International recruiting: Actuaries from abroad

HDI Group ,

Actuaries are an indispensable part of the insurance landscape. When the search for suitable claims actuaries in Germany proved unsuccessful, the HDI Group took a new approach to filling these positions. An innovative idea gave rise to a new recruiting process that is worth taking a closer look at.

We spoke to Astrid Pohlmann, Head of Employer Branding & Sourcing in the HR department of HDI Service AG, about recruiting abroad.


Astrid Pohlmann from the Employer Branding and Sourcing department

HDI Global has already hired its first foreign actuaries. Ms. Pohlmann, the first question that comes to mind is why is the HDI Group looking for actuaries abroad and not in Germany?

Of course, we looked here first and only abroad as a second step. In Germany, it is very difficult to recruit experienced actuaries in the claims area. The market is very tight, with only around 800 claims actuaries, so we did not get a good response to our advertisements. I think actuaries are personalities with a high need for security and are therefore less willing to change jobs.

Through which channels does HDI Group organize the search for employees abroad?

When the usual approach was unsuccessful, we started thinking about how else we could fill these positions. The idea of looking abroad was born at a joint lunch with CFO Dr. Immo Querner, HR Director Jens Warkentin and executives from Business and HR. It was based on the existing infrastructure of an international group: Via HINT CEO Sven Fokkema, our foreign subsidiaries were asked to use their own contacts to fill our vacancies. For example, our Polish subsidiary WARTA approached a headhunter, and in Turkey HDI Sigorta circulated our vacancies. We simply gave this idea a try - with great success.

What conditions did the foreign candidates have to meet in order to be shortlisted?

Applicants should have very good professional qualifications and knowledge of English. Mastery of the German language was not a requirement. This in turn meant a particular challenge for the team in integrating the new colleagues.Nevertheless, it was a prerequisite that the applicants wanted to learn German in any case. We support them in this with language lessons.As with all candidates, team fit is of course also important for the foreign applicants.

Will HDI Group continue to look for employees abroad in the future and possibly extend this route to other professions?

The new recruiting channel for actuaries is very promising. I can well imagine going down this route again if we can't fill jobs from within Germany. We can also offer a search abroad for other professions where the market in Germany is very tight, such as specific IT jobs. In any case, our conclusion is very positive: we would immediately hire foreign candidates again. The searching area just needs some courage and openness to integrate a colleague without German language skills.