Please note: This page contains information for employers / recruiters / hiring managers. If you are looking for work in Germany as an American, you will find the information you are looking for here. Uploading your CV to the Germany-USA Career Center is FREE of charge.

Recruiting in Germany

Hiring in Germany


Recruiting in Germany

Q. What is the best way to advertise a job vacancy in Germany?

American companies with a presence in Germany usually advertise positions in newspapers, journals, the company's internet homepage, or on the Germany-USA Career Center job board. The job advertisement sections in newspapers are mostly published in the weekend editions. Employment ads for specialists and highly qualified staff usually appear in national newspapers and trade journals. Local papers usually carry job ads for opportunities requiring fewer qualifications or for skilled workers.



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Q. Does the German government provide assistance in finding employees?

American employers in Germany can contact the German Federal Employment Office. This agency is a public institution. Its misson is to find new jobs for jobseekers across Germany. The agency runs job centers in all larger towns and cities.



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Q. How can we find candidates with advanced technical or scientific background?

For many U.S. employers looking for highly qualified experts, particularly to work in a technology company in Germany, the GERMANY-USA Career Center's Resume Library has become the premier recruiting source. In addition, it is also worth maintaining contacts with universities and universities of applied science in Germany. While not all German universities provide campus Career Center services like their U.S. counterparts, faculty members are often happy to recommend suitable candidates.

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Q. Where do we find help with our temporary staffing needs in Germany?

If your company is looking to hire someone for a limited times, in order to cope with peaks in production, or to replace staff who are temporarily absent, you have the option of working with a temp agency. Like in the U.S., such agencies can provide personnel on short notice. The German association of temp agencies explains the service for employers at www.ig-zeitarbeit.de.

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Q. What are the available recruitment and job posting services in this niche, and what are their respective advantages and disadvantages?

Are you looking – in the U.S. or in Germany – for a recruiting agency, personnel service or online job board that can help you fill a position in US-German operations, stateside or in your German subsidiary (or headquarters, if your company is Germany-based)?

Check out the Recruiting and Job Posting Services Comparison Chart!

Are you in search of sales managers or sales engineers, automotive or manufacturing engineers, accountants or other finance professionals, quality assurance specialists, administrative or executive assistants, or lawyers licensed to practice both in the US and in Germany? Then you may find the Recruitment and Job Posting Comparison Chart helpful that the Germany-USA Career Center has developed:

Recruitment and Job Posting Services Comparison Chart for US-German Markets

This comparative overview of personnel search tools and services available to your company when looking to fill a position in our niche is constantly updated. We welcome the valuable input and feedback from Career Center users and clients!



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Q. How can my American company identify the "right" job boards, resume databases, recruiters or job advertisement services for this niche in Germany / in the U.S.?

For the convenience of American companies looking for information on how to find and hire German-speaking / trained employees, the Germany-USA Career Center company blog has published a shortlist of 5 Questions to Ask Recruiters and Search Consultants in the US / in Germany.



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Hiring in Germany

Q. What should I know about employment contracts in Germany?

If the employer and employee suit each other, a written contract of employment is usually drawn up. A verbal agreement is also possible in principle, but in the event of a dispute is hard to prove.

There is no fixed form for a contract of employment. However, certain points should be defined:

  • The area of activity with a concrete description of tasks
  • The date from which the contract is valid
  • The daily and/or weekly working hours
  • The duration of the probationary period or, in the case of short-term contracts, the duration of the agreement
  • The remuneration
  • Leave allowance
  • A ruling on the notice period
  • A declaration of confidentiality
  • If applicable, a ban on the employee working for a competitor for a two-year period after leaving the company
  • Possible secondary occupations


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Q. Employment Laws & Regulations

There are only a few labor law conditions that must be adhered to in all cases. For example, there are minimum wages for construction workers, roofers, and electricians. Generally binding collective pay agreements apply in a few other industries, which usually employ low-paid workers. The remuneration amounts agreed in these then represent the minimum wage for all companies in the industry.

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Q. What are regulations regarding working hours, leave and sick time in Germany?

Usually, the daily working hours must not exceed eight hours. In the case of working days of up to 10 hours, a period of free time must be granted in compensation.

With working hours of between six and nine hours, employees can take a break of 30 minutes. There is generally no work on Sundays and public holidays, but some exceptions are permitted, for example in restaurants, in the police force and fire service, or newspaper offices.

The statutory minimum leave is 24 working days per year. If an employee is sick, the employer is required to pay him or her for six weeks on submission of a doctor's certificate.



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Q. How can we terminate an employment contract in Germany?

The contract of employment may need to be terminated for economic or personal reasons. This is possible in any company, providing the conditions of notice are observed.

In the case of short-term contract, the end of employment is contractually agreed from the outset. For this reason, this type of contract is a good choice for young companies in particular.

In the case of permanent contracts of employment, the statutory notice period applies. This period increases the longer the employee has been with the company.

Initially, the notice period is four weeks, rising to seven months after 20 years. Within the probationary period, which usually lasts six months, the contract of employment can be terminated within two weeks.

Small companies with up to ten employees can dismiss employees at any time observing the relevant notice period if there is a relevant reason for this.

Because of a transitional ruling, however, employees whose contract of employment started before January 1, 2004 can only be dismissed under these relaxed conditions in small companies with a maximum of five regular employees.

Small businesses are also subject to rulings that protect young mothers, mothers-to-be, and severely disabled people. In companies with more than 10 full-time employees, the Dismissal Protection Act (Kündigungsschutzgesetz) applies for every employee with a contract of employment that has been uninterrupted for more than six months.

In these companies, termination within the notice period is only possible if it is “socially justified”. Termination must be announced in writing – electronic form is insufficient – and a cogent reason must generally be given.



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Q. How are salaries and compensations structured in Germany?

The employees’ pay can be negotiated freely unless a minimum wage applies. Gross wages in Germany are stable compared to other countries, and the unit wage costs are falling.

Wage costs, however, vary greatly from one region to another: For example, the gross wage for an electrician in the western part of the country can be several hundred Euros per month, higher than the pay for the same trade in the East.

Generally speaking, the wage costs for employers in the new Länder (federal states) are lower than those in the old Länder. A guideline to payment in individual professional groups is provided on the website of the Hans-Böckler-Stiftung at www.lohnspiegel.de.

The German government is not involved in wage fixing. German wage autonomy means that employers and employees alone are responsible for this. As a rule, the associations of employers negogiate collective bargaining agreements with the industry trade unions.

These agreements specify pay, working hours, and leave entitlement. If the company is a member of the employers' association, it must keep to these agreements. However, in economically difficult situations, companies can negotiate deviations from the collective bargaining agreement with the trade union.

The applicable standard wages also serve as a guideline for payment for companies that do not belong to the employers' association. Agreements are published on the associations' websites. A list of associations can be found at www.bda-online.de, which is run by the Confederation of German Employers' Associations.



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Request your free comparison chart...

Know your options: If you are an employer looking to find German-speaking candidates in the U.S., Canada, or Western Europe,  request your complimentary comparison chart of US-German / German-American staffing / personnel search services in our market here!

...or call us for a free consultation!

1 (866) 952-6999 (from US & Canada, toll free)
+1 (508) 597-7101 (from Germany / Europe)

Did You Know?

Founded in 1997, the Germany-USA Career Center quickly became one of the first successful niche-oriented recruiting sources on the Internet.