October 2008 Event

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Thomas Deburggraeve

From training to employment: Interview of Thomas Deburggraeve, consultant
by Thierry Dime Bolla

At the end of their studies or trainings, young people are often thrilled to start working and be confronted to the reality of life. They think and hope that they will reach the goal they were dreaming about during their studies and fulfill all their ambitions. A majority will unfortunately be confronted to today’s hard working market where only employees with high qualifications and professional experience have a good chance to find a job. Companies used in the past to employ people just at the end of their studies or training, but today a university degree is not sufficient to satisfy recruiters. This is discouraging for many young people and makes them wonder about the importance of studying versus an apprenticeship as they probably will have a better chance to find a job with a professional experience or training.
In order to have a better understanding of the situation, Education Without Borders has met Thomas Deburggraeve, consultant in Interiman which is a leader company in recruitment for temporary or fixed staff in Switzerland.

Thomas, let me thank you first of all for answering my questions. What is the work of a consultant in a recruiting agency?

We are a service provider and our job is to provide solutions to our clients’ requests. Our agency is specialized in recruiting offices staff, it goes from a receptionist to a director as well as an accountant or an HR representative. The work of a consultant is to try to find the candidate who fits best the clients’ expectations in the shortest time.

This starts from the advertisement for the job opening, the interview and selection of the best candidates as well as dealing with the customer and the briefing and debriefing with the candidates and the clients. There is of course also an administrative part of the job. I like this job because of the various tasks and enrichment on human plan.

Thomas Deburggraeve

According to you, what are employers asking nowadays?

What employers are looking for is above all motivated, dynamic people who are really ready to work hard. However, the working market is today more and more competitive. Since a few agreements were signed with the European community a lot more of qualified workers, with university degrees and speaking several languages are coming to Switzerland. It results into a harder selection and employers are also more demanding. A person with no English knowledge will have a very difficult time finding a job for example.

If we take Geneva as an example, is there a type of activity where someone will have better chance to find a job? If yes, which one(s)?

The type of activities in Geneva depends on the need and other parameters. It is none the lees mainly related to financial activities, even though banking or financial institutions have slowed down due to the stock market and financial crises.

A few companies are opening their European headquarters or branches in the Geneva area. It brings more and more working possibilities to the region.

I must however admit that most of work opening in the region remains related to financial activities.

Thomas Deburggraeve

What tip would you give to young people at the end of their studies or looking for their first job?

I would definitely recommend them to go abroad to learn and practice English which is today not a “plus”, but a ”MUST”. Besides, it is a great life experience to live in a foreign country. I experienced it myself and I can say that it helped me making a good start in my career.

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