Headhunters, Executive Recruiters
and Employment Agencies in and around the City of Geneva, Switzerland
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Finding a Job and Living in Geneva and the Surrounding Area


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Something about History and Geography


Geneva is the second largest city in Switzerland and the largest in the French speaking part of Switzerland. Although, the city itself only has 187,000 people (2010), the Metropolitan area, which includes 220 communities, covers large parts of the Canton of Vaud, almost to Lausanne, the other large university city on Lake Geneva, and stretches into France, has 1,250,000 inhabitants.

The city is the third largest financial center in Europe, after London and Zurich, outranking Frankfurt and Paris. Geneva is a global city. Besides being a financial center, it is also a worldwide center for diplomacy and together with New York, the most important international co-operation center because of the presence of numerous international organizations, including the headquarters of many of the agencies of the United Nations, the WHO, the WTO, the ICRC and the Red Cross. It is the home to over 300 international governmental and non-governmental organizations.

That all comes at a price, since it made Geneva the fourth most expensive city to live in the world, after Tokyo, Osaka and Moscow.

The city was founded by the Celts and became Roman in 58 BC when Julius Caesar defeated the Helvetii. It became an Episcopal seat around 400 AD and its rulers changed many times. At the beginning of the 16th Century, it became one of the Centers of the Reformation. In 1536 John Calvin came to Geneva, became its Protestant leader and its Burgers (the free citizens) declared the City an Independent Republic. During the Vienna Congress (1814), some 15 Savoyard and 6 French communities were added to the territory and in 1815 the Republic and Canton de Geneve became part of Switzerland. Alibaba

Geneva is very compact and the whole Canton only covers an area of 282 km2 (108.9 sq. mi) 105 km of its borders are with France and only 4.5 km, borders directly on the rest of Switzerland. Geneva has excellent urban transport and the Swiss Railway System (SBB-CFF) links the city to the rest of Switzerland. There are also fast direct trains to Milan (SBB-Trenitalia - 3 hrs), Paris (TGV Lyria 3hr05m - also from Lausanne, Neuchatel, Bern and Zurich), Lyon, Marseilles, Nice and Montpellier (TGV Lyria), and Barcelona (TALGO-overnight Pau Casals - Zurich-Geneva-Barcelona) in Spain. This city has a busy airport with direct connections all over the world.

The city has a temperate climate with moderately mild winters, usually with light frosts at night and thawing conditions during the day. Summers are pleasantly warm.


The Post Primary Education System


Geneva has an excellent public (state run, meaning financed through the Cantonal budget and federal funding) education system. The University of Geneva (founded in 1559) is a public research institution and ranks No 73 (2011) in the world (Academic Ranking of world Universities). It ranked 4th in Europe in the field of Molecular Biology and 6th in Physics. The undergraduate degrees are taught in French only and to enter, if you do not have a Swiss Maturity Diploma (passed at 18 or 19), or if you are not educated to the equivalent in a French speaking country, you will have to pass a French language (oral and written) entrance test.

The University of Geneva has about 15,000 students and 3,600 teachers and researchers. 36 percent of the students are foreign. There are many associated specialist schools such as the excellent Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies.

In addition, there are private institutions such as Webster University, an accredited American university which also has a campus in Geneva. The city is home to the Institut International de Lancy (founded in 1903 - Francophone education, ages 3-18 - not a tertiary education institute) and to the International University in Geneva, an International University accredited (ACBSP, IACBE) in the USA (though not in Switzerland), mainly as a business school.There is also the Geneva School of Diplomacy and International Relations another private university (accredited by eduQua - Swiss accreditation) in the grounds of the Château de Penthes.

In addition to university level education, Geneva, like all other Swiss Cantons, offers a sophisticated professional education in almost any area you can think of. The system is based on the Swiss dual education principles which recognizes that a healthy economy requires well educated people at all levels, not just university graduates. At age 15/16, student, who do not go on to university entrance preparation (leading to the Maturite or baccalaureate Examinations) enter apprenticeships (a form of well structured and highly guided internship) for between three and four years with a certified employer. During these years the students will attend specialist schools (Ecole de Commerce or Professional School) and also get trained by their employer. At the end of the fixed training period the student passes a set of exams and gets a Certificat Fédéral de Capacité (CFC) that allows them to go immediately to the labor market and find a job. There is also the additional possibility to obtain a maturité professionnelle (matu pro) which besides the technical/professional side widens their general education.


Types of Recruiters and Finding Employment


We will be using a standard classification for the types of recruiters which we show here. This is as follows:

Headhunters and Executive Search Firms Generally these search firms look on their own for employees at the top level, they want to place. Their targets are Board Members, CEO's, CFO's other first and second level management, high level staff and technical specialists. Only some of these recruiters will accept voluntarily sent CV's. The general rule here is:"We call you, don't call us!" But during hard economic times...... who knows!
Executive Recruiters These search firms will generally accept your unsolicited application. They might also recruit on behalf of companies at all levels, but generally specialize at the technical and middle to higher management levels.
Staffing Agencies (incl. Temp. Agencies) Staffing Agencies will deal with temporary and permanent staff placements. Some of them will recruit managers on a restricted time management (e.g. 6 months or one year), and others will specialize in certain economic sectors.
Internet Recruiters and Job Boards Some internet recruiters and job boards do not have offices you can visit, since their whole operation works over the internet. Most of these recruiters will deal with permanent placements only. Look out for reputable operations!


Headhunters and Top Level Executive Search Firms


Web Site Type of Site Country of Origin, Main Language Remark
Egon Zehnder International Inc
Cours de Rive 10,1204 Genève
Ph:+41(0)22 849 68 68,
Executive Search Firm Swiss,
English, French, German and other languages
Local and International
Privately-held search firm specializing in senior-level executive search, board consulting & director search, management appraisals and talent management across the world. They recruit for the financial services, technology, life sciences and consumer industries.
Korn/Ferry International
61 rue du Rhone,
CH-1204 Genève
Ph+41 (0)22 310 20 71
Executive Search Firm
USA,
English, French, German,
Local and International
The agency specializes in placing executives in technology, life sciences, financial services, and consumer goods. For details, you may view the markets section of their web site
Spencer Stuart
2 Boulevard Jaques Dalcroze,
1204 Genève
Ph: +41 (0)22 312 36 38
Executive Search Firm
USA English, French, German and other languages, Local and International This firm places candidates in the following sectors: Financial services, technology, communications and media, communication systems, semiconductors, software, audit and control, corporate development, investor relations, tax and treasury
Michael Page Geneva
Quai de la Poste 12,
CH 1204 Genève
Ph:+41 (0)22 544 19 00
Executive Search Firm
UK, English, French, German and other Languages, Local and International This recruitment firm has operations in the UK, Continental Europe, Asia-Pacific and the Americas and focuses on the areas of finance, banking, retail, sales & marketing, legal, technology, human resources, engineering, taxation, corporate treasury and consultancy
Alexander Hughes Switzerland
Rue Neuve-du-Molard 5, CH 1204 Genève
Ph: +41 (0)22 319 27 10
Executive Search Firm
France, English, French and other Languages, Local and International This firm recruits executives in the following sectors: Industry, building environment, consumer markets, media and entertainment, financial services, life sciences, energy and process industries, technology, professional services, public/non-profit/education
Christian and Timbers
18 avenue Louis Casai,
1209 Genève
Ph:+41 (0)22 747 75 31
Executive Search Firm
USA English, French, German and other languages, Local and International An executive search firm focusing on CEO, board of directors and senior-level executive assignments. Part of CTPartners
Baron Conseil
11 avenue des Cavaliers
CH-1224 Chêne Bougeries / Genève
Ph: +41 (0)22 860 24 15
Executive Search Firm
Swiss,
English, French, German and other languages
Local and regional
This consulting firm is dedicated to the private banking sector and recruits for upper-level positions
Heidrick and Struggles
4, rue du Conseil-General
Geneva 1204
Switzerland
Ph:+41 22 3222939
Fx:+41 22 3222938 
Executive Search Firm
USA, English, French, German and other Languages
Local and International
The Geneva office lies within the broader Heidrick & Struggles network, and by drawing on expertise from our colleagues around the globe, we are able to tailor the very best team for every leadership advisory assignment – executive search, leadership consulting or services for boards of directors.


The Regional Nature of Recruiters in Switzerland


Swiss executive recruiters and employment agencies are usually locally based. Although the largest of them (e.g. the ones mentioned above) will do searches internationally or across regions, the recruiters shown below will generally limit their searches to the French speaking area of Switzerland (Geneva-Nyon-Lausanne-Fribourg-Neuchatel). Some might even limit their search to Geneva only. Therefore, if you look for a job in Zurich or Basel, or the German speaking area in general, go and look at our Zurich page.


Executive Search Firms and Recruiters


Web Site Type of Site Country of Origin, Main Language Remark
Ethys
Route de Saint Julien 176bis,
CH-1228 Plan-les-Ouates / Genève
Ph:+41 (0)22 706 22 44
Executive Recruiter and Search Firm Swiss,
English,
French, German and other languages
Local and Regional
Ethys is a recruiting agency focusing on directors and specialists
Finders
28 Boulevard du Pont d'Arve,
1205 Genève
Ph:+41 (0)22 328 33 66
Executive Search Firm
Swiss,
English,
French, German,
Local and Regional
A recruitment consultancy that specializes in placing middle to upper-level management professionals in the business, banking/finance, accounting, purchasing, human resources and IT/telecom industries.
Objectif Cadres SA
14 Rue du Mont-Blanc,
1201 Genève
Ph:+41 (0)22 715 00 15
Executive Search Firm
Swiss,
English,
French, German and other languages
Local and Regional
Places candidates in the following sectors: Finance and banking, FMCG, high tech, luxury goods, watchmaking, agri-business, pharmaceuticals and IT
MRI Network / IMAS Executive Search SA
Rue des Vollandes 21,
Genève
Ph:+41 (0)22 840 06 84
Executive Search Firm
Swiss (USA), English,
French,
German
Local and Regional
This firm recruits in all sectors
Jeannet Associates ,
1 Place des Florentins
CH-1204 Genève
Ph:+41 (0)22 817 37 97
Executive Search Firm
Swiss,
English,
French, German and other languages
Local and Regional
Specializes in placements in general management, marketing, communication and sales management roles.
Selectus SA ,
6 rue du Nant,
Case Postale 6495
1211 Genève 6
Ph:+41 (0)22 787 04 60
Executive Search Firm
Swiss,
English,
French, German and other languages
Local and Regional
This firm specializes in placing management professionals in fields such as finance, banking, marketing, communications, human resources and legal
BGMP Benno Gartenmann Management Partners
3 chemin des Tulipiers
CH-1208 Genève
Ph:+41 (0)22 786 09 19
Management Consultant and Executive Search Firm
Swiss,
English,
French, German and other languages
Local and Regional
This is a general management consultancy. Services are available in English, French and German
Contaplus SA ,
Rue de la Rôtisserie 2,
1204 Genève
Ph:+41 (0)22 311 10 03
Executive Search Firm
Swiss,
English,
French
Local and Regional
This recruiting agency specializes in placements for all the accounting and financial functions in Geneva. The web site is only in French; however, some job postings are in English


Something about Languages and looking for a Job in the Geneva Area


Although, knowing language other than English, especially French, will help you greatly in your job search in Geneva, it is not a necessity. Though, it is clear that you will restrict yourself to companies where the company language is English only. But you still have several hundred potential employers at your disposal. Most recently (November 2011), several dozen commodity trading companies have relocated from London to the Geneva area. The traders often do not locate themselves in the city, but rather in villages in the nearby Canton of Vaud (Capital city is Lausanne) within easy reach of Geneva airport.

However, once you have established yourself in Geneva, you should go and learn the language (French) because you will find living there a far more satisfying experience in this most international city.


Web Site Type of Site Country of Origin, Main Language Remark
Portail-emploi
Job Board Swiss,
English, French, German and other languages
Local and Regional
Portail-emploi is an excellent starting point for all the questions related to job search and education (recruiting agencies, online job sites, training, tips, etc.) It includes links to more than 500 websites with access to 20,000 job opportunities. The site is only available in French
Curriculum SA ,
6 Boulevard de la Tour
1205 Genève
Ph:+41 (0)22 708 01 20
Recruiter - all levels
Swiss
French,
Local and Regional
Places employees at all levels, but mainly up to middle management positions. The “salaires du mois” (salaries of the month) section of the web site provides an overview of the level of salaries for specific positions indicating the age of the candidates and the position. However, it is only available in French.
Ajilon
Rue du Grand-Bureau 16,
1227 Genève
Les Acacias
Ph:+41 (0)22 308 10 40
Executive Recruiter
Swiss,
English, French, German and other languages
Local and Regional
Ajilon is a division of Adecco Group, however, they specialize in the recruitment of professionals in Information Communication & Technology, Engineering, Finance, Sales & Marketing.
Anika Jakober SA
14 Cours de Rive
1204 Genève
Ph: +41 (0)22 718 06 20
Executive Search Firm
Swiss,
English, French, German and other languages
Local and Regional
Places upper-level professionals in banking and finance as well as in multinational companies. They also place all other levels of staff in banking and finance, multinational corporations, luxury good and other companies,
Futures Perspectives
Rue Grenus 2,
1201 Genève
Ph: +41 (0)22 731 01 41
Executive Search Firm
Swiss,
English, French, German and other languages
Local and Regional
Their business activities include banking, finance, administration and commercial
Interilum Médical
6 Boulevard de la Tour,
CH-1205 Genève
Ph:+41 (0)22 708 01 30
Executive Search Firm for Medical Staff
Swiss,
English, French, German and other languages
Local and Regional
Interilum Médical specializes in the recruitment of medical professionals.
Passer & Tabet
Regus Business Center
Rue du Rhone 14
1204 Genève
Ph: + 41 (0)22 849 70 70
Recruiting Firm
Swiss,
English, French, German and other languages
Local and Regional
Passer & Tabel specializes in positions in human resources, finance, marketing, purchasing, logistics, organization and office administration
Pemsa
Rue des Charmilles 8
CH-1203 Genève
Ph:+41 (0)22 339 89 90
Executive Recruiter Firm
Swiss,
English, French, German and other languages
Local and Regional
Pemsa offers headhunting and placement services. They recruit candidates in a variety of sectors, such as professional/service, construction, architecture, industrial and electricity.

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