With the labor market drained in many regions of Germany, companies need to be creative in their search for employees and to broaden their horizons. One method to counteract the lack of suitable workers is to recruit in other EU countries, which many German companies already practice. According to a survey by human resources firm Orizon, the most important skills for applicants to bring to the table are formal qualifications, recognizable degrees, and adequate fluency in the German language - out of three, however, it turns out that the language condition is the leader. Qualifications, surprisingly, are secondary.
The labor market in Germany will see further bottlenecks in the coming years. According to a new study by Bertelsmann Stiftung, Germany needs around 114,000 immigrants from EU states every year until 2060 in order to limit the demographics-based lower labor supply to a "measure that is acceptable to the economy." Many companies do already employ candidates from other EU countries, as an Orizon survey shows among HR managers: of the companies with more than 1,000 employees, well over two-thirds (69%) have EU citizens in their ranks, while small companies with fewer than 100 employees account for slightly less than half (47%).
The most important prerequisite for EU citizens is clearly higher fluency in German, at least from the perspective of human resources managers. From the point of view of respondents, work instructions in German should be easily grasped and simplified for stronger and more efficient communication. In second place are the actual knowledge and abilities of the applicants - these are therefore rated more important than formal qualifications and recognized degrees, which only come in third place.
EU citizens enrich the labor market
"Many people from other European countries also work at Orizon," says Dr. Dieter Traub, CEO of Orizon. "This enables us to present suitable candidates to our customers - and to give our employees from other EU countries attractive career prospects in Germany. An absolute win-win situation."
Every "citizen of the Union" - i.e. every citizen from one member state of the European Union - can settle in Germany and start work without any additional work or residence permit. Those who have not completed their vocational training in this country must in many cases take care of the official recognition of their degree - for example through the nationwide program Foreign Skills Approval by the Chamber of Industry and Commerce (IHK) or the online portal of the federal government, Recognition in Germany. Personnel and temporary employment agencies such as Orizon help with the sometimes complicated administrative procedures and support labor market integration in Germany - sometimes even with their own local offices, such as in the Croatian capital Zagreb, and to great success.
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