The Ever Shrinking German Demographic
The Effect on Foreign Companies Recruiting in Germany
In Germany it is a big topic: The population is shrinking. While in the past German population growth was normal and the total German population then received a tremendous boost through reunification, since then population has been declining. Birth rates are low.
What does this mean for the recruitment market? German companies are having to employ older people, having to keep the people they have longer than anticipated and they are having trouble filling the positions they need filled. According to various magazines somewhere between 40,000 and 100,000 engineers are needed to fill the open positions. Recruiting in Germany becomes significantly more difficult as many top companies are vying for talent.
Despite this situation, well educated foreign workers have difficulty finding positions that fit their qualifications. German companies often insist on their workers speaking a good level of German. A prospective employee that only speaks English is going to have a hard time, no matter how qualified he may be.
To understand this, consider it in reverse. If a German engineer were to come to the USA and only speak German, no English at all, he would have tremendous difficulty finding and holding a job.
What does this mean for companies trying to set up operations here and therefore recruiting in Germany? It means that if they require engineers, they will probably be more expensive than what they are used to paying in their home country. It may also mean that the young, eager engineer that they envision is simply not available and that they have to take on a middle aged engineer.
This situation is not only extant in engineering positions. This also applies to other fields, albeit not as strongly perhaps as in the engineering disciplines.