Thankfully, businesses in Germany don’t need to feel alone in their search for qualified international professionals. The Zentrale Auslands- und Fachvermittlung (ZAV), the International Department of the German Public Employment Service, helps them look for potential applicants abroad who have skills that are lacking in the German market.
This is also where EURES comes in. As a member of the EURES network, the ZAV utilises the network’s databases to support employers. More specifically, it’s able to take advantage of the support on offer through the “Your first EURES job” programme, which helps young people to find work or training opportunities abroad and supports employers to find the skills they need for their businesses.
One business that has benefited from the support on offer from the ZAV and EURES is the Romantikhotel Astenkrone in the town of Winterberg, North Rhine-Westphalia, which earlier this year was able to welcome two new members of staff from southern Europe to fill urgent vacancies during its peak season.
As Jörg Templin, manager of the Romantikhotel Astenkrone, explains: “When two employees suddenly left us just before Christmas, at the start of peak season, we had to find a waiter and a receptionist for our fully booked hotel at short notice. We turned to our local employment agency, who then put us in contact with the ZAV, who proposed several international candidates to us.”
Templin chose to hire Angelo Cinieri, from Italy, and Maria Consuelo Bravo, from Spain, who since the turn of the year have provided reinforcements to the hotel’s 42-strong team. In both cases, there were less than three weeks between the candidates submitting their applications through the ZAV and their first day of work at the hotel.
The ZAV had found Bravo’s CV on the EURES network’s database in late 2017 and contacted her. She is actually a teacher of Spanish as a foreign language by profession, but had worked for over three years as a hotel receptionist in Barcelona and has been an au pair in Vienna, so her CV was a good fit for the hotel.
Cinieri, on the other hand, was already known by the ZAV, as the department had previously found him a summer placement in an ice cream parlour on the island of Wangerooge in 2017. After that, he initially moved back to Italy, until he heard about one of the ZAV’s recruitment events in cooperation with EURES Italy in Milan and got back in touch.
We quickly noticed that he had greatly improved his knowledge of the German language since the last time we had spoken,” recalls Stephanie Diegel, who works as a placement officer and EURES Adviser at the ZAV in Dortmund. “It was therefore immediately clear for us that we could propose him as a candidate to other employers.”
Integrating foreign employees into a business requires strong employer engagement, of which the Romantikhotel Astenkrone offers a great example. Following their arrival, the hotel actively supported both new employees to ease their settling in, helping with accommodation and formalities and offering round-the-clock advice.
Both Bravo and Cinieri also received support from Your first EURES job to help with their travel expenses.
“Employees should never feel alone,” believes Templin. He adds that companies “should not ignore the importance of social integration, as if employees are bored in their free time, they will not stay for long”.
“For most international applicants, travelling to Germany is a step into the unknown,” adds Thorsten Rolfsmeier, who works as a business unit director at the ZAV. “They have to know exactly what to expect and what help they will receive.”
Thanks to the ZAV and EURES, the Romantikhotel Astenkrone was able to fill two key vacancies in an emergency period, while Bravo and Cinieri had the opportunity to gain valuable international work experience. The integration support provided by the hotel, meanwhile, represents a great example for other employers to follow when recruiting from abroad.
The Your first EURES job mobility scheme helps young people between the ages of 18 and 35 to find employment or training opportunities in another EU Member State, Norway or Iceland, for example through an initial internship, traineeship or language course. To find out more, visit: http://www.yourfirsteuresjob.eu/en/home.
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