Michelle Ewing has been promoted 3 times since joining EMEA nearly 5 years ago and now oversees our Swiss Finance division as Division Director.
You have been working for EMEA Recruitment for almost 5 years, after having recruited in the UK for 9 years previously. What differences did you see moving from the UK market to the Swiss market? How did you approach that change?
Joining EMEA was very exciting and it was the international element that attracted me to the business (other than the great team of course!). The UK market was very fast-paced, as I’d worked as an interim recruiter, so the slower pace in Switzerland took a little adjusting to. The Swiss market is much more refined and thorough. What I find most interesting is the power of network. It was refreshing to work in a country where values of a good relationship are key and it took me very little time to start building a strong foundation within my, now large, network. Taking the time to speak with people about their career search and providing thorough career consultations really helped me to forge good relationships and I take pride in saying that after 5 years of recruiting in Switzerland, I’m still working with those I spoke with when I started my career at EMEA.
Why is EMEA unique?
EMEA is unique, as we have a very different approach to the market. As a business we have over 90 years’ experience in recruiting and we value each relationship within our network. We don’t treat clients or candidates differently. We provide career consultations and extensive interview preparation and believe in long-lasting relationships, which has been proven over the 12 years we have been working in the country. More importantly we listen to the needs of others and provide solutions.
What do you like most about working here?
This is an easy one for me - it’s the people. We have great employees. We all work and believe in our values, which I know makes us stronger together. It’s also refreshing to work for a company where ideas are encouraged and put into practice and you receive support whenever issues arise. Our social events are always fun and memorable!
What’s EMEA Recruitment’s approach to equality?
We’re strong advocates for Women in Business across all sectors. Finance has a lack of females at CFO and Board level so as a business we’re working with international companies to bring awareness and hope to encourage more female promotions within the profession. We have an event scheduled in Amsterdam in May for ‘Women in Finance’ which we’re co-hosting with Heineken, discussing how to be an inclusive leader. We are also planning a similar event for ‘Women in Business’ in Switzerland later this year. Internally we encourage internal promotion and have a strong diverse mix in our Senior Management team, including a number of female Associate Directors.
What changes have you noticed in recruitment needs in the Swiss market in recent months?
AI and machine learning are now beginning to impact finance and HR roles. As processes become automated, a different skillset of employee is required. We have recently launched a new division for BI & Data in Switzerland, in response to the demand that we have seen in the market – recruiting positions such as Data Scientists, Chief Data Officers and BI Specialists. The last 5 years have also shown an increase in interim needs, this has been due to businesses restructuring and a rise in project and transformation work.
What is your biggest career achievement?
My top 3 would be: implementing the values for the business, managing and growing my team whilst continuing to recruit for my network and becoming the first female Division Director in the business.
What are you most looking forward to in the coming year?
The growth of our new BI & Data division, our new podcasts led by our Founder Paul Toms and working with the teams to ensure our success continues.