"Beginners in the world of employment can forget the idea of one job for life. A young American has to expect to change his or her position at least eleven times in 40 years."
Andreas Molitor, Die Zeit

Because of the globalisation of the world market, public employment exchanges face more and more impossible tasks, while the private recruitment agencies are becoming more professional.
In spite of the 5 1/2 million unemployed in Germany, 1 1/2 million employment positions are unfilled. A large part of the unemployment problem is a problem of recruitment. Although half of longtime unemployed individuals have limited qualifications, one third of businesses do have open positions which don’t need more qualifications than these unemployed have. (Stern, 50/2001)

On the one hand, unemployment is rising; on the other, there is an abundance of unpleasant and poorly compensated positions.
In the open employment market it is necessary to match people with jobs for the most efficient production. Employment exchanges deal with the most important commodity in our society. A study from the World Bank claims that 60% of the wealth of a nation is human resources (and 20% each of raw materials and products).

Cheap Work—Housemaids from Developing Countries

International recruitment is increasing for poorly paid positions which no European would take. Foreign women workers from poor countries leave their children behind in order to earn the money to feed and educate them. As an example, the International Monetary Fund has calculated that the contribution of foreign housemaids to the Gross National Product (GNP) is approximately 2 3/4 billion Euros per year--- and rising.

International Employment Exchange for Construction Work

Motives to work in a foreign country include higher education opportunities, hopes for furthering careers, and simply a love for adventure. However, the main incitement to glance over the borders of another country is usually unemployment. According to government statistics, approximately 111,000 Germans turn their backs on their homeland each year.
In Sachsen-Anhalt, East Germany, the unemployment rate in the construction industry has run to 43% and cuts continue. The Dutch recruitment agency Northstar has the task of finding German, Portuguese, and Finnish construction workers to work on the construction of Terminal 5 of London’s Heathrow airport. To this end Northstar is working closely with the federal employment offices of each country as well as for example the European Job Centre in Magdeburg.


“Executive Search“, a third party professional employment recruitment agency, has been widespread in the US since the 1950s, and also in Germany for about the last 30 years. Headhunters recruit individuals ‚under cover’ for top positions and special employment fields. When they have found the right candidate for a position, they have to lure them from their current job. The ’poached’ candidates bring along with them their contacts and their specialties from one position to the next.



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