Infographic: The refugee crisis and Germany 2015

The refugee crisis reached an unprecedented peak in 2015 that has to be managed primarily by the EU. Germany can be seen as the most desired destination of the refugees and daily arrive thousands of new ones.

Germany’s Federal Chancellor Dr. Angela Merkel showed herself to be full of hope at the beginning, but now more and more diversified opinions divide the population. Demonstrations for the rights of refugees, as well as terrorist attacks take place every day. Negotiations are held, problems are discussed, however no solution is in sight. We concluded all the information in an infographic focusing on Germany.

Balkaninvest proudly presents:

Infographic “The refugee crisis 2015 and Germany”

Infografik Flüchtlinge 2015

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The refugee crisis and its consequences for the labor market

The refugee crisis presents the EU with a big challenge. Especially Germany and Austria have to cope with it. In September 163,772 new refugees have been registered.

Curse or Blessing for the labor market? The Balkaninvest-Team starts with this post a series of blogposts on this hot toppic!

refugee crisis and labor market
Refugee crisis and labor market

Differences in the refugee process between Austria and Germany

Refugees in Austria have three month after acceptance for asylum procedure access to independent and dependent work. They are offered time-limited work permits for the following areas:

  • Seasonal or harvest work
  • Working as journalist, artist, sports teacher or language trainer
  • Charitable work
  • EUR 100/month additional earnings
  • (holiday) internship
  • Voluntary work

Once they are granted asylum they are coequal to Austrians except for the voting rights and have free access to the employment and apprenticeship market. Refuges who are not granted asylum but who also cannot be deported to their homeland because of safety reasons are allowed to work and have unrestricted access to the apprenticeship market

In Germany approved refugees with residence permit are allowed to work without restrictions. Additionally there is the suspension of deportation. The suspension is granted to refugees who are not deported although their asylum application has been rejected. This refugees and refugees with residence permit have access to the labor market after three month.

A disparity to Austria is the priority check. German employees or employees from the EU member states have priority over refugees for vacancies.

But because of the current positive labor market situation and the high number of job vacancies (retrieved 9 September 2015) there could be changes in the priority check anytime soon.

Barriers for refugees on the labor market

Beside country-specific differences in job training and practicing it is also important to consider that many refugees only have compulsory education and often are faced with problems concerning the Latin alphabet. Many of them have professions which almost do not exist any more in Europe like carpet makers or fishermen. Most do not own documents or credentials.

In addition to that it can be difficult for them to work in a regulated work environment because of traumatic experiences and their consequences caused by the war.

Integration of refugees on the labor market

In the meantime there are offered online education and employment platforms like Workeer or Mygrade, which connect job seekers and employers and enable an easy application.

Once a refugee is recruited it is advantageous to nominate an employee which cares about the special needs, concerns and problems and simultaneously enable them an easy entrance into the employment market.

Interview with Maria Endreva (Alumniportal)

Maria Endreva of AlumniportalAs a follow-up of the participation of the Balkaninvest-team at the 2015 career-event at Goethe-Insitute, organized by the Alumniportal Germany, we had the chance to talk to the host. Ms. Endreva studied German philology at the Sofia university. After her studies, she started working at the department of German philology. She has been in charge of the Bulgarian section of the Alumniportal since 2010 (with a short break) and organizes events and conferences for people interested in Germany and German language.

In her interview with Balkaninvest, Ms. Endreva said that the great public interest in the career event shows that there is a big demand for qualified professionals with German language skills. She underlined, that Germany and Austria are among the largest investors in Bulgaria. Asked about the option for people with language skills to emigrate to Germany she remarked that this is a personal decision with pros and cons. But in her view, some years working experience in Germany would always a good choice.

Her advice for applicants at German companies was to show in the application that one is not only a qualified professional, but can also handle the cultural differences between the German and the Bulgarian mentality.

Asked about her satisfaction with the career event 2015 she said that it exceeded all expectations. For the next career event which will take place in November she hopes for even more attendants.

To read the full interview, please visit our German section.

Career Fair “Trained in GermanY”


On 01/06/2015 the Balkaninvest team had an exhibition stand at the career fair “Trained in GermanY – career with the German language”. Organized by the Alumni Portal Germany, the event took place in Sofia in the premises of the Goethe Institute Bulgaria.

This career fair should address German speaking Bulgarian professionals as well as recent graduates. A total of almost 150 interested people took the opportunity to network with various business representatives of German employers or other alumni and made sure that the career fair was a huge success.

Well-attended Balkaninvest exhibition stand

Balkaninvest bei Trained in GermanY 2015
The Balkaninvest-Team made valuable contacts – and welcomed more candidates than expected.

The Balkaninvest exhibition stand was well-attended by the visitors of the career fair. With our freshly printed banner and various information materials about job offers and our recruiting agency we were able to attract many interested visitors and conduct many interesting conversations.

But not only Germany alumni visited our stand, also other exhibitors were visiting us for a coffee and small talk. So we were also able to establish new business contacts.

Balkaninvest-competition was a big success

During the fair, we carried out a prize competition at our exhibition stand. Three out of all participants were able to win a voucher for a simulation of a typical job interview with a German employer in our Balkaninvest office – including a written evaluation and suggestions for improvement (with a total value of 149 leva).

Prior to the event we had advertised our prize competition on different channels – with huge success. About 60 interested people took part in our prize competition – a resonance we did not expected. The three lucky winners will be notified through e-mail in the mid of this week.

Fair offered interesting branch mixture

In total, twelve companies of different branches presented themselves at the career exhibition. Besides Balkaninvest the ACO Severin Ahlmann GmbH located in Büdelsdorf in Schleswig-Holstein and companies such as DB Schenker, Lidl or the Lufthansa Technik took part at the career fair.

Reiner Itschertl of Goethe-Institut Bulgaria, Marcus Haas of German Embassy in Sofia, Carmen Struck for the German-Bulgarian Chamber of Commerce, Marie Fessel of the DAAD and Maria Endreva representing the German Alumniportal gave short speeches during the official opening of the event.

Get together a worthy conclusion

The organizers of the fair arranged an amazing catering offer for visitors and exhibitors. In addition to juices, coffee and water, cakes, cupcakes and sandwiches were offered. At the end of the exhibition companies and German alumni were invited to a glass of red wine and a “Get together”.

All in all, it was a successful and professionally organized event. We had great conversations, met a lot of nice people and are looking forward to meet all of you again at the next fair.

More pictures:

Unser Team im Gespräch mit der Organisatorin Maria Endreva.
Our Team in discussion with organizer Maria Endreva.
Zahlreiche Besucher mit deutschen Sprachkenntnissen fanden den Weg ins Goethe-Institut.
Numerous attendees found their ways to the Goethe-institute in Sofia.
Balkaninvest Team in Aktion
Keep smiling: Our team in action.
Interviews mit Balkaninvest
Interviews with Balkaninvest

Employee Motivation as a part of Employer Branding – Part 1

As part of our new regular series “Employee Motivation as a part of Employer Branding” we would like to illuminate the two best-ranked aspects of the 2015 “work motivation” study by the Manpower Group – a good working relationship with colleagues and superiors as well as flexible working hours.

The most important factor for employee motivation is a good relationship with colleagues and superiors. In the study, 65 percent of the respondents said to be more motivated if they get along well with colleagues and superiors. Even though the percentage is lower than last year (77 percent), a good working relationship is still considered to be the most important motivating factor.

Pierre Bourdieu influence on the theory of social capital

Pierre Bourdieu “in action” (Photo: alicia gaudí,

The most famous scientific theory about the positive motivational influence of good relationships between colleagues and superiors is the theory of social capital by the French sociologist and social philosopher Pierre Bourdieu. Social capital describes the collective benefits of social relationships between different people, in the case of a company the relations between employees and superiors.

Building social capital requires a high level of trust for giving support, assistance and recognition to others and to establish cooperation. All these characteristics and a high degree of trust lead to a strong intrinsic motivation of the employees and to higher motivation. An employee who does not feel well, is not a good worker. Real friendships between the employees are not necessary but social capital promotes a pleasant and helpful working environment, which leads to collegial relationships and long-term retentions of employees.

Flexible working hours an important motivating factor

The study “Working Motivation 2015” by the Manpower Group Germany named flexible working hours as the second most important motivating factor for employees. Overall, 50 percent of the respondents had the opinion that flexible working hours are an important motivational factor. In the previous year, only 67 percent of the respondents concurred that flexible working hours have a positive influence on employee motivation.

But even though flexible working hours can be found on almost every job advertisement as an incentive, researchers at the University of Minnesota came to the conclusion that flexible working parents have no significant time savings. It means, in particular, that workers can not afford more time for their children. Flexible workers have just more time for themselves and feel less stressed, which is beneficial for their own well-being and their own motivation.

Happy workers positive for corporate image

Good relationships with colleagues and supervisors as well as flexible working hours increase the motivation and commitment of employees and affect the long-term retention of employees in a positive way. In addition, happy workers like to share their positive experiences within the company and thus communicate unconsciously a positive corporate image.

In the next part of our series “Employee Motivation as a part of Employer Branding” we will discuss the aspects “friendships with colleagues” and “free drinks for employees”.