Not enough qualified IT personnel: What to now?
// Corporate Culture, noventum
novum: Despite the international financial crisis, the economy was not brought to its knees. The lack of qualified personnel that had already been looming on the horizon in 2009 has continued and is becoming tangible once more with the improving economy. Has the time arrived now to bring foreign professionals to Germany with attractive conditions in order to not lose out on the business opportunities presenting themselves?
Frank Petersen: As early as 2000, noventum consulting was one of the first companies in North Rhine Westphalia to hire a „Green Carder“. It was an interesting experience for all parties involved which ended during the IT crisis. So, this is one of many options. But it‘s not for everyone. For some jobs, in-depth cultural and language proximity – which cannot always and on short notice be learned through „some further training“ – is also required in addition to technical, professional excellence.
novum: But isn‘t noventum itself an international company? Isn‘t the English language sufficient and established as lingua franca in the IT sector?
Frank Petersen: We‘ve had quite diverse experiences in this respect. At the large companies in Istanbul, for example, the management of large IT operations is international or internationally trained. Here, good personnel can get quite far with the English language. In Germany, that‘s different. IT consultants who do not speak German are virtually impossible to place.
novum: So, you‘re using a different approach these days?
Frank Petersen: Yes, for the reasons just mentioned. We do a lot to be attractive to qualified and experienced IT specialists. For example, noventum has been participating for many years in the „Great Place to Work“ ranking of the Cologne institute of the same name. For 2010, our employees have chosen us as Germany‘s best employer in the category of small and mid-sized companies. That‘s confirmation that we are on the right path, but the competition for good people remains tough.
novum: What else do you do to attract new employees?
Frank Petersen: Just recently, we have actually reversed the roles for a change: noventum is applying for future employees. We have created an employer application.
novum: What‘s that specifically?
Frank Petersen: noventum recently produced a brochure which consequently argues from an applicant‘s perspective. We explain to our future employees who we are and why we believe to be the best employer for good people.
novum: Sounds fun!
Frank Petersen: We‘re taking this quite serious, nevertheless! We know that we have to court good employees and that this is about much more than just money. And to gain their attention, it is good to change the perspective for once. We constantly strive to find new paths to future employees.