Faced with a tight job market and a shortage of workers, especially for software developers, some German companies see the thousands of layoffs in the US tech sector as an opportunity to recruit top talent. The British news agency Reuters reported on Monday.
According to the report, the mass layoffs have created a pool of job seekers that Germany is keen to tap into. The west coast of the USA has always been the main destination for good software engineers. There, in Silicon Valley, many of the large US tech companies such as Alphabet, Microsoft and Meta are based.
“You fire, we hire,” Reuters quoted Rainer Zuhoer, head of HR at Cariad, the software subsidiary of car manufacturer Volkswagen. “We have several hundred vacancies in the US, in Europe and in China.” And Judith Gerlach, Bavaria’s Minister of Digitization, recently wrote in the career network LinkedIn with a view to the software experts: “I would like to cordially invite you to move to Bavaria.”
The good years are over
Alarmed by inflation and fears of recession, US big tech companies have laid off more than 50,000 employees. In the past few days alone, Google parent Alphabet has laid off 12,000 employees, Microsoft 10,000 employees and Amazon another 8,000 employees after there was initial talk of 10,000 layoffs in November. Meta had announced the separation of 11,000 employees at the time. And that’s just the layoffs at the five US tech giants. Other tech companies are also reducing the number of their employees by hundreds or even thousands. Analysts have predicted that growth in Silicon Valley cannot go on forever; nevertheless, the extent of the cuts is surprising.
In Germany the situation is somewhat different. Although the country is “also on the brink of recession”, according to Reuters, its companies have grown more slowly in recent years and major technological leaps are still to come. According to the IT industry association Bitkom, 137,000 IT jobs are vacant in Germany Reuters.
In addition, the current weakness of the EUR against the US dollar makes Germany more competitive when it comes to labor costs. Additionally, some hope cheaper healthcare and costs compared to hotspots like San Francisco could be an attraction, the report says.
But there are also some who don’t share the optimism, such as Bitkom’s Bernhard Rohleder, who points out that Germany is not only competing with other countries for the most talented workforce, but also with the home countries of potential applicants.
Based on demographic research, the Federal Employment Agency assumes that 400,000 immigrants from third countries will be needed every year to compensate for the shortage of skilled workers in Germany.
One challenge could be Germany’s penchant for bureaucracy, writes Reuters. Companies are already reporting months of delays in issuing work permits to their new employees. The “Hand in Hand for International Talents” pilot project aims to help foreign workers gain a foothold in Germany.
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