Interview
31/10/2023

#Ask the boss: BurdaServices

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Anyone who is invited to a job interview has already overcome the first hurdle in the application process. How can you now prepare for this interview? What makes the future supervisor tick? The #Ask The Boss series answers these questions and gives anyone interested an insight into the work of the department. Today, Lydia Rullkötter, Managing Director of BurdaServices, answers our questions.

Almost all Burda colleagues have frequent contact with BurdaServices, but very few know exactly what range of functions BurdaServices covers. Can you briefly enlighten us here?

BurdaServices - that's about 170 employees in Offenburg and Munich in the four major areas of Accounting, HR Services, Real Estate and Controlling. We are active behind the scenes in many aspects of Burda's day-to-day work, from the preparation of employment contracts and references to payroll, travel expense reports, office rentals, reception, mailroom, digital invoice receipt, cost center reports, budget planning and annual financial statements. A colorful bouquet of intra-group services that we fulfill for our customers, i.e. the profit centers, with a high standard of quality and service.

You've been at Burda for over 10 years - what makes your job here so exciting?

That every working day is different and I have a lot of opportunities to develop freely and contribute my ideas. Burda is really colorful: different businesses and cultures, but the common denominator is that the cooperation is very collegial and pleasant. I started at a publishing profit center more than ten years ago and have now landed at BurdaServices via Corporate Controlling in the holding company. Analytical, number-oriented work has always been an essential part of my activities, but in very diverse contexts.

What makes BurdaServices an attractive employer for applicants?

BurdaServices offers a wide range of different tasks: from janitor to accountant, from HR specialist to controller. As a rule, BurdaServices has advertised between two and five positions from the various areas; currently these are positions in Accounts Payable, General Ledger and Property Management. Working students are also regularly sought by the divisions.

Technical expertise, continuous development and customer orientation are at the heart of what we do. We also offer our employees a dual career model, specialist or management career with clear development steps. We are proud that many of our employees can look back on a long period of service with the company. Although as an internal service provider we also carry out some transactional activities, the diversity of our profit centers means that everyday working life is never monotonous.

What do you look for in application documents? And what does the application process look like for you?

Application documents are the business card for the very first impression we receive from candidates. From my point of view, there are therefore a few no-goes: spelling mistakes, poor formatting, and loveless standard cover letters. The paper form can only be an indication of professional competence, but it is difficult to read out the personality there. Instead, if the paper form is promising, we then conduct the interviews. The application process varies somewhat depending on the position; after all, we have a wide range of different jobs. There is usually a two-stage interview process, with the first round usually taking place virtually. I'm glad that we can now do the final interviews in person again after Corona. That's a different impression than purely via the camera. I also like to do a small case study in the final interview to see how the person approaches a topic and then presents it.

What should your ideal candidates bring to the table?

Authenticity and value orientation are very important to me. Of course, the person also has to fit in with Burda, i.e. like diversity and personal responsibility. A classic corporate person who likes to rely on processes, structures and clear instructions from above will rarely be happy here.

What are your top tips for young professionals?

Especially at the beginning, try to find out what topics and activities you are really passionate about. You will spend a lot of time at work in your life, so it is essential that you enjoy your work. Only then will you be successful. And don't underestimate the importance of the environment for your professional satisfaction. If you don't get along with your colleagues and your boss, you won't have any fun.

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