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Swiss Railways pays staff to recruit friends

Faced with a lack of qualified workers, Swiss Federal Railways is paying its staff SFr2,500 ($2,804) to recommend candidates for interview.

According to a report in the Sonntag newspaper, employees get the money even if the person they put forward is not taken on. With 28,000 on the pay roll, Swiss Federal Railways is one of the country’s biggest employers.

A spokeswoman for the company said the measure was one of the most efficient ways to recruit new staff.  Swiss Federal Railways is currently experiencing a staff shortage of several hundred people.

The cash incentive was introduced in 2007 when Swiss Railways had difficulty in finding engine mechanics, ticket inspectors and IT staff.

The company transported a record number of passengers in 2010, but appealed for investment after seeing earnings drop by nearly 20 per cent.

Passenger numbers were up six per cent to 347 million in 2010, with profits from passenger services rising from SFr280.6 million to SFr292.6 million.

Despite this, earnings fell to SFr298.3 million in 2010 as a result of investment in the group’s pension fund and infrastructure.

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SWI - a branch of Swiss Broadcasting Corporation SRG SSR

SWI - a branch of Swiss Broadcasting Corporation SRG SSR