Get started
Executive Search, Talent Recruitment

Difficulties of Talent Search in Germany

How well are HR departments and in-house recruiters in German companies doing their job? As the shortage of skilled workers challenges talent search in Germany, our article analyzes two recent studies.

Quo Vadis, Talent Search in Germany?

It is an endless dispute amongst human resource experts: Does the German Labor market not provide a sufficient amount of qualified specialists or is the internal recruiting of companies simply not effective enough to match the job market?

In fact, many companies struggle to place their open position with young and qualified candidates. Therefore, it is to shed light on whether the companies are not doing enough on attracting talent or if the labor market is simply unable to provide a sufficient amount of talents.  

Two studies reveal recruitment quality

The German initiative “Best Recruiters” regularly examines the recruiting quality of the 400 top employers in German-speaking countries. The most recent report tested a total of 423 companies on 136 scientific criteria in relation to human resources management.

In addition, the Center for Human Resources Information Systems (CHRIS) in collaboration with the job portal Monster has published the latest edition of the study series “Recruiting Trends”.

For visibility, the report surveyed the top 1,000 companies and the 300 largest companies from Germany. The results of the corporate findings were compared against the assessments of more than 2,800 candidates compared.

Social Media recruiting is the key to success

One study results in the conclusion that social media has been widely accepted by talent search German professionals in Germany as a major pillar in the candidate search. Only three percent of the 423 companies that took part in the study did not use any kind of social media platform for recruiting purposes.

In contrast, companies are most frequently present on business platforms such as Xing, Linkedin, and Kununu. It is to mention that even 15 percent try to attract promising talents via social media channel Instagram.

The study by CHRIS further proves that social media has become an essential element of recruiting and active sourcing in Germany. Three-quarters of all companies shared that they are highly satisfied with operating on social media platforms. Seven years ago, when the trend was still uprising, only half of the companies supported the use of finding candidates online.

Further, the study finds that companies are becoming more professional presenting their company to potential new hires: Half of the top companies surveyed are actively improving social media channels.

Still weaknesses in communication via social media

Despite their widespread presence in social media, companies are still not fully taking advantage of their potential. According to the Best Recruiters study, nine out of ten companies have an employer profile on Xing, but only 41 percent actively use the channel to communicate relevant news to potential applicants. In comparison, Linkedin is even used less frequently (23 percent).

In this year’s Best-Recruiters study, for the first time, all German companies received a test request by a candidate via their social media platforms. The study points out that communication with the potential candidate lacked in quality and clear guidelines.

In addition, slightly more than a third (37 percent) responded within the study-relevant period of three working days. However, a large part of the companies actually responded in a timely manner (31 percent) within 24 hours. This tendency is not limited to Germany: In Austria, only 17 percent answered the request via social media.

Mobile Recruiting: improvements necessary

In terms of mobile recruiting, there is room for improvement. According to the CHRIS study, only half (55.2 percent) of the companies surveyed provide their company details as well as their job ads in mobile-optimized versions. A staggering 46.3 percent of companies also offer the option of mobile application, thus covering the basic services requires by the digitalized youth.

According to the Best Recruiters study, just under half (52 percent) of the analyzed employers offer a consistently mobile-optimized application process – from the career website via job market and job advertisements to application per se.

Actively invited to the employer’s smartphone application in order to process the job application is just done by two percent of the 423 top companies surveyed.

Apps and one-click per smartphone still rare

Still unused by most companies, the CHRIS study claims to have the potential of apps, though more than half of the candidates find it great when companies and Internet job boards provide apps for mobile devices. A corporate app for publishing job listings only provides 4.5 percent of the top companies.

The “Best Recruiters” initiative also shows further weaknesses in mobile recruiting: On the smartphone, candidates can only apply to one in five employers with their Xing or Linkedin profile. Half of the tested employers (54 percent) have a mobile-optimized online application form.

However, the comparison with the previous studies in the series “Recruiting Trends” shows that employers are aware of the importance of mobile recruiting and have put the topic high on their agenda.

Chatbots and recommender systems more often desired than offered
When it comes to the digitization of recruitment, the CHRIS study also identifies the need to catch up with recruiters: for example, 45.4 percent of candidates already use job-recommender systems, which propose suitable companies and job vacancies on the basis of their profile. For companies, this is only in every tenth in use; a fifth plans this yet. Chatbots would also like to use the candidates according to the study. However, these are only used by 2.8 percent of the top companies surveyed.

Ranking of the best HR recruitment departments

The “Best Recruiters” initiative always compiles a ranking of the investigated companies that can show the best recruiting. Here is 2018 Otto overall winner, followed by Deloitte and Altana. Management consultancies are particularly well represented among the top 10 recruiters: in addition to Deloitte, KPMG (rank 5) and EY (rank 7) have also made it into the top ten. Also in the lead: Amadeus Fire (rank 4), Axel Springer (rank 6), BASF (rank 8), Randstad (rank 9) and Hilti (rank 10).


Although the studies do not indicate a clearly indicate a lack of 

How useful was this post?

Click on a star to rate it!

Average rating 0 / 5. Vote count: 0

No votes so far! Be the first to rate this post.

Lisa Meier

Lisa Meier has more than ten years’ experience in providing strategic advice and legal guidance on international trade, administrative and legal matters to foreign companies, associations, and governments doing business in Germany. She advises companies in a broad range of industries on successfully navigating the German economic environment.

Lisa brings a wealth of knowledge to Universal Hires’ marketing and client success team. In her free time, Lisa spends time exploring the unique city-life of Berlin and all the diversity that the East of Germany have to offer.

About Universal Hires

Universal Hires is Germany’s leading staffing provider. With expertise in recruitment and employer of record services, the company levarges its market entry support.

Get in Touch
Write For Us

We are always looking for valuable contributions from industry experts. Interested?

Content Submission

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *