All Eyes on Germany: See the Latest Astounding Employment Trends

September 16, 2013

If your company operates in Germany and is having a hard time recruiting skilled professionals, it turns out you are not alone. How are companies tackling the talent shortage? Read on for the eye-opening findings from a just-published joint study by LinkedIn and Bitkom.

The New Eurozone Migration Trend

The European Union labor market is undergoing one of its most significant transformations in decades.

A founding principle of the Union has always been the free movement of workers across borders. Traditionally, this movement has mostly been limited to migration of Eastern European citizens to the West. In the fast few years, however, as employment numbers in the Eurozone are hitting record highs at around 12%, the EU is seeing a completely new labor migration pattern emerge. Germany has become the migration hub of the continent, attracting professionals from Southern and Western Europe in unprecedented numbers.


The Astounding Germany Recruiting Statistics

A Linkedin and Bitkom study, based on interviews with 1,400 HR managers in Germany, shows that half of all companies are facing a shortage of professionals. Corporations with more than 500 employees are hit the hardest – over 75% of them complain of skilled worker shortage. In an attempt to counteract that, 58% of large companies already employ foreign specialists and managers and 38% plan to recruit staff from abroad in the next twelve months.

The study shows that 56% of German companies are recruiting from Southern Europe (Italy, Spain, Portugal or Greece), and 46% from Western Europe (France, UK, Belgium). Primarily the recruits are graduates (62%) and young professionals (59%). Already 39% of companies recruited foreign candidates for the top management or plans to do so.

The positions with highest demand for immigrants are in engineering, but staff shortages are also huge in hospitals and homes for the elderly, the professional services and the retailing sector. Young Spaniards and other Europeans can now be found in all of these areas.

Large numbers of new graduates are migrating to Germany in response to the shocking unemployment rates in countries like Greece and Spain. In May 2013 youth unemployment in those countries hovered around 62% and unemployment overall was above 20%.

The Best Ways Companies Find Quality Candidates

Interestingly, the study also revealed that German companies rely the most on their website career pages to attract candidates. About 96% of companies rated the channel as "successful to very successful." Slightly more than 82 percent give the same assessment to online job boards. LinkedIn, as well as specialized HR agencies, follow on third place in terms of satisfaction with around 70%. In particular, small to midsize businesses say they have successfully recruited specialist and management staff on LinkedIn (88 percent).

Today’s Economic Graph is Global

These statistics clearly illustrate the rising importance of  connecting talent with markets that have high demand for their skills. Economic development doesn’t stop at the border. While political solutions are crucial to solving challenges like the ones Europe is facing, companies need better access to international talent pools in today’s deeply interconnected global economy. LinkedIn’s ultimate dream is to develop the world’s first economic graph, and we will keep striving to connect talent with opportunity on a global scale.

See the complete survey results in German here.

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