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Attracting and retaining skilled workers – digital, sustainable and practice-oriented

With a program that has now been launched, Hof University of Applied Sciences wants to make it possible for small and medium-sized companies to recruit skilled workers with the help of digital recruiting and marketing measures. The aim is to inspire these and existing employees to stay with the company in the long term. The training is aimed in particular at the growth sectors of water and the environment. The project is being supported with around EUR 385,000 from the European Union’s REACT-EU 2021 program.

The presentation of companies on the Internet is of enormous importance for attracting skilled workers; Source: adobestock.com

In times of increasing shortage of skilled workers, it is an increasingly important challenge, especially for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), to attract employees and also to retain them in the long term

Generational change is meeting rapidly changing requirements of skilled personnel in companies.”

Prof. Dr. Manuela Wimmer

And further: “In combination with increasing digitalization, this means for employers: they have to position themselves future-oriented in employer branding, but also in marketing and personnel management,” says Prof. Dr. Manuela Wimmer, who leads the project “Digital Recruiting high N” at Hof University of Applied Sciences.

Project manager Prof. Dr. Manuela Wimmer and project team member Christian Wagner; pictures: private;

Salary alone no longer decisive

She goes on to explain: “The needs of employees with regard to their choice of career as well as their choice of company have changed significantly, not least with the changing generations – from baby boomers to Generation Z – on the labor market. Hard factors such as salary are becoming secondary compared to soft factors such as flexible work locations.” The job search itself is already taking place digitally for the most part – and by no means only via search engines for job offers.

Digital presences increasingly important

It is obvious: The demand for sustainable and digitally positioned companies will continue to increase with the next upcoming generation of employees, since, for example, climate change, social justice and sustainable behavior are present and important topics for these “digital natives” from childhood on

As a result, an attractive company orientation and presentation on its own website, social media channels and other platforms become the central hub.”

Christian Wagner, project employee

Individual action measures

With the continuing education program, Hof University is now directly addressing small and medium-sized enterprises. During a project period until the end of 2023, a total of 5 continuing education sessions for company representatives will take place at Hof University of Applied Sciences – the first of which will be held at the end of the current year. “During the teaching units, an interactive exchange with other participants will be established and first a company analysis will be carried out and then guideline-based action measures will be developed. This is done individually for each company,” says Prof. Dr. Manuela Wimmer. And further

The goal is to be perceived as a holistically attractive as well as sustainable employer. We would like to support the companies in this.”

Prof. Dr. Manuela Wimmer

The know-how transfer focuses in particular on current trend developments, digital recruiting measures such as tailored job advertisements, a professional digital corporate presence and search engine optimization in terms of good company findability

Funding from the European Union

With the REACT-EU program, the European Union has launched a reconstruction aid to cushion the economic and social consequences of the Covid19 pandemic in Europe. A total of around EUR 385,000 will flow from the program to support the “Digital Recruitment high N” project at Hof University of Applied Sciences.


Small and medium-sized enterprises can register for the training or obtain more detailed information about the project at: drhochn@hof-university.de

Rainer Krauß

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