Are you Crazy? Why are you asking me this now?

Are you hiring managers in 2015?! Don’t know? Don’t care? 2015 is 18 months away. Budgets aren’t even approved and we don’t know what the market will look like. This is what most of our partners are saying. On the surface this seems like a perfectly rational response.

The reality will smack companies in the face when they start to ramp up for the recovery.

Traditionally one of the first areas of recruitment to be cut is graduate recruitment and in some countries (like Germany) the same is true for formal apprenticeships. It’s an easy win, although the budgets freed up will usually go down the black hole of paying out compensation and redundancy payment for underperforming and inefficient staff – well let’s face it, you fire your worst performers first.


A recent survey in one EU country suggests that the total number of graduate vacancies in 2012 was down nearly 20% but more worrying was that over 50% of the traditional graduate employers (accountancy firms, professional services, Investment Banking and the Public Sector) had reduced their fresh graduate intake.

Even more worryingly and hidden from these figures are the roles which were still filled as fresh graduate roles, but were actually offered to existing employees.

The statistics for the levels of students graduating from universities and entering the employment market are constantly making headlines, 6.3 million in China alone, 300,000 in the UK.

Germany has a comparatively low number of graduates,  a little over 70,000 per annum, and not surprisingly with high demand, particularly for technical disciplines, and low supply, the level of graduate unemployment is 3.4% (OECD).  German attracts 7% of the foreign student pool (compared to US-18%, UK 9,9%) and 25% of those foreign students end up taking up employment in Germany. Despite the tough entry requirements, the comparatively low cost of German tertiary education is a real attraction.

So what does this mean for your business?

Well your future leaders take several years to gain the technical and interpersonal skills to become potential managers, there were lower numbers of new graduates into the system starting from 2009, so this means that as the recovery gains real momentum and companies start needing more mid level managerial talent, this is exactly the point at which supply dips.

This will now be my third recovery and each time companies are caught out. Some up making taking recruitment compromises because there is less choice and the salaries are higher. There is no clear answer for all, however allowing plenty of time and engaging an experienced mid level management recruitment partner would help to reduce the pain.

So it’s not too early to be planning your 2015 managerial needs.

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