44.3 million people were employed in 2017 – the highest number since reunification. According to preliminary calculations by the Federal Statistical Office, the number of employed persons was 638,000 or 1.5 percent higher than in the previous year. This was a dynamic continuation of the growth in employment that has been continuing for twelve years. What is advantageous for employees is a challenge for companies – also in the baby and children’s sector.

The economy in Germany is booming. Gross domestic product continued to grow in 2017, driven primarily by private consumption and exports. Whether manufacturing industry, trade or services: All branches need new employees. For business service providers alone, the number of employed persons rose by 146,000 in 2017. There was an increase of 111,000 employees in the retail, transport and hospitality sectors. The number of persons employed in the manufacturing industry also increased by an average of 61,000 in 2017.

Shortage of skilled workers slows down production

In many regions of Germany, therefore, there is already a shortage of labor and the much-quoted shortage of skilled workers is spreading. The Institut der deutschen Wirtschaft Köln IW reports that 41 percent of companies want to increase their number of employees this year. Many companies are already slowing down the search for new personnel: 47 percent of companies stated that the lack of skilled workers limits production possibilities. IW-Director Michael Hüther: “Companies in Germany would invest more in physical capital and technology if they had more skilled workers available in most economic sectors”.

Bruder Spielwaren combines measures to attract and motivate employees

Many companies in the baby and children’s industries also face the challenge of competing for jobs. Paul Heinz Bruder, managing partner of Bruder Spielwaren GmbH + Co. KG: “We are also confronted with the issue of a shortage of skilled workers. His recipe is dedication, from the search for employees to motivation: “For many years now, we have been training skilled workers in five professions, for which we received the IHK award in 2012 as a recognized training company. We of course also look for our employees in schools, recruit them in print and online media – and the banner in the football stadium is also intended to draw attention to our importance as an attractive employer. In order to motivate our employees, we not only create a pleasant working environment at the latest technical development and production level, they also receive gratuities and support in further training. We are proud to say that our fluctuation rate is very low – in 2017 alone we had six employees who have been with the company for 25 and 40 years.”

Ravensburger relies even more on social media in the future

Strengthening the positive image as an employer for employees and new talents is a key element in tackling the shortage of skilled workers. Simone Peckhaus, Head of Human Resources at Ravensburger: “The high popularity of the Ravensburger brand has a strong influence on us as an employer. Our mission to “make sense” and “promote playful development” with our products can be experienced in many of the activities of our employees every day. In addition, Ravensburger offers the tradition and reliability of a German family-owned company that strives for the well-being of its employees. This combination is very attractive in the recruitment market. Of course, we are also feeling the effects of the decline in skilled workers, but we are working actively to maintain our attractiveness as an employer and to further optimize and expand our range of services for our employees. For example, we have now created a new possibility for sabbaticals.”

New situations require new measures. For this reason, the company relies on a combination of innovative and proven strategies when it comes to recruiting employees: “In the future, it will be increasingly important to address the target groups that are relevant for us and to communicate with them regularly on topics that are relevant to them. To this end, we will expand our social media presence and secure the acquisition of experienced professionals, young talents and trainees with proven and new concepts. The presence in schools, on career days and at universities is a proven procedure to fill our approx. 70 training and DH positions “, says Peckhaus.


Link: www.destatis.de

Image: Ravensburger Gruppe