JobTalk Germany

Job seekers frustrated with application wait

Job seekers frustrated with application wait
Photo: DPA
A new YouGov survey shows job seekers in Germany are exasperated with the application process, complaining about poor job adverts and slow responses. Recruiters agree.

Forty percent of job seekers in Germany said they had to wait up to six weeks for a response to their applications, a survey conducted for German recruiter Talents Connect showed.

And more than one in five people said they had no response to at least ten of their applications.

The figures showed that 59 percent German job seekers applied to at least ten jobs, while 25 percent had applied to more than 40 during each job hunting spell.

Holger Geißler from YouGov said the application process was often a “classical example of failed communication”.

“We see in lots of cases that what the job applicant sends is not really looked at,” he said.

Chris Pyak, from recruitment company Immigration Spirit, told The Local he agreed with the survey results, saying he had run into problems with some HR departments.

“Every day we see how long HR departments take to give us a feedback on candidates. This is especially true with ‘hip’ English language companies," he said.

“The reason is simple – these companies have way more applicants than they need. More traditional German language companies have a higher need for candidates, but often don’t behave accordingly.

“I know a head of HR in a big property development company who dismisses candidates based on the picture on their CV," said Pyak. 

German CVs traditionally include a picture of the candidate. Last September, a study of employers suggested that women who attach photos of themselves wearing a headscarf could ruin their chances of employment.

“The first thing HR departments should improve is the criteria for hiring," added Pyak. "Degrees, certificates and skill sets get too much attention in the evaluation. Instead they should focus on defining who the most successful person for this job is.”

'Poor job ads'

The survey results were also critical of job adverts. 

Forty-two percent of respondents said the level of information in the adverts were “poor” or “rather poor” and only 16 percent rated them as good.

Robin Sudermann, co-founder of Talent Connect, said: “If the information in the notification is inadequate or too superficial, it arouses false expectations among the candidates.

“This gives companies lots of inappropriate applications and job seekers have a harder time to identify the right employer."

Another finding of the YouGov survey was that snail mail is still a popular method to apply for jobs in Germany, despite the many opportunities to apply online.

Almost half of those surveyed said they awaited a response in the post, with 39 percent preferring email.

The survey was carried out among a representative sample of 1,055 adults in Germany from June 25th to 27th.

What are your experiences of applying for a job in Germany? Let us know below.

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