In the first half of June, I launched the survey via LinkedIn.
I wanted to find out what needs international professionals have who want to land a job in Germany.
Well, I realize that there is no such thing as “the one” international. There are graduates who have completed their master’s degree at a university and are having real difficulties finding their first entry-level job. There are professionals, some with a lot of work experience, who want to change jobs and do everything right (this time).
LinkedIn is one huge job board
LinkedIn is currently the most popular social-media platform that doubles as one big job board. I followed a lot of discussions over the past few months and gavew a lot of individual advice on how to improve the job seek.
To give guidance has been a focus of mine since 2014, when I first advised a group of English-speaking professionals after their master’s degree. I mentored them on how to market themselves, apply persuasively, and win over employers so that they want to hire them.
Even here I noticed that although the international graduates are talented, used to finding solutions to any problems that arise, and are a particularly high-performing group, the German language and culture, and thus the application and hiring procedures, are foreign to them.
At that time, I had contact with international people for the first time in a long time. And I was completely surprised! It was only during the many counseling sessions that I gradually began to understand how foreign the German working world is to a person who has grown up in a completely different cultural area.
Even a good qualification is no ticket to a suitable and fair job.
There are those unfortunate cases where the ignorance and insecurity of a highly qualified professional triggers employers not to show their best side. Some German employers offer working conditions that a skilled person who grew up in Germany would not accept under any circumstances.
I met many talented people from Asia and Africa in my professional life who were employed and paid well below their qualification level. Therefore, it has always been very important to me to educate and show how a self-confident applicant should behave in an interview with a German HR decision maker.
The Corona Pandemic has reduced the number of vacancies significantly
The Corona pandemic hast led to a sharp decline in job vacancies in German. Especially for graduates! It’s true that the job seek is a merry-go-round and has the potential for lots of stress, insecurieties and running out of mones.
I invited professionals to participate in this survey because my vision with MyJob Germany is to create a place where international professionals can get honest and quality advice. A place that guidesthem on the fast track for a job in Germany from the very beginning of the job seek.
Intense individual coaching is gold-expensive
So far, I have supported applicants and professionals from abroad on an individual basis to find a job. Here, consulting work, professional as well as personal coaching blend into an intensive process. The end result is an employment contract and entry into a professional future that the participant in the coaching can shape confidently and actively.
Now, in June 2021, I would like to create an offer that meets the needs of a larger number of professionals. An offer that is not too intensive (and pricey) but offers efficient, effective and practical support step by step.
I would like to present some of the results of the survey
Who has taken part in the survey that I’ve posted on LinkedIn?
The majority of the participants study at a university, with almost 50% of the participants as graduates looking for their first permanent job, another group of almost 30% are looking for a qualified student job or a practical master thesis.
How much time do you have to plan for in order to find the desired position?
This duration is extremely important in order to plan the stay in Germany in terms of time and finances. That’s why I asked what friends and acquaintances say.
The results show that 47% expect to have found a job within six months, and another 24% expect to have found a job within 8 or 12 months. The expectation of having found a job within three months is stated by 29 percent of the participants.
At what point in their career journey into a job are respondents currently?
Are they applying for jobs right now, and if so, how long have they been applying? The chart shows a mixed group of professionals, some still studying, some only looking for 2 months, some already looking for 6 or 12 months.
How much time have the participants left to find a job?
Skilled workers from non-EU countries have a residence permit that is tied to their studies or job search. If they do not succeed in finding a job within the specified time, they must return home.
Many graduates complete an additional qualification that is more strongly oriented toward in-house practice. The closer the temporal end of the residence permit approaches, the more pressure and emotional uncertainty increase.
What kind of support need the Internationals?
What advice do international professionals need in order to start their careers in Germany more quickly and successfully?
What perspective does a professional from the NON-EU sector have on his or her own situation? What needs do they have, where do they believe they need to be better positioned and where is important and clarifying information missing?
Participants in the survey were asked to rate a number of individual topics in terms of their importance.
As a result, there are no single topics that have been identified by the professionals as the only important topic. It is by no means the case that it is simply a matter of application documents or successful strategies for an interview. No, each of the 19 items is rated as either important or very important by over 50%. The only exception: Job search. After all, the survey was asked on LinkedIn, where a great many job offers are published.
What is the overall message of the survey?
The group of job-seeking professionals is quite diverse. What the participants have in common is that they are looking for their first job in Germany.
The expectation of the necessary time from application to contract signature is estimated by just under half of the respondents at a duration of 6 months, and just under one third at 3 months.
German candidates need 5.6 months in average (2018)
A comparative statement from 2018, according to a survey by Stepstone, the duration of the job search of qualified applicants is 5.6 months. For engineers and scientists, it is 6.1 and 6.3 months, respectively.
As a reminder, Stepstone only has about 10% of its job openings in English.
We may assume that English-speaking applicants have a harder time finding the right job than the average Stepstone applicant.
Thus, this survey seems to point in the direction that international professionals tend to underestimate the time needed to find a job. The numbers are from 2018 in a time when it was much easier to find a job.
The International Professionals have a need in a broad variety of topics to be able to align
However, the question as to which topics relating to the German labor market, application and recruiting processes the professionals see a need for speaks a clear language. In 18 of 19 topics, more than 50% see a need to learn more in order to be more competent and successful getting a job. I explain this need by the diversity of job & work cultural issue. Also, the desire to understand behavioral requirements and rules of the German job market. And, for sure, the desire to be confident in the negotiation process with German employers.
A huge “Danke” to all those who participated! Please stay tuned.
The feedback in the survey are a great helo in tailoring a program shortly that meets all the needs and all the expectations of those graduates and professionals who have participated in the survey.
They can’t be wrong in their need for more guidance, more understanding and the need to alighn to the German Working Culture to kickstart their career.
In case you want to hear more about the Germans, the German job market and all the insider tipps you are invited to join the Insiders, as a group of of Internationals in Germany who want to kickstart getting a job and get ahead in their job in a German company.