Press releases

Fair play despite fear of job loss


Managers are using self-PR instead of elbows.

The vast majority of German executives don’t see an end of the crisis just yet. One-fourth are afraid for their job. Despite fiercer competition on the job market, most managers’ behavior is staying remarkably collegial.

Düsseldorf, December 8th, 2009 - Nearly three out of four managers (72 percent) don't believe that the crisis is 'widely overcome.' These are the results of a survey with 1,447 specialists and executives, carried out by the online career manager Placement24. Around 36 percent of the surveyed employed executives see their job at risk at the moment. In June 2009, 32 percent of the respondents were afraid for their job.

"We advise all specialists and executives to constantly present themselves on the job market and to position themselves with headhunters and HR consultants appropriately," advises Fabiano Maturi, CEO of Placement24. "Through our network partners as well as our unique matching process, we also inform executives registered with us about publicly advertised vacancies."

Self-marketing with the boss: yes. Taking unfair means: no.

Asked if they had ever taken unfair practices to improve their own situation compared to competitors at the workplace, 83 percent answered no. However, 12 percent were willing to 'if it became necessary.' Only a small minority of three percent reports to have used unfair measures before.

58 percent of the respondents prefer to put themselves in perspective with their boss in 'right doses' to secure their job or promote their career. 30 percent do not put themselves in perspective with their boss deliberately. They are convinced that their effort will be 'recognized and rewarded anyway.' Around six percent of the executives are, according to their own statements, constantly advertising themselves.

Placement24 surveyed 1,447 specialists and executives at the end of November 2009.

High tax burden and social security contributions drive executives abroad


The majority of German specialists and executives feel that the burden of taxes and social security is too high. Therefore, one-third are thinking about emigration. However, a survey on tax cuts in light of the currently high national debt also reveals how divided the opinions about this issue are.

Düsseldorf, November 26th, 2009 - "Emigration, to escape the contribution burden, is a serious option for many of the executives we talk to every day," says the CEO of the online career manager Placement24, Tonio Riederer von Paar. One-third of respondents of the survey conducted by placement24 stated that they “often” think about it. One out of eight respondents (12.4 percent) even said that they are already looking for concrete opportunities to go abroad.

A comparison by the Organization for Economic Co-Operation and Development (OECD) shows that German specialists and executives have to carry the second highest tax burden within Europe (i.e. a single person, including employees’ and employers’ contributions to the social security).

According to the German Institute for Economic Research (DIW), around 100,000 German citizens emigrate every year. Most of them are qualified executives.

Do tax cuts work despite high national debt?

Riederer von Paar summarizes the opinions about the announced tax relief of about 20 billion Euros, starting in 2010: "Half of the executives are hoping that the tax reliefs will boost the economy, whereas the other half is afraid of rising fees and charges in order to finance the tax reliefs."

The survey, in which 1,447 executives participated, shows that 48.5 percent of the respondents consider tax reliefs as useful, despite the high national debt. On the other hand, 45.8 percent of the interviewed executives explicitly reject tax reliefs at the moment.

You are welcome to receive further background information as well as graphics for the survey results upon request.

Job market for specialists and executives is improving


  • Career forecast for October
  • Most job ads are for software/ IT specialists
  • Lawyers and auditors increasingly sought-after

October 8th, 2009, Düsseldorf - HR consultants and headhunters are increasingly looking for specialists and executives in Germany again. These are the results of analyzing the 'hidden search' conducted by headhunters on the online career manager Placement24. Up until the middle of this year, the finance and economy crises led to the acquisition of highly qualified executives, which was nearly exclusively limited to the replacement of employees who resigned. "The companies are slowly starting to invest in specialists and executives again," Tonio Riederer von Paar, founder and CEO of Placement24, outlines the results of the analysis.

The number of publicly advertised jobs for specialists and executives on the other hand, stayed constant. “The development of the hidden headhunter search is usually a little bit ahead of the development of the job vacancies. This means that we also expect a revitalization of the job offers within the next few months,” says Riederer von Paar. The unchallenged top branch amongst job offers is still software development/internet/telecommunication with a share of over 12 percent of all employment ads (4,233 ads). The next two largest proportions are job ads for management consultants (2,329) and banking/financial service provider (1,909 ads). Lawyers and legal counselors have recently entered the top 15 most searched branches (14th place, 720 job ads).

Table 'career forecast for October':

proportional job ads sorted by branch Anteil Tendenz
Software/IT jobs
  • Software development
  • Telecommunication
  • Internet/ E-commerce
12.2 %
5.7 %
2.5 %
4.0 %
Business consultancy 6.7 % -
Banking/ financial service 5.5 % o
Mechanical engineering and construction 4.8 % -
Other: B2B services in general 4.5 % -
Energy/ water production and supply 3.9 % -
Electrical engineering 3.4 % -
Entertainment electronics/ entertainment-IT 3.2 % +
Internet provider/hosting, outsourcing 3.1 % +
Other: B2C services in general 2.8 % +
Auditing 2.7 % +
Insurance companies/re-insurance companies 2.6 % o
Pharmaceuticals/ health care products/cosmetics 2.4 % -
Lawyers/legal consultancy 2.1 % +
Retail industry 1.9 % +

*Placement24 evaluated the concealed headhunter search in September/October as well as 34,653 open job vacancies for specialists and executives.

About Placement24:

Placement24 was founded in November of 2005 as an online career manager exclusively for specialists and executives by CEO's Tonio Riederer von Paar and Fabiano V. Maturi. Since then, the internet portal is acting as a central research and acquisition tool which helps HR consultants and headhunters to reach out to potential candidates. Around 3,200 headhuntesr and HR consultants from over 20 countries have joined the portal up until today; among them are nine out of the top-ten headhunting companies in Germany. More than 100,000 specialists and executives trust Placement24 with their career development today.

Placement24 offers job ads in the area media & PR under the following link (registration required):

Companies are looking for more software/IT specialists


  • Companies are looking for more software/IT specialists
  • The number of job offers for software/IT professionals has risen against he recent trend
  • Overall, job openings are declining for specialists and executives
  • The most in-demand fields for specialists and executives are the following:Software/IT, Business consultancy, Mechanical engineering and construction, Banking and financial services

Düsseldorf, August 8th, 2009 - Contrary to the recent trend, job offers for specialists and executives in the area of software/ IT have begun to increase. This conclusion is based on the analysis of 20,883 job offers on the online career manager, Placement24. Altogether, 10.6 percent of the job offers are for software/IT specialists (2.214 job ads), which is an increase of 1.9 percent since March. The next largest population of job advertisements is for executives in the field of business consultancy, at 7.9 percent (1.649 job ads). The field of mechanical engineering and construction represents 1,188 of the job offers for specialists and executives, or 5.7 percent. This is a modest increase of 0.6 percent since March. Overall, the job market remains tense for specialists and executives when considering that there has been 16.5 percent decline in job advertisements since March.

According to Fabiano Maturi, founder and CEO of Placement24, "companies increasingly invest in IT and software development to lower costs and strengthen their own competitiveness."

Overall, it is especially hard on the specialists and executives in the field of automobile and vehicle construction. While in March of 2009, 4.3 percent of all published jobs were addressing this field, the proportion is only 1.8 percent now. In the beginning of 2008, the proportion was still a full 11.4 percent. "

Job offers for executives overall Change Tendency
July 2009: 20,883 (March 2009: 25,019) -16.5 % -

Proportional job offers by field Change Tendency
Software- / IT jobs
  • Software development
  • Telecommunications
  • Internet, e-commerce
10.6 %
5.5 %
2.5 %
2.6 %
Business consultancy 7.9 % +
Engineering and construction 5.7 % -
Banking, financial services 5.7 % -
Other: B2B services in general 5.2 % +
Energy/water production and supply 4.8 % +
Electrical engineering 3.8 % -
Technical/commercial services 3.4 % +
Pharmaceutical/health care products/cosmetics 3.3 % +
Insurance companies, re-insurance companies 2.5 % +
Chemical industry 2.4 % +

Business executives networking for new jobs


  • Online contact more popular than personal contact
  • Job fear remains at a high level
  • One-third of job-seekers desire a higher wage despite the crisis

Düsseldorf, June 9th, 2009 - Two out of three executives (69 percent) are cultivating their professional network more intensely at the moment in order to increase their chances of getting a new job. Only one quarter of job seekers (27 percent) haven’t increased their personal efforts in network cultivating. These are the results of the latest survey conducted by the online career manager Placement24, in which 2,036 specialists and executives participated. Around 70 percent of the respondents reported that they are cultivating their professional network through online offers. Job markets and career portals like Placement24 serve this purpose (71 percent) as well as social networks like XING (69 percent). 57 percent of the respondents cultivate or seek out contacts through personal meetings or telephone calls. One quarter of respondents attend special branch events.

"Considering the current market and job situation the specialists and executives are reacting rationally. Those that constantly extend and cultivate their network have better chances" Fabiano Maturi, founder and CEO of Placement24, outlines the results.

Job fear of executives remains high

Overall, about one-third of executives (32 percent) see their job in jeopardy by the current crisis. Only 46 percent of those interviewed think their job is secure, despite the crisis. In December 2008, 28 percent of the executives reported that their job was threatened by the crisis. Therefore, job fears overall remain on a comparable high level.

One-third of job-seekers desire a higher wage despite the crisis

Although 70 percent of the executives think that their company is affected by the crisis, one-third (33 percent) are planning to negotiate a raise; 36 percent don't want to jeopardize their job by negotiating their salary.

Government billions don’t reach companies


  • Executives don’t feel any positive effects of the government programs
  • One-third expect the crisis to be over within the next twelve months
  • There is disagreement in the debate on limiting wages of executives

Düsseldorf, May 28th, 2009 - In a recent survey conducted by the online career manager Placement24, only six percent of the interviewed specialists and executives reported that their company is profiting by the governmental stimulus plan and guaranties. 14 percent are expecting a profit from it in the future. Two out of three see a benefit from the government help for their company neither now nor in the future.

Instead of tax reliefs for all employees and companies, expensive straw fire programs for specific branches were chosen (e.g. shabrack bonus). “Executives and entrepreneurs are equally annoyed about this,” Tonio Riederer von Paar, founder and CEO of Placement24, describes in regards to the atmosphere amongst managers.

End of the crisis in sight

One-third of executives (34 percent) say that the crisis will be over in less than 12 months. Around six percent even expect an end within six months. A majority of 43 percent anticipates that the crisis will be over in less than two years. One-fifth believes that the crisis will last longer than two years.

Limiting manager wages: election campaign uproar or reasonable demand?

The opinions of the executives about the public debate on limiting the managers’ wages are split. While 51 percent think that the discussion is due to election campaigning, 46 percent of the executives think the limit is reasonable.

Recession takes its toll

Overall, 59 percent of the executives think that their company is 'noticeably affected' by the crisis today. Recession and the downturn in demand especially concern the companies. This aligns with the expectations that executives had in December, 2008. 57 percent of the respondents answered that the finance crisis is noticeable or that its consequences are becoming noticeable for their company.

The online career manager Placement24 surveyed specialists and executives registered in the headhunter portal in May; 2,036 persons participated in the survey.

Headhunters pursuing bankers and business consultants


  • Top branches according to job ads for specialists and executives: consulting, banking/ financial services, mechanical engineering and construction
  • IT/telecommunication specialists and engineers are still wanted
  • Massive incursions in the search for executives in the automobile and vehicle construction branch

Düsseldorf, March 13th, 2009 - Headhunters are increasingly searching for specialists and executives for business consultancies, banks and financial service providers. These are the results of an analysis of 25,019 job offers on the online career manager Placement24. Altogether, 7.4 percent of all job offers (1,851 job offers) address candidates who want to work as consultants. Also, many banks and financial service providers are looking for specialists and executives through HR Consultancies (7.0 percent; 1,741 job offers). The next largest percentage is represented by the recruitment for mechanical engineering and construction (6.2 percent; 1,563 job offers). Compared to the year before, this branch is getting less meaningful in the employee search.

"Overall, IT/telecommunication specialists, as well as engineers, are most sought-after. There are only two candidates for each open position. In addition to that, the positions are almost always permanent" says Tonio Riederer von Paar, founder and CEO of Placement24.

"Some banks are taking advantage of their improved circumstances in the job market. They are specifically recruiting excellent people who are currently unsatisfied, or they pick the best people out of the pool of employees that were laid off," says Silke Strauß, Managing Partner at Intersearch and specialist for the banking branch. This estimate is also confirmed by other HR Consultancies. But in the bank sector, top personnel aren’t willing to switch their jobs for a lower wage, so the salaries in this field remain high. "The relation between fixed salary and bonus hasn’t changed. Also, the structure of the bonuses stays the same underneath the board level. Usually, bonuses are concentrated on success and personal goals of the next 12 months‚" says Jens Friedrich, general manager at Badenoch & Clark in Frankfurt.

Also, consulting agencies are looking for specialists and executives, even though there have been many layoffs recently. "Before, candidates were hired by consulting agencies especially because of their potential, and shortly after gaining their college degree; this has changed. The search is now mostly limited to professionals of specific and already existing consulting mandates," affirms Mario Egartner, CEO of C5 Personalberatung GmbH, which has many consulting agencies as clients. "Many consulting agencies don’t want to search openly, but rather discretely, and therefore, use HR consultants more often now for the acquisition of their employees," Egartner adds.

For specialists and executives in the automobile and vehicle construction branch, the job market isn’t developing very pleasantly. While at the beginning of 2008, 11.4 percent of all published job offers were occupied through headhunters; the proportion was 4.3 percent in March 2009.

1. Huge survey of executives: fear for loosing job “Yes”, saving money “No”


- every fifth person sees his or her place of employment at risk
- the majority expects a worsening of the own financial situation
- less than the half changes their consumer behaviour

15th January 2009, Düsseldorf

The current survey of the online career-manager Placement24 shows that more than every forth of the specialists and executive staff (28%) sees the own job at risk due to the financial crisis. In May every fifth executive was worried about the place of employment. 60% of the respondents expects a worsening of the own financial situation in the next year. In spite of the predominant pessimistic estimations, half of the respondents (51%) declares that they have not changed their consumer behaviour so far.

“The crisis has not yet reached the minds of the executives“, Tonio Riederer von Paar, the founder and CEO of Placement24, comments on the results The majority lives between the belief and hope that the crisis won’t affect them personally.

This observation coincides with the current index of the consumer sentiment of the “Gesellschaft für Konsumforschung (GfK)”. Thus, the financial crisis will not be reflected in the consumer attitudes, although the business confidence tumbles.

Nearly every second of the specialists and executive staff are up to an occupational change.

45% of the employed executives state that they would like to change their employees, if the new one would be better off economically. However, nearly 47% feel safe with their current employer (8% didn’t give any statement)

Executives against the inheritance tax reform


- About 60% make critical remarks
- double taxation and the disadvantage of family businesses are seen critically.

5th December 2008, Düsseldorf/Cologne

The German specialists and executive staff are predominantly critical of the planned inheritance tax reform. This was the result of the quick poll carried out by the online career-manager Placement24 in Düsseldorf in which 2217 people participated. So more than 34% of the respondents (multiple mentions possible) strictly rejected the draft law which was to be passed on 5th of December 2008 by the federal council and which was to come into effect at the beginning of the following year.

The reason for this was that the draft would imply a double taxation. More than 16 % also criticise that family businesses are also disadvantaged in this way. Nearly 17% think that these arrangements particularly would be to the disadvantage of the private bequest, whereas 18% of the specialists and executive staff are of the opinion, that the new law establishes a social balance. 29% of the respondents stated that they do not know enough about the new reform and so cannot form an opinion concerning this matter.

“As being an entrepreneur, it is obvious that I see this new arrangement concerning the inheritance tax critically, but our survey shows that the new law does not meet with the employed executives’ approval, “Fabiano Maturi, the founder and CEO of Placement24 comments on the results. “ I think, that this discussion will continue even after the approval of the federal council, although many people apparently don’t know what exactly is passed.”

Survey: Headhunter feel gloomy about the future


19th November 2008, Düsseldorf/Cologne

Three out of four headhunters expect a significant inferior business trand in 2009 than in the present year. This was the result of the current survey of the career-manager Placement24 in Düsseldorf in which leading recruitment consultants participated. The business development of these recruiting consultancies is considered as a good leading indicator of the economic trends. “Recruiting consultants identify the developments at an early stage, for their volume of orders is reflected in the planning in the companies, “Tonio Riederer von Paar comments, the founder and CEO of Placement24.

The respondents especially make the economic trend responsible for the decline of business. All recruiting consultants characterise this situation as satisfactory or even worse. As expected, most of the industries and especially the automotive industry and financial sector are considered as the losers of the current development. Surprisingly, every second headhunter expects that the healthcare and pharmaceutical industry will nevertheless develop well. The reasons for this are the health fund which was introduced in January 2009 and the general independence of this industry of the business cycles as well. Yet, the current development is also good for the financial sector in the opinion of some recruiting consultants. “The salaries are partly overdrawn in the banking and investment sector. I can only appreciate that a shake-out takes place here“, Silke Strauß, managing partner of InterSearch in Bad Homburg, comments. A general reduction of the management capacity is not expected, for many companies undertook drastic cuts on the management level. However, recruitment consultants are likely to suffer from the trend towards insourcing. So it is expected that some medium sized companies will try to reduce the costs by increasingly recruiting personnel on their own in the future.

Another trend plays into the hands of recruitment consultants. “We discovered that under these demanding market conditions companies increasingly think about the quality of their personnel,” Dr. Tiemo Kracht says, who is the CEO of Kienbaum Executive Consultants. “Therefore some companies perform anti-cyclical search for excellent executives on the market in order to increase the segment of executives, to substitute underachievers and with it to expand qualitatively. Thus the battle formation is there for the next boom.”

16 companies took part in the survey among recruitment consultants and headhunters with the highest turnover in Germany. The evaluation of questionnaires was complemented by telephone interviews.

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