By Jörg Kleis and Tammo Strunk
Creativity and innovation
Thanks to a “different” background in education and experience, foreign trained and skilled employees have the power to contribute or share new and additional ideas. A corporate environment where ideas traditionally stem from a tendentially homogenous brain pool with rather comparable approaches to solving issues (“This is how we have always done it…”), is less likely to foster new ideas. A different approach and different perspectives simply leave room for creative and innovative methods and implementation strategies. They may differ from well-established structures, but the potential of positive impulses, for example for working in a team, is higher.
Commitment and dedication
For many foreigners, securing a job in Germany means a future perspective that they do not see in the labor market of their home country. Therefore, they are comparably dedicated, performance-oriented and efficient. They want to do their job very well and never risk losing it. In addition, they often bring along a high willingness to travel as well as mobility – something German employees tend to be less and less fond of.
Acquire new markets
Another advantage is the ability for companies to expand their regional focus outside of Germany. Qualified employees from other countries are better acquainted with the patterns of action and decision-making, the economy and market trends, business conventions and country-specific conditions in their home regions than a German employee will most likely ever be. Hence, they are better at assessing the needs of the target groups. They are able to adapt processes and, if necessary, develop entry-market strategies with the help of regional solutions.
Acquisition of foreign customers
International customers need individual support. Thanks to their language skills and intercultural competence, foreign employees open the door to such customers in other countries and are able to accommodate their needs. Especially being able to speak their language means a strong plus. Thereby, they can look after and retain them convincingly. Even if companies have already built up a foothold abroad, customers regularly rate the support provided by a “compatriot” as positive added value. Even if you are not thinking of offering your products or services in an African market now, maybe five years from now, this may be a relevant topic in the future.
Image as a global player
The advantages also include an image gain vis-à-vis customers and competitors. An international workforce in companies demonstrates openness towards other cultures and is evidence of tolerance. Therefore, diversity is perceived as an important component of corporate values and has a positive effect on business relationships across national borders. Needless to say, the number of German global players with a significant international workforce is increasing year by year.
Higher attractiveness as employer
This brings us to the last point. A company with a diverse workforce positioning itself will achieve better results in finding and binding talent. There is a strong correlation between the two because diversity increases attractiveness as an employer. Many career starters and job changers appreciate a diverse workforce. Some of them even look for it specifically, because it proves modernity and reflection. It gives the employer a progressive image, which again plays into today’s reality that companies apply with candidates rather than the other way round. An international workforce simply demonstrates open-mindedness and hence openness to potential applicants.