Demand for domestic helpers and au pairs is high in Switzerland, and EURES in Bulgaria was able to help satisfy the market’s requirements by teaming up with Swiss placement agency Perfect Way.
Based in Brugg in the north of Switzerland, Perfect Way currently has more than 15 people from Bulgaria who it helped place as domestic helpers and au pairs with families around the country. Founded by Karin Schatzmann in 1995, the family-run company recruits from many countries including Bulgaria, Hungary, Poland and Slovakia. It interviews potential candidates before placing them in families, who are the direct employers.
The au pair role concentrates on providing childcare together with some light household duties, while the domestic helper will have a broader set of responsibilities and may be required to have a driver’s licence too.
When EURES Bulgaria first got a call from Karin in 2009, they soon began advertising Perfect Way’s vacancies on their website, detailing the specific skills requirements for the jobs. After that, they began sending a steady flow of CVs to Switzerland and agreed to help set-up interviews with suitable candidates. On the first occasion they received in excess of 200 CVs, which, of course, had to be sorted through.
“The first interviews were during the international job fair in Sofia, which took place in March 2010,” says EURES Adviser Penka Padarska, who is based in Kazanlak in central Bulgaria. “In the summer of the same year, we had the second interview in another Bulgarian town, Haskovo.” The process has been repeated in the years since, with a representative from Perfect Way flying out to meet all candidates who have been chosen after a thorough selection process.
“In the end we are left with a small number of candidates, but they are the best,” says Karin. “The Bulgarian people we have placed are very warm-hearted and have a good attitude to work. We will certainly be back in the future.
“EURES helped us greatly in streamlining the process and we hope to place more people from Bulgaria in jobs later this year.”