Our growing personnel needs require us to take action. We hire thousands of new employees each year. In 2017, we hired about 16,000 new employees in Germany alone.
Reality instead of gloss
New employer branding campagne launched
Our new employer branding campagne was launched in April 2017. Under the slogan, “Welcome, you are one of us,” DB Group recruits thousands of new employees annually. DB Group presents an honest picture of itself: good, but not perfect. The promotional videos show a group that’s on the upswing, with employees who love their jobs, but sometimes have to deal with difficult situations. For example, the camera pans over display panels with the message “train canceled.” This approach is the realization of the quality program Railway of the Future for talent acquisition. We are looking for new colleagues who can work with us to gradually make DB Group more reliable and friendly.
New paths in recruiting
Deutschlands größtes Bewerbungsgespräch
In November, DB Group organized a recruitment drive for experienced skilled workers, career changers and trainees. In the space of seven days, over 6,000 interviews were held in seven cities (Hamburg, Munich, Nuremberg, Cologne, Berlin, Mannheim and Frankfurt am Main). Interested applicants had the opportunity to find out more and to introduce themselves between 6:00 a.m. and 10:00 p.m. each day. As a general rule, the candidates received a decision regarding their application on the spot.
- »Career-specs« with virtual reality
- Digital native information channels
Welcome, you are one of us
DB Group is expanding and the digital development is progressing in leaps and bounds, but at the same time many DB employees are retiring in the coming years, so, in short: we are hiring thousands of new em-ployees. As usual, we are recruiting for traditional railway careers such as train drivers, dispatchers, electricians, service staff and rail construction workers. Engineers and IT experts are also greatly needed.
- About 19.000 employees and young professionals are going to be employed in Germany in 2018 alone.
- About 60.000 new employees have been hired in Germany since 2012
- About 4.000 new Aocational trainees and dual-program students were welcomed in 2017
Management approach - Employer attractiveness (DB 05)
We work intensively on increasing our attractiveness as an employer. A visible and persuasive presence in the labor market is decisive for success in the competition for specialists and executives.
The close linkage of all the key elements of talent acquisition in our holistic talent acquisition approach forms the basis for a strong competitive position in an increasingly difficult market for employers. This approach includes: our employer branding campagne, professional and modern recruiting,innovative social media activities and a candidate experience oriented toward the target group. But it takes even more than that to be and remain attractive as an employer, so we offer our employees diverse and responsible tasks and activities, attractive employment conditions and a corporate culture that is perceived as being based on partnership and fit for the future.
Our indicator of employer attractiveness is calculated on the basis of the employer rankings published by trendence.
Strategic workforce planning expanded
For several years, demographic trends, combined with a mixed order situation, has presented us with a number of internal and external HR policy challenges. We proactively work with these issues to ensure that staffing needs are covered.
Talent acquisition that works
DB Group wants to improve its profile as an attractive employer and win new employees.
High school students
In the year under review, we were able to improve our employer ranking once again and exceeded our target for 2017 of rank 16.
Since April 2017, we have been active on the market with our new employer branding campagne. With our new campaign slogan “Welcome, you are one of us.” we issue an invitation to all potential applicants, who, similar to us, work on themselves and their goals and want to improve DB Group. The new slogan replaces the previous “A job like no other.” In the new campaign, we continue using our candidate-focused, digital and innovative approach. We use authentic and modern storytelling to give the DB employer brand a human face. While the new campaign continues on the path of our 360-degree approach and keeps achieving maximum branding effects, the new employer branding has an even stronger digital focus. The new employer image is strongly linked with the transformational goals of Railway of the Future and stands for a new, modern and open DB Group.
During this year our focus was particularly on our “bottleneck professions” in the structurally strong regions. After launching the new employer campaign, we were active with ten recruiting campaigns for our various target groups, particularly in these regions. Furthermore, we intensively focused on the target groups of engineers and IT professionals. In the fall, we carried out additional marketing and recruiting measures, once more searching for qualified, skilled employees and those transitioning from other fields. As part of these measures, we conducted »Germany's biggest job interview«. Here we held simultaneously intensive interviews at seven locations on seven days. In addition, we were present at select train stations with booths where interested potential employees could attend spontaneous informative talks regarding a professional career at DB Group.
In May 2017, we received the Employer Branding Award from the European research institute trendence in the category “Best Employer Branding for High School Students.” Furthermore, we received the German HR Award (Deutscher Personalwirtschaftspreis) from the HR journal “Personalwirtschaft” for our new employer branding campaign.
In the previous year, Avature had been selected as the new recruiting software in an EU-wide tendering process. The software was rolled out in Australia as the pilot country in July 2017. In October 2017 there followed the rollout in North America for DB Schenker. As a further pilot, a rollout was prepared for DB Cargo in Spain. By selecting these pilot countries, we took different DB companies as well as locations on three different continents into account. Preparations for a general rollout of Avature in Germany started at the end of 2017.
The recruitment focus is on creating a unique and modern applicant experience. For this, we intend to use a candidate-focused process and innovative tools such as virtual reality and chatbots.
Demographic preparedness as of Dec 31
Percentage of staffing needs covered
in Germany (%)
Germany (companies accounting for about 84% of domestic employees).
The percentage of staffing needs covered remained almost the same in the year under review.
Securing new talent
With more than 11,300 young professionals (vocational trainees, dual degree college students and “Chance plus” participants), DB Group is one of the largest vocational trainers in Germany. Along with teaching specialized technical knowledge and practical skills, central components of vocational training at DB Group are the acquisition of service-based, social and methodological competences. Over 94% of trainees receive a job offer at the conclusion of their vocational training.
Young professionals as of Dec 31 (NP)
Dual degree students 1)
Graduate trainees 2)
“Chance plus” participants
In the year under review, about 3,400 young people started vocational training and about 300 began a dual degree program. We offer about 250 spots at 11 locations throughout Germany in our vocational preparation program “Chance plus,” including 75 spots reserved specifically for refugees. The approach is the same: with the help of in-house trainers and social education workers, we provide technical and academic preparation for vocational training for young people within DB Group. For refugees, we have expanded the program by adding at least 300 course units of German language lessons. Sixty-one refugees participated and twenty-six of them were able to start their vocational training at DB Group on September 1, 2017.
Increase in the number of employees
DB Netze Track
DB Netze Stations
DB Netze Energy
Effects from changes in
the scope of consolidation
DB Group– comparable
To guarantee better comparability, the number of employees is converted into full-time employees. Figures for part-time employees are measured in accordance with their share of the regular annual working time.
On a comparable basis, as of December 31, 2017, the number of employees has increased slightly, which was primarily attributable to the increase in employees at DB Schenker and at DB Netze Track.
Employees by regions
as of Dec 31 (FTE)
Europe (excluding Germany)
Rest of the world
Employee loyalty (years)
Average length of service
DB Arriva - Markets und strategy
dimension: Satisfied employees are an essential component of our success. Our attractiveness as an employer enables us to recruit and retain talented employees and outstanding specialists. As part of this commitment, we launched our employer brand, which is underpinned by our fundamental value “Together – we are Arriva.” Our graduate scheme has brought more graduates into the business, and we have invested in two new Apprentice.
DB Schenker - Markets and strategy
dimension: We aim to be the top employer in logistics. Satisfied employees are a prerequisite for satisfied customers. In order to achieve our targets, we are strengthening our corporate culture and expanding our individual and international career development programs. Moreover, we offer a modern, family-friendly and diverse working environment..
Wesentliche Chancen und Risiken - Personnel
Scope: collective bargaining agreements, Group-wide labor market, pension commitments
Due to demographic changes and the associated lack of skilled employees, it is becoming increasingly difficult to fill vacancies with qualified personnel. This in turn leads to risks such as lack of know-how transfer. At the same time, DB Group has a relatively high annual need for new em - ployees. We counteract the resulting risks in particular by improving our employer attractiveness and by taking extensive recruiting measures.
Development of DB Group - Top employer
Employee satisfaction (SI)
Employer attractiveness (rank in Germany)
With regard to employer attractiveness, we managed to improve in the year under review and expect stabilization in 2018. Demographic change will cause the intensity of competition on the labor market to increase further as the available workforce steadily shrinks in all target groups. In addition, other corporations are also focusing on employer branding and recruiting activities.
Securing new talent
Young professionals hired as permanent staff by type of training (NP)
Dual degree students
Germany (companies with about 99% of domestic employees).
Hired after completion of training or dual degree.
Young people can complete training in over 50 apprenticeships in DB Group. Vocational training and dual degree programs are the foundation of DB Group’s efforts to secure the recruitment of skilled employees. This is supplemented by the long-term job preparation program “Chance plus” for young people who need support in accessing the labor market. In the previous year, “Chance plus” was adapted specifically for refugees. This resulted in the creation of a multi-level qualification program for refugees, under which 120 participants qualified for the DB labor market in the year under review.
Employees in Germany
New hires by gender
as of Dec 31 (NP)
< 30 years
Share of womem (%)
30 – 49 years
Share of women (%)
≥ 50 years
Share of women (%)
Germany (companies with about 98% of domestic employees).
Not included are hiring and takeover of vocational trainees and dual degree students.
As in previous years, the number of newly hired employees was at a high level. DB Group intends to hire about 19,000 new employees and young professionals in Germany alone in 2018. At the same time, it is important to develop existing employees and ensure their long-term loyalty.