Stepstone wants to support applicants with AI

Complicated job search

Through the use of artificial intelligence (AI), applicants and companies at Stepstone should come together better in the future.

(Photo: Bruce Mars / Unsplash)

Düsseldorf Sebastian Dettmers already knows that the number of unemployed will fall below 2.8 million at the end of October. On his LinkedIn profile, Dettmers has been predicting the unemployment figures every month for a while – and always deviates only minimally from the official data. However, Dettmers is not a fortune teller, but the boss of the Stepstone job platform.

What is a little joke for Dettmers has a business background: Stepstone learns a lot about the job market from the data that companies and job seekers leave on the platform. The Düsseldorf-based company now wants to use this increasingly for job placement.

Through the use of artificial intelligence (AI), applicants and companies should find each other better on the platform in the future, announced Dettmers in an interview with the Handelsblatt. He calls this “autonomous matching”.

From the point of view of the 41-year-old, this is urgently needed: “Most people make the wrong decision when choosing a career.” The consulting firm Gallup has also come to the conclusion for years that around 70 percent of employees only work according to regulations. “Especially in uncertain times, many people are reluctant to look for a job, even though they are unhappy with their job,” says Dettmers.

With the help of AI, Stepstone wants to at least make it easier for applicants to find a new job. To do this, users have to set up a profile on the portal, where they can post work experience, training, knowledge and their résumé. Based on this and the search history, for example by industry, company size and place of work, the algorithm suggests to the user those job advertisements that should fit particularly well.

Job seekers will soon also receive salary information

In the coming year, the job exchange should also display the salary that applicants should expect for each job. Stepstone calculates this based on the position, the industry and the company. The provider has a database with three million salary entries after the takeover of the platform

On the company side, after they have posted a job advertisement, all companies will in future be sent a list of particularly well-suited candidates compiled by the algorithm. Stepstone is currently testing the procedure in Great Britain, and this function should also be available in this country in the coming year.

Sebastian Dettmers

The Stepstone boss relies on the use of artificial intelligence.

(Photo: Stepstone)

The AI-based evaluation of the profile and improved “matching” – for the job exchange expert Wolfgang Brickwedde, Stepstone is “pretty far ahead”. The director of the Institute for Competitive Recruiting in Heidelberg says: “A job exchange is particularly attractive for companies if it does not show a particularly large number of job prospects, but the most suitable ones.” The Stepstone approach also increases the accuracy of the job for job seekers.

Brickwedde sees a problem, however: studies show that 40 percent of applicants would have reservations if they had to divulge their data for better search results. “The idea is good, but it’s also a question of culture.” In Germany in particular, many users are rather skeptical when they have to enter data in online profiles.

This can also be seen in the Stepstone user numbers: In Great Britain, 20 million people have already created a profile, in Germany there are just six million. And no AI works without data. Stepstone boss Dettmers therefore promises users: “We only use the data to ensure that people find the right job.”

The importance of the use of AI for Stepstone can also be seen in the number of employees. 1000 of the 3600 employees worldwide work in the field of big data and machine learning.

Stepstone wants to assert itself against competitor Google

Stepstone’s new offensive should also be a reaction to Google’s entry into the market. In spring 2019, the IT giant launched its Google for Jobs service in Germany. When users enter a job title and the keyword “job” or “position” in Google search, the search engine displays vacancies prominently in their results.

These are read from career pages or job boards. Anyone who clicks on the job advertisements will be forwarded directly to the company’s website. The result: job exchanges could become less important.

Stepstone does not make its job advertisements available for Google’s job search and already filed a lawsuit with the EU Commission in 2019. The company justifies this with the abuse of its dominant position. Manager Dettmers complains that the organic reach via Google has decreased. Overall, however, the decline was more than compensated for through own efforts, for example in the area of ​​social networks.

This could also be due to the fact that the job portal has been actively advertising in football stadiums, bus stops, newspapers and TV advertisements since the beginning of the year. So far, it has mainly been the competitor Indeed that had wrestled for attention. The increased advertising can also be explained by the changed ownership structure at the Stepstone parent company Axel Springer.

Since the entry of the major US investor KKR, the media company has focused more on digital content such as Stepstone or the real estate portal Immonet. “For us, joining KKR is a stroke of luck. Advertising on this scale would not have been possible before, ”says Dettmers. This year, Stepstone has spent tens of millions on advertising, according to Dettmers.

Stepstone claims to have over 16 million visitors a month. They are currently seeing a particularly large number of vacancies in the area of ​​e-commerce. Due to the crisis, jobs in the areas of events and the hotel industry are rarely advertised.

Dettmers himself, who has been head of Stepstone since the beginning of the year and previously worked there as Managing Director for eight years, does not want to go looking for a job for the time being. “There is nothing better than finding a job for people that really suits them.” Dettmers may soon be able to do this as well as predicting unemployment through AI.

More: Stepstone puts millions into branding.


Corona measures: which measures work how well

Dhe second wave hit Germany. Although many intensive care beds are still available in the hospitals, the number of deceased is still only increasing slowly. But the nervousness grows as the number of infections skyrockets. How can we succeed in stopping the virus that is already overloading the health systems in neighboring countries?

Some of the most effective measures included limiting crowds and travel, closing shops, schools and universities, and restricting inner-city freedom of movement. Restricting small groups turned out to be much more effective than banning large events.

“Most of the infections take place in households and at private parties, while hygiene concepts have now been drawn up for major events,” says Peter Klimek, statistician at the Complexity Science Hub research center in Vienna. He was surprised that measures affecting public transport had little effect.


Quarry in Bavaria: You are guaranteed to find fossils in the Altmühltal

Dhe door to primeval times opens Moritz with the hammer. The eleven-year-old has placed a slab of limestone on its long side. He applies the chisel and begins to drive it into the edge. With the fourth blow, he splits the record in two, each thinner than a paperback less than an inch thick.

There it is: his first fossil. Dark, shaped like a sausage. With the find in hand, Moritz proudly walks to the quarry owner Roland Pöschl. A quick look, a sly grin. Then Pöschl says: “Congratulations, you’ve found a coprolite!” Moritz looks blank. “Petrified droppings”, adds Pöschl – and when he notices that Moritz is disappointed, he pushes afterwards: “maybe from a great shark”.

An hour later Moritz and his friend Elias found a few dozen fossilized squids, as well as ammonites and fossils of fish fins and shells. A stack of plates half a meter high lies next to the two. “We haven’t had a visitor who hasn’t discovered anything,” says Pöschl, “I even have a ‘guarantee to find’ place. We’re in the middle of Jurassic Park here. “

The Altmühltal is one of the richest places in the world

In the “Visitor Quarry Mühlheim” in the Mörnsheim area in the Bavarian Altmühltal, dozens of hobby fossil hunters dig, dig, scrape, dig, and dig every day for fossilized evidence of prehistoric times. The area is just the size of a soccer field.

Source: WORLD infographic

Stooped or kneeling figures everywhere. A soft yellowish rubble field of broken stones, piles of limestone slabs and grave holes. Many families have come with children, search piles of stones or knock on auspicious plates with tools.

For fossil fans, this is the Promised Land, the region is one of the richest in finds in the world. And Pöschl’s quarry is considered a kind of fillet.

Millions of years ago Bavaria was under water

150 million years ago today’s Altmühltal was covered by the sea. The climate was subtropical and the water was around 26 degrees. Shallow sections alternated with coral reefs, with islands and lagoons in between.

A large bathtub with more than 1000 species of animals and plants. If they died, they were deposited in the mud, were hermetically sealed – and can still be found petrified to this day.

Pöschl is a well-trained man. Now, in Corona times, he wears a face mask with colorful dinosaurs on it, a T-shirt with an ammonite image and a perforated straw hat.

Altmühltal (Bavaria): Quarry owner Roland Pöschl shows a petrified turtle

Quarry owner Roland Pöschl shows a petrified turtle

Source: Altmühltal Nature Park

He exudes the excitement that people feel when they are sure they are on the right path in their own lives. In 2008, the now 60-year-old gave up his job at the Sparkasse, bought the property with a partner that he had been looking at for years, opened it to visitors and began digging.

Before and after the visitor opening hours, he still digs himself today. Over the years he moved hundreds of tons of limestone slabs by hand. Then at the end of 2017 the sensation: he discovers a primeval bird in his quarry. Alcmonavis poeschli is now considered the oldest bird ever found. “Every stone can change your life,” says Pöschl.

“The dinosaur was the find of our life!”

Pöschl walks around his premises like a chef through his restaurant, clears away a shovel here, shows a child an ammonite there. He chats with regulars in paleontologists’ German. He patiently shows newcomers how to proceed in order to find something as quickly as possible.

He pulls out the magnifying glass when helpless beginners ask him what they have found: “An Aptychus”, he says, or “Brachyphyllum” or “of course, a Neochetoceras”. In the past, former Chancellor Gerhard Schröder was there with his daughter. “After half an hour at the latest, even the bodyguards were sitting in their suits in the dust and digging.”

Found in the Altmühltal in Bavaria: the fossilized primeval bird Alcmonavis poeschli, which is around 150 million years old

Found in the Altmühltal: the fossilized primeval bird Alcmonavis poeschli, around 150 million years old

Source: Visitor Quarry Mühlheim

For some visitors, looking for fossils turns into addiction to fossils. In a separate area, Stefan Heilek, 47, works under a sun sail. The computer scientist from Würzburg and his wife Anja come to Pöschl’s fossil kingdom almost every weekend.

“It just grabbed us, looking for fossils is like leafing through the thickest book in the world. You never know what’s coming on the next page. ”A few years ago, the two of them bought a second home in the next village. Your house is full of fossil limestone slabs, tables and tools for preparation.

Dusty stones are stacked in the car, the nicer finds wrapped in newspaper. “We recently found a pleurosaur tail,” says Heilek. “A real highlight.” But it got even better: “We soon noticed that there was also the body of the dinosaur. It was the find of our life! “

Fans of fossils come from Italy or Japan

The fossil dig has a special fascination. It is like meditating with a hammer, chisel, scraper and shovel. Uniform activity, seasoned with tension, crowned by small feelings of happiness.

You rent the tool from the quarry operator, then you start. Ammonites, or at least dendrites, are discovered even when clearing away the limestone slabs. They look like ferns, but are not former living beings, but mineral solutions that have seeped into the lime.

You look for a place in the quarry and begin to detach the horizontally lying slabs from above, to inspect them and to split them with the chisel. So you work your way from top to bottom. A soil thickness of 20 meters corresponds to about two million years of geological history.

Fossils in Bavaria: This fossil crab (Aeger tipularius) was found next to dendrites in the Eichstätt quarry on the Blumenberg in the Altmühltal

This fossil crab (Aeger tipularius) and dendrites were found in the quarry near Eichstätt on the Blumenberg in the Altmühltal

Those: pa / imageBROKER / Carola Vahldiek

There are fossil fans who come from Guatemala, Japan, Italy or Chicago to the famous Mühlheim limestone quarry, less of course this year. Now it is mainly regular guests from Berlin, Hamm or Holland who regularly spend their summer holidays in the dusty heap.

The Munich pharmacist Robert Seidel, 34, takes the train to Solnhofen every weekend, then cycles the last ten kilometers to Pöschl’s prehistoric Dorado and returns home in the evening – 15 to 20 kilograms of rock in his backpack.

Others really want to go to the quarry at night, equipped with UV lamps. Some fossils shimmer yellow-whitish in their light, making them easier to discover.

Treasure hunters are allowed to take almost all finds with them

“Visitors are allowed to take everything they find home with them,” says Pöschl, “everything except it has wings or legs.” There are hardly any disputes among the treasure hunters.

If you discover something that you cannot dig up in one day, you have to think about how to camouflage the site so that no one else can find the half-excavated fossil. However, if you distribute records and small fragments nicely over it, you should make a careful note of the place – dramas should have already taken place.

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Binntal in Switzerland: Equipped with a hammer and chisel, visitors can go on a treasure hunt

Moritz and Elias are in such a tricky situation right now. They have long since abandoned petrified excrement and dendrites, their eyes sharpened after five hours.

But the quarry closes in a quarter of an hour, and the two boys don’t get the palm-sized ammonite that they have just discovered out of the ground so quickly. And they came from Ingolstadt, an hour away.

So what to do Elias suggests spending the night directly at the site. To keep watch. Moritz thinks the idea is good. Moritz’s father, on the other hand, says that you can’t do that without a tent. You have to come back tomorrow.

“Only on one condition,” says Moritz: “We are the very first in the quarry!” His father nods resignedly. As they drag the day’s harvest to the car, the straps on their huge blue Ikea bags tear.

A 150 million year old dinosaur skeleton will be auctioned

It is an auction that takes place less often in Paris: a dinosaur skeleton can be bought. The bids are less from large museums than from private wealthy people.

Source: WELT / Nicole Fuchs-Wiecha

Fossils in the Altmühltal Nature Park:

Search and find: There are five stone quarries in the Altmühltal Nature Park, where laypeople can look for fossils on their own. The visitor quarry in Mühlheim in Mörnsheim offers a “guarantee to find” fossils, admission: adults eight euros, children 4.50 euros, tool rental fee 1 euro ( Other quarries, for example in Solnhofen ( and in Eichstätt on the Blumenberg (

Forest of the Giants: In the Altmühltal Dinosaur Park in Denkendorf, visitors travel through 400 million years of geological history on a 1.5-kilometer forest walk. There are 70 lifelike replicas of dinosaurs and other prehistoric animals.

Bavaria: In the Altmühltal Dinosaur Park in Denkendorf there are 70 lifelike replicas of dinosaurs and other prehistoric animals

In the Altmühltal Dinosaur Park in Denkendorf there are 70 lifelike replicas of dinosaurs and other prehistoric animals

Those: pa / Eibner-Presse / Strisch / Eibner-Pressefoto

A great museum houses the skeleton of the only teenage tyrannosaurus ever found. Here, too, there is the possibility of digging for fossils. Afterwards, primeval fans eat “Brachiosaurus fries” or “Dino noodles” in the restaurant. Admission: adults 19.50 euros, children 9.50 euros (

Fossils with a view: The Eichstätter Willibaldsburg towers over the Altmühltal. In its walls, the Jura Museum shows several hundred excellently prepared fossils from the Jurassic period, which dates back 150 million years. The highlights include an original of the ancient Archeopteryx and the world’s only specimen of the Juravenator predatory dinosaur. The castle, which is currently being renovated, offers beautiful views of the surrounding area. Admission: Adults 5 euros, children and young people free (

What role Bavaria, of all places, played in human evolution

The latest findings by a research group fundamentally call into question the previous view of human evolution. Accordingly, the upright walk began completely differently than expected.

Source: WORLD / Sebastian Struwe

This text is from WELT AM SONNTAG. We will be happy to deliver them to your home on a regular basis.

Welt am Sonntag from October 11, 2020

Source: Welt am Sonntag


These profiles are currently in demand in German companies

Headhunter attacks managers

Many executives do not want to change jobs at the moment, and new career opportunities are available even in the crisis.

(Photo: Luca D’Urbino)

Düsseldorf Crisis-proof employer, more influence and a wage increase of around 20 percent – the management position in the armaments industry sounded tempting for aviation engineer Klaus Jähn (name changed). Nevertheless, the 42-year-old turned down the attractive post. Jähn’s thought: Let’s see if a better offer might not come in at better times.

The manager is currently anything but alone with his hesitation. The willingness of managers to change has decreased massively since the corona crisis. This is shown by the current manager barometer from Odgers Berndtson, the results of which are available exclusively to the Handelsblatt.

Every year, around 2000 German-speaking executives are asked about their well-being by the personnel consultancy. While in the past two years a good three quarters of those surveyed stated that they are open to changing employers because they lack innovative strength, sustainability and personal perspective in their company, many managers are now apparently keeping their feet still.

Expressed in figures, this means: 44 percent of managers in Germany, Austria and Switzerland consider a move to another company in the next few months to be unlikely. As many as not in a long time. Wintering seems to be the top priority of the crisis.

Managers in the chemical and pharmaceutical industries in particular, but also managers from the financial services sector, are hesitant, followed by management consultants and auditors. Silvia Eggenweiler, partner at Odgers Berndtson, says: “The lower the current position in the hierarchy, the greater the reluctance.”

But so many managers are currently missing out on attractive career opportunities that are definitely there. Because despite the bad news about downsizing and restructuring, for example at Volkswagen, Continental or BASF: New positions are also being advertised, especially in “top management is being searched for on all channels”, says headhunter Sabine Hansen, owner of the HR consultancy She4Her.

Managers have particularly good chances, for example:

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Put an end to the gender pay gap

Pilot project at Allianz

Injustices in payment should be found and eliminated.

(Photo: dpa)

Düsseldorf Allianz is serious about equal pay for men and women for the same work – right up to the executive floor. In a pilot project, the German subsidiary of the Dax Group will check for its 25,000 employees whether there are wage gaps and then eliminate them.

To do this, Kathrin Janicke, who is responsible for remuneration at the Munich insurance company, relies on the new test procedure called Universal Fair Pay Check from the non-profit Berlin Fair Pay Innovation Lab (FPI).

The new procedure is based on Icelandic analysis software that complies with the high statutory transparency requirements of the Scandinavians, as well as Great Britain and Spain. In these countries, employers have to regularly provide evidence of fair pay – otherwise, there is a risk of fines.

The German Fee Transparency Act, on the other hand, is considered a paper tiger. It only recommends that companies conduct salary analyzes, and employees have the right to know the average salary of employees of the opposite sex.

So it is not surprising that working women in Germany still earn around 20 percent less than men in comparable positions. And the so-called “gender pay gap” in this country has only decreased by three percentage points in a decade, as the latest data from the Federal Statistical Office show. This puts Germany at the bottom of the list when it comes to fair remuneration in Europe, where the last average salary difference determined in 2018 was 16 percent.

Statisticians and social scientists can only partially explain why this is so. For example, the fact that women generally work in lower-paid jobs and then often also part-time. And overall, only a few women have made it to excellently paid top positions compared to men. This is especially true for the German economy.

Inequality is where salaries are freely negotiated

If you take all these factors out of the equation, there is still a minus of currently six percent that women in Germany record on their monthly pay slip compared to their male colleagues.

It is high time to change that, and companies like Allianz, which have been trying for a long time to remedy this problem – also to score points as employers in the competition for talent. How well that worked was unclear so far.

Kathrin Janicke now hopes that with the FPI process “a neutral third party can show us where we are already very good and where there may still be a need for action that we can address in a targeted manner.” After the first analysis of the salary data, from basic pay to The Universal Fair Pay Check is regularly repeated for bonuses that are to be created over the turn of the year.

“It can be observed that wage gaps are less evident in the collective wage area, where there are clear rules for classifying into salary classes, but rather where managers and specialists freely negotiate their remuneration,” says Henrike von Platen. The FPI founder has been campaigning for transparent and fair payment for years.

But when it comes to higher, tariff-free salary classes, the necessary compensation adjustments for individual employers could add up. That in turn could mean that for some male employees below-average salary adjustments or even zero rounds result in the annual appraisal.

According to Platen, however, the following applies: If an external manager is employed, “a company should afford this reinforcement just as easily as it has previously had an equally qualified man”.

Even if it is to be feared that the motivation of male top performers could possibly decrease and the risk of losing them increases, Allianz, which already has three women on its nine-member board, wants to expand its female talent pool.

Janicke: “The focus for us is on getting more women into management and in better paid positions. We use the tailor-made analysis as part of the Universal Fair Pay Check to identify further measures. “

Whether a group, medium-sized company or start-up: “Transparency is the be-all and end-all,” says von Platen’s salary expert. If salary details were already in a job advertisement and colleagues in the canteen or at the Christmas party were openly talking about their salary, “fair remuneration overnight would be possible” – not only for men and women, but also for the salary gaps that exist between young and old or between people from different nations in comparable positions.

More: Goodbye salary negotiations? Why New Work needs new compensation models


Only a third away – for Scholz, the crisis is turning into a billion-dollar bargain

Viel helps a lot. That was the motto of the federal government in the past months of the crisis. Finance Minister Olaf Scholz (SPD) had the Bundestag approve ever higher debts. After two supplementary budgets, he had permission to take out additional loans of EUR 218 billion this year.

The money was earmarked for huge aid and stimulus packages, which were intended to support companies, employees and the health sector in particular. In addition, it had to be taken into account that tax revenues collapse with the economy.

Almost two and a half months before the end of the year, it looks like coping with the crisis will cost far less money than Scholz estimated. This is indicated by figures from his own ministry.

The effects of the lower level of new borrowing will extend into 2042

Accordingly, in the first nine months of the year federal spending exceeded revenue by just 72.5 billion euros. That means: In the last quarter of 2020, twice as much money would have to be spent on crisis management as before, in order to come to the 218 billion euros.

Initial estimates of the actual level of new debt in 2020 are well below the 218 billion euros: “If you take into account tax revenue, the previous outflow and 14 years of household experience, you are certainly not bad with new debt of around 150 billion euros at the end of the year” says Otto Fricke, budget spokesman for the FDP in the Bundestag. Fricke is not alone in this estimate among household experts.

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Germans can still benefit from the tax gift in many areas until the end of the year

Even if there were 150 billion euros in the end, a new record would still be reached. During the financial crisis in 2009 and 2010, the federal government made a total of just 78 billion euros in new debt. But it would be a lot less than initially estimated, which would ultimately have an impact until 2042.

Because this would also change the cornerstones of the 20-year repayment plan, as provided for by the debt brake. The annual rate of six billion euros would fall, which would at least give future finance ministers and generations more room for maneuver.

The year is of course not over yet, the corona crisis is back. Dennis Rohde, head of the SPD’s housekeeping, also points out that the 72.5 billion euros are “just a snapshot”. The required net borrowing at the end of the year cannot yet be calculated.

The second corona wave could significantly change the result

If the deficit then turns out to be lower than forecast in July when the second supplementary budget was concluded, he, as a budgetary politician, would of course be pleased. But that’s not the point in these times.

“It is now important to continue to implement the various measures of the crisis and economic stimulus package at full speed in order to combat the health and economic consequences of this crisis,” said Rohde.

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For Germany, the IMF now expects an economic slump of only six percent this year

This sounds similar with Eckhardt Rehberg (CDU), the head of the Union parliamentary group. “We don’t know how the second corona wave will affect the economy and tax revenues,” he says.

From the numbers up to September one could not infer the whole year. Especially since by the end of the year, among other things, the allocations to the energy and climate fund in the amount of 26.5 billion euros, the second tranche of the child bonus and the failures due to the VAT reduction for the fourth quarter are still missing in the figures until the end of September.

In the first nine months, federal tax revenues fell by 12.7 percent compared to the first nine months of the previous year. For the year as a whole, the tax estimates are so far from a minus of 16.3 percent compared to the previous year. They will meet again at the beginning of November to review the forecast.

Structural problems prevent the billions from being used

There is a lot of psychology involved in drawing up a budget in times of crisis. At the beginning of the crisis, politicians did not want to leave any doubt as to whether the money would actually be enough in the end.

The government has done well so far, as opposition representative Fricke points out. “The government has proceeded according to the motto: We announce as much as possible to show the market and everyone else that Germany is serious,” he says. Even then, the ministries involved knew that certain parts were unlikely to flow away.

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However, it is questionable whether large parts of the billions in aid have not yet been used or whether it was simply too complicated to apply for them. Sven-Christian Kindler, budget politician for the Greens, sees structural problems in the federal government’s programs, which is why they can hardly be used despite great hardship.

“The emergency aid is characterized by a lot of bureaucracy, and for those who urgently need it, such as the event industry and the self-employed, it ignores reality,” he says.

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Of the 25 billion euros earmarked as bridging aid for companies, just over one billion euros have so far been called. The federal government urgently needs to improve this.

What is necessary is financial support for the self-employed with living costs and targeted support for the event and cultural sector.

A transfer of the credit authorizations after 2021 is not easily possible

Finance Minister Scholz and Federal Economics Minister Peter Altmaier (CDU) have already announced such programs, which are specifically tailored to a target group, but whether and when they will come is still open. There is no question that there is still room for maneuver in the budget.

The possibilities to use the credit authorizations amounting to 218 billion euros for completely new projects, however, are limited. After all, the expenditures are clearly assigned in the individual plans of the 2020 federal budget.

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Carrying over to the coming year is also not that easy. “Unused credit authorizations expire at the end of the year,” says SPD housekeeper Rohde. This is expressly regulated in the Budget Act.

It will now be exciting to see to what extent the emerging lower spending in 2020 will affect the budget for the coming year. In 2021, Scholz wants to incur new debts of 96 billion euros and again suspend the debt brake.

FDP considers the 2020 budget to be “unnecessarily inflated”

Eckhardt Rehberg of the CDU / CSU parliamentary group says that the draft of the federal government is available for the deliberations on the 2021 budget. The next tax estimate and current developments in the corona pandemic would be included in the final budget, which will be negotiated in the Bundestag’s budget committee and decided by parliament.

Rehberg wants to avoid at least an increase in net borrowing. “In the best case scenario, we can reduce new debt,” he says.

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Criticism comes from the FDP. “The grand coalition has inflated the 2020 budget unnecessarily, now there are spending and new debt that is not needed in the amount, at the expense of transparency and parliamentary control,” says Fricke.

With a view to 2021, his party will analyze exactly what is actually needed for efficient crisis management and what additional expenditures are necessary and sensible in these times.

It cannot be about simply putting money in the shop window for everything and everyone in the next year as well. Investments could be counted among the expenditure items in the current budget that belong under this heading. The “investment expenditure” this year should actually be a good 71 billion euros.

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According to the monthly report of the Federal Ministry of Finance, only 25 billion euros were lost by the end of September. It is hard to imagine that the rest of the amount will be called up until the end of December.


Start-ups: Christian Miele praises the federal government’s aid measures

economy Attractive start-up location

Thanks to the federal government – the surprising song of praise from Miele’s great-grandson

| Reading time: 3 minutes

Birger Nicolai

Christian Miele is chairman of the Federal Association of German Startups - and surprised by the lack of start-up deaths Christian Miele is chairman of the Federal Association of German Startups - and surprised by the lack of start-up deaths

Christian Miele is chairman of the Federal Association of German Start-ups – and surprised by the lack of start-up dying

Quelle: picture alliance/dpa

Christian Miele, the mouthpiece of the German start-up scene, surprisingly celebrates the federal government’s rescue policy. The expected start-up death did not materialize. Even more: suddenly even US founders are rushing to Germany – for a very special reason.

JFor a long time there was almost exclusively criticism of politics from German founding companies. Germany misses trends such as digitization, suffers from excessive regulation and the government avoids any risk.

Instead of in their own country, the start-ups would have to raise capital from the United States, Asia or Arab oil states. Just recently, the head of a major Hamburg biotech company said that the willingness to use venture capital is much less pronounced in this country than in the USA, for example.

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But in the pandemic, this distribution of roles seems to change: “Politicians have understood how important start-ups are for the country,” said Christian Miele, President of the Federal Association of German Start-ups, in the Hamburg business journalists’ club. There is no longer any party-political thinking, instead the start-up scene in Germany suddenly meets with hearing and understanding for their needs.

The reason for the change is an aid program by the federal government. The chief lobbyist of the start-up entrepreneur praised the two billion euro aid for start-ups launched by the federal government. From this, state money flows into corporate financing rounds when private investors in turn provide additional capital.

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Germany, Baden-Wuerttemberg, Mannheim, lifestyle, man Getty ImagesGetty Images

Fight against the consequences of a pandemic

The funds from this so-called matching fund have already helped numerous companies, and a large part of the money has already been used, said Miele. This in turn enables many start-ups to survive the economic consequences of the corona pandemic.

In the spring, according to a survey by the federal association, 72 percent of start-ups in Germany feared having to close their companies during the crisis. That picture has changed since then. “At that time, we assumed massive damage to the start-up scene, but thanks to the measures taken by the federal government, this will hardly happen again,” said Miele.

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Modern office interior

There will be bankruptcies among the founding companies. “But it will not happen as devastatingly as we estimated months ago,” said lobbyist Miele. The companies would have had it much easier to adapt to the challenges because of the help.

According to this statement, Germany has also become more attractive for international start-up companies. “Every week I am asked by American colleagues what they would have to do to be able to come to Germany with a company,” said Miele.

For example, the country is particularly valued for the instrument of short-time work. “The short-time work allowance is an incredibly important instrument for our start-ups in times of crisis. US companies are extremely jealous of that, ”said the association lobbyist. In addition, start-ups have better access to capital. “Anyone with a good idea will find the money for it from us, at least in the early phase,” said Miele. He expects a wave of new business models, especially in the area of ​​data security.

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The 32-year-old is a great-grandson of the founder of the household appliance manufacturer of the same name and nephew of the current managing partner, Markus Miele. For a year he has been leading the federal association with around 900 member companies.

The former Bertelsmann manager himself invested money in numerous start-ups through the Berlin investment company Eventures. This company, in which companies such as Otto, Kärcher and Deichmann are also involved, is one of the major venture capitalists in Europe with an investment volume of around one billion euros.


Home office: Are you one of those people who should work at home now?

Career Productivity in the living room

Are you one of those people your boss should send to the home office now?

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Laurin Meyer - WORLD

Will working from home become the norm?

Never before have so many people worked from home as in the Corona period. Often because you can’t keep enough distance in the office. Federal Labor Minister Heil wants to keep this option in part even after the pandemic.

Productivity in the living room at home varies greatly, as a recent study shows. Employers should make three factors dependent on who they let work in the home office – and who better not. The school leaving certificate is also crucial.

Dhe home office has become a real controversial issue in the Corona crisis. While some work more concentrated in the living room at home than in the office, others cannot really discipline themselves at home – and prefer to drive to their place of work.

Where employees work more successfully, however, seems to be more than just a question of type. Above all, there is a drastic educational gap in productivity. This was the result of a survey by the Society for Consumer Research (GFK) on behalf of the Swiss literature portal Getabstract, which WELT is exclusively available to.

Among employees with a high school diploma or university degree, one in three feels at least as productive at home as in the office, while it is just one in ten among those who have completed secondary school.

The type of activity plays a role

The survey only asks about the perceived productivity in the home office. It is obvious, however, that the respondents have a healthy sense of reality and the mood is therefore also a fact, explains Florian Becker, an employee psychologist at the Business Psychological Society (WPGS) in Munich.

“People with a low level of education have lower levels of discipline on average,” explains Becker. “In psychology we call this self-regulation, and educational success depends to a large extent on it.”

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Less educated people are more likely to be easily distracted and more difficult to find a disciplined work rhythm on their own.

But many are not even able to be productive in the home office – even if they want to. “People with a low level of education usually have low-skilled jobs that are usually much more difficult to do in the home office, often not at all,” says Becker.

While computer scientists and engineers can work efficiently outside the office, this hardly applies to caretakers and gardeners, if at all. In addition: those with a low level of education earn less money, statistically speaking, they have a smaller and noisier apartment and more children. “None of this is good for a successful home office,” says Becker.

The staff psychologist advises bosses to decide who they send to the home office based on three criteria. Firstly, the activities should allow it, and secondly, the home environment should be right. And thirdly, the person should have a suitable character, i.e. be able to work independently and motivated.

Young professionals have discovered the home office for themselves

In order to avoid a bad mood and a feeling of injustice, university professor Becker recommends communicating these three criteria in this way. That would mean that people with low educational qualifications are less suitable for the home office in all three points. “But that has nothing to do directly with the educational qualification,” says Becker.

Overall, there seems to be a lack of discipline at the desk at home. According to the survey, only one in five feels as productive in the home office as in the office. Just as many want to work from home more often in the future. Women in particular find it difficult to concentrate at home.

Source: WORLD infographic

This is largely due to the fact that women are more involved in household chores and childcare and are more likely to be distracted. Young professionals, on the other hand, have discovered the advantages for themselves. Only seven percent of 18 to 29-year-olds worked at least partially from home before the crisis, but 27 percent of them would like to do this more often in the future.

In an international comparison, Germans are nevertheless rather skeptical about working from home. A survey of US citizens showed that 57 percent, around three times as many employees there, want to keep working from home after the corona pandemic.

One reason here could also be the German bosses. A considerable proportion of employees complains that their superiors hardly bothered about the collegial exchange in the home office, for example for joint video conferences. Likewise, only one in ten says that they have suitable equipment at work in their own home.

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Voluntary internship: Many underestimate an opportunity

Dhe semester break is well planned for many students: writing homework, creating a timetable, and vacation should also be included. Does that also have to be a voluntary internship?

Compulsory internships are compulsory in many degree programs, and university students must provide evidence of this in order to graduate. This does not apply to voluntary internships. First of all, you do extra work in the already tight curriculum.

Nevertheless, Ludmilla Aufurth is convinced: “It can be worth it.” Aufurth is responsible for the “Competence Development in Internship” project in the Career Service of Freie Universität Berlin and knows how important such practical phases are.

In internships, students can check their career aspirations, establish contacts in the industry or a specific company, or learn what they will need later in the world of work. For example, how to get involved in a team or how to organize your tasks well.

Aufurth suggests that you first consider which of these goals you would like to achieve with a particular internship and then select the place specifically.

Voluntary internship: first start-up, then large company

An example: Students should not apply twice in a row for internships with a medium-sized company if they are interested in marketing. Instead, it makes sense to complete the first internship at a start-up that is still building up its marketing department and gives interns responsibility immediately.

For the second internship, students can then choose a corporation where they can see how professionals with many years of professional experience and large budgets plan marketing campaigns.

A current survey at the Free University of Berlin came to the result: “Anyone who looked for the internship on their own initiative was particularly satisfied with it”, says Aufurth. “I suspect that a lot of good positions are not advertised at all.” It is therefore worth simply calling interesting companies.

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Students keep asking Aufurth how many internships they should do during their studies. She cannot then give an exact number. It is important to do at least one internship, she explains. Whether it will be three or four in the end is not decisive.

It is possible that someone realizes during their first internship that they want to work in exactly this company after university. It also happens that students only realize during their second internship that they don’t fit into the industry and have to keep looking. You should stay calm. “If someone has done several internships, he will be left with a longer study period,” says Aufurth.

“The decisive factor is the quality, not the quantity,” explains Wilfried Schubarth, professor for educational and socialization theory at the University of Potsdam. He researched practical experience at the university and prepared an expert report on quality standards for the university rectors’ conference. “Students always say they want more and better supervised internships,” he noted.

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A voluntary internship is most beneficial when students use it wisely. “Ask, ask, ask,” advises Aufurth. How did the employees with interesting positions get there? What did you study? What was helpful to you? Why are the workflows like this and not different?

“The tasks are never 100 percent defined,” says Aufurth. This means that students do not have to be satisfied with what the internship supervisor specifies, but can also suggest something themselves. If it is not already planned, you should ask for a feedback at the end. You can address that and how you want to keep in touch.

Networking: Keep in touch after the voluntary internship

“The networking opportunity is not used often enough,” says Aufurth. “The students actually know how important it is.” This is particularly true for small and medium-sized companies, because these often do not have regular internships or alumni networks.

Proper networking begins in the final meeting. Students can ask whether they can write their thesis in the company, whether there are vacation jobs and when they can pick up the job reference with which they can later prove the internship at other employers. Via business networks such as Xing or LinkedIn, you not only connect with your boss, but also with your colleagues.

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Voluntary internships shouldn’t last longer than three months, advises the German Trade Union Federation (DGB). Otherwise there is a risk that you will primarily become a cheap worker for the company, but will not learn anything yourself.

“You shouldn’t do internships after your studies,” says Susanne Braun, political advisor at the DGB. “There is a trial period for familiarization with the job,” she says, or, depending on the area of ​​work, other formats such as trainee programs or internships.

Read more articles from our series of advice on internships here:

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This article was first published in January 2020.