Nils Pollmeyer

Digital Employer Branding and Recruiting

Going digital also requires key changes in human resource management. ZEISS has launched a number of projects to drive forward digital employer branding and recruiting across its worldwide locations.

So how is digital transformation affecting key issues such as talent attraction and recruiting? "We as a company need to play a more active role in approaching potential applicants instead of waiting for them to find their way to us," says Nils Pollmeyer from Corporate Human Resources (CHR). This involves close links between the online and offline worlds. Even if offline media and highly personalized formats will never be completely superseded, Pollmeyer is emphatic that change is in the air: "Now, more than ever, all of us at ZEISS need to step up to the mark and stay on the ball to ensure we get the best people." The key to achieving this, says Franz Donner, who heads up Corporate Human Resources, is to focus on managers: "Acquiring and developing talented people and gaining their loyalty is one of the most important responsibilities managers have – and they can notch up even greater success using digital tools and formats with the support of the HR Department."


The following projects show how ZEISS is already putting digital employer branding and recruiting into practice:


  • eRecruiting

    New eRecruiting platform

    The new eRecruiting platform was launched in the USA, India, Mexico and Brazil in May 2015. This marks the complete digitization of a process that was previously paper-based. "This platform provides the basis for giving recruitment at ZEISS a standardized look and consistent content," says Jens Brajer, Head of HR Processes & Systems, emphasizing that the entire recruitment process at ZEISS has been made more transparent by packaging it in a single tool. This is only intended as a first step, because the recruitment process still needs to be dovetailed with other key topics of corporate development. These include long-term requirements planning as well as talent attraction, talent management and learning.

    "We're staying ahead of the curve by making ZEISS into a future-focused company which has a cutting-edge recruitment process for the years ahead. Our goal is to give managers all the help we can in employing the right people at the right time and continuously developing their team," says Brajer.

    Job advertisements

    As part of this process, ZEISS began using a new style of recruitment advertising in April 2015: "Our job ads had previously been heavily oriented towards a traditional print layout, but digital formats obviously offer far more opportunities, especially when it comes to interaction,“ says Nils Pollmeyer from CHR. The new job ads include multimedia elements as well as the option of making contact via social media. That enables the HR team – and especially managers
    – to incorporate their personal LinkedIn account so that applicants can enter into dialog with ZEISS even before they submit their application. "We're hoping that
    this will attract a young target group and make ZEISS more appealing to digital natives, too," says Pollmeyer.

    For the first time, the new eRecruiting platform has also facilitated the creation of an international recruitment market. "We've linked up all our locations across all the different countries to enable a global dialog with talented people," says Pollmeyer. The ratio of German vacancies to international vacancies on the international career portal is currently 60 to 40 percent. "But I'm sure we'll see this ratio switch around in the future."


    Jens Brajer, Leiter HR Processes & Systems

    Jens Brajer, Leiter HR Processes & Systems

    Die neuen Stellenanzeigen bei ZEISS

    Die neuen Stellenanzeigen bei ZEISS

  • Social Media

    CHR on the social Web

    ZEISS already has a presence on a number of social networks. CHR runs several Carl Zeiss AG accounts, primarily on Facebook (ZEISS Group and ZEISS Careers) and Twitter (@ZEISS_Group) as well as on LinkedIn and Xing. "That keeps us close to our young target group and lets us showcase our company with a greater degree of openness and transparency," says Pollmeyer. "Social networks have become an integral part of HR-related communication," he notes, emphasizing that the international career network LinkedIn has become increasingly important to ZEISS. "LinkedIn enables us to conduct professional conversations with our target group. The fact this works so well is thanks to all the ZEISS employees who make such active use of LinkedIn," says Pollmeyer. He notes that active participation is the key currency of LinkedIn – and that managers offer the best chance of multiplying this effect. "That's why I would ask people to use LinkedIn, follow our social media channels, and help ZEISS to showcase itself as an open and modern employer."

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  • Online fairs

    VDI Online Career Fair

    Toward the end of April ZEISS took part in the VDI Online Career Fair for the first time. Anyone interested could log into a virtual booth and put their questions directly to the ZEISS employees from Corporate Human Resources (CHR) as well as to staff members from the Semiconductor Manufacturing Technology business group.

    "The online career fair for budding engineers was a huge success. Over 900 visitors logged into our booth to ask questions on that one day," says Nadine Hobler from CHR. She feels online career fairs offer real advantages, including the fact that people can log in from wherever they are – without having to worry about a long journey, queues and crowded exhibition halls – and apply to a company in just a few clicks. "It also allows us to show that we're a modern business with a cutting-edge HR department and enables applicants to make direct contact with employees and managers," says Hobler.

    Nadine Hobler von der Konzernfunktion Personal

    Nadine Hobler von der Konzernfunktion Personal

  • Student of the Year

    ZEISS Student of the Year Award

    In collaboration with the ranking Institute Universum and Corporate Research and Technology, Corporate Human Resources (CHR) has invited applications for the ZEISS Student of the Year Award.

    Task: To develop a concept for an app which could help detect eye diseases using digital tools in the future.

    Prize: A ZEISS VR ONE with matching iPhone and an internship at ZEISS Corporate Research.

    Goal: To draw attention to the field of medical technology and position it prominently as an attractive career option.

    "We successfully publicized the competition through the Universum network and through our social media channels, and we received lots of applications," says Nadine Schmid from CHR. "We deliberately chose a topic
    from the field of medical technology because many young people are not aware that ZEISS also works in that sector."

    Schmid adds that the clear benefit of this kind of digital approach is that you can track your success and get solid feedback on how successful the initiative was and how many users it reached. "We received positive feedback from the community on this particular competition. And the best thing is that the winner is now working on developing their own concept right here at our company." She explains how this enables ZEISS to generate added value for its business and strengthen apprentices' ties to the company.

    Nils Pollmeyer from CHR sums up the key lessons: "I think this initiative was a good example of how the fascination of ZEISS can best be communicated through the exciting jobs that people do at our company. And that works best by nurturing close cooperation with the business groups and Corporate Research."

    Der Gewinner des ZEISS Student of the Year Award mit Nadine Schmid

    Der Gewinner des ZEISS Student of the Year Award mit Nadine Schmid

  • HR blog

    The internal ZEISS HR blog

    The 'ZEISS HR Communication Platform' is an award-winning international blog for members of ZEISS HR departments. Carl Zeiss AG received first prize for this initiative in the 'Employee Magazine and Newsletter' category at the HR Excellence Awards 2013. This was the second time that the journal Human Resources Manager had presented its awards for outstanding, innovative and unusually creative HR projects. The 'ZEISS HR Communication Platform' links up staff members from different ZEISS HR departments worldwide, something which particularly impressed the jury of HR experts from prestigious companies.

    A cross-departmental success

    "The award really is a great achievement – not just for our team at Corporate HR, but also for the community and the Web team from Corporate Communication," says Nadine Schmid from Corporate HR. She adds that the award is "a fantastic example of a project run on a cross-departmental basis – because this platform has hugely strengthened the links between members of the ZEISS HR community worldwide."

    Das interne ZEISS Personaler-Blog gewinnt den HR Excellence Awards 2013

    Das interne ZEISS Personaler-Blog gewinnt den HR Excellence Awards 2013

    HR blog now on Yammer

    The blog's recent move to Yammer shows how development never stops in the digital era. "The tool offers far more features. User management is simpler and, even more importantly, the ability to link up with the entire ZEISS community offers us tremendous added value," says Schmid.

    The HR Excellence Awards 2013

    From early August to mid October 2013, Berlin-based magazine Human Resources Manager invited companies and organizations and their consultancy firms and service providers to submit HR projects for the 2013 HR Excellence Awards. The journal received over 500 applications and presented awards to SMEs and large corporations in a total of 25 different categories. The following companies were nominated in the 'Employee Magazine and Newsletter' category in addition to Carl Zeiss AG: DHL Global Management GmbH & Complan Medien GmbH for the multilingual employee magazine “ON THE ROAD”, and Dr. Ing. h. c. F. Porsche AG & KircherBurkhardt Stuttgart for 'Unser Elfer – Geschichten, Bilder, Emotionen'.