How To Win Jobs & Influence Germans
A new book aims to open doors for international professionals in Germany –and points at a flaw with the potential to derail the German economy.
More than 100 job applications and not a single interview. This is the typical experience of international professional in Germany, according to research by Chris Pyak, author of “How To Win Jobs & Influence Germans”.
“When graduates from Berkeley or the London School of Economics can’t find work for two years –something is clearly wrong with our labour market”, says Pyak.
Half of Greeks and 2/3 of Spaniards who seek employment in Germany, leave the country within the first year, shows data published by the OECD. Despite a good education and substantial work experience they cannot break into the German job market.
An experience that could soon be repeated by thousands of British and European citizens that are leaving the United Kingdom after Brexit. Many of these people look for prosperous Germany as a future home – and are setting themselves up for a harsh disappointment:
Only 3.5% of all job offers in Germany are in English reveals data provided by Textkernel B.V. and evaluated by Immigrant Spirit GmbH. This equals 22.000 English job offers for 1.2 million European citizens and immigrants moving to Germany every single year.
“Your education, your work experience, your ability to contribute: None of that matters in the eyes of German HR managers”, says Pyak. The headhunter has talked to hundreds of recruiters over the years: “They all want to hire international talent –and they all believe they can find professionals with the exact skills they need, who also speak fluent German.”
Hiring international talent that is already fluent in German is a pipe dream, says Chris Pyak. Instead companies need to hire in English and train the local language on the job. Not only in Germany, but all over Europe. Labour mobility in Europe is only 1/10 of the US level. “English as an additional service language – as demanded by German liberal party FDP – could create 2 million additional jobs in the EU, states a report by the European Parliament.
The United Kingdom was a vacuum cleaner for European unemployment, quipped Jeremy Cliffefrom The Economist lately in a German TV talk show. Now it is time for Germany to fill this role, says Pyak. Individual professionals, the German Economy and suffering South European countries would all benefit. Even the Euro depends on higher labour mobility, as The Economist points out. And the employers themselves?
Pyak points to an example from his home town Düsseldorf: Trivago is working in English since its inception – and gets more than 40.000 job applications every single month. Not surprisingly: If 97% of companies reject talent based on language skills – then companies who remove that obstacle will have their pick.
Europeans and international talent are stuck: English speaking companies get more candidates than they can handle and German language companies would not consider candidates who don’t speak German. Chris Pyak offers a way out in his book “How to Win Jobs & Influence Germans”: The author shows how international candidates can deal with the “German angst” and speak to employers’ deepest needs instead.
“How to Win Jobs & Influence Germans” is available on Amazon.