We asked Sabine Jentschke, Director Human Rescources at Syntax Europe, about the current job market for IT specialists, which platforms recruiters use today to find applicants and what requirements are demanded of applicants.

Editorial Team: According to a study by the digital association Bitkom, IT jobs remain vacant for five months on average because there is a glaring shortage of IT specialists in Germany. Especially developers are very hard to find. What are your current experiences regarding this issue?

Sabine Jentschke: Needless to say, we too are feeling the effects of a decreasing number of applications for vacant IT specialists jobs. This is particularly the case for positions which require special programming language skills. Therefore, it is necessary for our recruiters to apply a certain degree of creativity. This is how we recruit qualified staff for our company.

Editorial Team: What are the areas in which you are looking for software developers and which qualifications (programming languages) have been particularly sought by your organization recently?

Sabine Jentschke: We are especially looking for employees in the field of SAP who are familiar with programming languages like SAP ABAP/OO, HANA, Fiori, HTML 5, as well as JavaScript, PHP, C and JAVA.

Editorial Team: How do you deal with applicants who do not hold an academic degree or underwent professional training, but who have achieved a proven expertise as developers in practical self-study?

Sabine Jentschke: For us, holding an academic degree or having professional training is not a mandatory requirement. We also value practical, hands-on experience that candidates collected earlier in their career, as well as certifications and knowledge acquired through self-study.

Editorial Team: How do you find software developers? Do you recruit mainly through personnel service providers or do you make use of alternative contact possibilities such as trade fairs and company events?

Sabine Jentschke: We currently fill our vacancies without cooperating with a personnel service provider. We do attend relevant career fairs and use company events as well. In addition, the topic of active sourcing plays a major role in today’s world. Targeted personnel marketing campaigns are also a means to successful recruitment.

Editorial Team: Do you also actively approach IT specialists from abroad, or do you primarily focus on the German recruitment market when acquiring new employees?

Sabine Jentschke: We are currently focusing on the German market, but we’re also open to applicants from abroad as well.

Editorial Team: According to Bitkom, many companies complain about the applicants’ salary expectations being too high. So one last question: How often does it really happen that you have to reject software developers from the IT market because of “excessive” salary expectations?

Sabine Jentschke: It is very rare for us to reject qualified candidates due to excessive salary expectations. Honestly, nowadays salary is no longer the primary driver for applying for and taking up a new position. It is the working environment that counts, the interaction with colleagues, and the fun and challenges a new job offers. We have exciting topics, a great culture and very good social benefits that we offer as an employer. There is a lot of truth in the saying “Money cannot buy you happiness”. It is the many valuable things around the salary that turn “a” company into “my” company and we are proud of that!