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InHunt World is a Global Headhunting Network that is currently active in over 40 countries. During this autumn, we are going to go through these countries one by one, usually interviewing the Country Manager or the CEO of the country in question.

Today we came all the way to Vienna, Austria, to give you the latest regarding the latest news regarding the Recruitment Market situation in 2021.

Austria`s Unemployment Rate dropped to 5.6% in Mar 2021, from the previously reported figure of 5.6% in Feb 2021, from Jan 1993 to Mar 2021, the average rate is 4.6%. The data reached an all-time high of 6.2% in May 2016 and a record low of 3.4% in Apr 2001. In the latest reports, Austria’s population reached 8.93 million people in Dec 2020 (source).

Austria entered the COVID-19 pandemic from a robust economic position with significant policy space. Nonetheless, the pandemic significantly impaired the economy as several lockdowns were implemented to help contain the spread of the virus. Real GDP declined by 6.3 percent in 2020 and contracted further in early 2021, driven by a sharp deceleration of private investment and consumption as well as a muted winter tourism season. The swift and sizable policy response to the pandemic has been effective in saving lives, protecting vulnerable households, and supporting workers and firms.

The economy is set to recover at a moderate pace in 2021, with growth projected at 3.5 percent. Economic activity is expected to accelerate from 2021Q2 as lockdowns were progressively lifted alongside fast progress in vaccinations. Growth is expected to accelerate to 4.5 percent in 2022 before stabilizing at its potential of around 1¾ percent in the medium term. Nonetheless, the medium-term output is expected to remain below the pre-crisis trend. The outlook is subject to unusually high uncertainty, with near-term risks stemming from the unpredictable development of the pandemic, particularly from the threat of the delta variant and efficacy and extent of vaccinations (source).

Headhunting and Recruitment Market in Austria

The recovery of the Austrian economy will gain pace with output expanding by 3.4% in 2021 and 4.2% in 2022. A rebound in global trade and generous government support underpin strong investment growth. Consumption will improve as households reduce their saving.

Worldwide progress with the deployment of vaccines will allow the easing of travel restrictions and thus foster activity in the hospitality sector and employment in the second half of 2021. The increase in commodity prices will result in a moderate and temporary uptick in consumer price inflation. The fiscal deficit is planned to decline in 2021 and 2022 (source).

Due to the new EU Framework regulation for the production of European statistics on persons and households there are changes for the Austrian microcensus labour force survey and its results regarding employment and unemployment from 2021 onwards. A direct comparison with the results before 2021 is therefore only possible to a limited extent. A very complete list of general statistics can however be found in the official national statistics insitution, called Statistik Austria, available for free on:

The COVID-19 restrictions affecting both supply and demand led to a massive slump in Austria’s economic performance in 2020. In 2021, the Austrian economy will once again be on a path of economic growth, but this growth (real GDP: +2.2%) will not be sufficient to reach the pre-crisis level. In particular, areas that rely on winter tourism but also on city tourism (e.g. Vienna) and attract a high share of foreign guests will continue to face massive shortfalls in 2021. The extent to which this significant reduction in tourism demand will affect businesses will depend heavily on the degree to which they make use of short-time work subsidies or continue to reduce their staffing levels.

The risk of losing your job due to the coronavirus depends on a variety of factors. In addition to the sectors in which people are employed, a low level of education and short length of service are the main risk factors. If migrant workers are employed in particularly exposed sectors and have few qualifications, they are at an above-average risk of losing their jobs. This was evident in 2020 from the increase in unemployment (+45 500). Depending on how things develop, there may be a decrease in unemployment in 2021, as well as an increase in employment among foreign workers.

In the first quarter of 2021, there will be 115 800 fewer people unemployed than in the same quarter of the previous year. From the second quarter of 2021 onwards, there may even be an increase in employment compared to the low level of the previous year. On average, companies will only slightly increase their staffing levels in 2021.

It must be expected that the number of registered unemployed people will be significantly above the 500 000 mark in the first quarter of 2021 (source).

Job Market Insights ( also offers a very intesting overview of the Job Market situation in Austria, very updated.

Next, we are going to interview the CEO of BREADHUNTER, Mr. Thomas Zahlten. Thomas has been leading the Breadhunter for more than nine years now. Originally from Germany, Thomas has been based in Vienna for more than 10 years now.

We are very happy to be here today. How have you been Thomas? How was your summer and how is everything?

I had a great summertime in Austria, being on the countryside in South Styria and in Tyrolia in the mountains. In August and before that, we closed some technical sales projects for my clients in the DACH region.

How would you comment on the first half of 2021?

The pandemic has been for many companies and professionals, a real challenge I believe. Even for some headhunters in Vienna, but at BREADHUNTER, working a lot with international clients and not having a big marketing overhead or VIP offices, the last 2 years went extremely well and we had a lot of work in 2021.

I think the pandemic made it also easier for us to reach our clients and candidates via video call, that were before the pandemic not interested in these new tools and workflows.

How do you see the second part of 2021? And what about 2022?

Everything is possible, but I think BREADHUNTER is ready for the future. Being one step ahead over the last years from my competitors. We are full digitalized and with the right tools for more than 7 years now.
We have been using paperless processes for more than 9 years, we use a lot recorded video interviews, different AI databases and smart collaboration tools, but also our network and the good old telephone.

Maybe 2022 is the year when we really conquer the market. I see transformation also in headhunting and recruiting in general, more success based headhunting. But for who wants quality and technology, they will use the top 2% headhunting companies who work with retainer only and deliver consistent quality.

What are the industries that are hiring the most?

Technical sales, specialists, automotive, finance. The last 2 years less in marketing and life science.

We start and make sense, when social media and advertising ends.

What are the roles that companies are needing the most?

Technical specialists, salespeople in the DACH area, that understand the local market and culture.
European people working abroad e.g. Asia or in the middle-east.

What about the candidate market?

People are more sensitive and don’t like to take the risk of changing a job, because of the pandemic. In the last 2 years, we needed to talk with at least 150 people, who fit well with the desired profile, only to be able to have 2-3 for the final shortlist.

4 years ago, for example, we needed to talk to 80 people to achieve the same result. So the sales side of a project became more difficult but also finding the right candidates.
Advertising and Social Media Postings bring absolutely no results, this has been so for more than 5 years in my opinion.

We only work with classical direct search (headhunting method) and speak to everybody, even if we have over 20.000 BREADHUNTER followers on LinkedIn and a large network.

What would you say are the top reasons companies should choose to work with BREADHUNTER, over some other players in the market?

We start a new assignment for a company, if social media and advertising didn’t work for them directly, trying on their own.

So, if a company wants a proper market screen of their competitors and really someone who can talk to the employees in a discreet but professional way, then we are the right headhunting company for them.

Yes, we also can do advertising and social media advertisement for our clients, but I would suggest companies to secure that money and invest it towards a direct search.
This way companies can actually directly get a lot of deep insights from the market’s situation and achieve more information, similar to a case study in the end.
Even if they achieve only one or two candidates at the end, at least they know clearly the market’s situation before engaging in another full search cycle, that could be another 6 months.

Sometimes it can also be a winning strategy to hire candidates that fit the position only for about 75% and then invest to bring them to up to desired level you want, within 3 months, rather than searching another 6 months without any success.

 We support our clients to do the right decision, we don’t just sell to them. Those companies that understand this value, end up working with us long-term, and recommend us to their peers. This is how we grow 🙂  

Thank you for your time Thomas!

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