Our client is a major German industrial machine manufacturer headquartered in southwestern Germany. They often work at the cutting edge, producing microchips and developing face recognition hardware for customers around the globe.

As a leader in innovation, our client needs to attract and retain the best tech talent to continue to fuel growth. A key objective is identifying and recruiting people who can develop groundbreaking production technology, drive efficient and precise manufacturing methods, and help future-proof the business.

In a highly competitive local jobs market, our German client—one of the world’s biggest manufacturers of machine tools—often struggles to recruit the tech skills they need. Having Korn Ferry’s specialist expertise on board ensures they can find and hire the exceptional talents they need.

Our Recruitment Process Outsourcing (RPO) team has built a close working relationship with the client, and we have been relentless in our mission to find outstanding candidates. That dedication has quickly delivered results: we have now been tasked with filling 100+ roles, and the engagement is still ongoing.

What has driven our success?

  • Bringing in a dedicated delivery team of tech-specialist recruiters with invaluable local knowledge and networks.
  • Building trust with the client by proving we can deliver quality candidates and smart solutions.
  • Using market data-driven insights alongside our own IP and expertise to advise how the business might attract the most sought after candidates, despite stiff competition nearby.

The challenge

Working with multiple hiring considerations

Recruiting the kind of tech talent the company needs is not a simple task. Before Korn Ferry was appointed as a recruitment partner, many vacant roles had attracted minimal applicants, despite being open for 6+ months.

Our client is looking for some of the hottest tech skills of the moment: SAP, data, cloud and engineering. And it has high standards. Applicants must be fluent German speakers, and due to a hybrid working model, they need to be located nearby—despite the local region not being known as a tech talent hub.

In order not to compromise their valuable customer relationships, the client also does not recruit from any businesses they work with. This further limits the talent pool, cutting over 35 major businesses in the region off our recruiters' list. Meanwhile, the local job market is highly competitive. Bosch, IBM and Mercedes-Benz are also based nearby, all recruiting the same niche roles in the same limited talent pool.

An additional hurdle when recruiting for these roles is the loyalty many Germans feel towards their employers. Germans are often unlikely to engage with speculative recruiters unless they are actively looking to change jobs. This in particular took some tenacity and cultural know-how to overcome.

The solution

Aligned, focused and agile

Our client appointed Korn Ferry because of our specialist tech expertise and deep market and industry knowledge, something their other recruitment partners had not been able to supply. With the initial engagement being a pilot project for 20 IT positions, we were laser-focused on an efficient and smooth delivery from day one.

Our first step was to put together a dedicated delivery team, including tech-specialist recruiters, delivery leads and project managers. The recruiters in particular needed to have extensive knowledge of the local tech talent market, with deep networks of contacts to call on.

The top priority throughout has been alignment and building a strong partnership with the client. Our recruiters have worked closely with the client’s hiring managers to develop a complete understanding of what is needed: the roles, the search criteria, and the departmental goals for each client team. Weekly client updates have helped to ensure that everyone stays on track and keeps pushing forward.

Data has been the cornerstone of our strategy. Leveraging market insights from tools such as KF Recruit and KF Pay, we were able to objectively assess the current talent landscape, review competing organizations and benchmark salaries. This data has helped us show the client where they might need to tweak their requirements in order to recruit the hottest skills.

Working so closely with the client, we have become a single team. It’s a true partnership, and the client has put a significant amount of trust in us. We are involved at almost every point in the recruitment journey: as soon as the job specification is finalized right through to the shortlisting stage, even conducting the first round of interviews.

Current state of play

(April 2023)
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    Active interviews and offers

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    Roles closed to date

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    Days time to source (vs 30-day target)

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    Days time to offer (vs 60-day target)

The results

Together is always better

Building this strong working relationship has continued to be a great move for both parties.

After successfully filling the initial brief of 20 IT positions in January 2022, our client expanded the brief and has continued to add more roles. We have gone on to recruit over 100 roles in the subsequent 12 months, and the engagement is ongoing. There have been 25 active interviews and offers, with 73 roles closed to date in 10 days time to source (vs 30-day target) and 48 days time to offer (vs 60-day target).

Meanwhile, our client has been able to double down on innovation and growth, thanks to its newly strengthened technology skill base. For example, it has recently expanded and updated their optical fiber product portfolio, designed for the data communication industry. And its ground-breaking new digital production software solution gives users a better way to manage their production processes, down to the last detail.


Recruitment Process Outsourcing

More than RPO — talent realized