How to write a job ad in Germany
Registering a company is the first step for starting a business in Germany. However the next step for many would be looking for qualified and suitable German employees for your company. And, of course, to find them you’ll need to prepare and post job ads for your open positions. This might be a little tricky since every country has its own special aspects when it comes to job ads. And potential German employees can be very particular about what they expect to see in a job ad and the position itself. In this article we’ll tell you how to prepare a job ad in Germany and what to avoid when writing it.
Watch our video on how to write a job ad in Germany:
If you want to find employees in Germany, you’ll need to prepare the job ad in the way Germans are used to. For many of them, it might be the first time they hear about your company, so it is very important to make sure it sparks their interest. Since job ads can be considered marketing in a sense, there are some marketing principles that apply to them too: they need to get the attention of the person, get them interested, spark their desire to work for you and make them take action and contact you.
How to write a job ad
To achieve that, you need to pay attention to the following:
1. Job title
It should be as clear as possible, so that potential candidates don’t need to wreck their brain trying to guess what the position actually implies. Also it makes sense to indicate in the title if what you are offering is a full-time or part-time job, internship etc. This way people will know exactly what this is about.
2. Company profile
As it is probably quite obvious, this section should have information about your company explaining who you are to the potential applicants. In what field is your company active? What products do you offer? Where is your company located and how many employees does it have? What are the highlights of your business so far and what do you intend to achieve? What makes your company special?
It is very important to make a good impression but not to exaggerate. Be cautious about using such words as “worldwide”, “leading”, “innovative” since most of the people are sick of those and might be put off by seeing them.
3. Job description
Here you should describe the position you are offering as precisely as possible. What are the duties and responsibilities? Where will the person work? Is it a temporary or a permanent position? Is it a full-time or a part-time job and what are the working hours and other conditions?
4. Job requirements
In this section you explain what you expect from the candidate. Please remember that candidates are real people too and your expectations should be realistic. You would probably scare off many nice potential candidates if your requirements are speaking 10 different languages fluently, having a Doctor of Medicine degree and being an IT specialist at the same time and also being able to work under pressure 24/7.
Think what skills are absolute Must-haves for the position and write them down. Then list the Nice-to-haves that are optional but that you’d like to see in a candidate.
Here you describe what you have to offer to the potential candidate. German candidates study this information carefully since they have their own requirements too and know the value of their time and skills. What are the benefits of working with you? How many paid vacation days to you offer? Are there opportunities for advanced training? Are there prospects of career development? Do you offer hot lunches or have a gym at the office? Give it a thorough thought and list all benefits that candidates could find interesting.
As for the salary, even though many people would like to see it in a job ad, it is very typical in Germany to discuss it individually at the interview with each candidate.
6. Application procedure
If you were successful enough and got the candidate interested, it should be clear to them how they can apply for the position. For example, it can be through an application form on the website or through email. Write what information and documents they need to provide, who the contact person is and when the application deadline is.
These are the most important things your German job ad needs to include. Now, what should you avoid at all costs in a job ad?
What to avoid in a job ad
Generally speaking, a job ad should be void of any signs of discrimination or unequal treatment. Since 2006, the General Act on Equal Treatment (Allgemeines Gleichbehandlungsgesetz) exists in Germany. Its goal is to prevent or to eliminate discrimination on grounds of race, sex, religion, handicap, age or sexual identity. So if you don’t want to be fined for unequal treatment, your job ad should have no signs of it. For example:
- Job ads should be gender-neutral, so ideally they should have the addition “m/f/d” (or “m/w/d” in German) which stands to “male/female/diverse”.
- Avoid the so-called taboo words in job ads: don’t write that you are looking for “young” or “physically fit” candidates or those who have “Christian values”. This all might be considered discrimination, should other candidates be declined the position in favor of a candidates with the listed qualities.
- Avoid wordings that can be considered unequal in the application form as well as the confirmation that the application has been received. If there is a line where the candidate should choose how they should be addressed, don’t limit it to only “Mr” or “Mrs” or “Ms”. Add the option “not specified”. To avoid discriminating greetings in the confirmation, choose such options as “Hello Taylor Smith” rather than “Dear Mr Smith”.
If you want to open your own business in Germany, please get in touch with us. We also assist foreigners with immigration through business or the EU Blue Card. We’ll be glad to help you find an optimal solution.
This document (and any information accessed through links in this document) is intended for general informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional advice. Each situation is unique and professional advice should always be obtained before taking or refraining from any action.