You want to come to Barcelona as a marketing professional, let’s assume. Chances that you’ll see German language requirement in the qualifications - next to advanced level English of course - might be higher than Spanish or Catalan. The question that appears in the little white box above our head is the same: Why do companies are in need of that many German speakers? To understand how and where to look for jobs for German speakers you need to understand why your value is that high.
Why do companies abroad hire German speakers?
The language job market in Europe has always been active, even during the period of the latest pandemic. International companies are looking for French, Dutch or Nordic speakers to have the necessary advantage in the markets they want to excel at or expand in. One language that companies look for the most though is German. There are different reasons for that. Let’s have a look at them.
German is one of the most spoken languages in Europe
To be frank, German is not even in the top 10 most spoken languages in the world. However, including the native populations of Germany and Austria, there are still more than 100 million people speaking German at a native level and in total more than 130 million people at a conversational level. This makes German one of the most spoken languages in Europe. Let’s see first in which countries you can find the most German speakers:
With more than 80 million speakers, of course, Germany is where you find the most native German speakers.
Following Germany, Austria’s official language is German and spoken by more than 8 million speakers.
As one of the official languages in Switzerland, German is spoken by 4.6 million residents which make up approximately half of the population.
Even though most of the Belgians speak either Dutch or French, if not both, German is one of the official languages in the country and is spoken by more than 75.000 people.
Following Luxembourgish and French, German is the third official language of Luxembourg and is spoken by almost 400.000 people.
Last but not least, in the sixth smallest country in the world, German is the official language.
In addition, there are many countries acknowledging German as an official minority language such as Italy, France, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Denmark, Poland, Russia, Romania and Slovakia. More importantly, there are many German-speaking expat communities in Europe. United Kingdom, Spain, France, Netherlands and Portugal can be counted as the largest ones. These countries are also where you can find the biggest volume of job opportunities for native or advanced level German speakers.
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Germany has an influential economy and consumer audience
Being a widely-spoken language is not the main reason why German speakers are the most sought-after talents in international business though. Germany has been the economic powerhouse of Europe for a long time by having the largest national economy within the Eurozone economy. Start-ups in Germany are booming in the last decade and international companies continue to grow in an exponential trend. This consequently resulted in a high per capita purchasing power among the German population.
When the economic power and the population of German speakers thought together: Germany appears to be one of the largest consumers of many businesses, especially e-commerce, digital services, travel and tourism industries. This is why, companies with a growing market in Germany or the ones who want to expand their markets there, prioritise their employees who are client-facing to be native German speakers as well as being familiar with the culture of the target audience.
Even though the country has one of the lowest unemployment rates with opportunities offering above-average median salaries and benefits compared to many other countries in Europe, German speakers are open to discovering new countries and cultures. Therefore, companies are offering quite attractive packages to German speakers in many different industries.
3 industries with the highest volume of job opportunities for German speakers
As mentioned above, the client-facing positions are where the demand for German-speaking talents is the highest. Companies are on the lookout for native language speakers and with knowledge or familiarity with the target audience and the market. Therefore, Customer Service, Marketing, Sales and Recruitment stands out as the main profiles companies are looking for with German language skills.
Nowadays, a lot of businesses strive to provide excellent customer experience pleased consumers, and favourable brand supporter feedback. Most of the entry-level positions you see online with an emphasis on language will be Customer Support roles where representatives handle the inquiries of customers in their native languages. As the German market is quite important for many industries, companies are prioritising attracting talents with German skills with generous offers and benefits.
It's tough to imagine that customer service will be a career that could become obsolete anytime soon when firms are investing this much in the customer experience. On top of that, the skills one gain working in customer service is demanded in many other industries such as Sales.
Due to Germany's significant economic influence, foreign businesses are clamouring to enter the German market. Naturally, doing this when you don't speak the language is challenging. Not only that, but as said, it also helps to be well-versed in the culture in order for your efforts to be truly successful. German-speaking employees are a huge asset for multinational corporations wanting to expand into new markets, notably the German market. Whether it’s a marketing role with copywriting or email marketing duties or a sales position with a business development focus companies will continue hiring German-speaking talents for a longer period of time.
Interesting fact: If you opted to study German in order to enhance your profession but are not a native speaker, your chances of finding employment due to your language abilities will increase after being in Germany for a few years.
Companies need German-speaking professionals but in the meantime, a large number of Germans do not see a need to go elsewhere due to the country's excellent work-life balance and robust economy. German-speaking recruiters can assist German job searchers who are unsure about working overseas in communicating. The assistance of dealing with a person who speaks their language would be appreciated by job searchers and will aid in correctly addressing any worries or queries they might have. A German-speaking recruiter will also be able to comprehend any barriers or misunderstandings German-speaking candidates may experience, which may assist dispel uncertainty and spur more creativity. That’s why HR & Recruitment professionals with German language skills are in a quite demand lately!
Where to find job opportunities for German speakers abroad?
If you are looking for a job with your German language skills you are in the right place. No need to go far. As an international recruitment agency specialising in the German market with German-speaking recruiters, we hire German speaking professionals for more than a hundred of openings in Europe including attractive expat locations like Barcelona and Lisbon. You can also reach out to us through our website special to our German-Speaking community: InternationalArbeiten.de
In case you don’t find what you are looking for in our portfolio of job opportunities for German speakers we recommend you to check the international networks and job boards multinational companies use the most such as Europe Language Jobs, Glassdoor, Indeed or LinkedIn.
Read more about: 10 Best Pieces of Advice You Need Before Going to Work Abroad