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Step 1 - recruiting

There are various ways of recruiting applicants from abroad.  


  • Cooperation with organizations based in the country of origin (language centers, career counselors, educational institutions)

  • Job advertisement at Make-it-in-Germany

  • Project participation by the Federal Employment Agency (e.g. TripleWin, Hand in Hand for International Talents)

  • Personnel consultancy, recruitment agencies


Note that the options listed are not exclusively beneficial. As a German company, you should be particularly careful with collaborations. Applicants and employers are warned about scammers and dazzlers. Unfortunately, many dubious companies take advantage of the applicant's dream of a better life and a successful career and demand exorbitant advance payments without subsequently supporting the applicant on his way to Germany. This could also damage your reputation in the long term.


On the other hand, we recommend working with the federal government and its projects, as there are no language barriers and certain regulations and guidelines support your company during the procedure. However, this variant is out of the question for companies that have little or no experience with the placement process and the provisions of immigration law. In addition, there are long waiting times for answers and advice due to bureaucratic overload and decentralized systems.  


Trustworthy and competent personnel service providers who recruit skilled workers and trainees from abroad are seldom available. Make sure that the companies have a good network in the countries of origin so that you as the client do not have to wait forever for the first applications. As a company you often have to pay for personnel services, but you are kept away from superfluous bureaucracy and do not have to learn the entire process first, but can benefit from the experience of the personnel service providers. Inquire about the agency's compensation model. Some demand the entire placement fee from the applicants, others only demand remuneration from the employer (correspondingly high prices) and others share their earned fee between the employer and the applicant. Do you have to pay in advance? Is there a guarantee? Is work based on success?

Incidentally, you can place a job advertisement at GermanWay free of charge. Simply fill out the form linked here and we will contact you shortly with the first draft.  


Regardless of which variant you choose, sooner or later you should conduct the first interviews with the applicants. Personal interviews are unfortunately not always the most popular option for everyone involved. Most applicants lack the financial means to apply for a visa to look for a job or for an apprenticeship. As an employer, you can sign a declaration of commitment in this case if you are interested in an applicant but are not yet sure whether they have the experience and / or the professional competence that is necessary for your vacancy. Alternatively, it is common practice to get to know the applicants better in a virtual interview. If you like the applicants and if they fit into your company with their hard and soft skills, first make sure that the qualification is recognized. You can then hand out an employment or training contract. The time for recognition is fluid and differs from job to job. Sometimes it also makes sense to hand over the contract at the same time as the application for the recognition procedure for a speedy procedure. In the vast majority of cases, trainees receive recognition of their secondary school leaving certificate or even higher education entrance qualification. Make sure that the dates and deadlines between the recognition, the language test and the date for a visa work together harmoniously. 




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Step 2 - Recognition

The recognition procedure or equivalency check aims to compare the state-recognized qualification and the applicant's experience with the reference occupation in Germany and to determine whether there are deficits or whether the qualifications are essentially different.  


Due to federalism, applicants must apply for the recognition procedure in the state in which they intend to work. In principle, however, the provisions are transnational. The recognition procedure for skilled workers is divided into regulated and non-regulated professions. Regulated professions include many professions in healthcare, craft and engineering. The non-regulated professions include the remaining professions that work with the dual training system. Applicants outside the EU usually need their qualifications recognized regardless of which category they are assigned to, as this is often a requirement for the visa to be issued.  


If you are looking for applicants who will start an apprenticeship in your company, your school-leaving qualification must be recognized. Many applicants have completed the equivalent of the German advanced technical college entrance qualification or middle school entrance qualification in their country of origin. As a rule, applicants receive full equivalence or a result that enables them to begin vocational training in Germany. Please note that other bodies may be responsible for the recognition of the school leaving certificate than for specialists.  


If your company intends to employ foreign skilled workers in regulated professions, they will apply for your qualifications to be recognized and, in the probable case, will receive an assessment of deficits. This so-called deficit notification states which gaps the applicant has in his education and professional practice. On the basis of this decision, the applicant must apply to a suitable educational institution in Germany and learn the missing skills there. These adaptation measures are promoted at some educational institutions with an education voucher and are usually designed in a part-time model so that the applicant can take up employment in your company at the same time.  


The equivalency check takes about three to six months, depending on the number of applications. The costs for the recognition process are between € 100 and € 600 and are usually to be borne by the applicant. There are options for a recognition grant, which must be made before the application is submitted.





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Step 3 - Visa

For applicants outside the European Economic Area and the aforementioned countries, for which certain exceptions apply, an entry visa is essential. In order to obtain a visa from the German embassy in the country of origin , the applicant must submit a complete application with the relevant documents and documents. As an employer, you are interested in the applicant being granted a visa and can contribute with supporting documents. The following is the most important information for the issuing of the different types of visas.


Apprentices have two options for a visa. Either they apply from their country of origin and receive an apprenticeship contract, or they first apply for a visa to look for an apprenticeship.  


If the applicant opts for the first option, then he is obliged to submit a recognition of his school leaving certificate, a training contract from the company and a vocational school contract / confirmation of registration from the educational institution in order to receive a visa. In addition, the applicant needs proof of language skills at level B1 or better, unless you accept the language skills and find them sufficient. We recommend that trainees have a good command of the German language, as experience has shown that teaching difficulties arise in the long term.  


For a visa to look for a training place, the applicant must not be older than 25 years and must meet certain requirements. As an employer, you can provide proof of the financing of your livelihood (approx. € 861 per month) in the form of a declaration of commitment. Furthermore, language skills at level B2 and a certified school leaving certificate are required. After the visa has been issued, the applicant has six months to find an apprenticeship position in Germany.  


Skilled workers are usually applicants who have a university degree or an apprenticeship and may already have work experience. Our experience has shown that applicants from North African countries rarely complete vocational training that is called "BTS" or  "BTP" is designated. Often people take up employment or study straight away after leaving school.

There is the so-called “formation professionnelle” (vocational training), but this is very rarely used. In this post we focus on the majority of professionals who have successfully completed university degrees.  


These professionals also have several options for a visa. Applicants can enter Germany with the blue card. As always, the university degree must be certified by the Ministry of Education and Foreign Affairs in the country of origin and recognition must be available. Recognition of the university degree and a specific job offer are essential for the issuance of the visa.

Applicants will only receive the EU Blue Card if they earn at least € 56,800 per year. In so-called shortage occupations such as computer scientists and doctors, only a minimum salary of € 44,304 per year is required. (Incidentally, computer scientists do not have to apply for recognition, as their qualifications are usually difficult to prove.)


For other applicants with a university degree or the above-mentioned BTP and BTS there is a visa to take up work. Here, too, recognition and a specific job offer are fundamental prerequisites for issuing a visa. University graduates have their qualifications checked for equivalence on the anabin website of the Conference of Ministers of Education. This is a database on which the recognized universities and recognized degrees are compared and assessed.  


Of course, the skilled workers also have the option of first entering Germany and then finding employment. In this case, as when looking for an apprenticeship place, the applicants need proof of financing and health insurance cover for the six months in Germany.  


In some cases, the application must be accompanied by an employment statement from the employer. You can open it here. 






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4th step - integration

There are many options for a successful integration. First of all, it is important to understand integration as a process in which many participants play a very large role. Those involved include the employer and the company as a whole, in which your new employee will spend a large part of their lifetime. As a company, we can understand that you want to concentrate on your main business and that the capacities for complex integration are limited. That is why we would like to give you practical and efficient tips.


The following aspects are the result of intensive exchange with other employers and especially foreign candidates who have successfully or less successfully taken up employment in Germany. At this point, we appeal not to underestimate the integration, as unfortunately this last instance in the mediation process can sometimes make all the previous effort superfluous.  


First of all, it is important to guide and accompany the applicant. It has proven to be very helpful to provide the applicant with a contact person from the company who answers general questions about everyday working life and supports the employees. Employees who already have some experience and have started with the same activities as the applicant have the necessary proximity and at the same time the skills for induction. It is better, if possible, to classify employees who have similarities in origin, age and gender so that there is less inhibition to ask questions and more can be communicated. Furthermore, criticism and suggestions for improvement can be better absorbed in this way. At the same time, as a manager, you maintain the necessary distance and authority. Nevertheless, get regular feedback on the development and behavior of the foreign candidate.  


Language is an essential part of communication and successful integration. Give the candidate the opportunity to exchange ideas and communicate on a day-to-day basis. It must be made clear that it is better to speak with mistakes than not at all, otherwise no progress will be made. In addition, extended language courses are highly recommended and can be subsidized by you. Please note that foreign candidates are not used to receiving further training from their employers and that this also increases motivation.  


Unfortunately, from time to time we hear from our protégés that subliminal racist or degrading remarks are made by employees. Statements about the lack of language skills or about origin and the like lead the foreign candidates into a long-term downward spiral, which leads to a lack of motivation and discomfort. Logically, this is the opposite of successful integration. Sometimes the employees do this unconsciously and do not mean it badly, but here a role reversal and a little empathy is enough to become more sensitive in dealing with them. Sometimes a little small talk during the break or a friendly greeting in passing is enough.  


Many foreign candidates have great difficulties with bureaucratic matters because the language skills are often insufficient and people are not familiar with the system. If you work with another personnel consultancy or a partner who cannot offer this support, it is first advisable to find out whether the foreign candidate has family members in Germany who could be of assistance in this regard. Otherwise you give the candidate the opportunity to contact you if you have any questions.  


A rarely accepted offer is education about leisure activities such as sports, cultural and art events. We also like to encourage our mediating candidates to do something in this regard and possibly to discover Germany in their free time. A varied leisure activity relieves stress, distracts the candidates from a distance to home, family and friends and promotes the development of the social environment.


In our integration and culture course , we prepare applicants for living and working in Germany in their country of origin. In the interactive webinar, applicants learn a wide range of valuable information over two weeks. 

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