Vocational training at satis&fy
Seldom have the facts of life and realities of work been laid out so clearly as at the Sound of Life fundraiser. The event was an object lesson for trainees in how work gets done at satis&fy and how fickle fate can be. The proceeds from the open-air concert in Frankfurt went to a children’s cancer fund. The charity benefited from the income; our trainees from the experience. The aspiring technicians and management assistants were tasked to organize the event on their own, a first for some. The lesson they learned – staging events takes a lot of dedication and cooperation between support units – is sure to serve them well on their career paths. “We’re looking for young people who want more than just a job; who want to challenge themselves and put their personalities into what they do,” says Udo Herrgen, who heads up HR and Training. He and his trainers, currently 17, have been mentoring apprentices since 2001.
Careful selection is essential. satis&fy received 849 applications for this year’s slots. 20 of the 355 applicants at Karben took part in our Trainee Days, an in-house assessment center. In 2015, the shortlisted candidates for the Berlin and Werne locations will also take part in this selection process. According to Udo, “We look for traits such as honesty, self-confidence and flexibility, and assess general knowledge, motivation levels and proclivities.”
The program aims to provide comprehensive training and promote personal growth. With a job practically guaranteed upon completion, both sides know their needs are being met. Trainees are afforded opportunities such as gigs in Dubai and Rio that smaller companies can’t offer. The apprentices learn early on what it means to take responsibility for the customer, the company and coworkers. This pays off because trainees appreciate this confidence in their abilities and respond in kind with dedication and excellent performance. Many of the 70+ former apprentices who joined satis&fy still gush about the experience. Take, for example, Maika Janat, a trainee from 2004 to 2006. She says, “It was the best thing that could have happened to me and I highly recommend applying for a job here.” Maika’s speaking from experience: She’s been president of the new satis&fy branch in Portland, USA, since 2013.
Commenting on trainee recruiting, these days a fiercely competitive pursuit, Udo says, “Some young people need to take a detour to discover where they want to go. With our application process, which is all about individuals and takes more than just grade point averages into account, we give them a chance and often find diamonds in the rough that others may miss.”