Salary is an important issue, but other topics are at least as relevant for young talents when starting their career. Accordingly, companies need to adapt their offers to match the changing expectations of new generation applicants. Markus Otto (MO), SVP Aviation Europe, DHL Express, and Frank Bauer (FB), Chief Financial Officer and Chief Human Resources Officer of Lufthansa Cargo, confirm this shift in requirements. And provide valuable hints on how companies can attract new employees.
CFG: Markus Otto, the professional world has changed dramatically. What does a leading global integrator offer young applicants today in order to attract and retain talent and adequately fill vacant positions?
MO: As a group, we are globally positioned, so there are differences in cultures and consequently in the expectations of people who are interested in working for us. In our German home market, it's all about offering convincing package solutions that applicants are asking for. For example, what role does sustainability play at DHL and the company's climate policy as a whole, right through to the operation of electric aircraft? How can work and family life be reconciled? Does DHL offer flexible working time concepts? What role does diversity play at DHL?
People who apply to work for us, expect credible answers to these topics. So, in addition to an exciting and inspiring working environment, good development opportunities, a secure industry sector and good salaries, it's all about a convincing overall package that attracts applicants.
CFG: Frank, what is the situation at Lufthansa Cargo in this respect?
FB: In principle, very similar. Attractive salary packages and working time arrangements, training and development opportunities in our Group are important factors. Today, equally important for employees and applicants, is the sound purpose of Lufthansa Cargo - to enable global business in a sustainable way. And all colleagues simply want to feel accepted and welcomed within our company but also as human beings who want to shape their future together with us – right from the first day, here in Germany as well as in one of our many stations around the globe. We have a great many employees with an ethnic background or who have newly arrived in Germany. We try to give them the feeling that they are welcome at Lufthansa Cargo and in Germany as a whole. Management and employees have to support these newcomers alike. I would like to emphasize that this naturally includes adequate pay, but also efforts to solve practical issues such as administrative duties and bureaucratic matters.
CFG - back to DHL: Frank Bauer's statement on salary should also apply to DHL. Correct?
MO: Absolutely. We are a company that is bound by collective agreements, which rules out dumping wages. Salary is important, of course, but the working atmosphere, meaningful work, and appreciation by colleagues are also key factors in attracting and retaining employees. No doubt, money is an important factor but there is that much more to address as well.
CFG: The DHL hub in Leipzig was opened in 2008. Four years later, your company welcomed its 3,500th employee. How has employment at your largest global hub developed since then?
MO: Today, DHL employs around 7,000 people at LEJ Hub. In addition to colleagues with roots in the city or surrounding areas, we have more than 100 different nationalities represented at our Hub and the airline. Integration is therefore a mega-task in which every single DHL employee can and should play a part, because for many foreign fellow citizens, xenophobia is a daunting experience. The good thing is that, in our opinion, Leipzig is virtually the new Berlin in the eastern parts of Germany. The economy is growing, and the city’s population is rising rapidly. There is a great acceptance of people with foreign roots here, and our colleagues feel this at work but also in their private lives. I would also like to add that the ratio of women in middle and top management at DHL is about 26%, and we want to increase it further to at least 30% in 2025. Diversity in all of its aspects is enriching our company spirit and culture and helps to approach challenges from different angles.
CFG: At Lufthansa Cargo, many members of the so-called baby boomer generation will retire in the coming years. How will you fill the resulting personnel gaps?
FB: That's a huge challenge. About 60% of our current employees are retiring over the next 10 years, which is a dramatic loss of manpower, knowhow, and experience. Further automation of processes, for example in ground handling of air freight or administrational tasks, could be supportive, but will not really close personnel gaps. Colleagues whose jobs may be made redundant by automation are urgently needed elsewhere. I can only advertise the attractive working environment that we offer, a salary structure that can finance a family, and a variety of exciting jobs in our company with corresponding opportunities for advancement within Lufthansa Cargo, whether in Frankfurt or within our global network.
CFG: Markus, Frank, thank you for the interview and good luck in recruiting motivated job seekers.
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