Award winner 2013: HBS Elektrobau Ltd.

Ensuring a supply of young qualified professionals by recruiting abroad

HBS Elektrobau Ltd., an electricals company from Thuringia, employs a workforce of 318 – including 17 international apprentices who are training to become industrial electricians.

This steadily growing company needs plenty of qualified professionals. Given the regional circumstances and the difficulties specific to its sector of work, the company management decided to recruit apprentices from abroad. The management began by finding out for itself what potential the possible target countries had for providing qualified professionals. A handful of HBS Elektrobau Ltd. employees with a Hungarian and Romanian migrant background suggested that the management also consider Hungary and Romania, where the company also had business contacts, as possible target countries. It also talked with the chamber of trade and industry, which recommended Spain as a country from which to recruit. This is how the management finally opted to recruit from Hungary, Romania and Spain.

During the recruiting process, HBS Elektrobau Ltd. also works with the local language schools and in Spain with the German-Spanish Chamber of Commerce.

 

"Our goal is to welcome our international apprentices so warmly that they feel really at home here."

Danny Schindler, Managing Director

The company has developed a broad array of measures to help these young recruits to integrate rapidly. The apprentices are supported both in administrative procedures and in the private sphere by a contact person. HBS Elektrobau Ltd. provides a residence for its apprentices, which it bought, renovated and furnished specially for the purpose. At the same time, it helps the future qualified professionals to get their first taste of a professional activity, but also to get to know the immediate area and find their feet in the region. For example, HBS Elektrobau Ltd. puts the apprentices in contact with local associations and puts a vehicle at their joint disposal free of charge for their leisure-time activities. Moreover, the company management and apprentice manager held numerous talks to raise the awareness of the German workforce of different cultures and mentalities and to thoroughly prepare them to work with the apprentices.

Thanks to its successful concept, HBS Elektrobau Ltd. has brought young new professionals to this rural region away from the capital. For this outstanding achievement, in February 2013 the company earned one of the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy's “Diversity. Growth. Prosperity.” awards for businesses with the best “culture of welcome”.