Interview
05/07/2023

#AskTheBoss: New Work SE

If a company invites you for an interview, then you’ve cleared the first hurdle in the application process. So how do you prepare? And what makes your future manager tick? The #Ask The Boss series answers these questions while providing a sneak peek into different departments. Today we talk to Petra von Strombeck, CEO at New Work SE.

New Work SE aims to match talent and companies. A study commissioned by the New Work SE brand Onlyfy by Xing showed that many Germans are considering changing jobs and that job seekers are becoming more demanding. What surprised you the most?

I must admit that the results of the study didn’t really surprise me but confirmed what I already suspected. Employees are showing new levels of confidence and are optimistic when considering their professional future. The willingness to change jobs is still high, despite tougher economic conditions. Interestingly, it is Generation Y (the Millennials, 30 – 39 years old), that are particularly gearing up to change: 40% are open to a new job, and 9 % (5% in the previous year) are proactively looking. This means, that almost half of those questioned, are already making that mental leap to a new job. Companies must be aware of this change. The younger generations are more agile and set other priorities when it comes to their lives and careers.

The shortage of skilled workers is significant. What advice do you have for talents today?

Employees are in a very strong position now. It has become an employee’s market and not an employer’s market. That means that companies now have to win employees over – and not the other way around. It is now more important than ever for job seekers to take the time and assess whether the new job and potential employer really are a good fit and match their requirements. Xing’s job search tool, for example, really helps candidates find the right job. As does Kununu, New Work SE’s rating platform, which helps candidates decide whether the job or the company culture suits them. The job you decide on impacts your personal life – so this decision must be made with your head and your heart.

You joined New Work SE in 2020 – what do you like best about your job?

My job is an exciting mix: large digital brands – including Xing and Kununu – our Purpose ‘for a better working life’ which we are working towards, a dynamic market, which makes growth possible – and the most important thing – an amazing team. New Work SE employs 2,000 employees from 42 nations at 7 locations. Everybody is committed and passionate about the future. Our team inspires me and makes my job so enriching and exciting.

Can you talk us through the application process?

We divide our application process into different phases: The first meeting is between the candidate and the recruiter. This takes place on the phone. This is followed by a video call with the recruiter and the department. If this assessment is positive, then candidates are asked to work on a case study and present this at the next meeting. Directly after the presentation, the candidate meets with the other members of the team. The final decision is made by the recruiter, together with the department, and an offer is made.

Why is New Work SE an attractive employer for potential candidates? What can New Work SE offer candidates, which other employers may not be able to?

 Our name ‘New Work’ means that we carry a certain responsibility both within our organization and also externally. This means that the New Work values are part of our daily lives. We want to offer our employees an environment, in which they can grow and do things that are meaningful to them – and that we, together with our products and brands, contribute to a better working world. Mutual respect is very important to us, and we always communicate on an equal footing. As is transparency. Whether it’s at the weekly company meeting, where the Executive board answers employees´ questions, or whether it’s the topic of salary transparency. Our models, formats and processes are reviewed and optimized annually, to ensure we also have a dialogue on equal terms.

What advice would you give to young professionals?

Look for a role or field which really motivates and inspires you. If you do something, that you are really interested in, then you will do better at it, and you will enjoy it more. It is not just important, to know what your own strengths and skills are, but to also know what you don’t want.

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