© Helvetas

Helvetas as an Employer

Committed employees who work for Helvetas with dedication and great commitment essentially determine the success of our work and are the basis for achieving our goals: that every person, including those in the global South, is given a chance. Because we as an organization want to be as effective as possible with our work, personal commitment and performance are important to us. It is equally important to us that employees can learn and develop. We offer our employees an open, cooperative and multicultural working environment, where the individual is supported and encouraged in his or her professional role and as an individual.
© Helvetas

People of 20 different nationalities work at Helvetas' Swiss headquarters. They usually work closely with colleagues in our 30 or so project countries. Meetings and conversations in the cafeteria take place in German, English or French, depending on who is present. We make sure that everyone is understood and understands. ...although the challenge here is of course not always just the (other) language. 😊

We are all on a first-name basis and value collegial, cooperative and constructive collaboration. The working atmosphere at Helvetas is highly appreciated by (the vast majority of) our employees and is also expressed in our annual employee survey. As an employee, you will also be asked for your opinion and included in discussions at team, department or organizational level, where you can contribute your opinion. Personal responsibility and independent work, including in teams, is important to us. At the same time, there are also the classic hierarchical decisions, which is relieving for most, even if you don't agree on the matter every time. In daily contact, however, the hierarchy does not play a role: even the apprentices address our managing director by his first name.

Our employees put their heart and soul into Helvetas and sometimes go the extra mile. We are happy about that! But everyone should enjoy 5 weeks of vacation a year, and after 40 hours of work a week, that's it (with a 100% workload and flexible annual working hours). Accordingly, we also appreciate it when employees come back to work on Monday morning fit from the sports program, inspired by the cultural event or happy and grateful for the «quality time» with the family. Of course, we also have stressful phases and overlong to-do lists, but we also have understanding and support when people want to change things.

It is more important to us that our employees (can) do their work well than that they are in the office from «nine to five» every day. We therefore offer flexible annual working hours, part-time positions, as well as (not only during pandemics) the opportunity to work from home in agreement with the line manager. Flexibility at Helvetas is a give and take: sometimes you take it for yourself as an employee, sometimes you show your willingness to work flexibly when it is necessary for operational reasons (as the saying goes!).

The further development of our employees is important to us, and we offer both «on the job» and «off the job» development opportunities.

Money is not everything - but fairness is Equal pay between women and men (according to the Logib self-testing tool of the Swiss Federal Office for Equality) is self-evident for us. In addition, the popular initiative at the time to limit wage differences in Switzerland (1:12) would not have been necessary for us, because the difference between the highest and lowest wage is only about 1:4.

Coffee and tea in the cafeteria at head office during breaks are free at Helvetas. They are often accompanied by cake - thanks to colleagues who like to bake.

We offer «in house» yoga lessons in Zurich, and there are always employees who go jogging together over lunch or swim in the river - as a counterbalance to the cake, so to speak!

We have additional offices in Geneva as well as in our project countries worldwide. In Zurich, our largest location, we have also switched to flexible workplaces in modern open-plan offices.

«At Helvetas, it is easy to balance having enough time for your family, even in a management role.»
Sabrina Würmli
Head Skills, Jobs & Income

"Balancing family life and work is sometimes a challenge. I especially appreciate that Helvetas allows me to contribute my strengths and skills in a management position and spend enough time with my two children, despite having a lot of responsibility. This is possible thanks to flexible working hours, a family-friendly working culture and a co-management position. Working as a consultant in an international environment is very fulfilling, but also requires a lot of flexibility. However, you can organize your time relatively freely and spontaneously take a day off after stressful phases, such as after a business trip."

«My aim is to ensure that modern technology and the virtual world also serve people in low-income countries.»
Cesar Robles
Advisor Learning & Innovation

"My goal is to make the digital experience more human. Digitalization is influencing the way the world works beyond our computers. At Helvetas, we are committed to ensuring that this change can improve the way we work and the impact of our projects. When we talk about a culture of sharing, it's not just about digitalization, but also about people and our digital relationships."

«We appreciate the opportunity to run a national program on a job-sharing basis.»
Annet Witteveen und Felix Bachmann
Country Directors Tanzania

"We jointly manage the country program in Tanzania on a job-sharing basis, which means that we share a 100% job. This flexibility is important to us for the care of our children and a good work-life balance. The fact that we can combine our different skills and experience and make decisions together also brings clear added value to our work."

«I work at a very exciting interface in the online marketing and fundraising team.»
Anton Forter
Performance Marketing Manager

"My work in the Marketing & Fundraising team is often number-based and technical, but it also offers room for creativity. I really like this mix. Our team has a lot of fun working together on exciting projects and inspires each other – and I am at the cutting edge of development cooperation. My career at Helvetas began as an intern and led me through various roles to my current position. This part-time job and my Master's degree are easy to combine. It’s the perfect balance between work, furthering my education and my personal life!"

«Employers We Trust.» is the quality label of the independent consulting company Empiricon AG. It recognizes companies that use surveys systematically and purposefully to obtain qualified feedback on the work situation and use this to initiate targeted development processes. 

Our Vision and Mission

Our vision is of a just world in which all men and women determine the course of their lives in dignity and security, using environmental resources in a sustainable manner.