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Recruiting the innovation leaders of tomorrow: how to find top talent in Bavaria.
Whether your business is a start-up, scale up or big player in the tech sector, attracting top talent is most likely a key success factor in your future growth strategy. Bavaria is home to some of the world’s leading universities and research institutions. Vocational training and dual-study programmes also offer solid skills and hands-on experience right from the start. Finally, the quality of life and international business scene attracts many young professionals and experts from all over the world.
But how exactly do you go about finding top talent here? LinkedIn ads, headhunters and job fairs may be a good start. But you shouldn’t stop there.
We spoke to three experts in the start-up and tech scene. They know first-hand what attracts top talent, even in an increasingly competitive recruiting landscape:
- Dr. Christian Andersen is the Network Manager at ZDI Mainfranken, a leading digital start-up centre in the region.
- Katrin Oeder is Manager Human Resources at fortiss, the research institute of the Free State of Bavaria for software-intensive systems. And last but not least,
- Frederike Rohr is the Director Health and Head of Munich at Plug and Play Tech Center, a leading innovation platform that connects start-ups, corporations, venture capital firms, universities, and government agencies. It is headquartered in Silicon Valley.
1. Don’t just recruit, connect
Being recognised in the tech scene as an attractive employer is key - word spreads fast. This rule applies to Bavaria just as it does to any other innovation hub around the world.
Frederike says: “It is important to position yourself as a thought leader in the respective industry at an early stage and define your company values. It is crucial to represent these values authentically, both internally and externally, and to communicate them to potential new talents.”
Speaking of involvement, local tech events also represent a great opportunity for engagement. Christian cites the Würzburg Web Week in his region as a good example: “These seven days are packed with events and high-profile PR coverage. It’s a great way to boost the visibility of both sponsors and speakers.”
2. Start young.
Katrin emphasises the importance of building connections with universities. This enables you not just to immerse yourself in the tech scene as a company, but also to create awareness of your firm among future graduates.
There are many simple ways to build a connection with them, such as offering student internships, collaborations on students’ final theses or guest lectures.
Christian adds: “Here in Würzburg, we have many events at universities such as Hackathons. Companies that offer young IT talents with cool challenges like these can expect to be top-of-mind thereafter.”
University career services are an excellent point of contact for foreign companies to promote their company’s brand awareness and bond with students. This spring, for example, we at Invest in Bavaria teamed up with the Indian business association FICCI and the Bavarian-Indian University Centre BayIND to facilitate access to Bavarian universities for Indian global players with a branch in Bavaria. First, the companies were given insight into the services offered by the Centre for Skills and Careers via a webinar using the University of Passau as an example and were able to exchange information with the Network for Transfer and Innovation TRIO, a network of six Eastern Bavarian universities.
The next step on the way to trying out and building a campus strategy was to offer a Company Slam with the cooperation partners. Here, four international technology companies pitched to the students in a relaxed competitive atmosphere. During the Q&A and get-together afterwards, both sides were able to network and get to know each other personally.
After this first foot on campus in the summer semester, the companies then have another opportunity in the winter semester to independently realise further HR formats and to specifically search for suitable applicants at the job fair “campus meets Company” (in Passau).
3. Embrace New Work.
The buzzword “New Work” may seem overused when talking about attracting new talent, but Katrin stresses that modern leadership styles are even more important than feel-good programmes and flexible work hours. "Offer opportunities to recruits and engage with new ideas. Communicating with employees at eye level opens up possibilities to tackle challenges and find innovative solutions together. Provide young talents with additional training. If you show appreciation and recognition for their work, they are more likely to identify with the company."
4. Take diversity seriously.
Frederike emphasises the underestimated potential, notably when recruiting tech talent, in taking diversity seriously.
In sum, getting ready to recruit future leaders in Bavaria may be an experience that is rewarding in many other ways as well. It means meeting new people, building your profile as a company and rethinking your values.
You have a subsidary in Bavaria and you are interested in developing relationships with Bavarian universities and their career centres? Do not hestitate to contact us - we will be happy to connect you