Recruitment and induction in international comparative terms

Results of INDUCT II now available

The international comparative research project “Patterns of company recruitment and induction processes in selected European countries” (INDUCT II) has been looking at how the company recruitment and induction process is structured in the motor vehicle service, healthcare and nursing sectors in Germany, the United Kingdom, Spain, and South Korea. The Research Data Centre has now processed the data collected and made this available for research purposes (such as within the scope of a visit by a guest academic researcher).

Recruitment and induction in international comparative terms

One starting point was the presumption that the organisation of a country’s educational system exerts a significant influence on the correlation between recruitment practice, induction, and the way in which work is organised. This means that recruitment and induction are affected by whether career entrants are more likely to be in possession of a vocational or general educational qualification and by whether the (vocational) training tended to be organised in a school-based or dual way. This supposition was confirmed by the study. Evidence for this is, for example, provided by an assessment carried out by the companies surveyed of the qualifications and competencies of those completing the educational system. 70% of companies in the Spanish motor vehicle service sector (in which vocational education and training is mainly organised along school-based lines with brief practical placements) stated that job starters were not in possession of the practical skills expected. This evaluation is also widespread amongst companies in Korea (where VET is likewise predominantly school oriented). By way of contrast, a different picture emerges in the United Kingdom. Only around 7% of companies surveyed stated that they were dissatisfied, whilst 10% expressed neither satisfaction nor dissatisfaction. One possible way of explaining this result in the United Kingdom may be the fact that the dual forms of training offered by the companies are more closely aligned to the requirements of the respective firm than is the case in Germany.

This outcome also corresponds with the evaluations made by the companies regarding the practical occupational skills of those completing training. Another significant finding is that satisfaction with professional and theoretical knowledge and with general skills is high in countries in which training is organised along school-based lines and in which those completing training achieve a high educational level. Company satisfaction with persons completing training may generally be interpreted as an indirect indicator of the extent to which vocational training is viewed by firms or employers as a professional training prerequisite for entry into employment. The data has also shown that companies adapt their induction in terms of content, and possibly with regard to duration, to the competencies and skills of those completing training.

However, the information provided on company induction times varies very widely in the two occupational fields. In the motor vehicle service sector, induction is of a longer average duration than in nursing. This finding relativises the assumption that more highly-qualified professions are necessarily associated with greater induction efforts.

The significance of company-based induction in the motor vehicle service sector emerged very clearly. Differentiation of necessary induction periods by various competence facets highlights the relevance of practical skills in particular. Interestingly, the differences between the countries were not strikingly high. This leads to the conclusion that occupational activity requirements are of importance. These seem to be virtually independent of the respective countries or company organisational characteristics. Notwithstanding this, differences in the forms and patterns of induction identified (e.g. formalised or informal) are more strongly dependent on the respective countries than on the occupations.

The project was conducted on the basis of a standardised survey instrument for two occupational fields (motor vehicle service and commercial occupations in equivalence to industrial clerks) which was developed and piloted in a predecessor BIBB project from the 2009 Annual Research Programme in conjunction with partners from Finland, the United Kingdom, and Spain. In addition to this, a connection was also made with results from a comparative BIBB research project on the recruitment processes of companies in Germany, the United Kingdom, and Switzerland. In contrast to the preliminary study, the survey in this project took place in the nursing sector (n = 1,116) and in the motor vehicle service sector (n = 1,102). This was supplemented by a survey in Korea (nursing sector n = 302, motor vehicle service sector n = 301). This international dataset from the second survey can now also be used by external researchers as part of a visit to BIBB by a guest academic researcher.