With a strong and stable economy, Switzerland has attracted many companies that have chosen to open subsidiaries here or establish their headquarters. Due to the favorable tax system for developing a competitive and strong business environment, Switzerland is not only a suitable business location for large multinational corporations, but also for small and medium-sized businesses, which make up the vast majority of companies established in Switzerland.
According to a ranking made by Great Place to Work, a firm specialized in conducting employee surveys and cultural analysis in companies all around the world, 29 companies were chosen in 2017 as the best companies to work for in Switzerland. Regardless of the size of the company or the salary paid, most Swiss employees are mostly interested in companies that have a strong and motivational work culture.
Best companies to work for in Switzerland - large companies (250+ employees)
It should come as no surprise that Google holds the top spot with 2.000 from 75 countries. Located in Zurich, the Swiss division of Google is already seen as a developing tech hub and it’s the largest Google development center outside of the USA, according to Patrick Warnking, the Country Director of Switzerland.
Second place is taken by Sensirion AG, a company with 524 employees that operates in the manufacturing and production of electronics industry. The company was founded in 1998 as a spin-off from the ETH Zurich. The company employs people in several countries, but the headquarters are located near Zurich, where research, development and production are made.
Hilti Aktiengesellschaft with 1639 employees is ranked third. The company is specialized in manufacturing and production of machinery and equipment. With a global presence, in more than 120 countries, the company is a strong player in its field. Hilti AG was founded in 1941 in Liechtenstein by the brothers Martin and Eugen Hilti and started expanding in other countries in the 1970.
On the 4th and 5th places are two international corporations, IKEA AG, respectively McDonald’s Suisse. The retail chain IKEA has more than 2700 employees in Switzerland, while the food chain McDonald’s has more than 7200 employees. Although the jobs offered by these two companies are not the most well paid ones, employees do appreciate the fact that there are several career opportunities available even for those who are starting from entry level positions.
Other companies that made it into the top were SAP AG, Smith & Nephew and H&M.
Best companies to work for in Switzerland – medium sized companies (50-249 employees)
The first position is occupied by a pharmaceutical company, Mundipharma Medical Company. This is a local company, based in Basel and having only 50 employees. The core areas of Mundipharma Medical Company are pain therapy and palliative medicine, disinfection and wound treatment as well as the asthma therapy. The company is regarded as the market leader in the field of oral opioid therapy for severe pain.
Second position is occupied by another pharmaceutical company, AbbVie AG, with 144 employees. In 2013, AbbVie was established as a global biopharmaceutical company focused on addressing some of the world's biggest health problems. The company’s products are distributed in more than 170 countries all around the world.
A company from the hospitality industry holds the third place in this ranking, namely Hotel Schweizerhof Bern AG, with 135 employees. This is one of the oldest hotels in Switzerland, with a history of more than 150 years. It’s one of the places where plenty of celebrities and personalities enjoyed their stay in Switzerland.
Other medium sized companies included on the 2017 list are Kontiki Reisen – a travel agency, Mars Schweiz AG and SC Johnsons Europe Sarl.
Best companies to work for in Switzerland - small companies (20-49 employees)
With only 26 employees, Rackspace International GmbH, a cloud data storage and management company is ranked at number one. What began in 1998 as an idea of three fellow students at Trinity University has developed into a global company with business customers in more than 120 countries. The headquarters is located in San Antonio, but over 6,000 employees work on four continents for Rackspace, including in Switzerland.
Second place is held by a consulting company, CSP AG, with 24 employees in Switzerland. CSP is an independent company with branches in St. Gallen and Berne, offering professional consulting and management services.
SAS Institute AG, a software company was awarded with the third position. The company started as a project at the North Carolina State University in the US, but the demand for the software created (used in the analysis of agricultural research) began to grow and the SAS Company was founded in 1976. Currently, the company has 48 employees in Switzerland.
Other important places on this list are held by Hotelcard AG (26 employees, activating in the hospitality industry – 4th place) and Yerra Solutions AG (46 employees, offering legal services – 5th place).
Small companies from Switzerland included on the list are Camptocamp SA, dbi services or TESARO Bio GmbH.
The ranking also includes the top five best companies to work for in Switzerland from the health care and social affairs sectors. These are Domicil Bern AG, Stiftung Waldheim, GGZ@Work and Senevita AG.
The survey was conducted on more than 15,000 employed people from Switzerland.
Switzerland is not only one of the best business locations for those interested in Swiss company formation, but it’s also a great job location for those interested in living and working in Switzerland. However, it’s important to keep in mind that foreign citizens who want to work in Switzerland must first obtain a Swiss work permit, which is issued only under certain conditions and if certain requirements are fulfilled.