Annapurna Recruitment establishes first location in Germany
“We want to attract candidates before they even start looking for a job,” says Ulrich Häusler, Head of Recruitment for Southern Germany at Annapurna. The name of the mountain in the Himalayas, which is over 8,000 meters high, is emblematic of climbing a high peak – such as finding a job or even filling an important position with the right person. “This is definitely transferable in the values of persevering, being prepared and biting through,” said Vincent Boeckeler, also Head of Recruitment at Annapurna Germany. Annapurna’s Munich office focuses on recruitment in the IT sector. And they are taking unusual paths, far beyond the classic tools such as XING or job postings. “We rely on the development of personal networks. Whereas in London a lot is about numbers and targets, the German market is characterized by trust and long-term partnerships. These need to be built up, according to the recruitment professionals. A lot is done through events and lectures, carried out via Annapurna’s series of events Business Transformation Network (www.thebtn.tv) . On the one hand, these are expert interviews with viral distribution, as well as networking events in Germany and the UK on sought-after topics in IT, HR and business change, where up to 70 people from the IT industry come together. “This is where we get to know each other and lay the foundation for long-term, trusting collaboration,” Häusler recounts from the field.
Häusler and Boeckeler want to know: In 2016, they came from London to Munich to set up Annapurna in southern Germany. Annapurna is headquartered in London, was founded in 2008 and currently has 65 employees. Of these, 25 are in Team Germany, which Häusler and Boeckeler have helped to establish since 2013. As part of the Annapurna story, the young managers approach the classic market not in suit and tie but unconventionally and with a lot of empathy. “After all, it’s about trust. No one wants to see their CV on the web the next day,” Häusler makes clear. For four years, the duo had the difficult task of working the German market from London. “We were flying back and forth all the time, it was insane” said Boeckeler. They are now setting up Annapurna’s first office in Germany in Munich. They started out with three employees, and now there are five of them. By the end of the year, the team in Munich is expected to grow to eight. The other twenty employees from the German team in London will follow in the course of the year, most of them probably to Berlin. It’s not easy to find office space that can grow with you! “We looked at over ten different offices in Munich until we decided” Häusler reports. “Since we don’t have much time to set up office infrastructure such as telephones, secretarial services, technology, etc., we quickly came up with a business center.” Satellite Office is ideal for them: the address is right, there is a professional, prosperous atmosphere – also with the other customers. The team assistants did a super job for them on the phone and receiving guests. “Everyone is very friendly and extremely competent” Häusler is pleased. For the duo, the mix of a high-quality environment in a good location with a first-class tone and at the best address is important for the company’s image and for their daily work. Even the IT guy from London who set up and connected the laptops on the first day in Munich was enthusiastic about Satellite Office and said it was “very German” because everything worked right away.
Häusler and Boeckeler are proud of the many awards their company has already received. “The presentation of the awards is partly like an Oscar ceremony in the field of recruitment” describes Boeckeler enthusiastically. “We have already won awards in many categories. The most recent award is from the Sunday Times.” This helps them to increase the level of awareness and also the credibility of their company. “Even Swabian SMEs have now realized that money spent on an expert in the search for and placement of IT professionals is money well spent” smiles Häusler, who himself comes from this region. Annapurna takes care of the entire process: from the search and interviews to the selection and final placement. “Paper resumes are dying out. Videos of candidates are much more interesting for the companies looking for them. Here, the resume can be narrated and enriched with examples, or specific questions can be answered in advance,” Boeckeler reports. This saves the companies and the candidates a lot of time and travel. Annapurna would even have its own youtube channel where interviews on certain topics would be conducted and IT experts as well as searching companies could raise their profile in the industry.
The shortage of skilled workers in Germany is a major issue for Häusler and Boeckeler. Germany lacked appropriate courses of study tailored to IT. Far away from the classic areas such as business administration. They expect a turnaround from Brexit: “In Germany, we will benefit from the fact that it will become less attractive to study or work in the UK after it leaves the European community. For example, IT-specific courses of study that are currently only available in the U.S. and England will hopefully soon be offered in Germany – in English, of course. This would attract many high potentials to Germany. This is a huge opportunity for Germany, says Annapurna Germany. But the German companies also have to rethink: “Many think that we have a well-paid, secure job on offer here in Swabia, and that the IT specialists will go for it,” Häusler reports. But that is no longer the case. “That’s where we do the convincing. Rather conservative companies have to open up, there’s no way around that,” adds Boeckeler. And permanent presence is also no longer in keeping with the times by international standards. “Most small and midsize companies want candidates to be there five days a week, not have a home office day. Something has to change tremendously” says Häusler. Many companies are simply not flexible enough yet. But this is exactly where Annapurna Germany comes in: Building trust, convincing people, connecting the right candidates with the right companies. topics such as increasing digitization at events. Attract high potentials to Germany. That takes time. “The task is super exciting,” Häusler and Boeckeler agree. And their success proves them right!
Thank you very much for the interesting interview!
The interview was conducted by Annette Kissing for Satellite Office