An international employee busy handling the documentation related to his employment

Widening your talent pool and recruiting skilled workers from abroad in Germany can pay rich dividends for your business in the long run. But to do it right, there are certain factors to keep in mind, failing which would mean a lot of wastage of money and resources, not to mention the headache of getting a professional from abroad within the fold only to realise the person wasn’t the right fit.

If you have been thinking of recruiting global talent for your Germany-based organisation, here are a few tips and strategies to implement, which will make the road a bit smoother for sure!

Evaluate Your Requirements

As your company’s decision-maker, you need to take a closer look at your requirements before you start the search for international professionals. Ask if you need employees for temporary, seasonal, or permanent positions. Whether the employee can work full-time or part-time, remotely or in a hybrid work condition, are other factors to consider. The qualification, work experience, and any other relevant criteria the open position needs should also be taken into account.  

In case the vacancy hasn’t arisen yet and you are preparing for a future position or a new post that will be created as part of your company’s business expansion, you should decide the timeframe you have in mind to find a suitable candidate.

In case you plan to zero in on a specific country or region known for its people’s prowess in the skill your company needs, it’s imperative to weigh in how easy it will be to recruit from the region. Looking for applicants with fluency in key languages, from a particular region, or with specific information about a state’s culture and administration, etc., are equally vital factors to ponder upon.

Write and Publish Your Job Advertisement

Sit with your HR and talent acquisition (TA) team to write a job description in German, English, and other languages you believe necessary. Make sure the eligibility criteria are spelt out clearly and the application process is easy. Decide where you will publish your job advertisement.

Your website’s career page, different job boards, social media, and career networks are good platforms to publish and publicise your requirement to entice suitable candidates to apply. To extend the reach of your job advertisement within Germany, you can get it enlisted online at the Federal Employment Agency (Bundesagentur für Arbeit).

You can also ask your HR and TA team to find candidates who could be the right fit for the role but aren’t actively looking for a job change. If you are working with a headhunting company, you can ask them to lend you a helping hand in finding both active and passive candidates who fit the eligibility criteria to a T.

Assign Key Contact Persons for Each of the Vital Stages

The entire recruitment process involves several stages, such as

  • Sifting through the job applications received and initial screening (which is typically done via a phone interview)
  • Stage-wise interviews (which could be one-on-one or group interviews, conducted in-person or virtually)
  • Overall assessment of candidates based on qualification, work experience, personality traits, reasoning ability, emotional intelligence, etc.
  • Background check
  • Reference check
  • Initial job offer

Since a lot is involved at every step of the way, it will be wise to assign key contact persons who will manage the specific stages. For example, having one or two contact persons who will handhold the candidates from start to finish, until they get the job offer or are found to be not a good fit will help in streamlining the process.

For candidates, clearing their doubts, getting answers to pressing matters, and seeking clarifications with respect to the recruitment process at any stage will become easier if they know whom to contact and how.

Take Care of the Legal Procedures

Achim Dercks, the Deputy General Manager of DIHK (German Chamber of Industry and Commerce) recently said that almost two million jobs will remain vacant in Germany due to the shortage of skilled labour. With immigration rules for skilled workers poised to be loosened, this is a good time to get global talent into the folds of your company.

As an employer, it’s your responsibility to ensure your new hires have the legal right to work in Germany. You should also run a check on their passports or ID cards to confirm their nationality and identity. If they need a visa for their entry, you should guide them to handle the process.

If you plan to hire non-EU citizens, you will have to get the necessary work permits for them. Ideally, this process should be initiated well in advance, where you – as the employer, will apply for the work permit on behalf of the employee. This application process can take several weeks or even months, during which the employee needs to be present in Germany.

Though EU citizens don’t need a work permit, they will have to be registered with the local authorities if their stay is likely to be for over three months. Apart from your international employees’ work permit and visa requirements, you should also guide them on their tax and social security obligations, health insurance, and offer housing and relocation assistance as well as guidance on how the German social security system works.

Plan Arrival and Induction

From keeping the employment contract ready and translated into a foreign language, if needed, to offering adequate support to your employees regarding the legal and administrative processes after they arrive in Germany, a lot needs to be planned carefully.

For example, helping them with registering with the Foreigners Authority, registering their residence, opening a bank account, choosing energy provider, health insurance, school for the children, telephone provider, etc. should be high up on your priority list to help the new hires settle in a foreign land.

The induction phase should walk the new recruits through the company’s relevant details, offer them a welcome folder with additional information they can browse later at their convenience, and appoint an office buddy or mentor to help them integrate into society and new professional role. An intercultural training schedule too could come in handy for the seamless integration of foreign employees within your company.

Final Words

Seamless recruiting of international talent in Germany needs all the above segments to work well. If handling them on your own seems like a Herculean task, you can always engage an experienced headhunting company with a presence in Germany and your target country from where you want to hire skilled labour.

This way, you can rest easy while the expert recruiters do all the legwork on your behalf and even take care of the legal and other requirements to get the best fit for your business.

This article was written by