Hiring in Germany
Germany has one of the strongest economies in the world and its central spot in the middle of the Western part of Europe makes it a great place to start your European journey. If you are considering coming to Europe with your business and hiring a sales representative, Germany could be a good choice via EuroDev’s HR Outsourcing services! Every country in Europe is different when it comes to hiring employees. Things to keep in mind are for example the culture and of course the labor laws. In this article, you will find a brief summary on hiring in Germany.
Finding highly skilled staff is probably one of the biggest challenges. There are some trends companies should be aware of when it comes to recruiting and hiring in Germany. The candidates’ experience and active sourcing became very relevant topics in the recruiting business in Germany. Employer branding has gained significance in recent years and imposes more of a challenge to recruiters than hiring professionally experienced workforces. Social Media Recruiting continues to grow. Germans tend to use XING over LinkedIn for example and thus is an important upcoming platform to use when you are thinking of hiring in Germany.
“Employment at will” is not an option in Germany and generally the whole of Europe. In Germany, you can offer your employee a fixed term or unlimited employment contract. A fixed term contract has a specific end date on which the service from your employee will end. In the employment contract you state the gross annual salary the probationary period, the notice period and how many days off someone has per year. The mandatory minimum days of vacation in Germany is 20, but our is experience that everyone expects at least 25. As German notice periods can be very long (up to 6 months in management positions), this is an important thing to check when you start interviewing candidates.
Another important item for German employees is their car. In most jobs, when it is relevant, the employee receives a lease car or a contribution from the employer so they can cover the costs of getting a car themselves. In general, employment law in Germany is quite employer friendly. For example, if you have a small company with 10 or less employees, it is rather easy to let the employees go. This law is there to protect smaller companies when it does not work out with one of the employees.
For the employees’ side, Germany has a good social security system. Employers have to contribute to basic healthcare and pension for all employees; registrations need to be made with the Tax Authorities, Social Security and Health Insurance. After registering the company in Germany with these authorities, employees will be enrolled into the applicable schemes. This does depend on the kind of company they will work for. The German employer contributions are 17%. Please note that the German Tax Authorities will not accept direct payments from a foreign bank account. All other additional expenses need to be process through monthly payroll too (car allowance, reimbursement for meals and travel etc.) and you also need to make sure the right taxes are paid.
Perhaps the first things that pops to mind are the cliché German characteristics like directness, arrogance or lots of red tape. But, this is not our experience at all. In fact, Germany’s business world is far more appealing than that. Don’t worry if some German business people seem slightly aloof, correct and rather blunt at the same time. Hierarchy, directness, and a certain measure of separation between work and private life are essential values in German business culture.
Germans generally have very good work ethic and a professional attitude. They are often very thorough, detail-oriented, and keen on producing good results and value good education and diplomas. Another German quality is formality. The German word ‘pünktlich’ summarizes this very well and means something like precise/on time/punctual. They generally are on time and check contracts together with management before giving the final approval.
Other words that fit the German culture are fairness and loyalty. They will be honest about, for example, a job offer and usually mean exactly what they say. This can come across as perhaps rude or blunt, but is not meant that way at all. All in all, you can rely on the German tendency to be interested in long-term relationships. Once they have made a commitment, they will try to develop a mutually beneficial relationship based on trust.
What can we do for you?
If all the above is new to you or you have no idea where to start or what to do; We are happy to guide you with recruitment and/or employment Germany! We can offer help in any form with a dedicated team and guide you through the process of expanding to Germany.
Are you looking to hire German sales professionals for your business development? Or perhaps you already have a matching candidate but could use some help with onboarding the new employee to your company. Please don’t hesitate to get in touch with Paulien Olde Bijvank so we can explain the process in more detail and discuss the possibilities for your business.
Content author: Iris Elburg is one of EuroDev’s HR specialists. Iris has a background in International Employment Law and Recruiting. At the moment she is also working on getting her MBA in HRM with the focus on Change and Performance Management.