When you think of software developments within the one country that is filled with high-tech companies, a forward-thinking atmosphere and an infectious vibe to stay ahead of the competition, it is not surprising, when you hear technology and Germany in the same sentence, it instantly makes sense. Germany has a reputation of being the start-up centre of Europe and certainly within the rest of the world. Alongside FinTech (financial technology), health technology and machine learning are also big on the German start-up front.
Heard of blockchain? Good, of course you have
In 2017 Blockchain technology and the bitcoin digital currency, were just beginning to establish themselves in the German market. Questions were flying around including; will jobseekers be interested in blockchain technology? How far are we going to see this new tech integrate into German companies?
If recent events have not cleared up the above questions, as of March this year there were 170 Blockchain start-ups. To top off the Blockchain evolution that seems to be happening in 2019, within the next month, the German government will be introducing a blockchain strategy in the country. This is with the sole purpose to develop and grow the FinTech sector.
Maybe it is something in the water; Germany is ahead of the game
It is official; Germany is jumping on the Bitcoin bandwagon. As mentioned already, the German government has created a consultation process in an effort to formulate a blockchain comprehensive strategy within the following month.
What are the key takeaways from the German blockchain market we have so far?
Companies are predominantly looking in these six cities for Blockchain experts: Berlin, Munich, Frankfurt, Dresden, Hamburg and Stuttgart.
As it stands the majority of Blockchain job opportunities are for software developers
Since 2017 the number of Blockchain job postings has increased rapidly
In 2017 Bitcoin recorded huge price gains and even though later in the year there were price fluctuations, the hype and interest from companies in Blockchain technology did not decrease (including interest from jobseekers).
The German Ministry of Finance has announced along with its Blockchain initiative, that it has no plans to tax its users when it comes to cryptocurrencies. The German government will regard bitcoin as though it is equivalent to legal tender for tax purposes when used as a means of payment. (Germany is really in support of making this a success!)
Germany has long held the title and reputation as the start-up capital of Europe, with its youth bumping up the numbers of those professionals wanting a career in Blockchain.
“It is not surprising that a demographic whose lives have been characterised by smartphones, internet and social media, see the attractive functionality cryptocurrency provides as an instant and decentralised means of transferring value.” - German consumer centre of Hesse and Saxony Survey
What effect does this have on recruitment?
Traditional bankers and companies are approaching blockchain with suspicion, afraid that the tech will disrupt the financial system, and ultimately shift their position as the frontman overseeing financial transactions between different parties.
This is expected – at no point in history has a new piece of software not been met with questions and caution, plus influencers of this next step will be motivated by the opportunity to challenge the dominance of a long-standing way of doing things. Breaking the mould and influencing change.
What will employers going to need to do to get candidates interested in building this function within their company? The best question would be to ask; what are candidates looking for:
The opportunity to work on new and interesting projects, utilising new technology to its full unmanaged potential
Flexible / remote working, 70% of candidates will be looking for this within their contracts, especially when it comes to working on new tech
Unsurprisingly, being paid for their contribution at a fair rate whether it is to trial blockchain for a set amount of time or to come into the company on a permanent basis
The ‘Nachfrageboom’, or ‘demand boom’, whittles down to the fact that there is, at the moment, a very tight candidate market, due to a lack of skilled talent and an abundance of jobs, which poses problems for companies looking to implement this new tech at full steam ahead.
Let’s wrap this up for now
Germany is regarded by those in and out of Europe as an example of success within the finance industry and its boldness to take the lead in trying new technology. Blockchain is making its appearance almost everywhere whether there is a huge question mark by the idea or open arms to take on this tech. Cities are following the ambition of places like Berlin, including many FinTech and crypto start-ups in Hamburg, Munich and Cologne. The German government is making it efficient and accessible for the growth of its FinTech sector.
“Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies are a good example of how the digital age is able to change the financial world. This is not so much about the individual currency itself as it is about the underlying blockchain technology. It will have an impact on the whole economy.” – Bitkom CEO Bernhard Rohleder