During my time at Leap29 I specialise in pharmaceutical recruitment in Switzerland, for the most part working with CQV and process engineers. During this time, it has become clear how competitive this market can be and why it is such a desirable location for contractors within this industry. Which is why I thought I would share a few tips for Contractor Engineers based on my experience in the pharmaceutical market in Switzerland.
What pharmaceutical skills are businesses looking for?
From experience, one of the main factors a business will take into consideration will be strong language skills, whether that be German or French depending on the specific project they are recruiting for. For example, a candidate can have 10+ years’ experience as an engineer in the pharmaceutical industry, but without a further language skill the business can favour a profile with less experience but with professional knowledge of the required language.
Other requirements to consider for a Process or CQV engineer role, can include such things as experience in design review (P&ID’s), strong communication skills, ability to understand the need of the business in order to provide relevant support throughout the project and a degree in engineering is always preferred.
One last thing to take into consideration, would be due to Brexit a business will no longer consider a British citizen when recruiting for a short-term contract in Switzerland because of the change in visa and work permit requirements.
Why pharmaceutical contractors need to plan ahead
As the number of candidates I speak with increases, it is becoming predominately clear that the most common problem contractors can face is waiting until the last minute when looking for their next project, especially in such a competitive and fast paced market. For example, a candidate may delay talking to a recruiter until a month before their current contract comes to an end, with the impression they will fall straight into a new opportunity.
However, from experience this isn’t always the case. The interview process isn’t as speedy as the candidate may think, sometimes resulting in a situation where they are waiting around for their next project. By speaking with a recruiter earlier on in the process, this can widen the range of opportunities the candidate can consider and create a smoother process when the time comes for them to start in a new role. As already mentioned, the pharmaceutical industry in Switzerland is highly competitive, which highlights the importance of making your profile stand out from the crowd when put in front of our business; the sooner the better!
Let’s talk money…
It's no secret that the cost of living in Switzerland is relatively higher than other locations within Europe. To put into comparison, the cost of food products can be up to 30% higher in Bern, Switzerland compared to London, UK. However, this results in businesses being willing to pay much more competitive rates and salaries, which is why Switzerland is so desirable to contractors.
Another factor into why rates are relatively higher, is due to the fact Switzerland is home to several of the worlds leading pharmaceutical companies, employing approximately 135,000 people. With this being said, it is no wonder why the pharmaceutical industry is so desirable for engineers in Switzerland.
Looking for a new Engineering pharmaceutical opportunity?
If your current contract is due to come to an end in the near future or you would simply like to discuss potential opportunities, please don't hesitate to get in touch and send your CV across to Melissa Reid email@example.com.