Jobs across the globe – Who German firms are looking for abroad

German firms operating abroad are increasingly looking for experts and managers in the countries themselves. And a number of Germany-Alumni are interested in jobs across the globe. What are the criteria that staff abroad have to meet to attract the interest of these firms?

It depends which professional qualifications are required, which country the firms have offices in and which sector they operate in. Firms operating abroad generally recruit highly qualified specialists, managers and university graduates. According to a study by the Institut für Beschäftigung und Employability (Institute of Employment and Employability – IBE), companies are particularly looking for IT experts (40 per cent) and staff for research and development (37 per cent). Staff with technical qualifications in particular also find jobs throughout the world. Small and medium-sized German enterprises operating abroad focus on a command of German and specific qualifications that are difficult to find.

Jobs across the globe: German firms operating abroad rely on international experts

Companies with global operations need staff for their international branches who not only speak the language but are also familiar with the conditions particular to the country. German firms operating abroad try to set themselves apart from their competitors through specific diversity management, because a diverse workforce can contribute to a company’s success. Due to their specific training and their cultural background, foreign staff add new impetus to a company. Their language skills and networks help companies access international target markets. They form heterogeneous teams that are able to solve complex tasks using innovative approaches. Thus international experts act as bridge builders to enhance the performance and innovative capacity of the companies they work for.

German firms operating abroad: Lacking a concept for attracting new staff?

The IBE study concludes that ‘75 per cent of the surveyed companies have no clear strategy for international recruitment.’ The traditional recruitment instruments they use are their own website, the direct path via the company’s headquarters and contact to international universities. But that is not enough. ‘Recruiting foreign staff in particular requires intensive planning,’ emphasises labour market expert Stephan Pfisterer from the IT association Bitkom. ‘Which departments need the colleagues? What about the induction period? What about language skills? Who would be good as a mentor for new staff members when they start their new job?’

Hellmann Worldwide Logistics, a company based in Osnabrück, Germany, has had positive experience with recruiting foreign staff for jobs throughout the world. The company is looking for full-time staff to work in their offices in each country. It also employs staff who alternate between working in Germany and at the company’s offices in their home country, during which time they can do their job in Osnabrück in the ‘virtual’ world. Everything runs smoothly at Hellmann Worldwide Logistics, because all the staff in Germany and abroad are on the same payroll. The software saves the company administrative difficulties such as visa approvals, residence permits and insurance.

‘Trained in GermanY’: jobs across the globe for Germany-Alumni

Over the past three years, recruitment of new staff across the globe has shifted: The new preferred countries of destination for staff recruitment by German firms are India and China (21 and 13 per cent, respectively). Eastern European countries are becoming considerably less attractive, as are Britain, France and North America. Popular countries include Brazil, where the world’s largest career fair for Germany-Alumni was held on 15 May 2013 in São Paulo.

The ‘Trained in GermanY‘ fair in São Paulo was organised by the German-Brazilian Chamber of Commerce and Industry in cooperation with the Alumniportal Deutschland. More than 500 visitors found out about career opportunities with German firms abroad, who look for training with a connection to Germany and a knowledge of German when recruiting new staff. Further career fairs are scheduled to be held in 2013 in India, South Africa and Europe, for example.

July 2013

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Kenneth Kirumira
17 July 2013

@ Valeria: Thax for that advice. I actually resorted to your advice. The knowledge and exposure I got form Europe, inspired me and registered a limited company on the 21st/Apr/2011 in the names Eurotek International limited. We deal in all Electrical power and electronic equipment, we do construction and later when we develop strong connections with European companies, we will include sale and manufacturing of electrical and electronic accessories. Our most emphasis is on quality and safety, because our market is flooded with substandard chines products and unprofessional technicians, which has led to a number of fires, loss of life and equipment. We're in preparations to register it on the portal so that we can work hand in hand with their technical challenges.

Mohamed Ali Talib
17 July 2013

I were in contact wit GIZ regarding a full or part time job in Yemen but till now no reply.

Valéria Salles
17 July 2013

@ Kenneth: There's hope that with the GIZ integration German support to "developing" countries will be more integrated, that is, that "training" is part of an overall strategy to support social development in the country itself. Do not give up. I'm sure if you open your own company and offer good service you'll see how much you get demanded!

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