Employability of international executives

Content and objectives

As part of an empirical study, around 100 managers (in the areas of finance, human resources and information technology) in Switzerland were invited to assess their own employability. Switzerland was chosen because of its status as a principal international business location, where many managers from outside Switzerland (mainly Germany, France and the United Kingdom) work. The study is intended to provide insights into the factors that promote and hinder the employability of managers with international careers in selected core roles in Switzerland.

Project goals

  • International comparative study of executives (from Germany, France, Switzerland and the United Kingdom) in selected core company roles (finance, human resources and information technology).
  • Research on the core aspects of managerial employability and insight into the mechanisms of the Swiss international labour market (with a special focus on function and geography).
  • Identification of beneficial or damaging aspects for employability in Switzerland for the purpose of advising managers, consultants or employers.
  • Examination of equivalence between self- and external assessment of executives.


In addition to the self-assessment of international managers, the relevant external assessment is conducted by consultants (an executive search company representing potential employers) together with fit assessment for potential employers (based on CVs).

Social relevance and application of results

Employability is currently the subject of intense debate in human resources research. However, a study of the employability of international executives through self-assessment and external assessment is a novel undertaking that can provide relevant and innovative research results for personnel selection and career management, especially in an international context.

By examining the agreement, or lack thereof, between the self-assessment and external assessment of managers, possible discrepancies can be identified. Thus, both managers and consultants or employers can be provided with recommendations for action with better ‘accuracy’ in regard to the assessment of employability (evaluating the role of the CV, the decision-making of consultants or employers, etc.).

Bamberg competencies

Application of methods such as qualitative/content analysis; expertise on the characteristics of national career fields, the transferability of career capital and contextual influences on employability.