Currently, there’s a lot of talk about short-term and long-term risks to the labor market in Germany. There’s the “Brexit” vote, still unsolved structural problems in Europe that showed during the financial and currency crisis, and the migration into Europe from the Near East and Africa. Those problems are undeniably real, and have to be approached by the forces that be. Still, various analysis and statistics point straight up for the labor market. The Federal Labor Office has been reporting record lows in the number of qualified workers looking for work, and private organization add some interesting numbers of their own.
It’s estimated that about 10% of all employees are so-called low-performers. There is no shortage of heated discussions and well-meant advice from HR- and Business Consultants concerning those ten percent. In this article, we will take a closer look at the matter. Who are those low-performers? And how did they end up being one?
The goal of the grand coalition between 2005 and 2009 was right and proper: the overall financial burden for employers and employees from social security contributions should drop and stay below 40% in the long term. Starting in 2008, with a short interruption during the years after the financial crisis, this was achieved up to this year. Unemployment contributions and pension contributions have remained at a low level, those for nursing care insurance have been raised only slightly and several reforms have kept the health insurance contributions in check. However, the overall level might soon rise above the magic number of 40%. Already the average is 39.8%, and many employees are above 40% already.
We are halfway through 2016. This time of year, various institutes traditionally publish their prognosis for the coming six months. In this, the expectations of the Institute for Employment Research hit pretty close to reality.
We all make a myriad of choices every day, whether it’s unconscious ones like which sock to put on first, minor ones like picking the cereal for breakfast, or major ones like deciding whether to change jobs. Plainly, without the ability to make choices, none of us would be able to function in our everyday world.
Experience says that most of those good intentions we started the year with have dissolved in the everyday grind of reality by now. Even more reason to stop now and readjust ones habits, especially for those involved in HR: Make it a goal to truly only use objective criteria when deciding on a hire. While most would agree that this is a goal to strife for, it is much harder to truly life by, since humans are in our very nature biased.
Even if you haven’t spent time working abroad or speak five languages, there is still hope for you to stand out from the crowd. HR professionals increasingly are paying attention to candidates’ hobbies and volunteer work. What for a long time was little more than a passing comment at the bottom of the resume to point out that you had a life outside work, Recruiters are not trying to use these points, along with the interview, to get an idea of candidates’ social skills. Hence, how you spend your free time has more influence on your chances to land the job than most people think.
Research and development in the automotive industry is turning digital Soon up to 60% of all jobs in that area will be filled by IT specialist personnel
A recent study done by „PriceWaterhouseCoopers“ (PwC) shows an interesting development in the automobile industry. Not surprisingly, the existing r&d departments are expected to grow considerably the next five years. That means the creation of several thousand engineering jobs. However, and this is the real surprise, the demand for mechanical engineers and automotive engineers is expected to slowly decline, while there will be an additional demand for software engineers and other IT specialists and computer scientists. This will add additional strain to an already tight labor market, as the automotive companies will be competing for talent with big players like Google, Apple, and Microsoft!
Feeling stressed is a very subjective thing. It therefore helps to take a look at the yearly study about the world of employment done by the Federal Employment Agency. Recently, said study for 2015 was published. It is compiled out of data about sick days, polls done in companies and work councils, and other sources.
European institutions, in cooperation with national chambers of commerce and industry, are currently working on the accreditation and recognition of various degrees across the borders. In the meantime, the job markets on the continent, especially those in Austria, Germany and Sweden, are faced with new challenges after the strong influx of refugees over the course of last year. Disregarding their individual motivation for leaving their home and head for Europe, the majority will stay long-term. All political parties and relevant groups, as well as the migrants themselves, are aware that goal it not temporary shelter and protection from civil wars and persecution, but integration into the host societies. In this post we will look at the aspects having to do with the labor market. Finding employment is, next to learning the language of the country and compliance with national laws, paramount to fully become a member of the new society.
The picture shows the same kind of work, but less income, and as a result also lower pensions after retirement; the data recently published by the Federal Statistical Office shows that the difference of pay between men and women has gone down, but still women get paid less for the same work than men do. It almost seems like women are unable to escape that inequity even in our modern 21st century. The published data has drawn some criticism, though.
Since January 2015, Germany has a minimum wage of currently 8.50 Euros her work hour. In a previous post, we already talked about the effects of that law on the labor market in general. However, internships can also be affected by the minimum wage, depending on the circumstances. In this post, we will talk about some of the special cases.
One common element that is talked about a lot within the overall theme of an increasing lack of skilled workers along with parent’s ability to juggle work and family life, is the question how mothers on parental leave could be enticed to return to the work force more quickly. Now, everyone can, by law, switch to part-time. That is, as long as the employer cannot name valid operational reasons why that is impossible.
What has been a fact of life in the manufacturing industry for decades is now making itself felt in office jobs: Over the next five years, robots might make up to five million office jobs industrialized countries of the OECD obsolete. These numbers are based on a study published shortly before this year’s World Economic Forum in Davos, for which more than 300 world leading corporations were interviewed.
Imagine for a moment a soccer team who has to cancel an important game on short notice because two of the players fell sick, and having only twelve players on the payroll overall, they are unable to put the necessary eleven players on the field. It seems inconceivable to not plan ahead and keep more players than the bare minimum available, in case of injuries. All the more surprising that quite a few companies run their business that way.
Those who took a look at the XING Arbeitgeberatlas when it came out a while ago quickly realized that there are big local differences in how employees rated their working conditions. Much of that will obviously be due to individual company culture, salary levels, career opportunities, flexibility, work hours and all that. However, another important factor, which we run into time and again during our consulting work, is simply the company location.
Since we have talked about the advantages of a diverse work force in other posts, today we shall take the next logical step and look at how such a work force can be achieved. In general, groups’ natural tendency is more toward homogeneity, rather than the other way around. So what can be done?
In many ways, the shortage of qualified workers is forcing companies to become somewhat less demanding when hiring new personnel – and that not only in the STEM fields. Today, many candidates who would not have made it through even the first part of the selection process due to a non-stellar final grade or missing specialist skill are given a chance. When it comes to good manners, hiring managers haven’t relaxed much, though.
Whenever the topic of a current or future shortage of skilled workers comes up, getting more women interested in the “STEM” fields and encourage them to take up traditionally “male” professions like electrical engineering or mechanical engineering is cited as a solution. I quite agree that early intervention can go a long way to allow girl to discover their interest in the natural sciences, or at least not be discouraged, and to follow through by studying engineering. However, I have to say that this is only the beginning.
Quite a few applicants already include their salary expectations in the cover letter of their application. For many job ads that is even expected of them. However, not every candidate is able to correctly asses their own market value. This leads to anxiety about whether a too high demand might get the application trashed before the recruiter so much as skimmed the list of qualifications. Hence, many try to postpone the matter until the job interview.