IT Skills Shortage: State Headhunters |

From: 18/06/2022 15:16

The battle for brilliant minds is particularly fierce in the information technology industry. Programmers or project managers are desperately wanted. Public employers try not to leave empty-handed.

By Andre Kartschall, rbb

A conference room at the re: publica digital fair at the end of last week. It is early afternoon and the room is packed, there are about 60 people, mostly women, most of them sitting on the floor. A professional from the world of work is finishing her workshop. The title: “Super skills for tomorrow’s jobs! How we can all work as we want”.

After that, most of them leave the room, some stay in small groups and talk. Hardly anyone notices that the next event has already begun: Sarah and Stephan from the Bundesdruckerei want to enthuse young people for a job at the state-owned GmbH. But first they need to make sure someone can actually hear them. They regularly compliment the chat groups from the room. Only a dozen listeners remain.

City scenes in the picture film

Sarah and Stephan present Bundesdruckerei as a modern company. Both are wearing T-shirts with “bdr” written in black, red and gold on the front. On the back: “Career. Security”. An image film runs on a monitor, inside it: scenes of big cities, young people who come to work smiling and dynamic. If you can believe the video, the average Bundesdruckerei workforce is under 40, highly motivated and shopping at Peek & Cloppenburg.

The cliché of public service waste should be eliminated as quickly as possible. “Many people still believe that we are an authority. We are a federally owned company,” Sarah explains. It’s all about innovation and demanding jobs – after all, one of the company’s tasks is to protect the critical and system-relevant infrastructure. This requires skilled workers. And many.

The Bundesdruckerei therefore joined the long list of public employers who would have preferred to hire IT specialists yesterday rather than tomorrow. Last year, students from the European School of Management and Technology calculated that there should be 46,000 by the end of 2022 alone. It is already foreseeable that this target will not be achieved.

Popular topics, manageable interest

“This year we are looking for a total of nearly 1,000 new employees by the end of the year, of which about half have an IT background,” says Stephan. Bundesdruckerei is growing rapidly, 3,700 people currently work for the state-owned company. “Data security” is one of the main tasks for government agencies until receipt. Everything should be safe, the future is digital, you can help shape it here – this is Sarah and Stephan’s message. Sure, the topic of “data security” is on everyone’s lips among young people and in the industry as a whole, but apparently not everyone wants to get involved in the Bundesdruckerei.

Halfway through the conference, two other listeners leave the room. Apparently, Sarah and Stephan’s target group prefers to hear forensic biologist Mark Benecke next door. 150 people are seated in front of the main stage, the topic here: “Bees and flowers: why the loss of species is so annoying”. La re: publica is not only a computer conference, but also a place where you can confirm your attitude towards life.

In flip flops to work

In a survey, the digital industry association Bitkom determined that the need for skilled workers continues to grow. At the start of the year, nearly 100,000 IT positions were vacant nationwide. Bad news for the public service. This is often not the first or even the second choice for offspring. “Larger companies can bid better than the public sector,” says Bitkom’s Adél Holdampf-Wendel. “And start-ups can score with other factors such as corporate culture, innovative projects or internationality”.

In terms of internationality, in particular, the Bundesdruckerei can still catch up. So far, job advertisements have been published almost exclusively in German, says Stephan. This is about to change. Just like the picture. The company is young, dynamic and open. Halfway through the presentation, Stephan looks at himself: “Shorts, flip flops: that’s how I go to work.”

In her daily work, she browses LinkedIn profiles, writes to potential employees and thinks about how the Bundesdruckerei can look more modern. Classic headhunting job. After finishing their presentation, three people approach Sarah and Stephan. Not a bad grade, measured by the manageable crowd. “We hired 300 new employees this year,” says Stephan. There are still around 700 vacancies.

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