process for the passive and active job seeker.
  • None of the companies surveyed said they had a plan specifically in place to recruit or employ those over 50.

According to Travers, “There is a growing trend of employers recognizing the unemployment numbers do not reflect the ability to recruit and retain candidates in the executive, professional and managerial arena. Companies that are aware of this trend are taking proactive measures to uncover and address the motivating factors for employees who lack job satisfaction and candidates seeking new roles. Businesses that recognize the importance of using this approach to hire exceptional management candidates will be better positioned to move their companies forward.”

About the 2013 Human Resources & Candidate Survey

The 2013 Human Resources & Candidate Survey was conducted between August 26th and September 30th in 2013 via a web-based survey for candidates and phone surveys for human resources professionals. A total of 314 candidates and human resource professionals responded.

The survey was conducted by Hackmann Search + Partner and compiled by Andrew Travers (41.44.380.32.72 | of Hackmann Search + Partner. Parties interested in viewing the report can download the study at: /media/255255/2013-Q4-German-Speaking-Part-of-Switzerland-HR-Candidate-Survey-AT1113Final.pdf.

About Hackmann Search + Partner

Hackmann Search + Partner, founded in 1999 specializes globally in providing management staff and recruiting services for a wide range of industries. Our clients include small to mid-size firms as well as Fortune 500 companies.

As an affiliate of MRINetwork®, we enable you to access one of the largest talent pools and a broad range of services to meet your hiring goals.

About MRINetwork®

Management Recruiters International, Inc., branded as MRINetwork®, is one of the largest executive search and recruitment organizations in the world. A subsidiary of CDI Corp. (NYSE:CDI), a global provider of engineering & technology solutions and professional staffing services, MRINetwork has approximately 600 offices in 35 countries. Visit MRINetwork at For franchising opportunities, visit



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Management Recruiters International, Inc., branded as MRINetwork®, is one of the largest executive search and recruitment organizations in the world.


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