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Executive Search, Talent Recruitment

Overcoming IT Talent Shortage in Germany

In today’s IT business environment in Germany, HR departments are regularly facing various challenges. Topics such as recruiting, headhunting, executive search and the shortage of skilled workers, also referred to as the “war of talents”, regularly cause difficulties for German companies when adding talents to their growing operations.

The following article will detail the major issues that cause talent shortage when recruiting IT talents as well as to proactively discuss possible solutions.

IT Workforce’s Rising Bargaining Power

A company is only as innovative as its employees. In particular, IT recruiting is often a problem in this context. In the past years, a major shift of power in favor of the workforce’s bargaining power has been noticed.

According to Germany’s leading digital association Bitkom, the local IT industry saw record growth in the labor market in 2017 and created 45,000 additional jobs. A growth, however, that could have been significantly higher if the labor market would provide additional talents.

What Do The Facts State?

According to the MINT Report of Q1/2018, the shortage of IT skilled workers within the German labor market has doubled during the last four years. At the end of April 2018, a total of 39,600 jobs remained vacant. Even though the number of employees rose significantly, the number of qualified MINT professionals fell by 1.1 percent. 

Although Germany is among the world’s leaders to produce MINT colleague graduates with a percentage of 33.6 percent of all degrees, it shows that the overall number of graduates is not sufficient to fill the gap of the required IT workers.

In this context, the online portal Indeed has compiled a study on which IT jobs in Germany are the most difficult to fill. The study is based on a percentage of different job advertisements during a timeframe of two months. On average, 35.8% of all job vacancies to hire an “IT Process and Service Manager” are advertised for more than 60 days without being filled. In addition, 39% of all job advertisements to fill vacancies of a “Business / IT Manager” and “Senior Software Developers” are advertised for 2 months, also without placements being made. 

Why Companies Struggle to Fill Roles?

Experts say that the problems in the IT industry of placing staff in open roles are likely to be caused due to operational reasons: 

  • Supply of apprenticeship roles are not enough
  • Qualification requirements of the advertised job vacancies are too difficult
  • Alumni networks are not available

Another important factor that is consistently mentioned amongst industry experts is the lack of teaching computer science basics during the educational training of German students. For example, skills such as programming skills and algorithmic thinking should be given a higher priority during the early states of schooling as well as business opportunities should be promoted more often.

Best Practices in IT Recruiting

According to a Bitkom study, 89% of companies believe that computer science skills will become as important as professional or social skills.

Even though the IT shortage itself is not a new topic, it could reach a critical point in the near future. It is to emphasize that innovation and competitiveness of more and more industries are largely dependent on IT.

In the current situation, companies need to become more creative in the course of IT recruitment in order to reduce Time-to-Hire and to attract highly qualified talents.

In order to attract the attention of potential candidates, IT job advertisement should be compelling to its applicants by using common language.

The potential of early branding is also gaining in importance in such a highly competitive industry. Therefore, it should not be underestimated in order to anchor the employer brand in the minds of young talents at an early stage and thus to win them at a later point during their career.

Therefore, the need for IT professionals is expected to rise in the coming years, while labor shortages are unlikely to be resolved quite soon.


With the challenge of finding, recruiting and retaining IT talent in Germany, companies are encouraged to consider innovative approaches.

At Universal Hires, our recruitment experts are experienced in finding executive talent and middle-level management through our country-wide network of skilled IT professionals. 

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As leading recruitment agency in Germany, our team assists with accessing top talent, overcoming local labor laws, and exhilarating successful operations in Germany.

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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.

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