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Business, work and life in Germany in English

Employment in Germany through the employment service, HR, recruitment agencies, as well as through temporary(casual) work search agencies, recruitment agents


§ Federal Employment Agency (Bundesagentur für Arbeit)

The Federal Employment Agency is a government agency supervised by the German Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs. In German it is called "Bundesagentur für Arbeit" or "Agentur für Arbeit", or colloquially "Arbeitsamt"[Arbaitsamt], or is abbreviated to "BA". This Agency provides employment assistance, including counselling, job mediation, continuing education support, unemployment benefits and other various services on the labour market. This Federal Agency has many branches throughout Germany, the Agency owns the first-class and largest online labour exchange for inderpendent job search in Germany.

If you lose your job or when you start professional activity, you need to visit the Employment Agency as soon as possible and register as a job seeker - "arbeitsuchend". After that, you can get advice from the Agency about chances to be employed, information about possible financial support for the unemployed, opportunities for retraining or advanced training. For information on unemployment benefits see a dedicated page on our website.

Employment agencies and employment centers

Besides the Federal Employment Agency branches, Germany also has employment centers, in German "Jobcenter". Employment centers are institutions formed by the Federal Employment Agency and municipal authorities; they provide financial support to job seekers by paying unemployment benefits ALG-II, and also help people in finding jobs and placement.

Employment centers (Jobcenter) - institutions formed by the Employment Agency and municipal authorities that provide financial support to job seekers, as well as help in finding work and placement.

Thus, the Employment Agencies (Arbeitsamt) and the Employment Centers (Jobcenter) perform approximately the same functions, providing financial support to the unemployed from various sources: the former - from unemployment insurance, the latter - from social benefits. Of course, a person can be registered at both institutions at the same time if, being the recipient of the ALG-I unemployment benefit, s/he does not have enough of these funds to live on and their family receives social assistance, ALG-II.

Employment Agency Career Guidance Center (BiZ)

The Employment Agency incorporates Career Guidance Centers, where you can get up-to-date information about education, professions, and the labour market in Germany. They will provide support in drawing up resumes. You can come to a career guidance center without a prior arrangement, as well as get information materials for free: brochures, folders, flyers on a variety of topics related to employment. Here you can use a computer or scanner for free to make a resume and find a job.

Employment assistance

All persons registered with the Employment Agency as job seekers receive professional support in finding a job and employment. The agency helps in further training, creates an employee account on its website (employee profiles are available for all employers in Germany), regularly sends job seekers messages about suitable vacancies, and they also organize free trainings on resume writing, job interviews, job search, etc. The Agency also employs recruiters who help the unemployed in finding work.

Thus, contacting the German Employment Agency can be a good support in finding a suitable job.

The German Federal Employment Agency official website

§ Temporary employment recruitment agencies (Zeitarbeitsfirma)

Temporary employment recruitment agencies or Zeitarbeitsfirmen or Zeitarbeitsfirmen - are a special type of employment, which comes down to the following: a job seeker gets a job with a full social package in this agency, which is his/ her official employer and pays him/ her wages/salary. However, in fact, s/he works for other companies, with which the agency has an appropriate agreement. Usually, the employees of such agencies substitute the staff of enterprises during illness or vacation of the latter, or fill the positions temporarily vacant for other reasons; this style of work is practiced in places with seasonal employment or with temporary employment due to the needs of the enterprise.

Advantages of working in temporary employment recruitment agencies

Such a style of employment (being, so to speak, “rented labour”) can scare job seekers, because they do not fully understand the essence of such employment, or do not want to constantly switch working at different enterprises. In addition, often such enterprises offer lower wages than in large firms. However, work in such recruitment agencies has a number of advantages that follow:

Temporary employment recruitment agencies have no right to send any employee to any job, but only to jobs agreed upon in the employment contract and compliant with their qualifications.

§ Recruiters, recruitment agencies (Personalvermittlung)

Private recruitment agencies or recruiters (Headhunters) look for a job for job seekers and then offer the job seeker to businesses as a potential employee. If the job seeker and the firm proposed by recruiter conclude the an employment contract, the recruiter receives a monetary reward from the firm. Thus, applying to a recruitment agency is usually free and increases the chances of getting a job.

Firms willingly use the services of such agencies, since this reduces the time spent on finding employees, processing resumes, interviews, etc. Some companies do not independently search for employees, and, if necessary, turn to recruitment agencies for employment and staff recruitment. Therefore, contacting such agencies can greatly help in finding a well-paid job in a reputable company.

Typically, recruitment agents specialize in some definite field or areas of industry, for example: IT, medicine, mechanical engineering, etc. If you are a skilled professional in a certain field, it is worth looking for a suitable recruitment agency or several such agencies for the purposes of job search and employment.

Difference between Personalvermittler and Arbeitsvermittler

Personalvermittler(recruiter) - is a person or a company engaged in the employment of workers for suitable jobs, receiving a fee from the employer, in the event of an agreement between the job seeker and this company. Arbeitsvermittler(employment intermediary) - is a person who is in the public service as an employee of an employment agency or an employee of a private company or an entrepreneur engaged in employment assistance for job seekers; these persons receive either a salary or a Vermittlungsgutschein voucher reward from the Employment Agency.

Where and how to find suitable recruiters and private employment intermediaries

In Germany there are a huge number of both private employment intermediaries and recruitment agencies. It’s usually worth choosing agencies or intermediaries that specialize in your profession or industry. To search, use the largest directory of companies in Germany Gelbe Seiten, depending on your needs, use the name of the city, industry and the following keywords: "Personaldienstleister", "Arbeitsvermittlung", "Zeitarbeit", "Personalvermittlung". As an alternative, you can use Google Maps, to search for businesses by the same keywords or a regular Google search.

In Gelbe Seiten, Google Maps, as well as on many other sites with reviews, you can learn about the the experience of relations with these companies or entrepreneurs; this will help to make the right choice.

§ Employment intermediaries and a voucher to pay for employment mediation

Under certain conditions, job seekers may receive a voucher (Aktivierungs- und Vermittlungsgutschein, AVGS MPAV) from the Employment Agency for paying for the services of a private intermediary (Arbeitsvermittler) when applying for a job. This is a document confirming the consent of the Agency to pay for the services of a private recruiter, an intermediary in employment. With this document, a job seeker can choose an employment intermediary who will provide him/ her with services (specified in the document) for integration into the labour market and job search. Payment for the services to such an intermediary is made by the voucher after the successful employment of the voucher holder; the amount of payment can reach 2500 euros.

To obtain this document, a job seeker has to submit an application to the Employment Agency or the Employment Center.

The said document is an excellent incentive for successful employment by recruiters.


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