moving away from the perfect match

Surveys regularly show that companies have a hard time finding the right employees – with an emphasis on “right.” Some companies are still looking for that perfect match, for instance in terms of education, additional qualifications, or sometimes even age or availability.  The consequence is that job vacancies remain unfilled for longer. Florian Kuhn from Kuhn Elektro-Technik and Dr. Martin Noack from the Bertelsmann foundation ask whether hunting for the “perfect match” is useful, or whether there might be another approach. 

Florian Kuhn

“We have a total fetish for specialists in Germany.”

Florian Kuhn, CEO, Kuhn Elektro-Technik GmbH

“We have a total fetish for specialists in Germany,” Florian Kuhn says. “At the end of the day, a lack of trained specialists isn’t the heart of the problem. The underlying problem are undone tasks.” His company specializes in complex electrical installations in large buildings like clinics and office buildings. He employs many highly qualified electricians, but cannot find nearly enough to fill all of his open jobs. Some time ago, Florian Kuhn took a closer look at all of the duties being performed on his construction site, and found that specialist training was needed for just a fraction of them. He had an idea. There are around 2.5 million unemployed people – there must be some individuals among them perfectly suited for these specific duties. Today, his teams include long-term unemployed individuals, helping to reduce the workload for specialists. They can concentrate on tasks reserved only for trained employees, and have the added resources they need to do so. Some of the newly hired employees have become essential pillars in their work areas. Florian Kuhn explains why it is important to learn how to integrate people at every level of qualification to create added value.   

Interview with Florian Kuhn