The choice of employment today is influenced by many factors, which each job candidate individually defines for themselves, despite the general trends on the job market. Regardless of salary and actual working hours, the emphasis is on aspects such as flexibility in work schedules and training opportunities. Some employees value a family-like environment, others the ability to work independently and detached from hierarchical structures.
Self-determination on behalf of the employee, fundamental flexibility on both sides and the provision of personal development are the most important criteria for joining a company. Long forgotten are the days when the manager was in charge and bossed the employees around. For good reason, too. Modern companies are looking for talents, not employees, live by agile team structures and motivate their employees to go above and beyond. It's a mindset that can only benefit both sides.
In our Talk To Go interview series, we spoke with Eva Borucki and Dolores Ismail, two of the latest additions to the Riege family, about their journey from their initial application to onboarding, their first impression during the interview, and their experience at Riege so far.
How did you hear about Riege?
Eva: Through another employee. We are neighbors and walk our dogs together every day, and she kept telling me about the company and her work. How flexible the working hours are and how good the working atmosphere is at Riege. What really stood out was the family-like atmosphere and the fact that every voice is heard and that you are perceived as a human being. Therefore, I took the initiative and simply submitted my unsolicited application by e-mail. At Riege, the employees are not just a number; I noticed that very early on in the application process.
Dolores: In my case, it was likewise another employee. Our children attend the same kindergarten, and we are both on the PTA, so we already knew each other personally. We also talked a lot about work and realized that there was a position coming up that would be perfect for me. The fact that the family members are responsible for different departments within the company creates the feeling that it's not all about profit, but about working together to ensure the company's success.
During the interview, how were you met? What was your first impression?
Eva: The first impression was quite special. During the first interview, Anna Riege and I simply went for a walk and talked about our expectations of each other. Anna met me with a lot of sympathy. I never felt the need to conform to a certain expectation. Her approach and communication were honest and very cordial. Anna also told me in our first conversation that Riege is a family business and that she and her siblings each run their own division.
Dolores: I first met Anna and Dr. Tobias Riege virtually. We scheduled a video conference. After I submitted my application, Anna informed me about all the details and planning surrounding the new team in the very first conversation. I was very impressed by this transparency; I knew right away what to expect. The interview was very personal, human and at eye level, which made a very positive impression on me. The chemistry was also right from the start, there were no doubts on my part. I was particularly impressed that I was able to get to know the other team members during the application process.
Why did you decide to work for Riege?
Eva: With Anna, you could tell her honestly what was on your mind and what obstacles you saw. She immediately offered a solution and assured you that Riege would take the time and work with you to achieve your individual goals. As a Riege employee, you receive full support and acceptance of the skills you have acquired so far. The individual counts, qualifications can also be acquired retrospectively. From the very beginning, she met me at eye level. Another important factor in the decision in favor of or against a new team member is that the entire team speaks for the applicant and agrees with the decision. This human approach motivates you to rise above yourself. You are always picked up by your colleagues, and everyone is happy to take the time to answer questions or fill in gaps.
Dolores: I was particularly impressed by the open nature and transparent communication. I always felt valued as a person. I felt welcome right from the start, as if I was part of the Riege family. Previously, I had only been employed in large companies, where the interaction was rather impersonal. My family situation was also very important to me. I tried to find a way to balance work and family, but this concern has been taken away from me right from the start. Anna was very supportive and assured me that we would find a solution together. I started part-time and was allowed to arrange my working hours freely. In addition, I can easily increase or reduce my working hours at any time. This solution works very well for me, and I'm glad that we found a way to reconcile both my interests and those of the company. Nevertheless, the fact that such attention is paid to the employee, especially when it comes to family issues, is extremely special and clearly sets Riege apart from other employers on the market.
How did Riege support you during your orientation phase?
Eva: Due to the current situation, it was a bit of a challenge to meet all the teams, as many are currently working from home. Nevertheless, we were introduced to all teams, and most of these meetings took place virtually in digital conferences. Straight out of the gate, one or the other offered me information about the industry and the product. Help was offered at any time and the corresponding contact persons were pointed out. So far, all colleagues have been very helpful. Due to the fact that our team was newly created, we can define our own scope of duties. The entire structure of the team and the responsibilities are just being created, which gives us a lot of freedom.
Dolores: I can only confirm that. The colleagues are all very helpful and are very happy to share their knowledge and previous experience with us, which makes the familiarization phase much easier. With the support of the other teams, we have already taken a big step forward. We are given the freedom to develop and define our tasks ourselves. The structures are agile and free of hierarchies, which makes it much easier to approach colleagues, even if we don't work in the office next door but from home.
Which benefits does Riege offer you as an employee?
Eva: 30 vacation days per year, which can be planned freely, are already worth a lot. The leave times are only coordinated within the own team and are usually approved at any time. I am particularly interested in the many training opportunities. Again, Anna communicated very transparently that as an employee you are given a yearly budget for further training that is at your free disposal. It's nice to know that my employer supports me in developing my career interests.
Dolores: One thing I really enjoy are the Team Days, where each year we can plan and go on excursions as a team, the costs of which are covered by Riege. It's a great way to get to know each other better and spend time with colleagues outside the office. It creates a sense of cohesion and humanity that is very important in my eyes. I'm also impressed by the equipment we've been given and the general conditions, such as working hours, days off, the option to work from home, and drinks and fruit that are freely available in the office at all times.
Based on today's experience, would you join Riege again?
A resounding “yes” from both.
We also talked to Anna Riege, Head of People and Culture, about the job market situation, the search for talents and how recruiting has changed over the last few years.
Anna: In general, the job market has changed fundamentally. The employer market has transformed into an applicant market in recent years. In order to target the "rare" talents, it is necessary to know the wishes and needs of the applicants. With our benefits, we address many talents and meet the prevailing trend:
- Flat hierarchies in a very familiar/cooperative atmosphere
- Free arrangement of working hours and flexible work time models to balance family and career
- Home office option for everyone
- High-end hardware
- Regular training opportunities for all employees
- Team days
We are interested in a long-term collaboration, so in the interviews we rely primarily on being able to imagine a collaboration on a human level. Intrinsic motivation and curiosity are also important to us in talents, while technical qualifications can be acquired later on if necessary. The final decision in the application process is always made by the team, as only the team can decide whether the chemistry is right.