Recruiting and Retaining Young Talent

  • GRI 102-12

United Internet is able to recruit top performers to key positions and hence ensure that the Company can grow its business despite the extremely competitive market for IT specialists, among other profiles. Our successful recruitment strategy is based on an applicant-friendly, competitive acquisition and selection process, flanked by targeted employer marketing, partnerships with educational and training facilities, and our brands’ halo effect.

A Wide Range of Opportunities in a Growing Company

As a growing company, we offer our staff secure jobs, exciting projects, personalized training opportunities, and attractive prospects. Individual employees’ career paths can be tailored to fit their wishes to a large extent, and all employees can have a hand in influencing their own development.

Initial Training and Education

Initial vocational and professional training has a high priority for United Internet. We train future staff and give young people a successful start to their careers. At present, we offer apprenticeships for the following commercial and technical career profiles: computer science specialists (application development/systems integration), IT systems management specialists, dialog marketing specialists, marketing communications specialists, office management specialists, and digital and print media designers. In addition, United Internet and Baden-Württemberg Cooperative State University (DHBW) offer degrees in computer science; business information systems; law, tax, and business/accounting & financial control; business administration/marketing management; and business administration/digital business management at the university’s locations in Karlsruhe, Stuttgart, and Mannheim.

All program participants work in a wide range of different departments within the organization during their three-year apprenticeship or DHBW degree. They are fully integrated with the teams and day-to-day workflows during their time there. United Internet’s unique vocational training model allows apprentices and dual degree students to actively design how they spend their time in the Company, i.e., they can choose their specialist departments in line with their interests from their second year onwards. Our apprentice workshops at our Karlsruhe and Montabaur locations were another major success. These are mainly used by technical apprentices, who spend an early part of their vocational training here to learn the basic skills that they will need later on when they are seconded to different departments within the organization. In addition to teaching specialist skills and methodologies, United Internet puts a priority during training on behavior that is in line with its system of values. This mix of technical know-how, methodological expertise, and conduct that adheres to the Company’s values forms the basis for a successful transition to the world of work once apprentices are qualified. The vocational training time spent in the Company is supplemented by (cross-location) apprentice projects. One example here is apprentices’ active contribution to, and design of, career orientation formats – something that also strengthens their interpersonal skills. As a result, our apprentices are excellently positioned to take up permanent positions later on. Since June 2020, United Internet has officially been a “Best Place to Learn“ and this year it came top of the class in the “1,000 employees plus” category.

As of December 31, 2021, there were 215 young people in apprenticeships or studying throughout the Group (2020: 225; 2019: 227). In fiscal year 2021, 47 (2020: 45; 2019: 48) freshly-qualified vocational trainees and students who had completed dual studies degrees or apprenticeships with us were offered permanent positions.

Attracting Future Talent

We work together with schools, universities, and colleges to attract fresh talent at an early stage. We have developed a variety of trainee programs offering an apprenticeship or a dual degree course (in cooperation with the Baden-Württemberg Cooperative State University (DHBW)) or helping fresh graduates find their feet in our corporate environment.

In 2021 we got involved in Offenburg University’s Mentoring Future Program with the aim of supporting young female students and offering them networking opportunities with young female employees and managers. The program allows female staff from different United Internet departments to act as mentors for young women students.

In addition, United Internet launched a talent retention program in 2021 that allows interested applicants and prospective candidates – from school students to managers – to remain in contact with the Company.

We also have a special responsibility to our interns. We have signed up to the „Fair Company Initiative“, whose members commit to providing fair conditions such as appropriate compensation and personal support. The interns who join our Company every year for placements in the IT, Product Management, Online Marketing, Finance, and HR departments regularly highlight how much they have learned from their time at United Internet.

Above and beyond this, we offer school students short internships that give them a chance to get to know our organization and the world of work in general. What is more, United Internet cooperates and holds events with schools, as well as offering careers advice and career discovery opportunities during Germany’s Girls’Day and Boys’Days and our own in-house apprenticeship counseling.

Apprentices also offer extremely popular one-week programming courses for children and young people aged 13 and over during the summer and fall vacations. In addition, a programming work group was held for the first time in 2021, which the Company entered as a winning contribution to the “Bildungspartnerschaften digital” competition. There are plans to repeat the campaign in 2022.

Given the current pandemic situation, all these formats were revisited so that they can be offered online. The Company also digitalized its entire applications process, took part in virtual fairs, and held individual virtual presentations at schools and universities. These allowed United Internet to make progress with securing young talent despite the challenging situation.