Swiss Federal Administration and the representation of language communities: an analysis of processes and strategies for recruiting personnel

In cooperation with the the University of Zürich (UZH)
Responsibility: Prof. Alexandre Duchêne and Dr. Renata Coray (RCM), Prof. Daniel Kübler (UZH/ZDA);
Research assistants: Emilienne Kobelt (RCM), Roman Zwicky (UZH/ZDA); 2012-2013


Executive summary
"Mehrsprachigkeit verwalten? Spannungsfeld Personalrekrutierung beim Bund" (Seismo, Zürich, June 2015)

Project outline:

In Switzerland’s political dialogue, an adequate representation of Swiss language communities in the Federal Administration is considered to be a vital expression of multilingualism in Switzerland. Diverse legal bases and directives have been created and issued in the interest of reaching this goal. Nonetheless, questions concerning implementation and effectiveness of these measures remain open when weighing not only the professional qualifications of candidates and their language skills, but also when considering regional dynamics in the labour market for administrative employees in the Swiss government. Overall, statistics on the proportion of federal employees according to first language indicate an imbalance in the representation of linguistic minorities in certain positions and offices. The goal of this project is to better understand the complex mechanisms and processes that advance or hinder access to specific positions in the Federal Administration for members of a linguistic minority. The focus lies on the recruitment process, which is generally understood to be the key factor in selecting personnel and gaining employment in the Federal Administration.