Young international talents who studied in Germany are crucial for our labour market. As Germany nowadays lacks qualified personnel and faces demographic change, those international talents become more and more strategically important for companies. A recent study now looked closer at how we can win these international students for the German labor market. What drives them to settle down in Germany? What makes them go back to their home countries? The results make it perfectly clear: they claim transparency in information politics and need to feel welcome. German companies should be considering this…
International students have a huge potential for the German labor market
There are many reasons why these international students are interesting for German companies. Some characteristics might even make them more interesting than the “typical immigrants” moving to Germany after finishing their studies in their respective home countries. That is because those who studied in Germany have already overcome some barriers, which might stand in the way of “typical immigrants”: Having their study certificates acknowledged, learning German, integrating themselves into the German culture, collecting first experiences in the labor market through internships or student jobs – all of this is no longer a problem for international students who studied in Germany. Furthermore, they mostly speak at least two languages fluently which makes them extremely valuable for internationally operating companies. To sum it up: They are a target group with huge potential. What drives them to stay and what drives them to leave Germany?
80% of the international students want to stay in Germany – but only 1 out of 10 plans to stay longer than 5 years
The majority of international students want to stay and work in Germany after their studies. This is one result of a study that has now been conducted with international students in Europe and investigates their intentions to stay in the host country. With 80% of students expressing their willingness to stay, Germany is on top of the ranking – compared to neighbouring countries within Europe. In England, 50% of the international students plan to leave the country. The study also examined the reasons why international students stay. Here are the key findings
- Only 50% of the international students stay because of their family, friends or personal relationships in the host country
- For the majority (80%), good chances on the job market as well as the opportunity to collect international work experience are the key motivating factors
- In Germany, it is the quality of life, financial reasons (like income), and options of further training that motivate 70-80% of international students to stay. Sweden is the only European country that performs better here than Germany
- Especially students from technical or engineering studies wish to stay in Germany, whereas students from arts or social sciences are more willing to leave
- International Students whom their host country gives a feeling of being welcome, are more likely to stay
- International students which consider themselves well informed about legal and political possibilities of receiving a residence and/ or work permit are more likely to stay
There is one rule in the war for international talents: Promotion and information win!
The report reveals that staying intentions are not influenced by many factors. The majority of international students want to stay in order to benefit from the good chances of success and to sharpen their own professional profile through international work experience. Also, international students wish for information concerning their legal options and boundaries – a thing that still does not happen a lot. In Germany, only 25% of the international students feel informed about their legal options. Furthermore, a lot of students don’t really feel like their workforce is appreciated. This is exactly where German politics should start working on. They have already started doing so by agreeing upon the bill to realise the so called “EU guideline on highly qualified workers”. This hasn’t been fully realised yet though. This bill is a good step forward but in many points not extensive and far-sighted enough. And it is not only the job of German politics to ensure that international students stay in Germany. It is also up to companies to start doing something. They have to make sure that international talents feel welcome and appreciated. This could be achieved through career days and recruiting events at Universities which provide information, workshops in companies or dedicated contact persons within a company who help international employees with legal or political questions. After all, the winners of the war for talent will be those who promote and inform their target group!
Read the full study here (in German)“Mobile talent? A comparison of the staying intentions of international students in five states of the European Union”