"Many of our employees experience intercultural cooperation on a daily basis."

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From work-life balance through working in an international environment to telephone calls in Turkish: Bülent Yorganci, a recruiter at Deutsche Telekom, spoke to us in an interview about career opportunities at one of Europe's biggest ICT companies and gave us some insider tips on applying for jobs.

Mr. Yorganci, how multicultural is Deutsche Telekom as an employer?

Bülent Yorganci: The international nature of the Group alone means we are automatically multicultural: Deutsche Telekom has a presence in 50 countries, and we deal with customers all over the world. Transnational projects mean that many of our employees experience intercultural cooperation on a day-to-day basis. But there are multicultural teams even where you might least expect it: there are colleagues of 17 different nationalities working at our customer service site in Ludwigshafen, for example.

Do you target foreign applicants in your recruitment policy? And do foreign applicants need to have particular qualifications, for example?

Bülent Yorganci: No. Our job adverts are aimed at all applicants who meet the necessary criteria. Whether they come from Germany or other countries is irrelevant. That's why applicants can access jobs in 42 different countries using our global job search function. That includes students who are interested in internships, graduates who want to join our Start up! graduate trainee scheme, and experts with extensive professional experience. One thing though: we require all applicants in Germany to be able to speak the language. But there is a certain degree of flexibility – fluent German is not absolutely essential for every job.

How do you support new employees?

Bülent Yorganci: We have an onboarding process that includes recommendations, checklists and individual services that provide guidance for new colleagues and help them to get started in their job and find their feet in the Group. For new employees coming to Germany from abroad, we have a dedicated team that provides support for all of the administrative processes like obtaining visas or work permits.

You are from a Turkish background yourself; do you think this makes applicants from immigrant backgrounds react differently to you than they might do to a colleague with a typically German name?

Bülent Yorganci: Without a doubt. Callers whose mother tongue is not German are definitely less inhibited with me. I can tell that the level of trust increases immediately when Turkish applicants call and greet me in Turkish, for example. They are often more open with me than with my German colleagues and are less reserved about asking direct questions.

Does the same thing apply to female applicants from immigrant backgrounds?

Bülent Yorganci: That question brings us to an entirely different issue: we generally receive very few applications from women with immigrant backgrounds. And yet the advancement and support of female employees is currently a priority at Deutsche Telekom. We have launched the annual Women's MINT Award, for example, which honors outstanding degree theses in scientific subjects. We also have a cooperation agreement in place with Femtec, the university career network for women, and are the first company listed on the German stock exchange to have introduced a quota for women. Our aim with all of this is to encourage women, regardless of their nationality, to apply to work with us.

As an employer, what does Deutsche Telekom have to offer?

Bülent Yorganci: We value a good work-life balance very highly. We therefore have a selection of different working models designed to suit our employees' personal circumstances, such as part time, flexible working hours and mobile working. These all help our employees to combine work, family and free time. We have in-house daycare centers at a number of sites and working from home is possible in many cases too. The options don't stop at these "soft" factors, though; as an international Group we of course also offer numerous opportunities for further training, promotion and professional development in exciting jobs with great prospects, sometimes working on international projects. We have several thousand positions to fill each year. Right now we have interesting roles available all over Germany in customer service, for electricians and electronics specialists in the fiber optic roll-out project, and for IT experts as IT consultants or IT architects.

Do you have any other tips for applicants?

Bülent Yorganci: Don't just do a blanket application with a standard cover letter. You can see straight away whether an application is really tailored specifically to a company and a particular job. Emphasize in your application why you are perfect for the job. And make personal contact. Don't be afraid to just call us and clear up any initial questions by phone. You will find Telekom Careers on Facebook and Twitter, for example, and myself and my colleagues on Xing.

Source: Deutsch-Türkische Nachrichten