Talented staff in hot demand: half of employees receiving at least one new job offer a month

München/Düsseldorf, 19/01/2023

  • Survey by BCG and StepStone of more than 90,000 people around the world indicates that Germany’s labor market is one of the most heated globally
  • One third of the workforce looking for a new job: remuneration main reason for a move followed by work-life balance and flexibility
  • Efficient and authentic recruitment process particularly important to Germans

The German labor market is one of the most heated globally: almost half of employees (47 percent) receive at least one new job offer a month. 79 percent of employees are being approached several times a year. However, just 11 percent perceive themselves to be in a strong position to negotiate, far fewer than the global average (19 percent). Overall, two thirds of German respondents consider their negotiating position to be good nonetheless. Those are the core findings of the Decoding Global Talent – The Future of Recruitment survey by the strategy consultants Boston Consulting Group (BCG), the global recruiting platform StepStone, and The Network, the world’s leading affiliation of digital job boards. In August and September 2022, almost 90,000 employees from 180 countries, including more than 4,200 Germans, were surveyed about their career needs and preferences.

“The scarcity of talent is one of the major challenges facing business and industry worldwide”, says Jens Baier, co-author of the survey and senior partner at BCG. “Companies need to act now: they need to understand their current and future staffing requirements, tap new sources of talent, and spot opportunities, such as when competitors are cutting headcount. Staff recruitment is becoming a very real strategic mission.”

Sebastian Dettmers, CEO of StepStone: “The Great Labor Shortage is triggering deep-seated changes in recruitment. Unless companies forge ahead with digitalizing and automating their recruitment processes, they will find themselves left behind by the competition.”

Salary is the number one motivation for changing jobs in Germany
More than a third of the workforce is currently looking for a new job, the biggest incentives are a more interesting or a more senior role. 46 percent are not actively looking for a job but would be prepared to change job if they received a good offer. For the respondents in Germany, salary (29 percent) was the most important factor for taking up a new job, followed by work-life balance (22 percent), and flexibility in terms of working hours and place of work (20 percent).

“German jobseekers look at salary first”, says the StepStone CEO Sebastian Dettmers. While on average 30 percent of people globally look at a potential new job’s salary details first, that figure is 42 percent for Germany. “Companies should be straightforward about pay and rewards in their job ads – it makes the process more efficient and applicants can see immediately if it is worth pursuing.”

Work-life balance beats management roles
When asked about their ideal job, two thirds of respondents in Germany (respondents globally: 69 percent) indicated that they want a secure job that gives them enough time for their family, friends, and hobbies. This was followed by 43 percent who said that their ideal job needed to be interesting and involve exciting products, technologies, or services. By contrast, only 31 percent want to take on a management position – that’s 10 percentage points lower than the average globally. “Companies need to align their recruitment strategies with the wishes and ambitions of the talented staff they seek to recruit. They need to understand employees’ individual preferences, adapt their value proposition, and ultimately change their recruitment processes,” says Jens Baier, a senior partner at BCG.

German employees appear to have adapted to hybrid methods of working: almost three quarters prefer to split their time between the office and home (74 percent). That’s 20 percentage points more than the global average. The survey shows that people appreciate personal interaction in the office but also want the flexibility of working from home. The traditional five-day week remains the preferred model for 72 percent of respondents in Germany compared with 75 percent globally. However, more people in Germany than elsewhere would like to work part time (23 percent; globally: 16 percent).

The application process appears to be particularly important to the German workforce. For four out of five respondents, employers can make a good impression if they are honest and do not promise too much. It comes as little surprise in the land of engineers that 79 percent of people said it was very important that application processes are quick and seamless with rapid feedback. 71 percent of respondents would turn a good job offer down if in the interview they faced discriminatory questions or felt that the chemistry was bad. Employers should therefore be particularly mindful of the image of themselves that they present to applicants. Respect and speed are absolute deal breakers in this regard in Germany.

More insights and illustrative charts can be downloaded by clicking here.

About the survey

For the Decoding Global Talent survey, Boston Consulting Group (BCG) and The Network (an affiliation of the world’s leading online job boards in 130 countries co-founded by StepStone) surveyed around 90,000 employees in total from 180 countries in August and September 2022. The online survey focused among other things on willingness to change jobs, the key criteria for doing so, and general preferences in respect of working conditions.