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Consultant Time: Tracy Verblis, Senior Consultant from Zurich Reflects on Key Business Areas and Top Sought-after Skills in 2014

Friday 14 February 2014 by

How has your 2014 begun and your outlook for the rest of the year.

It has been a busy start to 2014 in contrast to a quiet run up to Christmas. Candidates are renewing searches as the New Year brings with it a desire for change and new opportunities. The majority of clients are busy with the 'review' and 'bonus' period coming up. I expect it to get even busier from March onwards.
It will be interesting to see how the recent Swiss vote to limit the flow of workers across its borders will impact our recruitment business, with a number of international and European candidates still seeking an entry into Switzerland the future of finance recruitment in Zurich may prove a tough market!


What are your key/top executive search business areas at the moment?


At present compliance and risk are certainly key areas. Wealth management continues to offer some interesting opportunities whilst Trust is definitely in decline. We currently have some interesting openings for business developers but clients are very demanding and targets are high in the majority of cases. In Asia the Trust market is very active, corporate trust in particular.


What are the 5 top sought after skills?

  1. Language skills - Multilingual candidates are very sought after
  2. Good presentation and communications skills - the ability to articulate and express yourself clearly and confidently
  3. Team spirit - clients want a candidate that will fit in well, someone who has the ability to work well with colleagues, managers, subordinates etc
  4. Motivation - A good positive attitude and a will to succeed, motivation to grow and work hard to ensure success
  5. Adaptability and Flexibility - 'That's not in my job description' is a phrase that doesn't wash well with most employers


What is your top advice to candidates in today's market?

Patience! The process of finding the right role takes time.
Ensure your CV is up to date and includes all relevant information about prior experience, qualifications etc. Be open to ideas and flexible with regard to your expectations. When it comes to interview stage preparation is key. It is a very competitive market right now and clients demand the best. Ensure you understand the requirements, the nature of the business and what is expected of you. Research as much as possible so that you are prepared for all eventualities that may arise.

Describe your perfect job seeker

A good communicator is important for me. Someone who will call back and return emails and keep me informed of ongoing proceedings. Particularly when interviews have been arranged. Good experience combined with good qualifications are essential but also a good personality and a good attitude will help to ensure the candidate is remembered when that all important role lands on my desk.

Any additional comments

Switzerland is an attractive jurisdiction being centrally placed in Europe and amenable to a number of European countries.  It has an excellent work life balance and plenty to do for professionals and those with families.