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Scarcity, instead of rapid recovery? Survey shows: Hospitality industry loses experienced staff

Scarcity, instead of rapid recovery? Survey shows: Hospitality industry loses experienced staff

Since May 31st, Swiss restaurants are allowed to open indoors again. That should be good news, but many venues are unable to increase their capacity as planned. Some are even staying closed. This is all due to a lack of staff, both front of house and in the kitchen. In a recent survey, Coople asked over 1,300 flexible workers, who worked in the hospitality sector before COVID, how they assess their current career prospects compared to before, and whether their career goals have changed.

The Swiss hospitality industry has been more or less closed for months. Amongst other things, this led to foreign professionals returning to their home countries and Swiss hospitality staff finding jobs in other sectors. Even though restaurants and hotels can open both indoors and outdoors again there is still uncertainty, and many fear another lockdown.

More than one in eight could turn their back on the hospitality industry

At the end of May, Coople conducted a large survey with more than 1,300 flexible workers* who used to work in hospitality either part- or full-time before COVID. Results show that many workers find hospitality jobs less attractive than before.

When asked whether they would like to continue working in the hospitality industry, 45.3% (597 people) of 1,319 flexible workers ‘can’t wait’ to work in the hospitality industry again. 41.3% answered that they ‘can see themselves going back’, while 13.5% were not sure or ‘can’t really imagine’ going back. This means that around one in eight flex workers with experience in the hospitality sector could turn their backs on the industry, temporarily or permanently.

When asked why they are unsure or can’t see themselves returning to the hospitality sector, the four most common answers were: Desire for better pay (20.8%), better job security (20.2%), more flexibility (16%) or better working hours (12.8%).

Concerns about career prospects

The survey also asked participants how COVID and restaurant closures affected their professional situation and their expectations for the future. Most respondents (77.19%) indicated that Corona has impacted their career moderately to very much (6.7 Ø value, 0 = not at all / 10 = very much).

Corona’s impact also influences hospitality workers’ assessment of their career prospects: Only 21.8% of survey participants are not worried about their career prospects (“Are you worried about your future career prospects?”; 5.5 Ø-value, 0 = not at all / 10 = very much). On the other hand, 8 out of 10 survey participants are worried or very worried about their career prospects.

Job losses in hospitality often result in a career change

When asked about their current employment, 29.2% of respondents stated that they lost their job and are looking for work. 23% receive short-time work compensation. 13.6% had lost their job but have since found a new one. Out of this group of 159 people, the majority (63.7%) said that they have changed to another industry and no longer work in hospitality.

Attractive working conditions could help to mitigate the loss of hospitality staff

Yves Schneuwly, Managing Director of Coople (Schweiz) AG says:

“Our survey clearly shows that it is currently difficult for hospitality businesses in Switzerland to bring back their experienced staff. This can slow down their recovery after the crisis or, in the worst case, make it impossible. On the one hand, this has to do with a change in workers’ attitudes. On the other hand, it could be at least partially mitigated by improved working conditions. The question is whether businesses are financially and organisationally able to do so following the long lockdowns.”

The survey shows that many hospitality workers would like better pay. Average wages in this sector are comparatively low today. However, many companies cannot afford to raise wage levels in the current situation. Additional incentives such as bonuses or commission, which could counteract the lack of staff, are also difficult to implement in this case.

However, the survey also shows that increased flexibility and adjusted working hours could keep at least some of the hospitality staff in the industry. The option to return to work at one’s own pace and to have a say in the length of jobs, workload, working days or even work locations are all attractive to many workers.

The future of work will be characterised by flexibility and autonomy. This is no different in the hospitality sector. Companies that meet the increasing demand for flexibility and consistently rely on a high proportion of flexible workers set themselves up for long-term success. With digital marketplaces like Coople, personnel planning can be done bottom up. Done this way, workers can select the jobs that suit them and motivation remains high as a result.

View infographic

* Survey participants:

1‘319 participants, not representative for all flexible workers in the Swiss hospitality sector

All survey participants were active users of the Coople platform in the last 8 months

They have completed flexible shifts as bartenders, front of house staff, chefs, waiters, kitchen porters, and more

Average age: 37.3 years

On average, they have worked 257 hours on the Coople platform

Largest number of participants comes from the Canton of ZH, followed by BE, GE, AG, VD, SG

Why Coople’s mission statement and website are changing

Why Coople’s mission statement and website are changing

When we started pioneering flexible work more than 10 years ago, Coople’s mission was to create the future of work. At the time, the concept of flexible work was new and different. Today, external flexible workers, who help businesses adjust their team sizes according to demand, are essential to many businesses’ core operational capabilities. The recent COVID-19 crisis has shown how flexible workers are essential to ensure our economies can function in any condition. In many cases, it was the critical work of flexible workers that, for example, enabled supermarkets and the agricultural sector to provide the population with essential goods. They guaranteed that vital supply chains could continue working despite severe disruptions due to COVID-19.

To account for the important role that flexible workers play in our economy, we are changing our mission statement to better reflect our strategy. Coople’s mission is to ‘Make flexible work as rewarding, meaningful and recognised as permanent employment’. It is time for the world to truly embrace flexible work. We commit to continue disrupting the market to take it to the next level.

You will have noticed that things already look a bit different here. This is only the start and we are excited about explaining our plans and Coople’s mission in more detail in September. In the meantime, we’d love to hear any questions or your feedback. You can always reach us at marketing@coople.com.

Coople receives “Best staffing agencies for temporary work 2020” award

Coople receives “Best staffing agencies for temporary work 2020” award

Zurich, 3.4.2020 – Once again, Coople has received the award “Best staffing agencies for temporary work”. In the annual survey conducted by Handelszeitung, Le Temps and Statista, HR managers, external recruitment agencies and personnel service providers rated Coople with the maximum number of points.

“We are extremely pleased about the award and would like to thank all the HR specialists and recruitment agencies who evaluated us”, says Yves Schneuwly, Managing Director of Coople Switzerland. “A special thanks goes to all Coopers who have done excellent work in tens of thousands of assignments for companies in Switzerland. They are the best and most valuable ambassadors for Coople.”

The annual survey of the best personnel service providers in Switzerland is conducted by the Handelszeitung, Le Temps and the statistics company Statista. Coople once again received the highest rating in the category “Best temporary employment agencies”. Yves Schneuwly: “This is clear evidence that the disruptive Coople model for flexible staffing is the right answer to changing needs in the market. With digital solutions that ensure agility and flexibility, it is possible to react quickly to changes in the market – such as we are currently experiencing with the COVID-19 crisis – with re-calibration and sector transfer of employees”.

The rankings of the best HR service providers are based on the responses of HR managers in companies, external recruiters and candidates who took part in the surveys. Participants were invited by e-mail, via the websites of handelszeitung.ch and letemps.ch, the newsletters of Lohncheck and HR Swiss, and via a carefully recruited panel. The overall evaluation is based on the criteria of brand awareness (number of mentions), brand experience (mentions with experience), achievement of an above-average overall score and number of recommendations. For the overall scores, HR managers and candidates were able to evaluate the companies on several dimensions.

Yves Schneuwly: “For us, the award is both praise and an incentive to continuously develop our app and our products. We are currently planning the introduction of “Coople Manage”, our new tool for internal HR management. This will allow our customers to use the Coople app for their entire shift planning. They can reinforce this plan with our flexible employees whenever shifts cannot be covered internally. ” 

About Coople: Best staffing agencies for temporary work in 2020

Since its foundation in Zurich in 2009, Coople has developed into Europe’s largest platform for flexible staffing with over 300,000 registered employees and 15,000 registered companies in Switzerland. Coople supports companies from the catering, hotel, retail, aviation, logistics, events and promotion sectors as well as from the commercial sector in filling vacancies. Coople has also been active in the UK since 2016 and in the Netherlands since 2020.


Media contact

Annette Burgard, VP Marketing, annette.burgard@coople.com, 044 554 50 00

Cooperation between Swiss businesses and agricultural associations will secure 2020 harvest

Cooperation between Swiss businesses and agricultural associations will secure 2020 harvest

Zurich, 24 March 2020 – Following the initiative of Swiss business owners, the Swiss Fruit Association (SOV) and the Association of Swiss Vegetable Producers (VSGP) are taking an important step towards securing the 2020 harvest by entering a cooperation with flexible work platform Coople. In order to compensate for the travel restrictions that were imposed in response to the spread of SARS-CoV-2, workers from other sectors are to be recruited as harvest workers via the Coople on-demand staffing platform.

Why is this cooperation important? Increasing travel restrictions in Europe are causing an acute shortage of harvest workers who are needed to secure the supply of domestic fruit and vegetables. Images of empty supermarket shelves have unsettled the Swiss population and wrongly conveyed the impression that Switzerland cannot guarantee the supply of fresh fruit and vegetables.

To pre-empt such a scenario, the heads of the SOV and the VSGP have been discussing solutions for finding the workers necessary to bridge the gap during the phase of these travel restrictions. The cooperation presented today results from the initiative of private businesses in the catering and agricultural sectors. It proposes to hire workers from the catering and hotel industry, who are currently unable to work in their usual sectors due to Federal Council restrictions.

Martin Jucker, co-founder of Jucker Farm AG: “Jucker Farm has been both an agricultural and a catering company for a long time. In addition, we have been working very successfully with Coople for several years to recruit some of our employees. Combining these three elements into an innovative approach seems like an obvious solution: Coople normally provides staff for events and catering. They can now bring the same people to the agricultural sector. I am very pleased that we are able to implement this solution. It will ensure that the agricultural products reach the stores where consumers will be able to access them as usual. ”

“We are convinced that this new solution for meeting the staffing needs in fruit and vegetable production can spread rapidly and we know that many flexible workers are interested in these jobs,” says Viktor Calabrò, founder and Chairman of the Board of Directors at Coople, representing the partners involved in the new cooperation. “To make these jobs even more attractive in the short term, salaries must match the expectations of Swiss workers. We therefore expect the federal government to take the necessary measures to subsidize wages in agriculture in line with market conditions during this exceptional situation. In this way, the 315,000 people currently affected by reduced working hours could also benefit more from this new cooperation. Coople can take care of all administrative tasks, including payroll.”

Over 300,000 flexible workers in Switzerland are registered on the Coople platform. Many of them usually work in the catering and events industry during this time of the year. via this cooperation, Coople’s digital platform enables them to find work quickly and without a hassle in other sectors such as agriculture.

Matija Nuic, Director of the Association of Swiss Vegetable Producers: “Providing fresh vegetables for the Swiss population is our top priority. At this time, the security of supply in Switzerland is at stake. Many vegetable producers have reported to us that their seasonal workers cannot enter Switzerland. For this reason, we have started to look for solutions before the situation worsens further. I am very pleased that we have now found a promising solution with this partnership between the associations and Coople.”

Jimmy Mariéthoz, Director SOV: “Every year, several thousand seasonal workers in Switzerland contribute to cultivating our crops and harvesting fruit and berries. Due to the exceptional situation this year, we had to quickly find an innovative solution to provide the domestic population with the best Swiss fruit and berries.”

Initiators and partners of the cooperation

Jucker Farm AG
We have been combining agriculture with delicious and unique food experiences for 20 years. From cultivation and processing to direct sales in the farm shops, the farm restaurants, and at events. That is what Jucker Farm stands for.

Swiss Fruit Association
The Swiss Fruit Association (SOV) represents the interests of the fruit industry. The aim of the national industry association is to create good framework conditions for production and processing. The SOV represents the interests of the approximately 13,000 players in the fruit industry vis-à-vis authorities, other professional associations and the public. Important services are: Industry information, sales promotion of local fruit and fruit products, education and training.

Association of Swiss Vegetable Producers
The Association of Swiss Vegetable Producers (VSGP) has been the professional organization of Swiss vegetable producers since 1932. It represents the interests of all producers of fresh, stored and processed vegetables, regardless of their production methods. On behalf of its 2,000 members, it is heavily involved in trading, politics, professional training, cultivation, communication and marketing in order to strengthen the positioning of Swiss vegetables. www.gemuese.ch

Hotel industrySuisse
HotelSuisse sees itself as a competence center for the Swiss accommodation industry and, as an association of entrepreneurs, represents the interests of innovative and sustainable accommodation establishments in Switzerland. Since 1882, HotelSuisse, together with its more than 3,000 members, of which around 2,000 are hotels, has stood for a quality-conscious and forward-looking Swiss accommodation industry. The classic hotel industry alone, as a location-bound export industry and backbone of tourism, generates annual sales of over 7.5 billion Swiss francs and employs almost 80,000 people. The member establishments of HotellerieSuisse have over two thirds of the relevant Swiss bed supply and thus generate around three quarters of the corresponding overnight stays.As the umbrella organization of 13 regional associations,

Two Spice
The Two Spice Group is a creative, innovative gastronomy and lifestyle company from Zurich, in whose think tank various operating concepts and brands have been developed for over 30 years. More than ten restaurant brands, a wine shop and an internationally active trading company belong to the group. Marc Saxer & Daniel Kehl: “From the very beginning, it was an important concern for us to operate gastronomy at a professional level. Nevertheless, everyone, both the guest and the team, should feel at home in a relaxed atmosphere. This mixture of striving for quality and lively gastronomy has always characterized our establishments “.

Rathgeb Bio
Rathgeb Bio is a production and service company in Unterstammheim and specializes in the organic cultivation of vegetables and potatoes. Together with regional family businesses, it aims to supply consumers with fresh products. Crunchy, healthy, organic … obviously!

Erik Hämmerli / Bederhof
Erik Hämmerli has been running the Bederhof restaurant in Zurich’s Enge district since 2005. The Bederhof follows the Slow Food concept and focuses on a menu with home-style cooking. In 2011 he and his partners took over the Fischstube restaurant on Lake Zurich. Erik Hämmerli is involved in various catering companies and gives cooking courses.

Since Coople’s foundation in Zurich in 2009, more than 400,000 flexible workers and 20,000 companies have registered on its flexible working platform. Coople provides flexible staffing solutions to the catering, hotel, retail, aviation, logistics, events and promotion and office sectors. The company has been active in the UK since 2016 and in the Netherlands since 2020.

Coople offers Dream Jobs at the AUDI FIS Women’s Ski World Cup in St. Moritz

Coople offers Dream Jobs at the AUDI FIS Women’s Ski World Cup in St. Moritz

Europe’s largest flexible staffing platform will offer 2 new Coople dream jobs. The company will sponsor the AUDI FIS Women’s Ski World Cup in St. Moritz on December 14 and 15, 2019. While the best female skiers in the world master the steep slopes in the Swiss mountains, Coople is looking to find two flexible workers who will master two Coople Dream Jobs on-site – one of which is the assistant to the race manager. The application process for the two Dream Jobs is now open.

Coople is sponsoring the AUDI FIS Ski World Cup in St. Moritz in mid-December. For this purpose, the Swiss staffing platform provides two flexible workers – Cooplers – to support the responsible persons at the World Cup weekend within the framework of two Coople Dream Jobs.

For the second time, Coople is offering registered workers the opportunity to perform a top-class assignment and take on extraordinary tasks with a Coople Dream Job. In March of this year, the Coopler Sébastien de Sainte Marie took over a Dream Job at the “Xtreme Verbier”, the last station of the Freeride World Tour 2019.

“The Women’s Ski World Cup in St. Moritz is one of the most prestigious events in skiing. Especially in the world of sports, which is driven by so many emotions, it is great to make such unique experiences possible for our Cooplers,” says Viktor Calabrò, founder and executive chairman of the Board of Coople. “Thanks to our Swiss top athletes, we can also hope for victories!”

Over in St. Moritz, the event organization is also pleased about the cooperation with the staffing partner, who will strengthen the AUDI FIS Ski World Cup in a targeted way and without additional effort for the organizers. “We are very happy about the partnership with Coople”, explains Claudia Jann, Head of PR & Media. “In addition to our own powerful volunteer organisation Voluntari Engiadina, we are always looking for talented people to support us in organising the event. With Coople, we can count on a partner who has a large network and can quickly and easily find helping hands when we need them, which is worth its weight in gold for an event of this magnitude.”

Two Dream Jobs in St. Moritz

The top-class jobs at the AUDI FIS Ski World Cup in St. Moritz will not only lead two selected Cooplers into the beautiful Engadine mountain landscape, but will also give them unique insights behind the scenes of a sports event with global attention.

Coople Dream Job 1: Race Management Assistance
The right hand of the race manager will be in the middle of the action when the world’s best female skiers line up for the Super-G and Parallel Slalom. It’s all about keeping a cool head and keeping the entire race under control.

We are looking for a good skier or a safe snowboarder who can handle a GoPro camera, speaks fluent German and English and also remains calm and flexible when dealing with well-known sports stars or in unexpected situations.

Coople Dream Job 2: Social Media Assistance
Working alongside in a team with the Head of PR & Media of the Alpine Sports Events St. Moritz – Engadin, a Coopler will take over the entire social media appearance of the organiser during the competition days – be it with Instagram stories from the middle of the cheering crowds, or as part of the media team during the editorial preparation of the event in the office. 

We are looking for a person with an affinity for social media, who can use a mobile phone for work and knows the necessary apps for image editing and video recording. Creativity, flexibility and an eye for interesting stories round off the profile.

Coople receives USD 32 million in funding and announces expansion into the Netherlands

Coople receives USD 32 million in funding and announces expansion into the Netherlands

Coople, Europe’s leading on-demand platform for flexible staff, receives additional funding of USD 32 million from a group of investors led by One Peak Partners and the Growth Equity Business within the Goldman Sachs Merchant Banking Division.  In total, Coople has raised USD 76 million in funding to date, making it one of the world’s best funded companies within the flexible job market. The proceeds from the successful Series C funding round will be used to continue investing in the automation of Coople’s online platform, to further expand within existing markets, and to launch Coople’s business in the Netherlands and one other international market.

“We look forward to continuing on our path of revolutionising the world of work. On the one hand, Coople offers employees a convenient way to find high-quality, flexible jobs. On the other hand, Coople provides companies with reliable, easy access to our fast-growing pool of on-demand talent,” said Rinaldo Olivari, CEO of Coople. “Over the past year, we have seen that an increasing number of users are coming to our platform for more than just last-minute jobs. They now rely on Coople for a large part of their income or their core business. We will use the proceeds from this funding round to further improve the automation and user experience of our product, expand our geographic reach, and strengthen our core team with additional talent.”

Since its start in Switzerland in 2009, Coople has introduced its disruptive business model in 3 countries and revolutionised the traditional recruitment industry (market volume: USD 470 billion). The company’s platform uses an algorithm that instantly matches its flexible workforce with the demand from companies. Amongst other factors, the algorithm takes into consideration a worker’s location, availability, experience and ratings and matches these with the requirements of the hiring company.

The Coople platform provides end-to-end automation of the HR process; from planning, recruiting, on-boarding and hiring to workforce management, payroll and payments. This allows companies to significantly reduce the time and costs associated with HR administration.

By migrating to the AWS cloud this year, Coople has further improved availability, resiliency, and its technical foundations, and is looking forward to scaling in existing and new markets. The company is also extending its world leading flexible staff planning software to enable clients to upload and manage their internal flexible staff.

With the funding, Coople continues its expansion and innovation through the course of 2020

Today, Coople has over 400,000 registered ‘Cooplers’ (flexible employees) and over 20,000 registered companies on its platform. The company has a market leading position in Switzerland and continues to show triple digit annual growth rates in the UK, a market it entered in 2016.

Earlier this month, Coople announced the appointment of Thijs Dirkzwager, the new Managing Director for the Netherlands, to launch in the Dutch market.  In its existing markets, Coople plans to continue its growth path in the UK and in Switzerland. An increasing number of large blue-chip companies in these markets already rely on Coople for on-demand staffing, including Hilton Hotels, Hyatt Hotels, Financial Times, IWG, Swisscom, C&A, AXA Winterthur, Globus, and Moet Hennessy.

To further accelerate its growth, Coople has strengthened its leadership team in 2019. The new members of the Senior team are Annette Burgard, Vice President Marketing; Yves Schneuwly, Managing Director Switzerland; Kit Glover, Managing Director UK; and Thijs Dirkzwager, Managing Director Netherlands.

David Klein, Managing Partner and Co-Founder of One Peak Partners, said “We look forward to our continuing collaboration with Coople, particularly with regard to further international expansion. The market for flexible talent remains one of the most exciting technology market opportunities in Europe, and, with its expanded management team, Coople is in prime position to further expand its market leadership.“

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