The world is feeling the shock waves of the COVID-19. Industries are being impacted and a plunge in GDP of a number of nations is evident through the crisis. The deluge is probably bigger than ever and is expected to surpass the dip of the great depression 2008.
A lot of small and mid-sized companies are on the verge of collapse due to business discontinuity, resource unavailability, and simply because of the market downturn. International travel has been halted for quite a period of time. A lot of companies are also laying off people because of sustainable financial incapacities. So what does all this mean for the international talent industry in Germany? What is the condition of german companies and how willing are they to welcome new talent?
We will find out in this blog. Let’s start by understanding what this COVID disruption could mean for employers. The current situation is surprisingly presenting a brand new opportunity to the employers to contemplate on ways to become agile and employ better and reliable tech talents. It will also foster the employers who were not very digital before or were slow to catch up to become more technology-dependent and hire workers for suitable roles. This has also made employers emphasize more on remote working and take measures to enhance productivity.
What about after lockdown?
The times ahead will require a drastic change in working methodologies, it will foster becoming more technologically oriented as physical interaction will be minimal.
Bottom line, the hurdles that tech organizations had in Germany in terms of lack of skills and their inability to hire people are still going to be there like they were before and will be even more impactful now. So the race is to hire the best talent at national as well as international levels to help solve these issues.
Aside from key workers, most employees will currently be working from home, so organizations will need to develop more and more remote working tools to manage people and work efficiently. This will, in turn, grow the need to hire tech talent.
What will be the impact on tech talent?
Arguably employees aren’t spending so much time in meetings, and they have the potential to use this time in a positive way. There’s a huge opportunity to use it for development and learning, for example. And it’s all got to be done online – via video, virtual meetings – all of that has now become the route to market.
While the coronavirus will put growth activity at halt for many organizations, the technology space could actually be preparing for a huge increase in activity, according to many leaders.
While it is likely that any further announcements will be put on hold as companies adjust to the “new normal”, this time is opportune for companies to start afresh and increase their tech activities in the upcoming year.
But how will the country catch up with the economic slowdown? Let’s find out what has been happening on economic fronts:
The relief operation
German Chancellor Angela Merkel and her government team, with the approval of parliament, swiftly passed massive aid packages. One part of this aid package focuses on short-time work, which has been a legal tool in Germany for many years and which has been copied in many other European countries after the financial crisis.
Short-time work is a tried-and-tested tool for the German labor market since the 2008/9 financial crisis. During this period, 1.4 million employees worked on a short-time basis and more than 200,000 jobs were saved. Thus, short-time working has ensured that the financial crisis, at that time the most severe economic crisis since World War II, passed almost without leaving its mark on the German labor market. So it is anticipated that it would have the German economy’s back through the COVID crisis too.
But what is short time work?
Short-time work implies that companies will let their employees work on a limited period of time, reducing the load significantly or completely.
In the COVID-19 crisis, the Federal Government expects approximately 2.15 million employees to be on short-time work. Considerable funds have been made available for this purpose.
In addition, the Federal Government has created new laws that make the short-time work subsidies even more accessible for a number of companies. Many German companies are making use of these regulations and are trying to use short-time work not just as an option but rather as a “silver bullet” to survive.
What are the requirements for short-time work?
Short-time work requires a substantial loss of working hours. This means that at least 10% of the employees of a business or a business department are affected by a loss of earnings of more than 10% of their monthly gross salary in the respective calendar month.
Companies agree with their employees, works councils or unions to reduce the working hours for a limited period of time; working hours can even be reduced to zero (so-called “short-time work zero”. As a consequence, employees receive reduced salaries proportionate to their reduced working hours. The pay gap is subsidized by a state allowance.
Salary losses resulting from short-time work will be compensated by a short-time work allowance administered by the Federal Employment Agency. This allowance amounts to 60% or 67% of the difference between the normal salary and the reduced salary. As part of the state aid package, social security contributions are temporarily compensated by the Federal Employment Agency as well.
Regardless of any economical losses, industries are still in dire need of tech talent and so are the workers in need of jobs. Both the employers as well as employees will work harder to ensure that their work is being valued and their jobs are secure. The ones unemployed will work harder to ensure that their skills are unmatched and top-notch. In the most difficult times these days, companies need to maintain their normal operations by remote working or with short-time work. Either way, the need for tech talent is not losing its spotlight and will continue to grow. Let’s make sure to not miss out on the best opportunities of work or workers amidst any chaos that crisis is causing.