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Swiss Zühlke has 1.5 million to attract talent in Porto

Swiss Zühlke has 1.5 million to attract talent in Porto
Dinheiro Vivo · 02 Sep 2022

The company opened its third engineering centre in Porto, where 35 employees work. By the end of the year, the goal is to duplicate the team.

Zühlke, a Swiss company specialising in developing technological solutions for sectors such as telecommunications, health, banking, consumer goods and insurance, has decided to invest in Porto to set up its third engineering centre. The specialised talent and the great spirit of innovation that the city offers, together with the quality of life, determined the opening of this hub, which has been in operation for just over a year, and now wants to gain dimension. By the end of 2022, the management's ambition is to double the number of employees. But this is only one of the phases of the planned expansion, which foresees an investment of 1.5 million over the next five years, in attracting and retaining engineers.

Right now, the Porto hub has a team of 35 employees specialising in software development - a good number of them foreigners, in a philosophy of incorporating different origins and backgrounds. The goal is "to attract more senior profiles for the areas of embedded systems, with knowledge of Java, and software engineering, focused on .Net, React and Angular", reveals Mariana Salvaterra, general director of Zühlke in Portugal.

The engineering of the Porto centre's projects and services "have an international impact", as all solutions are aimed at clients across borders. She stresses: "Porto is a strategic component of the business model the group is developing internationally. As an example, she points to the development of the application for monitoring covid-19 cases in the United Kingdom and the Nespresso Aeroccino machine.

Four days

The demand for technology professionals has been higher than the supply, which has led companies to review their contractual conditions and working models. At Zühlke, which has two more engineering centres (Serbia and Bulgaria), and offices in 17 countries, the focus is on valuing and training employees. According to Mariana Salvaterra, the company invests in an attractive benefits package which, for example, offers health insurance for workers, their spouses and children, promotes flexible working hours and four-day working week arrangements, and also supports the hybrid working regime with daily allowances.

At the same time, it spends around 10% of annual turnover on developing skills, namely on technical and internal training and integration in new projects. In Porto, it has already set a budget of 1.5 million for hiring talent, expanding facilities and investing in employee benefits.

Last year, Zühlke achieved revenues of 225 million euros, an 18% increase on the previous year. This evolution was accompanied by the opening of more operation centres, expansion into new markets and the hiring of talent, says Mariana Salvaterra. The bet also allowed to strengthen the company's projects in the areas of data and artificial intelligence. Zühlke, founded in Switzerland in 1968 by a group of private shareholders, has expanded its area of operation both in Europe and Asia, in countries such as Germany, the United Kingdom and Singapore. It currently has more than 1,600 employees.