Robotic Process Automation or RPA is pegged to be one of the next ‘big things’ in tech. However, the rate of innovation and change in the tech world is unlike any other industry. New buzz words like RPA appear every other week and it can be hard to distinguish the difference between hype and reality. A number of insiders from the industry say that RPA is not only the future of controllership, but it is fast becoming the present. To understand the future of RPA, we must first consider what RPA is, the main players pushing RPA and the venture capital behind it. RPA is the application of technology that enables one to configure computer software or a ‘robot’ to capture and interpret existing applications for processing a transaction, manipulating data, triggering responses and communicating with other digital systems. RPA is essentially a software robot that mimics human actions. It is often conflated with artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) but there is a clear distinction between the two. At the most basic level, RPA is associated with ‘doing’ whereas AI and ML are concerned with ‘think and learning’. A simple example of RPAs applicability is automating the grunt work of retrieving emails. Retrieval is based on the email’s subject, downloading the attachments (e.g. invoices) into a defined folder, and then inputting the bills into accounting software (typically through copy and paste actions). RPA is highly process driven, it is simply automating repetitive, rule-based processes that typically require interaction with multiple, disparate IT systems. This is the key difference between RPA and AI, AI is concerned with high quality data. AI is required to intelligently “read” the invoices, and extract the pertinent information such as invoice number, supplier name, invoice due date, product description, amounts due, and many more. Since every activity in RPA needs to be explicitly programmed or scripted, it is practically impossible to teach the bot exactly where to extract the relevant information for each invoice received. Hence the need for AI to intelligently decipher the invoice just as a human would. RPA tech is hot. Industry experts have valued the industry at €2 billion with forecasts indicating this figure will rise to nearly €4 billion by 2022. These valuations are supported by venture capital investments into RPA companies. In 2018, RPA specialists Automation Anywhere secured €270 million from SoftBank, Kryon secured €35 million, Softomotive secured €22 million, and Automation Hero secured €12.5 million. The dominant force in the RPA sphere is UiPath, a New York based company founded in 2005. In 2018, UiPath received a sizeable €500 million investment in a series D round of funding led by hedge fund Coatue Management. This brought the company’s total funding figure to €1 billion with the company now being valued around the €7 billion mark, not so bad for ‘hype’. The big players like UiPath’s core selling point is that it brings automation to enterprise processes through “intelligent software robots” that help businesses carry out laborious, repetitive tasks using computer vision and rule-based processes. UiPath state that their software streamlines work processes by eliminating the laborious elements of a job, freeing up valuable time for employees to work on other things. As with all automation software, the impact on human jobs is a real concern. To date, the impact has yet to be assessed and the main players in the RPA industry are downplaying the potential negative impact of their software on jobs. Like many others in the automation world, they argue that RPA removes laborious elements of jobs rather than removing the job itself. Only the future will tell the impact technologies like RPA will have on the workforce. Regardless, it’s safe to say that all indications seem to convey that RPA is not just a fad or the future, it is fast becoming the present.
Tax System in Germany Understanding the tax system is vital when moving to a new country. Below is an account of Germany’s income tax system accurate as of 2019. This account was taken straight from our “Berlin Relocation Guide” which can be downloaded here: https://www.sigmarrecruitment.eu/relocating-to-germany/berlin If you are a resident of Germany, you have full income tax liability. All income earned in Germany and abroad is subject to German income tax and a solidarity surcharge. Germany’s income tax system is progressive, meaning that the rate of tax increases as income increases ranging from 0–45%. For married couples, rates are more favorable when tax is filed jointly. The tax year runs from January 1st to December 31st. If you do have to file your own taxes, the cutoff date is May 31st for the preceding year. The rates for 2019 are; 0 – 9,169 0% 9,169 - 14,255 14-24% 14-256 - 55,960 24-42% 55,691 – 265,236 42% 265,327+ 45% Solidarity Surcharge The solidarity surcharge (Solidaritaetszuschlag) is an additional fee on income tax, capital gains tax and corporate tax in Germany. This means that the solidarity surcharge is to be paid by every natural and legal person that owes one of the above-mentioned taxes in Germany. This surcharge is levied at 5.5% of the income tax for higher incomes. Withholding/Pay as you Earn Tax Income from employed work and capital income are taxed at the source, meaning you as a tax payer will not need to file your own taxes come year end. The tax owed will be deducted and retained at the source by the employer or by the bank before the earnings are payed out. If the employer is a German company or a foreign enterprise with a permanent establishment or a representative in Germany, the employer is legally obliged to withhold taxes from an employee’s salary and to remit the taxes to the tax office monthly. Paying Income Tax When you are taxed at the source, your tax will be based on your personal status. You will fall into a certain class that will directly affect how much tax you pay. Below are the six types of tax classes: Class 1: Single Class 2: Single parent (living alone with the child/children) Class 3: Married and spouse (when spouse does not have an income) Class 4: Married and similar income to spouse Class 5: Opposite of class 3, i.e this is the class the second earner chooses if the spouse opts for class 3 Class 6: For a second job or for deduction without proper employee information The taxation at source for capital income will be done with a flat tax rate of 25% (add solidarity surcharge of 5.5% of the amount of tax).
1. Get Help and Be Helped One of the most significant parts of building a professional network is the opportunity it presents you to ask others for help when you need it and to help other people in your network. It happens to all of us at some point when we need an extra pair of hands to help us solve a problem. All jobs present bumps in the road and it’s great to have a professional network you can lean on in times of struggle and vice versa you can lend a helping hand when your network need help. 2. Be Inspired by Ideas Networking can be so beneficial to our creativity and inspire us to do more in our work. If you’re feeling a little lost or not as pumped about your job as you once were, go to a work event or conference and start talking to people! These people can have a similar role as you or a completely different role, or just work in the same industry. Don’t focus on what level they are either. Different levels of experience will bring you all kinds of different insights. It doesn’t matter what role they are in or what level they are, they will always share something new with you. It’s a great way to come back to the office with new and exciting ideas. 3. Build a Good Reputation Building your network will get you known among those in your industry. More visibility is a great way to build your reputation. Getting yourself out there and being noticed by your peers will help you make a name for yourself. Word of mouth can go very far and if you make enough good impressions a level of trust for you and what you do will follow. This will stand to you if you decide to apply for a new role. You may not know your interviewer directly, but they may have a connection to you through a mutual contact, who has nothing but positive things to say about you. 4. Grow your Confidence Career advancement isn’t the only benefit to networking. It can help with your personal growth as well. By continually putting yourself out there and meeting new people and stepping out of your comfort zone on a regular basis, will help you to build invaluable social skills and self-confidence that you can take with you anywhere. The more you network, the more you’ll grow and learn. 5. Gain New Friendships The last benefit doesn’t impact your professional career, but it doesn’t make it any less significant. Spending time socialising and building your network will naturally lead you to making friends. Some of the strongest and long-standing friendships have started as work connections. The people you network with will be like-minded with similar aspirations and struggles as you so it’s not unlikely that a work relationship could develop into a friendship. We have heard it time and time again, advancing in your career is just as much about who you know as what you know. That’s why networking is so important to your career, but networking can benefit you personally just as much as it can professionally. Spending time networking will be very worthwhile and the best part is that it’s never too late to start investing in your network.
Venture Capital (VC) is the key to success for any start-up looking to turn an innovative idea into reality. VC firms provide capital, resources, strategic assistance, networks and much more to start-ups at the critical early stages. In the past, Berlin and Germany as a nation has lagged behind its EU and global counterparts partly as a result of the nation’s culture of avoiding risk. Business in Germany tends to move slowly and in a prudent fashion which doesn’t bode well for start-ups. In 2013, VC investments into Berlin start-ups totaled just €133 million. A snapshot of VC funding in 2018 paints a very different picture. VC funding has skyrocketed in the last few years with future projections conveying a similar trajectory. In 2018, a total of €4.6 billion was invested in German start-ups, a 7% increase on 2017. Berlin took a significant share of this VC funding with an incredible €2.67 billion flowing to start-ups in the capital, a 2000% increase on 2013. This figure accounts for 59% of all VC capital invested in Germany and is an increase of 6% from 2017. Berlin start-ups account for 4 out the top 5 largest financing amounts for start-ups in the nation. Where Was the Venture Capital Invested in Berlin? E-Commerce start-ups have always attracted the highest level of VC investments in Berlin and 2018 followed this trend. A total of €1.64 billion was invested in German E-Commerce start-ups with Berlin start-ups collecting a healthy 67% of this figure. E-Commerce platform Auto1 Group headquartered in Berlin topped the list receiving an influx of €460 million in 2018. An interesting emerging trend is the rise of VC funding for Software and Analytic start-ups. These innovative start-ups that comprise of innovative tech such as SaaS, blockchain, virtual reality, cloud, cyber security and data analytics raised a nationwide total of €670 million with €341 million funneling into Berlin. This 56% increase from 2017 portrays the increasing trust and interest in new, innovative tech start-ups. SaaS accounted for €304 million, almost half of the VC funding. FinTech start-ups also experienced healthy growth with €456 million flowing to FinTech start-ups in Berlin. What Caused this Significant Increase in Venture Capital Funding? German VC firms operate on a prudent basis which is in line with German business culture. In the last few years, many large international VC firms such as Atomico, Balderton Capital, Partech and Mangrove have begun to heavily invest in German start-ups with Berlin attracting most of the attention and funding. This flow of international VC funding has broken the cultural barrier of risk-adverse German VC firms. Furthermore, German VC firms have seen this influx of competition and the rewards experienced by international VC firms causing them to question their prudent methods. The future is bright for start-ups in Berlin as forecasts predict the influx of VC capital to continue to rise year on year.
There are several different types of visas in Germany, below is a list of the most applicable. Tourist & Visitor visa Family Reunion visa to join a relative or a partner Job Seeker visa Working visa Business visa Training/Internship visa A full list of German visas can be found at https://www.germany-visa.org/ Who Needs A Visa German law requires anyone who wishes to take up employment or pursue self-employment in Germany, to obtain a national visa if you are not from an EU member state. Exceptions to this: Nationals of Australia, Canada, Israel, Japan, New Zealand, Republic of Korea (South Korea) or the United States of America. Holders of an EU Blue Card which was issued by another EU member state, that has been valid for at least 18 months. Holders of the unlimited residence title EU Permanent Residence issued by an EU member state (except Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Denmark, Great Britain, Ireland or Romania). Working Visa This is most likely the visa that you will need. A working visa or German employment visa is an opportunity for qualified foreigners to settle in Germany and work in their field. It gives its holder the chance to enter and work in Germany for up to two years, with the possibility of extending the visa, and later applying for an EU Blue Card, or other types of residence permits. Criteria for Obtaining a Visa According to the “Act on Residence”, the act that regulates the residence issue for foreigners in Germany, the following categories are eligible: Highly qualified foreigners, in particular: People with special technical knowledge. Teaching personnel in prominent positions or scientific personnel in prominent positions. Intra-corporate transferees, in particular: Managers. Specialists. Furthermore, third-world country nationals with a university degree or a non-academic vocational qualification that fulfil the conditions listed below: There is a shortage of skilled workers in the profession you want to practice in Germany. You have a concrete job offer. Your education must be recognized as equivalent with a German degree. How to Apply for a Germany Work Visa? Get a job offer in Germany. Check if you need a visa to Germany for long-stays. Find out where you need to submit your visa application. Collect all of the required documents according to the instructions. Make an appointment for a visa interview. Pay the German Employment Work visa fee. Attend the interview. Wait for a response on your visa application. What Documents Will You Need? Two fully completed application forms printed and signed. Two passport photos. National passport. Proof of residence (from the area of the consulate where you want to apply). Health insurance (This certificate is compulsory in Germany and will be given to you by your employer). An employment contract/binding job offer. CV. Proof of qualification (Diplomas/certificates). Personal covering letter (explaining the purpose and duration of your stay). Proof of clean criminal record. Proof of paid visa fee (€75). Declaration of accuracy of information (https://www.germany-visa.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/10/Declaration-of-Accuracy%EF%BB%BF_Information.pdf) Where To Apply You should apply for your visa at the representative body of Germany in your country that is responsible for visa admission: German Embassy. A German Consulate. A Visa Application Centre. How Long Will It Take? The processing time for a ling-stay visa is between one and three months depending on how many visa applications have been received and your personal situation.
While there are plenty of social outlets to vent and express your feelings online, LinkedIn is not one of them. Outside of work we have all been told by a friend or colleague NOT to talk about work, regardless if the information is positive or negative, nobody wants to tackle these topics after 5:30. The same rules apply when it comes to LinkedIn and your working world. Nobody wants to hear your opinion on football, nor do they want to see photographs of your family, or that funny picture of a dog chasing its tail. There are plenty of social media outlets where you can express these interests and opinions. Try to differentiate your work world and your social world. LinkedIn is used by hundreds of millions of professionals worldwide. It is a place where you can sell/offer your experience and skills within the working community. How you demonstrate this information will be the reason why you are being headhunted by businesses and agencies, or on the contrary why you are finding it difficult to gain any traction in your network. Here are some key tips on how to get the most out of your LinkedIn profile. 1. Profile Picture: Your profile picture is a unique selling tool. Isn’t it always nice to have a face with the name? It makes you stand out more, makes you more memorable and ultimately portrays a big message to your professional network. When you’re using a picture, please do NOT have a picture of you including: Dogs, Cats, Bars, Nightclubs, group pictures, poorly formatted pictures or wearing a football kit. This is the first thing that a hiring manager will see, make it count, and make a positive impression. Recent surveys have shown that your profile is 11 times more likely to be viewed if you have a photograph on it than without. 2. Spelling/Grammar: This one is self-explanatory, yet it is the most common issue you’ll find on LinkedIn. Your LinkedIn personal page is essentially your own online stock for hiring managers to buy into. You want your stock to be professional, assertive and representative of your ability. Ensure to spell-check your personal information and details before you submit them on your page. This, of course, will rule out any “where, were, we’re OR they’re, there and their” mistakes that are most common. Remember, this is your professional profile – nobody else will correct your work for you. 3. Networking A great way to get the most from your LinkedIn is by expanding your network. LinkedIn users have a tendency to add their closest friends and don’t explore and maximise their potential to widen their networking net. Reach out to old acquaintances and colleagues, clients and customers, and most certainly your college alumni – these are quite likely the most beneficial additions to your network. They have probably pursued the same routes as you have and can provide you with a broader reach in your network. 4. Creativity: “Creative and Responsible” – are the most used adjectives by LinkedIn users over the last few years. Never have we seen such creativity and responsibility by users across the globe. Although going by this statistic we should be societies full of Steve Jobs’ and Richard Branson’s. True creativity now-a-days in the business world is explored via strategy. Please don’t misconstrue your creativity as an innovative personal attribute that no other user could possibly think of. Instead why don’t you portray this “creativity” via a different route? Present your publications, merits, videos and any other projects that will depict the right image of you. We must be strategic on what information we want on show and what will make us stand out and be remembered. I’d advise you not to use LinkedIn as a place of social interaction, rather see it as a way for you to canvas your experiences and skills to date, and interact with professional communities globally. Think professionalism every time you log in and you should be presenting your best foot forward.
“His palms are sweaty, knees weak, arms are heavy. He’s nervous, but on the surface he looks calm and ready…” Could a song sum up interview nerves and interviews in general any better than Eminem’s Lose Yourself? I think not! The intro says it all, you only have one chance to impress and secure yourself that opportunity so it’s no wonder that we all experience nerves when going to a job interview. The problem is these nerves can often be a hindrance to us. You’re trying to portray yourself as the confident, capable individual you are but instead your nerves reduce you to a sweaty palmed, voice trembling, body jittering fool. So what can you do to manage your nerves? 1. Be Prepared Number 1 has to be to always do your homework. The more you know the more confident you will feel when answering an interviewer’s questions. Research the company. Know their history, products/services, competitors etc. Also don’t confine your research to just the company’s website, check out their social media pages also. A company blog is a great way of finding out what the company is currently working on and talking about. The same goes for Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook and Pinterest. These pages can give you excellent information that you may not have found otherwise. 2. Say it out loud Secondly, practice answers for anticipated interview questions. Not only come up with answers to these questions but get used to actually speaking them. Quite often jobseekers come up with answers to interview questions in their heads but never practice their delivery and then end up sticking “ums” “ems” and “likes” in as filler as they rack their brains trying to remember what they wrote down. By practicing your answers aloud, it will calm your nerves and you will become more comfortable with your delivery. 3. Plan Ahead I cannot emphasise this enough – DO NOT BE LATE FOR YOUR INTERVIEW!!! Not only does it look bad, but you’ll arrive to your interview in a panic. So to rule out any mishap on the morning that might cause you to be late, get everything ready the night before. Lay out what you’re wearing, making sure everything is crease and stain free. Have copies of your CV (and portfolio if required) printed and in a folder ready to go. Map out your travel route, know exactly what route/form of transport you’re taking and give yourself a half hour extra in case of traffic disruptions. So what if you arrive early, it’ll give you an opportunity to relax, look over your notes and even to grab a cup of tea if you feel like it. 4. Think Confident – Be Positive Firstly take confidence from the fact you’ve been invited to interview, you wouldn’t be here if they weren’t interested in you. Drown out any self-doubt by reminding yourself of your skills, accomplishments and why you’d be a good fit for the job. It sounds silly but by thinking positively you’ll feel more confident in yourself. This is your opportunity to shine so don’t let self-doubt hold you back. “You only get one shot, do not miss your chance to blow. This opportunity comes once in a lifetime, yo”
Asking questions is an important part of learning and understanding certain situations in everyday life. As human beings we are naturally curious and like to explore different avenues; asking questions helps us to do this. In an interview setting it can be a daunting task trying to think of the right questions to ask but try to think of questions before going into an interview that will put across your interest in the role and working for the company. While some job-seekers do not ask questions at all due to the stressful nature of interviews, others tend to ask ineffective questions that do not fully highlight a genuine interest in the role. This is an opportunity for you to get a greater understanding of the job you are interviewing for. It explains the duties you will perform with the bonus of getting an insight into the company from a person rather than a job spec or corporate website. When an interviewer asks, “Do you have any questions?” towards the end of an interview, think of this as an opportunity to stake your interest. Stay away from questions about remuneration and other perks as these can create a bad impression but ask educated questions that show you have done your research on the company and the role. The key is to ask evocative questions which will allow the interviewer to tell you about the role and get them thinking of various aspects of the company they like with the added benefit of providing you with first-hand information. Some examples of effective questions can be “What would be expected of me in this role within the first 6 months?” This is a great question, it makes the interviewer envision you performing the job you are applying for, while giving you an outlook on what you can expect in the mid to long term. It is a good note to end the interview on. Another effective question to ask the interviewer would be “What interests you most about this company?” This registers with the interviewer that you are curious about the company beyond your own personal interests. A lot of the time questions can be too self-centred, by asking this question it allows you to get a first-hand account of life in the company.
The one question I am always asked when preparing a candidate for an interview is “how do I answer the weakness question?” The worst reaction you can have to this question is to say I don’t have a weakness. Everyone has a weakness and the reason the interviewer is asking this question is to see how you act outside your comfort zone. People often make the common mistake of trying to turn a negative into a positive. An example of this would be I’m a perfectionist or I work too hard. These answers are boring and show the interviewer you have put very little thought into his/her question. Also you are not actually answering the question you’re just trying to put a clever spin on it.Another mistake candidates make is being too honest. Never mention a weakness that you have if it is going to stop you from getting the job. So don’t answer “I’m lazy” or that “I’m always late” as this is not what your potential new employer wants to hear. The trick to answering this is in the same way you would answer any interview question and that’s by preparing your answer in advance. It can be very difficult to talk about your flaws in a stressful situation like an interview so make sure you spend time preparing your answer. These are a few ways to best answer the weakness question: 1. Pick a weakness that is acceptable for the job Don’t pick a skill or requirement that is on the job spec that you don’t have and say it is your main weakness. This will only put doubt into the interviewers head. 2. Pick a weakness that you can develop For this type of answer you might think of an example where you had a weakness but developed it over the course of your time in prior employment. 3. Describe your weakness in a concise way Don’t go into loads of detail on this question. They are asking you your weakness so be brief and don’t come across as negative. A common answer that candidates often use when asked the weakness question is on their delegation skills. Here you can mention a time when you used to have the mentality that only you could do the job but over time you realised that it was actually slowing the work down and by delegating to other staff members the job was done quicker. This answer is perfect to give but it depends on what job you are going for. If you are going for a managerial role where managing and delegating work will be part of your job description then don’t use delegating as your weakness. Every question in an interview is an opportunity for you to sell yourself, so it is important you never miss a genuine opportunity and the weakness question is no different. Treat it like you would any interview questions that you find hard and prepare your answer.
Are you in a job in which you feel you’re doing well, have mastered your role and feel like you’re ready to take on more responsibility? If so, it may be time to ask for a promotion. There are a few ways you can approach this; Reflect Think about what it is you want. Are you looking for more responsibility? More money? To manage more people? Knowing what you want from your promotion is the first thing you need to assess before approaching your boss with the request. You need to have a clear idea of what it is you want before you can ask for it. Going in with just the idea of wanting a promotion without giving it any thought, is a sign that your request will more than likely be rejected. Be Prepared Know in your head all of the projects you’ve worked on. Know any statistics, facts and figures that will support your request for a promotion. Prepare a list of your accomplishments and be ready to talk through each of them with your manager. This is the best way to approach your manger about wanting a promotion and then follow up afterwards with an email. The email should state clearly why you want a promotion and the reasons why you feel you deserve one. It will also give your manager something to look over while he/she is deliberating. Get the Timing Right Timing is everything. Being 6 months in a job and asking for a promotion is never going to be a good idea or 6 months after being given a previous promotion. You need to have worked up enough time and be succeeding in your current role before you can consider a promotion. You need to ask yourself, is now a good time for more responsibility? If you feel you are managing your workload well and are ready and capable of more responsibility, then you can be confident when asking for a promotion. Ask for Feedback In the run up to asking for your promotion, check in with your manager that they are happy with what you are getting done and ask if there is anything else they would like you to work on. If you are consistently getting positive feedback from your manager, it's an indication that there may be opportunity for a promotion. Follow up If you have already asked for a promotion and you haven’t been given an answer weeks later, you will need to follow up. Request a meeting with your manger specifying that you are seeking an answer about the promotion. Be Patient Don’t assume a discussion about a promotion is a once off. It is often a series of conversations over a period of time. Your manager may not even come back to you for a week or two with their answer and he/she may follow up with questions. If unfortunately, you aren’t successful in receiving a promotion immediately, ask what you need to achieve/work on in order to receive a promotion. Armed with this information, you can work on achieving these targets to ensure you receive one in the near future.
Are you in a recruitment process for a new job? If so, it's important to know what employers look for in a good candidate. Of course, things like qualifications, skills and experience are important but that’s not all employers want. If you've already been asked to interview, chances are your CV has already shown that you have the right qualifications, which is why you are being considered. Now, during the interview stage of the process, the hiring manager will be looking for a little more. Employers need to make sure that you will fit in at their organisation, match their company values and essentially be a part of their team. If you're feeling nervous about a job interview, it's good to remember these 5 things employers look for in an employee... 1. Positive Attitude Being upbeat and positive can make a huge difference. If you are a happy and positive person, a hiring manger will be confident that you will make friends easily and you will enjoy the work you do and even motivate others with your positivity. Being positive can make you approachable and make people want to work with you. 2. Dependable Employers seek someone who is trustworthy and reliable. It’s a crucial character trait in the workplace. Being on time for work and trusted to complete important tasks is what an employer expects from all their employees. 3. Enthusiastic About Learning A person who is eager to work and learn is very attractive to an employer. Showing you have a strong work ethic and are interested in upskilling and improving is exactly what any hiring manger wants. If you're interested in the company and want to invest in learning, your employer will be just as eager to invest in you too. 4. Quick Thinking A person who can react well when things go wrong is very useful to an employer. Having the ability to think on your feet in difficult situations can be of great benefit to any team/company. 5. Works Well In Teams Getting along with people is a huge plus. Maintaining good working relationships and working well with others shows you are a team player and fit with a company’s culture.
Munich’s Tech Scene Munich is a very wealthy city boasting the highest purchasing power of any German city. It is home to many of the nation’s largest companies such as Allianz, BMW, Siemens and Munich Re. The region is often overlooked as a start-up hub as only 11% of the nation’s start-ups are located here compared to Berlin’s impressive 30% share. However, Munich’s tech scene has a bright future as the city shifts from an engineering and industrial powerhouse to a software engineering powerhouse. Berlin is trendier and more glamorous than Munich, but Munich is the place to get business done. The interplay between established corporate organisations and innovative start-ups has created a dynamic environment across industries. Munich’s tech and start-up scene is supported by the multitude of wealthy organisations, start-up incubators, accelerators, entrepreneurship programs, as well as the top universities and local coding schools. The city boasts an open innovation culture that networks start-ups with universities and established companies benefitting all stakeholders involved. Tech and the Automobile Industry One in every four German cars is produced in Munich with revenue’s in the automobile industry totalling €110 billion. However, in recent times the city has embarked on a journey to move leverage this highly profitable and well-established industry to diversify into the IT sector. New technologies such as self-driving cars and new start-ups such as car sharing apps are attracting the attention and investment from large multinationals such as BMW and Dailmer. BMW operate and fund their ‘start-up garage’ with Dailmer operating ‘Dailmer Mobility’. The Internet of Things Munich is a haven for the IoT industry. The multitude of high-tech and financial industries coupled with knowledge-intensive services has led to a huge demand for IoT products and services. Huge multinational companies such as IBM have heavily invested in IoT in Munich. In 2015, IBM opened its Watson IoT Global headquarters in the city hiring a team of 1,000 developers, researchers and designers. Media and Finance Munich is home to a large diverse media industry that employs approximately 30,000 people across 8,000+ companies. As a result, there are numerous MarTech and AdTech start-ups successfully receiving funding and investment. Munich is home to several global insurance companies such as Allianz and Munich Re and numerous financial institutions. These organisations have given rise to many FinTech start-ups such as Finanzchef24, Boku, Paymill and many more. The vast majority of these start-ups use PHP, Java and Ruby. Incubators Due to the city’s corporate wealth and plan to establish itself as a software engineering powerhouse, there are numerous incubators offering generous incentives and funding to start-ups. Play, TechFounders and Venture Starts are private incubators in the city. The Bavarian government also has a number of initiatives in place to support local talent such as BayStartUP and GrunderRegio M. Popular Languages According to StackOverflow statistics, Munich is home to approximately 100,000 developers. The most popular back-end languages in Munich are PHP (38%), Java (30%) and Python (14%). On the front end of things, Angular is the most popular framework with 55% of companies using it. React comes in second at 27% with Ember and Backbone coming in around the 9% mark.
“Poor but sexy”, the infamous Berlin tagline coined by ex-mayor of Berlin, Klaus Wowereit. The city has come a long way in the past decade transforming its reputation to become the “Silicon Valley” of Europe. Berlin’s start-up scene is growing at an incredible rate showing no signs of slowing down. Berlin solidified itself as the champion of Germany’s start-up scene in 2017. Venture capitalists invested a total of €4.3 billion into German start-ups with 58% of the investment going to start-ups in Berlin. A total of 233 rounds of financing raised €2.67 billion for Berlin start-ups, putting it just behind London and on par with Paris. 8 out of the 10 most desirable start-ups in Germany are located in Berlin with an estimated 30% of the nation’s start-ups setting up in the city. Berlin has clearly established itself as the prime start-up location in Europe. This can be attributed to a number of influencing factors: International Talent Pool Berlin boasts a highly diverse population with approximately 20% of the city’s residents coming from overseas. This multinational, highly educated workforce breeds creativity and innovation. Infrastructure The city operates a very efficient and affordable public transportation network that is fully integrated. It’s quick and easy to get to anywhere in the city or further afield thanks to the city’s expansive train network and two international airports. Office space is reasonably priced compared to other EU cities facilitating the rise of numerous co-working spaces enabling start-ups to get off the ground. Investment Climate Berlin is home to numerous start-up incubators and centres that help turn innovative ideas into reality. Furthermore, venture capital funding has been increasing year on year providing financial support to start-ups throughout the city. Vibrant City Berlin has a special, non-conformist culture that cannot be found anywhere else in the world. The city is steeped in rich history and has since grown to become one of the most unique urban areas in the world. The city’s vast party spectrum has something for everyone from industrial techno temples to up-market cocktail bars and beer gardens. The result, Berlin attracts all walks of life, each bringing their own skills, creativity and resources to the capital. Rent Prices Rent prices in Berlin are much cheaper compared to its EU counterparts such as Paris and London. This lower cost of living has attracted multinationals from around the world to start-up businesses while enticing highly skilled workers to relocate. Success Stories Berlin start-up scene has an impressive track record producing some remarkable “unicorns” in recent years: N26 The German Direct Bank, founded in 2013, has scaled to become a recognised name in the finance game valued at an astounding €2.7 billion as of 2018. Zalando This e-commerce company, founded in 2008, now employs over 15,000 people, operating in 17 countries posting healthy revenues of €5 billion as of 2018. HelloFresh The number one meal-kit company in the world, founded in 2011 went public in 2017 with a sizeable IPO valuation of €2.7 billion. Delivery Hero The online food-delivery service, founded in 2011, now operates in 40+ countries and was valued at €4.5 billion during its IPO in 2017.
Recruitment agencies are often underestimated. A lot of people aren’t aware of the value a recruitment agency can have on a person’s job search or a company’s search for candidates. We have created a list of the most common myths associated with recruitment agencies, to set the record straight once and for all… “Recruitment Agencies are Expensive” One of the most common assumptions people have with recruitment agencies is, that you have to pay an agency to help find you a job. This is completely false. The way it works is that a recruitment consultant receives a fee from their client for placing relevant and qualified candidates in a job. You don’t pay the recruiter; the recruiter is paid by the agency they work for and the company who hires the jobseeker. “Companies can look after their own Recruitment. Agencies are Obsolete” Finding the right employee can be a long and complex process that even the most established human resources department in a large company can find difficult. Many companies utilize the expertise of recruitment agencies. With agencies having such a large bank of candidates on file and their own pool of specialist recruitment consultants dedicated to finding talent, recruitment agencies are invaluable to companies struggling to fill certain roles. “Recruiters don’t have Industry Knowledge” Often people think recruiters don’t understand the industry they are recruiting for. This is incorrect. Reputable recruitment consultants specialise in the areas they recruit for and have vast product knowledge of their market. Often a recruiter has a background in the area they recruit for or he/she is trained in that area so they understand what is required to work in that field. “Recruitment Agencies don’t care about Jobseekers” The perception of recruitment consultants is that they don’t care about their candidates and only want to place them in a job so they can make their commission. This may be true of some agencies, so you want to make sure you work with a reputable company. The success of recruitment agencies is dependent on the quality of the candidate’s they put forward to their clients i.e. your success is their success. Therefore, your agency should be working with you to find you a suitable position, provide you with detailed interview preparation and essentially hold your hand throughout the process.
While many like to believe we are great at our jobs, the truth is no one is perfect. In order to grow and improve we all need (and should welcome) constructive criticism. If you find yourself in a situation where your work is being critiqued, here is some advice on how you should approach the situation. 1. Don’t React Firstly, when receiving constructive criticism, do not react! This might be difficult because you may have spent a lot of time on a particular piece of work and felt quite proud of it, so the last thing you expected was to be told it’s not good enough. Sit back and collect the information you are being given and allow yourself the time to react appropriately. It’s crucial to let your boss give you their feedback. 2. Remember the Importance of Feedback Constructive criticism should never be taken personally. Feedback is so important for your learning and development. The person giving you the feedback is not out to get you, they are simply explaining how you can do better. 3 Ask Questions This is probably the most important thing for you personally. You need to ask as many questions as you need to fully understand where you have gone wrong and how you can do better going forward. This is the best way to avoid making the same mistake again. Learning how you can improve your work is the whole point of being given the constructive criticism. 4 Say Thank You You should always thank your boss for giving you feedback that you can learn from. It also lets your boss know that you’re open minded and willing to learn. Being grateful will encourage your boss to give you more feedback which will help you progress in your role. 5 Follow Up You may have agreed and accepted a solution during this conversation with your boss, but if it was a larger issue, you may wish to request a follow up meeting. This will give you time to process the feedback, get some advice from others and think about solutions for going forward. Constructive criticism can be the best way to learn our weaknesses in the workplace. Even though you may feel a little disheartened, try to remember the benefits this feedback will have for your role.
Searching for jobs is a job in itself. It can be challenging and time consuming but there are ways of making this task a little easier. If you are planning on finding a new job, Sigmar Recruitment has devised a list of top 5 job searching tips to help you in your pursuit of the perfect job this 2019. Get Employers to Come to You Uploading your CV online can increase your chances of being seen by employers. Most job searching websites like; Jobs.ie and Monster.ie allow job seekers to create an online profile using their CV content. This profile can then be viewed by potential employers. There is also an option, when you create your account, to highlight specific jobs and organisations you’re interested in and receive email notifications when positions become available. This is handy for any job seeker as it does the hard work for you and allows suitable job opportunities to come directly to you. Update your LinkedIn Profile The first thing you should do before applying for a job is ensure your LinkedIn profile is up to date with all your relevant work experience. Often employers will search for you online while reviewing your CV. It’s important to make sure your LinkedIn profile is up to date as it could be the reason you get called for an interview. Extra Tip: If you are unemployed and don’t have an issue with making your employment status public, you may want to update your LinkedIn profile headline to something like, “Currently seeking (insert type of role here) in (insert location here)”. This will let your network know that you are currently job seeking Target the Right Companies It’s important to know what type of company you are looking for. This all comes down to your personal preference. Knowing what you want will make it easier. Would you rather be; “a big fish in a little pond” or “a little fish in a big pond”? By eliminating the type of companies you don’t want in your search, you will narrow down the available jobs suited to you. Extra Tip: If you know of a company you think you would like to work for, search for reviews of the company online. Glassdoor.com lets you search millions of reviews of companies that are all posted anonymously by employees. This is a great way to get an honest appraisal of organisations you’re considering applying to. Network Use the contacts you have to enquire about available jobs and get the word out that you’re looking for a new position. Often jobs can be found through people we know so it’s a good idea to get in touch with any relevant contacts you may have. Building on your current network can also give you an advantage in your job search. Attending conferences and job expos are a great way to network and find out about career opportunities. Be Positive Finding the perfect job isn’t easy and may take time. As rejections start coming in, it’s important to always try to stay positive. It’s only natural for you to feel deflated when things aren’t going according to plan but try to use the rejection as a motivation to work harder. The right job is out there for you and you will find it if you stay persistent and optimistic. Don’t have the time to job search? If you find yourself not being able to find the time to search for jobs properly, you can contact us in Sigmar Recruitment. You can upload your details and CV to our website and create an online profile that will be accessed by our 125 specialist recruitment consultants to review your details and contact you with potential job opportunities.
In this modern era of hyper-connectivity, with smart devices that are so smart you can be contacted through your wrist watch, is there value in using a third party to help you find a job or are you better off going it alone? Well, with the global market seemingly more turbulent than ever and every company sending out similar soundbites on why they are the best, it’s increasingly hard to know what path to choose as a jobseeker. Jobseekers have never had it better with companies creating novel ways to attract new talent. Whether it’s a mini-golf course on the roof, an onsite masseuse, gym membership or yoga classes, it shows companies are aware of employee turnover and that the job itself isn’t enough to attract and retain talent anymore. However, on the other side of things, a job for life is clearly a thing of the past for most of the labour market, unless you’re a health professional or a teacher. This means more diversity in a person’s career, certainly among millennials, under 25’s and graduates in particular. This also means more disruption in previously stable careers and the need to diversify people’s skills and keep an eye on the market. It’s a dynamic environment in recruitment with marketing and internal recruiters partnering to attract the best staff, so why use a recruiter? Industry Knowledge Most recruiters specialise in one niche of the market and as a result become market experts within their sector and can give you a complete roadmap to the lay of the land. Going it solo will mean that you will have to do your own research about each company you are applying for who will each have their own unique requirements. Your recruiter, however, will be able to provide you with a company background, describe the team structure, the key aspects of the role and what exact experience the hiring manager is looking for. A recruiter will help you decide whether the position is for you and keep you updated as things develop in the market you’re in. Recruitment agencies provide a completely cost-free service to jobseekers. They only charge the companies hiring, so why not have unlimited access to the inner workings of the company you’re applying to and assistance for free? Direct Line To The People In Power Recruiters have a direct line to HR directors and hiring managers. Why not make the most of this? With a direct line to the people in power, you get the inside information on what makes a company, a department or even a specific job so exciting. If you have high goals of progression or want to work on a set type of projects, you won’t find this information through a job advert and may not realise if you have made a mistake until you’re in the job. Another aspect a recruiter can help with is when it comes to negotiating salary, the recruiter will know exactly what can be negotiated and keep things on track. You can focus on performing in the interview and the recruiter can handle all the awkward/difficult conversations. Your Own Personal Advocate Who doesn’t want someone singing their praises? With a recruiter you have your own personal cheerleader getting face time with people in power and telling them in no uncertain terms that you were made for this job and could do it blindfolded like Sandra Bullock in Birdbox. In all seriousness, a recruiter is trained find out your best qualities in relation to the job and make sure you don’t get missed by the hiring company. They can also help with CV re-design and know the best ways to catch the eye of the employer. Also, as mentioned, people are jumping jobs a lot more now which has previously been a serious red flag for employers. However, your recruiter can help explain your motivations and elaborate on your CV in minute detail to get over the initial hurdle of pre-screening. Practice Makes Perfect Interviews are a minefield. Say the wrong thing or react the wrong way and you will be stuck in no man’s land with no way back. Nike have a motto “Think training’s hard? Try losing”. Every day a recruiter prepares people for interviews, so let the experts show you how to ace every interview. They have the practice that can make you perfect! They will already have given you the background to the job, the hiring managers and the company, so the next logical piece of the puzzle is on the interview process. Recruiters will have reams of documentation but will always tailor the preparation for interviews to each person to maximise the value. The difference between you and the next person competing for the job is usually a small margin. That could mean that advice from a recruiter, who has placed plenty of candidates in jobs, could be the reason you succeed in getting the role. The future is bright for job seekers with more opportunities than ever. Partner with a recruiter who knows the industry, the companies hiring and who can help make the jobs market easier to navigate.