Recruitment in Germany has some particularities that you need to know before looking for talent in this country. Mayra Trujillo, our regular partner in Germany, reveals everything you need to know to understand the German job market.

Hello Mayra, we would like to start this meeting by asking you, what are the main difficulties in recruiting in Germany.

Native candidates are not so open to networking, once they have job stability they are not open to a job change and they also have high salary expectations as, in general, working conditions in Germany are higher.

Is the German labour market receptive to change, or is it perhaps more conservative?

The German labour market is a conservative market.

Mayra, which are the most developed sectors in Germany?

The most developed sectors are automotive, technology, aerospace, food, logistics and recently there are more startups related to commerce.

And what are the most sought-after professions on the job market?

I would say that the most sought-after professions are engineering (all branches), finance, education, sales and administration.

What are the peculiarities of the German labour market?

The salary bands in Germany are very high; a recent university graduate with a postgraduate degree in a big city like Munich can start earning €60,000 per year.

Most companies offer flexible working hours, bonuses, training and staff development, 28 to 30 days holiday a year. And when it comes to languages, most people need to speak advanced German and English to enter the job market.

How do you retain talent in Germany?

In Germany, employees are retained by offering a good salary, growth opportunities and job stability.

Are there any prejudices in the German labour market when it comes to hiring non-local candidates?

Yes, I think that companies prefer to hire German candidates, however, in Germany the demand is higher than the supply, so there are many non-local candidates.

How many days holiday per year are there by law?

At least 24 days per year.

What are the most common work-life balance policies?

The most common work-life balance policies are flexible working hours, flexitime, home office or teleworking and paternity and maternity leave.

Is the German labour market highly qualified?

Yes, Germany has very good universities and research centres, so there is a high level of qualified professionals.

What is the proportion of small and medium-sized companies or family businesses compared to large companies or multinationals?

Probably 50/50. However, large or multinational companies produce 70% of the country’s profits.

On the company level, Mayra, what are the most common notice periods in Germany when an applicant announces that he or she is leaving the company?

The notice period is 3 months.

Would you say that companies have a very strong corporate culture?

Yes, especially German companies have a culture of order and quality.

What are the main aspects a company should be aware of before considering recruiting candidates in Germany?

Companies must take into account the salary range to be offered and the business line of the company.

What advice would you give to our clients with a subsidiary in your country, or to those who are planning to open one?

Consider long recruitment and on-boarding times.

What details are not taken into account by companies setting up in this country?

Sometimes language and culture can be an obstacle.

When hiring a candidate, what do companies value most (skills, experience, etc.)?

The person’s academic degree and work experience are valued.

However, depending on the position, more criteria may be checked and tests may be administered.

What are the skills most in demand locally?

The most common skills are analytical and decision-making skills, organisation and speed.

In companies, is there trade union pressure or pay scales based on agreements? Or, on the contrary, are they governed by the free market?

In companies, there is trade union pressure and collective wage agreements. For example, the IG Metall union’s contract labour agreement is one of the most attractive and widely used in the automotive, aviation and other industries.

Is flexible working common in companies?

Yes, it is.

How has HR experienced a global pandemic like the one we have been through?

At the beginning of the pandemic, projects and recruitments were stopped, but working from home soon became normal.

What is more common, temporary or permanent contracts?

Permanent contracts are more common, although due to various business changes, more and more temporary contracts are being offered.

Mayra, how do candidates look for jobs, do they use social networks or job portals to do so, and which are the most used in your country?

Yes, they use social networks or job portals such as Xing, Indeed, Monster and LinkedIn.

What do candidates value most when looking for a job?

Good salary, flexible hours, location and size of the company are most valued by candidates.

What does it mean for local talent to work for a Spanish company and is it attractive?

Yes, in general Germans are attracted by the Spanish culture and language. However, for salary reasons, it is not so common.

Now, we would like to talk about education in Germany. Mayra, which universities are the most highly rated in your country and which ones would you say are the most renowned? 

The most highly rated universities are: Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München, Technische Universität München, Humbolt-Universität zu Berlin, Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg.

What types of studies are most highly valued?

Studies in engineering, applied sciences, medicine and law.

What do you do to understand what the client expects from our candidate search?

Establish good communication and a relationship of trust. For me, it is important to understand the environment and culture of the organisation in order to tailor the search for talent.

Mayra, to finish, we would like to know about you, what do you love about recruitment?

I am passionate about knowing that I have found the right person who will serve the growth of the company as well as the professional development of the candidate.

Are you looking for a recruitment provider for your branches in other countries? You can read some of our success stories. At Grupo Binternational we recruit local and expat staff and we centralise our management in Spain for your convenience. Contact us.