Recruitment rollercoasters

Worksmith Ltd

Recruiters know the emotional rollercoaster in the final stages of placing a candidate. When we don’t dare to open emails for fear of reading that the perfect match is not so perfect after all and one of the party has pulled out last minute.

But this story tops it all.

Imagine the client holding interviews in June and a week later deciding that M is the perfect guy.

Of course, the team want him to start as soon as possible and he wants too.

But here’s the next twist – our candidate needs a work permit for Germany which he can only apply for with a concrete job offer in hand!

What now starts can only be called the mother of rollercoasters with the candidate strapped to the seat, hopefully, because he is ambitious and wants this job, and the stakeholders at every bend.

  1. Before you start: no work permit in Germany without qualification, recognised by the German authorities. Beware, this can take months! In our case the recognition had already happened.
  2. The Migration Office will want to see all documents from job offer to job conditions and qualifications of the candidate. Special forms will have to be filled out and signed and stamped(!) by the employer, a potential challenge for international companies.
  3. This not being enough, the Migration Office with send the job offer form to the local Jobcentre to get their approval of the job conditions. Here comes the big loop…hold on tight! The Jobcentre checks the job description and job conditions against the candidate’s qualifications and the average salary expectations in the local area of this qualification level (don’t even think about starting out in a job below your highest qualification!).
  4. SHOULD the approval be given the case goes back to the Migration Office where the candidate gets the work permit. Well, if the civil servant is in a good mood. Because much of what happens there is a discretionary decision and – let’s face it, which employer would wait for a candidate who had to go through appeals and court cases for the permit.

What have we learned:

The new visas and work permits are a great chance and highly appreciated by employers and applicants alike, especially in the technical sectors. But don’t expect the process to be an easy ride.

Candidates will have to find jobs within their highest level of education and within their field of expertise. Starting low and underselling yourself to get a foot in the door is not an option here.

The work permit will be issued only for the one employer and the one job. The document will contain name and address of the employing company and – depending on the mood of the civil servant – potentially more details, like hourly rates in our case. For any change of jobs, the same process will have to start again.

Communication goes a long way here. Had we not kept a continuous dialogue with the several administrative decisionmakers, the client and the candidate, this placement would not have happened. In fact, the cart derailed several times along the way and had to be put back on track.

Who made it possible?

My big thanks go to the hiring team in Germany for holding on to the candidate against all odds and the support during the visa application, to the HR Manager for her trust in us and for fighting the candidate’s corner along the way. We have received fantastic support from our case worker at the local Jobcentre! Her tenacity was remarkable, she went above and beyond the expected and we are very grateful for that. And of course, we have to thank our candidate for holding on so tight, for not giving up or losing hope when faced with adversity and disappointment.

He started the job on 1 October! Over three months since the interview and after endless calls and emails.

We wish him all the best and a great career – long may it last!

Beate Pesian
Director and Co-Founder
Worksmith Ltd