Apprentice Speed ​​Dating: Applicants at an Advantage |

Status: 03/19/2023 05:32 a.m

When looking for training positions, applicants are in good hands because employers are urgently looking for staff. The new balance of power becomes visible, for example, at speed dating events.

By David Zajonz, WDR Cologne

When Stefanie Beys and Laith Alkassar sit across from each other for the first time, it is not at all clear who is actually applying to whom. The initial situation is basically clear: She is the human resources manager of a company for building services engineering, he is looking for an apprenticeship as a specialist in warehouse logistics. In fact, Stefanie Beys knows that she too has to make a good impression.

#in the middle of Düren: speed dating for trainees

David Zajonz, WDR, daily topics 10:15 p.m., March 15, 2023

“Don’t lose applicants to other companies”

Her company, AMG-Haustechnik, has 20 apprenticeship positions to fill from August, almost half of which are still vacant. During the conversation with Alkassar, she emphasizes the development opportunities in her company, emphasizing, among other things, that the employer pays its trainees for their forklift driver’s license.

“I don’t want to lose the young people to another company because I wasn’t convincing as a company,” says Beys, referring to the current personnel situation.

The interview takes place as part of an apprentice speed dating event organized by the Chamber of Industry and Commerce in Düren, North Rhine-Westphalia. Around 50 companies present themselves here. Applicants decide for themselves which employers they want to talk to.

Honest communication when getting to know each other

Laith Alkassar only selected companies that offer training to become warehouse logistics specialists. “It’s a mixture of the manual and the commercial area,” he explains his choice of career in an interview with training manager Beys.

The 19-year-old describes his career so far very openly. After graduating from secondary school, he initially began an apprenticeship as a vehicle painter. The manual work was “a bit too difficult” and he broke off the training.

After that, he caught up on his high school diploma and started a new apprenticeship as a clerk for office management. But he didn’t finish this either. “It was because the boss wasn’t happy with me,” he openly admits in the interview.

Human resources manager: Motivation is more important than grades

This honest communication goes down well with the training manager: “It’s not so important to me whether you took the straight path. It’s important to me that you feel like it and are committed,” she tells the applicant.

Personnel manager Beys also doesn’t attach so much importance to school grades: “In my opinion, it is more difficult to develop personal qualities and to shape character traits than to give tutoring in English, math or German.”

Applicants wanted, employers disappointed

Speed ​​dating is going really well for Alkassar applicants. The conversations here are not interrogation situations, but simply a brief opportunity to get to know the employers, he says. All five companies he speaks to want to keep in touch with him. “It’s just a nice feeling and motivating,” he says, pleased about the great interest in his person.

The mood among employers is less euphoric. The event is actually scheduled to last three hours, but after just two hours there are hardly any applicants left in the room. The building technology company only had four calls in total, twelve would have been possible in that time.

Direct contact at schools?

Training manager Beys packs her things before the end of the event and is already thinking about new ways to get in touch with young people: “I think we’ll be more focused on going to schools in the future and doing a bit of advertising there do to explain the job profile.” After all, the applicants who were there were great, she says.

Other employers are a little more optimistic about the number of their speed dates. “It could also have happened that nobody would have come at all,” says Manuel Ramon, who represented the canning manufacturer Stollenwerk at the trainee speed dating. He was able to have five conversations. In view of the large shortage of applicants, this is definitely a success from his point of view.

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