Tuesday, September 27, 2011

English Human Resources terms in Germany

English Human Resources terms in Germany

As many would advocate German job titles only, more and more English terms related to workplace, recruitment and HR are in everyday use in Germany. Here are some examples, with their German counterparts.

Assessment Center - betriebliches Auswahlverfahren, Personalauswahlverfahren

Burnout - Erschöpfung, Ausgebranntsein, ausbrennen

Casting - Darstellerauswahl, or generally Mitarbeiterauswahl

Director (English phonetics) - Leiter (director human resources - Personalchef, Leiter (des) Personalwesen(s))

Employer Brand - Arbeitgebermarke

Feedback-Gespräch - Mitarbeitergespräch

Generation @ - (Internet-)Generation

Hiring Freeze - Einstellungsstopp, Einstellen aller Einstellungen
Home-Office - Büro zuhause (BZH), Heimbüro

Incentive Bonus - Leistungszulage

Job - Arbeit, Arbeitsplatz, Beruf, Posten, Stelle
Job-Hopper - Springer, Wechselarbeiter (jemand, der durch häufigen Arbeitsplatzwechsel Karriere machen will)
Job-Hopping – häufige Abreitgeberwechsel
Job-sharing - Arbeitsplatzteilung

Keypeople - Personen in Schlüsselpositionen, Schlüsselfiguren
Know-how - Fachwissen, Sachverstand

learning-by-doing - Einarbeitung, Lernen in der Praxis

Mystery Jobber - Testkandidat

Newbie - Anfänger, Grünschnabel, Neuling

Onboarding - Mitarbeiterintegration, das Einstellen und Integrieren von neuen Mitarbeitern

Powerfrau - Kraftfrau, starke Frau
Patchwork-Lebenslauf - Lebenslauf mit vielen Berufswechseln und Unterbrechungen

Recruiting - Anwerbung, Personalbeschaffung, -einstellung, -suche

Shared-Service Center - unternehmensinterner Dienstleistungsbereich
Start-up - (Firmen-)Neugründung

Team - Mannschaft, Arbeitsgruppe, Gruppe
Team Player - Mannschaftsspieler
Top Management - Führungsspitze, oberste Führungsebene eines Unternehmens

Work-Life Balance - Arbeit und Freizeit im Einklang

Source for German counterparts is the website: http://www.vds-ev.de/aindex-thema

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

English Job Titles

Job ads are the most classical example for the intersection of human resources and marketing disciplines. Every day, human resource professionals are challenged with the task to phrase job titles in such a way that they catch job seekers attention and push the job ad to the top of search results in the job boards.

In non-English speaking countries like e.g. China, Germany and Poland, using English job titles is a common strategy to overcome this challenge. This recent practice goes however beyond the linguistic borrowings known in the past due to industrial developments. Consider for example the job title stewardess. As the passenger air traffic emerged, human resource professionals in different countries opted for the loanword to lessen pressure to come up with a suitable name in their local language quickly. In Polish, we adapted the word to Polish rules of job titles and still call a woman working in this profession a "stewardessa". In German, after years of using the English title, the new German title of "Flugbegleiterin" is now widely used, especially to underline the safety aspect of the role. Interestingly, the original English word has been replaced by newer job titles such as “flight attendant” or “cabin crew”.

But, how is then the today’s use of English job titles different?
Well, first, English job titles are being used for established professions for which local language equivalents exist. This has been often done by multinational companies implementing global HR agendas with standardized positions and hence position names. Secondly, by using English job titles companies hope to increase the value of jobs and thereby attract talent more effectively. This is especially true for less attractive positions accordingly to the job board Talent Frogs. Their research found out that 34 per cent of 865 job ads analyzed referred to jobs in lower salary range or primarily on a commission basis. Third, on the opposite, English job titles and for that matter the entire job ads phrased in English aim for discouraging applicants unable to understand them, provided high command of English is essential to the job duties. In similar fashion, German companies occasionally post job ads in German in China or Poland.

In order not to intimidate the job seekers, human resource professionals may be using following advice to guide their approach to using English in the job ads in non-English countries:
* Find a real good reason why to use a foreign language in your job ad,
* Prioritize understandability over commercialization,
* Do not assign job titles based on the fact that they sound nice,
* Phrase the job title in the way that it reflects key duties,
* Do not confuse the applicants, if the role does not foresee any direct contact with the customers do not call the position customer representative,
* Accurately describe the job itself,
* Avoid unnecessary sales talk,
* Invite job seekers to contact human resource department to inquire about the specifics of the position to alleviate their lack of understanding,
* Measure the performance of your job ad.

Last but not least, keep in mind that the most applicants do not appreciate English job titles accordingly to recent research by monster.de. Some 42 per cent of 2394 candidates interviewed in Germany consider using Anglicism as annoying and unnecessary. Only 10 per cent believe that they ease the communication.