IT Skills Shortage: State Headhunters |

As of: 06/18/2022 3:16 p.m

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

By Andre Kartschall, rbb

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

After that, most of them stream out of the room, some standing in small groups and talking. Hardly anyone notices that the next event has already started: Sarah and Stephan from Bundesdruckerei want to get young people excited about a job at the state-owned GmbH. But first they have to make sure that someone can actually listen to them. They routinely compliment the chattering groups from the room. Only about a dozen listeners remain.

City scenes in the image film

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

The cliché of the wasted public service 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 secure system-relevant, critical infrastructure. This requires skilled workers. And many.

This means that Bundesdruckerei joins the long list of public employers who would rather have hired IT specialists yesterday than tomorrow. Last year, students at 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 reached.

Popular topics, manageable interest

“This year we are looking for a total of almost 1,000 new employees by the end of the year, around half of whom have an IT background,” says Stephan. Bundesdruckerei is growing rapidly, 3,700 people are currently working for the state-owned company. “Data security” is one of the core tasks – for government agencies down to the receipt. Everything should be safe, the future is digital, you can help shape it here: that’s the message from Sarah and Stephan. Of course, 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 at Bundesdruckerei.

Halfway through the lecture, two more listeners leave the hall. Sarah and Stephan’s target group apparently prefers to listen to the forensic biologist Mark Benecke next door. 150 people are sitting in front of the main stage, the topic here: “Bees and flowers: Why the loss of species is so annoying”. The re:publica is not just an IT conference, but also a place where you can have your attitude towards life confirmed.

In flip flops to work

In a survey, the digital industry association Bitkom determined that the need for skilled workers continues to rise. At the beginning of the year, almost 100,000 IT positions were vacant nationwide. Bad news for the public service. This is often not the first and also not the second choice for the offspring. “Bigger corporations can make better offers 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, Bundesdruckerei can still catch up. So far, job advertisements have been published almost exclusively in German, says Stephan. That’s about to change. Just like the image. The company is young, dynamic and open. In the middle of the presentation, Stephan looks down at himself: “Shorts, flip-flops – that’s actually how I go to work.”

In his everyday work, he combs through LinkedIn profiles, writes to potential employees and thinks about how Bundesdruckerei can appear more modern. Classic headhunter work. After they’ve finished their presentation, three people approach Sarah and Stephan. Not a bad rate, measured by the manageable crowd. “We hired 300 new employees this year,” says Stephan. There are still around 700 vacancies left.



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