Engineering in Germany: Linking knowledge creatively
Engineers in industry are expected to be solution-oriented, flexible and willing to continue their training continuously. It is important to use knowledge creatively, as Jörn Kleine, the head of “Recruiting Elektromobilität” at the Bosch Group, confirms.
In the current debate surrounding the recruitment of engineers one could gain the impression that soft skills are almost more highly valued than specialist skills. How is the situation at Bosch?
At Bosch a good degree and sound specialist training are right at the top of the list. Personality is also a decisive factor. This is often forgotten in the discussion surrounding soft skills these days. What we consider particularly important is that our staff are solution-oriented. As technical issues are becoming more and more complex existing knowledge has to be linked creatively. When deciding whether somebody is suitable for Bosch, we are guided by the values of our firm: openness, trust, fairness and a clear belief in cultural diversity. The applicant’s personality should also be characterised by these values.
Bosch supplies engines for hybrid and electric vehicles as well as the relevant power electronics, presented here by a junior development engineer. Foto: Bosch
By ‘belief in cultural diversity’ you surely also mean that foreign assignments or international contacts have become the norm for engineers in the context of accelerated globalisation?
That is an important aspect. We expect our staff to be flexible in terms of time and location, for example for projects in international teams across several time zones. With some 300 subsidiaries and regional companies, Bosch provides opportunities for advancement throughout the world. Our employees can gather international experience in a number of different ways – from short stays in connection with a particular project, to phases lasting several years. Even if they stay in their own country, Bosch employees often work as part of an international network. The company encourages rotation between sectors, business units and corporate divisions as well as between careers (specialist, project management or line management careers). Apart from that we recruit abroad for the respective local market, rarely for the German market. India is in the top position with 3,700 graduates in 2011, followed by China (2,700) and Germany (1,200).
What fields of activity do engineers work in at Bosch and what support do they receive during the familiarisation phase?
The list is long there. There are diverse opportunities in almost all functional areas. In the business unit Gasoline Systems for instance, which includes the field of electromobility, we seek experts for research and development, application, construction, manufacturing, logistics, quality management or technical sales. In the eMobility field there will be demand in particular for more electrochemists (battery) and IT specialists (control and linking of the products, keyword “Internet of Things”) in the future.
We have developed a standardised familiarisation programme, for example in the hybrid unit, which familiarises new employees with all the important topics of electromobility. This programme is supplemented by an individual familiarisation plan, which takes into account the new recruit’s particular field of activity.
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