Rutronik Elektronische Bauelemente GmbH is developing a new employer branding strategy jointly with students at the Karlsruhe University of Applied Sciences. In doing so, the electronic components distributor aims to become more attractive to students and career starters.
This strategy is based on the results of a project performed as part of the “service marketing” lecture with 15 students in two groups. They are pursuing a degree in economic engineering in the economics faculty of the Karlsruhe University of Applied Sciences and are in their seventh and eighth semesters.
In the first step, the students conducted a survey and analysed which factors played a critical role in the choice of employer. The students also collaborated with Rutronik personnel to develop a concept showing how the company should present itself at vocational training, university and job fairs in the future.
Thomas Rudel, CEO of the distributor, highlighted the significance of the partnership between the university and company. “As a regional employer, we place particular value in cooperating with academic institutions”, he said. “We support new scientific talent and in doing so, encourage the development of young specialists urgently needed on the employment market. The findings from this partnership also help us to define the future orientation of how we brand ourselves as an employer.”
The survey conducted among 278 participants studying electrical engineering, information technology and economic engineering revealed that students and career started placed particular value on further education (around 39 per cent), company pension schemes (around 22 per cent) and sport and health services (around 11 per cent). Among the non-monetary motivators, a diverse range of duties (around 43 per cent), the opportunity to take responsibility (around 13 per cent) and challenging tasks (around 11 per cent) were major factors.
When selecting an employer, the ability to identify with the product or service of the company also played a large role, with around 90 per cent of those surveyed assigning “very great” (around 50 per cent) or “great” (around 40 per cent) importance to this factor. The same holds true regarding the public perception of the company, with around 53 per cent of those surveyed finding image “important”, 37 per cent even finding it “very important”.
The aim of the project was to develop a new trade fair strategy for Rutronik that is tailored to the results gathered in the survey. The design of this strategy based on the results of the project is currently underway.
For its part, the Karlsruhe University of Applied Sciences is satisfied with the progress of the project so far. “The project presented surprises for all concerned. There was considerable willingness among students from different faculties to participate in a survey on employer attractiveness. The results – meaning what is relevant from a young person’s perspective for an employer to appeal to them – were different to what experienced human resource managers expected. I am very satisfied with the commitment of the students and the benefits they have been able to generate with their semester project for the company,” says a pleased Karin Bacher, lecturer and project manager.