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Young expertise and talent needed!

The “Preparation for the German Labour Market” was a session with Mr. Björn Knothe, CEO and Founder of the recruiting company division one that was highly anticipated by the MBA students. With over 20 years of experience in Personnel Consulting, his company is based in Stuttgart and has partner offices in more than 40 countries.

Conducted online, the session began with a round of introductions on both sides. Mr. Knothe then dived straight into giving a clear overview of the long running employment situation in the German market.  Speaking of the export-oriented economy with a rapidly aging population, he emphasized on the huge need of young expertise and talent. It is no secret that Germany is one of the best countries to work in and the low unemployment rates speak for themselves. Being a very international cohort, the students were also informed about how and why Germany values immigration and wants to retain as much of the incoming talent.

Mr. Knothe also shed special limelight on the Mittelstand (small and medium sized) companies and explained why they could be an attractive employer. Walking the students through the most important sectors of the German industry, he gave insights on which ones are expected to grow in the future, like for example the mechanical engineering and plant construction sector.

In the second part of the session, the focus shifted to how to effectively sell one’s skills in the German labour market. A lot of tips were shared, and a lot of discussions happened on resume, professional social network profile building and networking. Effective ways of information presentation and outlining one’s skills and experiences were discussed. Mr. Knothe also highlighted the importance of thorough research on participating companies and scale of the fair before attending career fairs. Students also learnt a lot of valuable dos and don’ts of phone and video interviews, right from the body language and dress codes to the right time and way of indulging in small talks and following up. “Better to be overdressed than underdressed”, said Mr. Knothe.

Special emphasis was laid on preparing and asking intelligent questions post the interview. Being informed and interested in company turnover and culture being some of the things to possibly ask about. Lastly, insights on salary negotiations and how to do one were given.

All in all, the session was a huge success based on the engagement and feedback of the students. We sincerely thank Mr. Knothe for conducting this class for our MBA students every year! We and our students value it immensely!

Text/screenshots: Surel Surve, Class of 2021