In our latest state of the market update, we turn our attention to Europe’s economic powerhouse. As Elyas Bozan, Morgan Philips MD in Germany, tells us, the fourth largest economy in the world is showing signs of recovery.
“Due to Corona we saw a drop in the number of job roles in Q2, but the employment market in Germany wasn’t as hard hit as some other countries,” says Bozan. “Despite the challenges faced by some sectors such as automotive or logistics, we are seeing evidence that the market is picking up again.”
In which sectors has hiring remained steady? “It’s probably a bit too soon to say that hiring is back to normal but some sectors have been very resilient such as Life Sciences,” he notes. “Think of all companies supplying and delivering technologies to in an efficient way to support product cycles for example for vaccines. Similarly, artificial intelligence and big data that are used to generate actionable insights for the drug discovery and development phases. Life Sciences has been a big winner.”
As for specific skills, then the big buzz word is big data according to Bozan. “All jobs around data and data science are very much in demand, which was the development over the last quarters. The same goes for digital transformation, which is a big priority for companies right now. Cleary, if you’re not set up for digitalisation, you’re heading for failure, especially during the current situation. Digital marketing too is another hot area, as companies increasingly look to their digital channels to promote their product offerings. Software developers too continue to be sought after.”
Flexible contract models
The pandemic has also highlighted where the demand will be created moving forward, especially for interim managers. “We may see companies seek to build their internal capability and rely less on external sources. But overall, there will be a higher demand for interim roles for example in finance, especially as we approach the end of the calendar year. Cybersecurity and data science expertise will be requested more than ever due to the high demand for digital transformation. And as well as in industries that are dependent on compliance processes such as life sciences or banking and financial services. Permanent roles will likely change, and this will boost the demand for flexible contracts and interim resources,” Bozan remarks.
While Bozan sees the new hybrid model continuing, the social aspect of office life is still very important. “The key will be striking the right balance in the future. On the one hand, people need more flexibility to juggle their work and family commitments, so you need to give them the option of working remotely and from home. However, people need to interact as otherwise you won’t be able to build the foundations for your organisational culture – you need a mixed approach of being able to work independently but also socialising.”
Leadership has also been in the spotlight. What are the lessons to be learned? “I think that even the staunchest critics of remote working have had to learn to trust their people, and if we look at productivity, this seems to have paid off,” Bozan says. “Individuals must feel that they can rely on their managers for support which is even more important during a crisis. If the social aspect is missing, you need to work on motivation and keep the culture strong. We have all had to learn to be more agile and make up for that lack of contact in other ways – this period has allowed us to better understand which processes are working and which aren’t.
“We’ve been tested like never before – it’s been like three crisis all rolled into it – but it does make you feel that if you can get through this, you’ ready for anything! A good manager will stand up and be counted, lead from the front, create an environment of followership. If you’re not transparent, you can’t create that. You can see who the real managers are during a crisis.”
And what advice does he have for jobseekers? “Individuals need to consider if the job they’re currently doing is the right one for them. If you enjoy what you do then you will be successful and motivated to find another one in the same field. My advice would be to grow your personal networks with experts from your core market. You need to continue develop your skills set and keep persevering as organisations are on the lookout for top talent.”
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