International Recruiting in India at thermal technology company AKG

Challenge

Within the scope of its internationalization strategy, the AKG Group decided to open a new factory in the south of India. A management team had to be built up and most importantly a head of HR found, who could then put together a strong team of staff.

Success

Because Globalise has a wide network of professionals, the recruiting process was completed in a very short period of time. Thanks to their excellent contacts, a local candidate was found who had the right qualifications and who could adapt to the culture and structures of a German company.

Interview with
Dr. Detlef Reinsberg
AKG management board member

Dr. Detlef Reinsberg, AKG management board member

Dr. Detlef Reinsberg, AKG management board member

Dr. Detlef Reinsberg holds a doctorate in commercial law and was a member of the management board of the AKG Group until May 2014. He was responsible for the business activities of the entire Group and managed some subsidiaries both locally and abroad. He developed production sites for the AKG Group in the USA, China, Latvia, India, Brazil and Turkey.

“Globalise is the leading provider of interim management in Europe, but has also completed many successful projects outside Europe.”

Why did you turn to Globalise?

I already knew Globalise from past international projects. When we started looking for managers for India, I remembered how good the collaboration with them had been. I have to say, however, that I was initially skeptical about whether Globalise would be able to find someone for this position, especially since we were looking for someone on a permanent basis and it had to be a local manager. But my reservations soon proved misplaced, as Globalise had successfully executed numerous projects outside Europe in recent years, especially in India.

Which tasks awaited the interim manager and what qualifications were important?

Initially, the HR manager would need to hire around 60 people before the factory went into operation, followed by a further 200-250 for the gradual ramp-up of production. He would also be responsible for reporting to AKG headquarters, on-site controlling and further development of the facility. We were looking for someone with a university degree in business administration and many years of experience in HR. Last but not least, he needed to speak English and the local Tamil language.

“It was particularly important for us that the HR manager had worked for a European company before and that he knew our culture and quality expectations.”

International Recruiting in India at thermal technology company AKG

“Overseas, you often have to ask about specialist qualifications because the degrees there differ greatly to those in Germany.”

How did the Globalise partners proceed?

Thanks to their huge network of business contacts in India, they were very quickly able to approach suitable candidates, either themselves or through selected partners. Of the possible candidates, they chose five and conducted in-depth interviews with them. Globalise analyzed their documents and contacted their references. That enabled the Globalise partners to make clear recommendations on which candidates they thought were best for the job.

And then you held the final selection interviews yourself?

There were three of us: the General Manager of AKG Group responsible for India, the Globalise partner and myself. We met up in Chennai and held all the interviews on one day. The Globalise partners had already checked the specialist qualifications, references and testimonials.

“The recruiting process was completed in less than three months. I think it is one of Globalise’s great strengths that they meet or beat their deadlines.”

But specialist qualifications are only one aspect. The other is how someone can fit into the culture of a given company.

Yes, and that is the most important thing in my view: to what extent is a candidate able to react flexibly to the culture and structures in a German family enterprise? That is a totally different world than in a large company or corporation. Quite apart from the cultural differences between Germany and India, you also have to be able to adapt to the special character of the owner family. That is actually the biggest challenge.

And you found the right man for the job...

Yes. We decided in favor of the candidate that the Globalise partners had proposed as their first choice. The entire process was completed within three months. It all worked very well, very professionally and very quickly. I couldn’t have asked for anything better.

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