Germany is home to the largest economy in Europe and one of the lowest unemployment rates in the EU, making it an attractive yet competitive labour market. High demand for skilled labour will continue to grow, especially considering the market is characterised by a low birth rate and an increasing life expectancy, signalling the local workforce must be complemented with additional labour. This article shares insights into how to take advantage of the German talent pools and what tips to bear in mind when considering entering this market.
The market at a glance
Size of workforce
Those who work for pay or profit for at least one hour a week, or who have a job but are temporarily not at work due to illness, leave or industrial action
The ratio of the employed to the working age
% of population (25-44 yrs old) with tertiary graduation rates
Cost of labour
English proficiency index (world)
The world's largest ranking of countries and regions by English skills
English proficiency index (Europe)
Europe's largest ranking of countries and regions by English skills
Finding the right talent
The Federal Employment Agency (Bundesagentur für Arbeit) is a great place to start looking for jobs, and also includes a portal where jobseekers can upload their profile. Recruitment agencies (arbeitsvermittlung) are also commonly used, and it is recommendable to confirm that these are part of the Federal Employer’s Association of Personnel Service Providers. It is possible to find English-speaking jobs in Germany, but a basic level of the German language is often helpful or even required to succeed in the workplace.
Things to keep in mind
There are a few cultural aspects that are important to be aware of when considering to do business in Germany. One of these is the notion of punctuality, which is very important in German culture. Time is a well-defined and respected concept in the work environment.
Additionally, Germans usually prefer to communicate in a direct and explicit manner, tend to be task-focused, and prefer to avoid uncertainty by creating rules and structure in the workplace.
Working conditions in Germany are considered to be of high quality, with the average year-on-year growth for wages noted as one of the highest in the EU.