Daimler AG: Contributing to global success

by | Feb 23, 2018 | Business, Initiatives

How to address students, recent graduates, experienced professionals and plenty of those in-between? The initiative “Leadership 2020” is thought through strategically, we found out in our interview with Mrs Dr. Anna-Maria Karl, Head of Global Talent Sourcing.

The first step needn’t always be the hardest. Especially when you decide to start your career in one of the world’s most successful automotive companies of all times: Daimler AG. With its business units Mercedes-Benz Cars, Daimler Trucks & Buses, Mercedes-Benz Vans, SMART and Daimler Financial Services, the company is one of the largest manufacturers of premium passenger cars and the largest global manufacturer of commercial vehicles. During the past year, Daimler successfully continued a profitable growth thanks to its attractive and innovative range of products and services.

In terms of job opportunities, whether you join a technical or commercial department, you’ll be challenged. Thanks to tailored programs and learning-by-doing on the job, you will quickly start making a contribution. Not just for Daimler, but also for you. As part of a worldwide team aiming to shape the future of mobility, students and early professionals have the chance to work in their own specialist area, in their home country or abroad. But there is even more to it: with an international trainee program Daimler offers a company-wide graduate training program designed to recruit and train its next generation of leaders.

Thanks to tailored programs and learning-by-doing on the job, young professionals will quickly start making a contribution. Not just for Daimler, but also for themselves.

Daimler is employing about 282,000 staff around the world, all of them having a multitude of talents, qualifications and ideas – and pursuing the same goal: putting the future of mobility into action. To know more about the coordination of international teams, work life and talent management, we had a chat with Dr. Anna-Maria Karl, Head of Global Talent Sourcing at Daimler AG.

You are the head of this strategical department at Daimler. How did you come to this position?

Dr. Anna-Maria Karl, Head of Global Talent Sourcing, Daimler

I studied law – in Munich, Geneva, Hamburg, London and Madrid. For me it was a conscious decision, I’ve always been passionate about languages, different cultures and an international working environment. Having completed my studies, I worked as a trainee lawyer in Brussels before doing my masters in International Law in Ann Arbor, Michigan. I joined the legal department at Daimler in 1995, initially as a consultant for Western Europe and South America. Today, I’m Head of Global Talent Sourcing and responsible for scouting and developing future top talents. What distinguishes me as a person is definitely my curiosity for other people, languages and cultures. This has been a common thread throughout my whole working life and fits perfectly with my current role.

How many international talents are currently working at Daimler?

Daimler employs 282,000 people worldwide from five generations and over 150 nations. They contribute a huge wealth of experience as well as great commitment.

Which are the main opportunities Daimler is offering to talents from abroad?What makes those chances so attractive?

Daimler offers various opportunities for employment and development and has a larger global presence than any other German company. There are many possibilities to bring flexibility to your working life. To leave Germany temporarily to work in the USA or vice versa. To work at the office or from home. Or to swap your full-time position for job sharing. You can join the company through our international trainee program, a Dual Study course, apprenticeship, internship, doctoral studies or by direct entry.

Diversity is part of our corporate strategy

What is the main challenge for a workforce formed by international employees?

We see this diversity as a great opportunity! Diversity is part of our corporate strategy. We believe that international teams from different cultures come up with the best ideas and most creative solutions. Daimler is a company with employees from many different backgrounds, abilities and personalities. That’s what makes the daily job so interesting.

How does a normal working day at Daimler look like?

There’s no such thing as a typical working day. The jobs are just as diverse as our workforce. There are mechanical engineers programming in development, while, in sales & marketing, big data specialists work on customer apps and so forth. The areas of work are very different. What they all have in common is the opportunity to bring flexibility to your working life. That means job sharing, home office, dual studies, everything is possible.

Regarding Daimler´s demand of international talent, is it necessary to speak a good fluent German level to be part of the company or is it enough with English?

We’re a global player with 282,000 employees worldwide. Therefore, applicants should have a basic knowledge of English to enable them to communicate with international colleagues. We believe in connected working across many different sites. In some areas, of course, it’s also important to be fluent in German. It all depends on the job.

“We’re looking for creative applicants who are passionate about their ideas”

What do you search in potential employees?

The automotive industry is changing. Digitalisation, connectivity, electric mobility, the road to automated driving, sharing economy – all these things are transforming the sector at an unprecedented pace. We want employees who can think outside the box and who share their enthusiasm for mobility with us. So, we’re looking for creative applicants who are passionate about their ideas and want to be part of something new.

What is the key for a foreign employee to face up an interview in your company?

Regardless of age, background and gender, we want to win and develop the best-qualified people for our company. While the requirements differ greatly, the goal is always the same: we want to exchange ideas with the candidates and give them an insight into working at Daimler. For graduates, it is advisable to apply one year before they are due to finish school. We also recommend applying for several job opening at the same time.

“Regardless of age, background and gender, we want to win and develop the best-qualified people for our company”

Why is Daimler such a special place to work?

Daimler is embarking on the most fundamental transformation in its corporate history. The catchword is Leadership 2020. With this initiative, we’re actively shaping cultural change within the company. Our goal: to become more agile and more innovative.

To bring start-up spirit into the teams and to flatten out hierarchies. This is both a huge challenge and a fantastic opportunity to drive change as part of a team.