Questions to Anja Anders und Jörg Holsten
What are the strengths you can help the founder community in Hamburg with?
Jörg Holsten, Founder and CEO: Nowadays founders follow two priorities: They need money and qualified workforce. Well, a sponsor is not what PROGEDO is for Startups, but the company facilitates the recruitment of personnel from foreign labour markets that may contain workers missing or too expensive in Germany.
With that we are a key for the growth of Hamburg‘s Startups. Who wants to wait for a database specialist for a year when you actually needed him yesterday?
Anja Anders, Senior Relocation Consultant: Even after the arrival we don‘t leave your new employees alone, so they can concentrate completely on their work at your company. We quickly find accommodation and take care of the necessary bureaucracy. No tying up resources, everything works out, everyone is happy. Wherever we are able to consult, clarify or support directly in advance, we do it with passion and patience. We created three special offers for Startup companies: a visa pre-check free of charge, free relocation workshops and a special discount for the first three orders.
Which problems does the Startup scene in Hamburg cope with in order to benefit more from foreign experts?
Jörg Holsten: That forces me to promote my own business. Many Startups have a good intention in trying to do it all by themselves – from visa application to onboarding. But in the end, that is naive, because we are facing a contradiction: In IT the newest methods are applied meanwhile looking after foreign employees is an undeveloped, unstructured process. It takes ages to obtain the necessary know-how, like Goodgame Studios for instance. They worked hard for it, because they were growing fast. But even here you have to question: Do you need the service in-house or is it maybe better and at lower costs to organize international workforce with an external supplier?
Anja Anders: In many of the Startups we worked for we discovered entire ignorance of the topic in the beginning. It worked out this way until they realized they were employing foreign workers illegally. In other cases Startups had already given up the international recruitment because they experienced failures which would not have happened if everything would have been proceeded correctly.
What obstacles do Newcomers in Hamburg face?
Anja Anders: If you know how to, obtaining the work and residence permit is not a big deal. In general the German labour market is quite easy to access in terms of experts contributing to the German economy should be able to come to Germany. What makes it difficult are the details. The major issue however is the search for housing.
Jörg Holsten: Yes, and the problem is not necessarily the availability of cheap flats. The typical search profile for young professionals coming to Hamburg is the apartment ranging from 700-900 € (excl.) in one of the hip districts. With some effort and the help of our network one like that can indeed be found. But then arises the actual problem: There are 35 flat-hunters competing for that apartment. Especially if not speaking German you may feel disadvantaged in the fight for your dream accommodation.
Anja Anders: True. In that moment it really helps to have an experienced relocation consultant at your disposal. We do know many real estate agents and landlords personally. That raises the prospects of winning the fight. And if that is not the case, a professional presentation of the candidate which we prepare may work wonders. Often simply the fact that the candidate apparently is that reputable that his employer commissions a relocation agency makes things easier. That way we quickly allocate employees to a suitable house they would have desperately searched for for months, being distracted from work.
What events should not be missed by founders?
Jörg Holsten: Of course our free relocation workshops in Hamburg should not be missed. We do also offer those workshops for companies as in-house events, that is to say we come to your office and explain everything about immigration, house-hunting and settling-in. This way you can equip all your colleagues involved in the topic with the necessary knowledge in one activity. It is not unusual that the cooperation between the company and PROGEDO reduces the visa process from month to weeks. On demand the workshop is also available as webinar.