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How long does it take to get hired in Germany? (with tips)

Understanding the duration of hiring processes is essential for both job seekers and employers. As career coaches, we always receive the question, how long it will take to find a job in Germany?

To answer this question, it is very important to understand that Germany follows a systematic and thorough approach to recruitment. And it might take longer than you expect.

That is why in this blog post, we will look into the key elements influencing the length of the recruiting process in Germany, outline the typical stages involved, and provide insights to help candidates navigate this process effectively.

Factors Influencing the Hiring Process in Germany

Several factors contribute to the duration of the recruiting process in Germany.

Firstly, it is important to look at the size and complexity of the company as this can significantly impact the recruitment timeline. Bigger companies with extensive hierarchies and several layers of decision-making processes often have longer recruitment cycles compared to smaller businesses.

Additionally, the industry sector plays a crucial role. Some sectors, such as technology and legal sectors, tend to have lengthier hiring processes due to their specific requirements and regulations.

The job market conditions and demands for particular skills and competencies also impact recruitment timelines. In highly competitive fields where skilled professionals are in high demand, the process may be longer as companies want to perform a thorough candidate evaluation. Furthermore, economic factors can impact the speed of the hiring process. Not to forget that employees in Germany have at least 20 days vacation, which also impacts decision making, as there are times where decision makers are not present.

How long does it take to get hired?

The recruiting process in Germany generally consists of three distinct stages. All in all it may take 3 months to pass through all of them, if not longer. While the exact details may be different from company to company, the following outline provides a general overview:

Step 1: Job Posting and Applicant Screening (typically 2- 4 weeks)

Employers typically start the process by posting job vacancies through various channels, including online job boards, company websites, and professional networks. After receiving applications, the initial screening process starts with the goal to shortlist candidates based on their qualifications, experience, and match with the role. Since many stakeholders are alreaday involved, this can phase can take between two to four weeks.

Step 2: Interviews and Assessments (typically 4-6 weeks)

Candidates who got shortlisted are invited for interviews, which may consist of multiple rounds. In general 2-3 rounds is the most common in Germany. Employers assess candidates’ technical skills, cultural fit, and motivation through behavioral interviews, technical tests, case studies, or assessment centers. Since this is the most important and most complicated to organize part, this step can take between four and six weeks.

Step 3: Decision-Making and Job Offer (typically 1-3 weeks)

Following the interviews and assessments, employers evaluate the candidates and make a final decision. In case the hiring manager agrees, an employment offer is extended, detailing the terms and conditions of the role, including salary, benefits, and start date. This gives start to a negotiation process until a final agreement is reached. This usually takes between one and three weeks.

Tips for your Job Search

From this information one can see that the recruiting process in Germany is very structured. And that is why it sometimes can take up to 3 or even 6 months to actually find a job in Germany. As a job seeker, it is therefore is very important to make it as easy as possible for the recruiters to select you. So what are the key tips you should be following as a job seeker?

  1. Research the company and role to make sure it truly fits your experiences and career goals. Start the process early so that you have enough time until you want to start your new job.
  2. Prepare for multiple interview rounds and assessments. Make sure to practice common interview questions and showcase a strong understanding of the industry and company. You can download our free job interview guide here.
  3. Maintain professionalism and punctuality throughout the process to leave a god impression. German employers value reliability and respect for schedules.
  4. To stand out further, follow up with a thank-you note after each interview to express gratitude and reiterate interest in the role.
  5. Remain patient during the decision-making phase. Avoid constant follow-ups and utilize them strategically.

Summary: How long does it take to get hired in Germany?

While the recruiting process duration in Germany can vary depending on multiple factors, the average time is 3 months, with some companies only taking 2 months, while others also take up to 6 months.

It is very important to understand the typical stages and factors influencing the timeline so that you can manage your expectations but also create a realistic timeline and strategic plan for your job search. 

As for further tips, we recommend to conduct thorough research. By demonstrating your suitability for the role, and maintaining professionalism throughout the process, you can increase your chances of success and find that dream job of yours here in Germany.

Did you like what you read and are now looking for even more support to find a job? Then check out our Masterclass Land your dream job interview in Germany

Picture of Laura Villafuerte

Laura Villafuerte

HR expert & Career Coach

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