There’s no doubt that digitalization has drastically altered the practice of recruiting in Germany today. No longer do candidates apply in person. These days, the early stages of the hiring process tend to take place online.
Companies hoping to recruit in Germany must present a clear, consistent, attractive, and professional online presence to draw in the best candidates. Researching companies is as easy as simply searching online, thus online employee testimonials are increasingly important to potential applicants. If your work culture appears poor from these online reviews, candidates may choose not to interview with you or apply for your position.
In addition, complicated application processes may turn away potential candidates, so make yours straightforward and user-friendly.
How it Works in Germany: A Snapshot of Local Hiring Culture:
When hiring in Germany, there are several key factors you should be aware of.
Your local applicants will expect you to request a bewerbungsmappe, which is a collection of application documents generally submitted as a single PDF. Included in the PDF are a cover letter, CV, digital scans of certifications and/or diplomas, and reference letters. Request this document specifically to make it easy for candidates to apply.
German candidates will look into your company in-depth online, so make sure your branding and social profiles are attractive, consistent, up-to-date, and professional. LinkedIn is growing in popularity in the country but is not the foremost professional networking site. Millions more Germans frequent Xing, so focus the majority of your energy on building an active presence on the social site.
As a general rule, you will be pleased to find that the great majority of German candidates are highly professional and hard-working. Do be aware that the work culture in Germany is more formal than you may be used to. In light of this, it’s essential to arrive on-time to any interviews and keep the process highly structured or you may risk turning off your top candidates.
Most Germans do not sugarcoat responses, so don’t be surprised to receive replies that may seem blunt during interviews. In truth, this characteristic is a sign of Germans’ honest character. Expect a great deal of questions as well, as they will want to know exactly what sort of employment situation they are getting into before they sign the dotted line.
Please be aware, as well, that the recruiting process may take more time than you had hoped. The unemployment numbers in Germany are quite low, so finding and hiring talent is by no means an easy task.
Recruiting is challenging in any market, but even more so when you are seeking international candidates in a new country. At Hero Consulting, we focus on helping international companies recruit top-talent in Germany. Reach out to us today to find out how we can help you find the best selections for your business.