Monthly Archives: January 2018

Welcome To Our Family!

Bosses want to position their companies as employer brands. They often like to talk about the strong community of loyal employees. Sometimes, the employees see it that way as well. But not always. And that’s natural.

From Jens Kügler

When the first A 380 super plane took off, the Airbus employees in Hamburg lay in each other’s arms. When tugboats moved the—once again—largest luxury liner of the cruise ship world through the narrow Ems river and past the eyes of tens of thousands of stunning spectators, all members of the Papenburg Meyer Werft shipyard proudly raised their glasses of champagne, beer and schnapps. In moments like these, everyone feels part of a “big family”. Is it always like this? And everywhere? In the eyes of most entrepreneurs, it should be so.

“Apply now. Become a member of the AIDA family”. This is a typical example of a call-to-action sentence in a job advertisement. It was mentioned by a leading German newspaper (Süddeutsche Zeitung) in last weekend’s issue in an article dealing critically with the topic. An exaggerated identification cannot always be helpful, but even harmful—according to the editors.

Do the Germans feel “married” to job and company? Not really. For most people, the job is just a source of income. A duty. Employees inevitably have a different view of job and company than the entrepreneurs, who actually “live” for the business because it is their own company and their life’s work. According to a study by Gallup, the opinion research institute, only 15 percent of all German employees feel a strong emotional attachment to their company. 70 percent stated a low and 15 percent stated no emotional attachment at all.

Where there is a high level of commitment, it is often to be seen outside. Consciously, but often also forced. The newspaper article mentioned above features a Lufthansa pilot as an example. He wears his uniform with pride of his prestigious profession and employer. But he also has to wear it to be recognized as a crew member. However, unlike a non-uniformed person, he also feels that he does not have to represent his company only on duty. Sitting relaxed in a suburban train, rolling up sleeves, unbuttoning the shirt, taking a nap? Absolute no-go. Wearing a uniform makes one feel like always being in service.

Uniforms are very popular and widespread and even status symbols in many cultures—in companies, at schools or universities. In Germany, too, many entrepreneurs want their employees to be so loyal and wear the corporate design in uniform clothing. However, this often gives rise to negative associations, such as the uniform fetishism of the Nazi era. Or it is perceived as compulsive and silly.

The newspaper concludes its article with the study results of an American labour economist. Samantha Conroy found out that too much identification can be inefficient. If the employees have an extremely high level of identification with their employer, they are firmly anchored in well-established structures and are less critical and innovative.

In short, it is more important than ever to be an employer brand. Especially as there is a shortage of skilled workers. Nevertheless, the often deplored low loyalty to brand and business does not have to be a mere alarm signal. Critically questioning lateral thinking often takes a company further than the famous “going on like this”.

Empfehlen Sie diesen Beitrag:

Applicants: How You Convert a Rejection into an Acceptance

As an applicant, you have probably been annoyed by the fact that you have not been informed about the progress of your application by the company for a long time. Just recently, we had taken up the subject in this blog. Today, at the beginning of the new year, I would also like to look at the mutual behavior from the other side. From an entrepreneur’s or human resource manager’s point of view.

Written by Jens Kügler

First of all, I would like to address to the employers or HR teams. How can you reject an applicant so nicely that he or she is not demotivated and keeps on searching with his head raised high? And—above all—that he keeps the company in good memory despite his cancellation?

A renowned advertising agency in Frankfurt had done it excellently with me. And that was more than 20 years ago, when there was still a shortage of jobs instead of a shortage of applicants in the industry. In the cancellation letter, the company let me know that I was in the very best selection. And I had just landed in second place. Silver medal! Finally, the rejection letter asked me if the company could keep my application documents. There are plans to advertise more jobs in the medium term, as they wrote!

Of course he was allowed, I answered. I even wrote that I was happy about the “podium position two” and that I had found the interview very pleasant and the task very exciting. Barely three months later that same person called me and asked if I was still available, in other words, looking for a job. Another position had to be filled and I was thought of. However, I had meanwhile started a new job in Munich. Too late that time—but from then on I only wrote friendly replies to cancellations.

Just before Christmas 2017, a newsletter from Dale Carnegie Training, a coaching company, had a subject heading that pointed to the following content: Almost 90% of all HR staff are happy to receive a polite reply from an applicant they had previously cancelled! A friendly answer could even be worthwhile, as the newsletter explained in the longcopy. Every fourth responsible person in the human resources department reserves such friendly replying candidates for future vacancies. This was the result of a survey conducted in 2017 by the German online service Jobware.

Well, applicants, a good intention for the new year could be: Responds to cancellations—and do it kindly. Emphasize your continued interest in the company and the exciting job. Refer to the pleasant interview, if it had taken place and was actually pleasant. This will increase your chances in round two of the new hires.

And dear entrepreneurs and HR professionals: talent management in times of a shortage of skilled workers also includes “feel-good” cancellations. You keep the applicants in your candidates pool and save yourself from expensive job advertisements as well as tedious application processes. And you win the most talented minds. Because even the supposedly second best is a winner type that will help you to move forward.

We wish you a successful year 2018.
Your team of!

Empfehlen Sie diesen Beitrag: