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On a Quest for the Best

Laura‘s growling tummy could put a real damper on a speed dating session. Fortunately, though, Laura‘s not looking for romance. On the contrary, she brought a man to this get-together, Volker. This twosome is clearly in tune, as Volker‘s rumbling stomach would -attest, but the hunger pangs are signs of no downtime rather than a deeper empathic understanding. The two have been talking for hours to potential candidates for an apprenticeship at satis&fy, -devoting ten minutes to each aspirant. The Dortmund Chamber of Industry and Commerce came up with the unusual speed dating -format to afford candidates and companies an opportunity to get acquainted over a quick chat. Had Laura and Volker known that the overwhelming interest in satis&fy would leave no time for a break, they would have brought sandwiches when they left Werne to head to Dortmund. 

satis&fy doggedly pursues opportunities to talk to potential applicants, and job fairs such as Dortmund‘s Einstieg, Gießen‘s Chance 2016 and Frankfurt‘s Azubi- und Studientage offer some of the best. But that doesn‘t mean the delegates from the three -German training sites at Berlin, Karben and Werne always return to the office with a thick stack of applications. The search for the right candidate is not easy. “The people at job fairs are often younger than 18,” says -Volker, “so the prospects are more long-term.” And not every bright-eyed and bushy-tailed young aspirant who approaches satis&fy is well-informed. Many couldn‘t say exactly what a visual marketing designer does. 

On top of that, Generation Y is reluctant to commit, as Karben‘s trainee recruiter Christine confirms: “It‘s not often you come across people who want to commit wholeheartedly.” The company‘s aim is clear: If you come aboard, we want you to stay aboard. satis&fy is seeking people who embrace the company spirit right from the start and live by it, staying on with the crew for many years, perhaps even decades, to come. So far that aim has been true: 99% of trainees remain loyal to -satis&fy. So what kind of candidate gets the nod in this job ‘-casting‘? They have to be willing to go all-in, wide awake and eyes wide open. They need to be problem-solvers that see the big picture and think across all services. They can be unconventional, but they have to take responsibility for their actions. And that‘s -exactly what deters many applicants, according to Christian, currently an apprentice in Berlin: “You have to want it,” he says, making it clear that he wanted this very much. satis&fy is now training 44 -apprentices in Germany, with 18 more to join in September. “These are great people,” says Patrick, who started out as an apprentice at satis&fy and today works with Christine to look after Karben‘s -trainees. 

Although the company‘s headhunters visit job fairs, it takes more than that to find the right people. Recruiting days have been the focal point of the application process for several years now. This is where the company gets to know the candidates‘ mindsets and -qualifications, and where candidates get to explore the enterprise in all its facets. Six to eight carefully selected aspirants are invited over for a day to learn more about the given job. satis&fy first briefs the candidates thoroughly on the company and the training, and then tests their fundamental skills and conducts one-on-one interviews. After all is said and done, two out of 200 applicants will clinch an -apprenticeship to earn qualifications for a job such as Event-Management Assistant. Now that the sites are increasingly -interconnected, they can tap the talent pool throughout Germany to find the best. “We also try to motivate people to start off elsewhere, for example, in Berlin, rather than in Karben,” says Christine. Laura and Volker wouldn‘t mind at all if candidates instead opted for Werne. Then they could at least take the occasional sandwich break during marathon recruiting sessions.

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