SmartRecruiters Blog

Hire18 Speaker Interview: Marie-Therese Kofler

At only 30 years old, this multi-project leader is keeping one of Germany’s biggest companies stocked with top talent around the world.

As the Senior Expert on Global Talent Acquisition at Bosch, Marie-Therese is responsible for the company’s global recruiting process, which includes the international rollout and governance of the global recruiting process and system, operated by SmartRecruiters, in more than 100 countries.

Prior to that, she joined the Bosch Group as a participant of the junior managers trainee program, where she rotated between several departments within Bosch. Marie has a Masters Degree in Management and Psychology, and during her studies in Germany and France, she also worked for several international companies in the area of digital marketing, e-commerce, communications, and HR. Marie-Therese will bring her insights to Hiring Success 18 from March 12-14th, but for now, we managed to gather this little preview below of what she’ll be speaking about.

What does the concept of Hiring Success mean to you?

Hiring success for me means conversing with staffing experts from all over the world, to benchmark and learn about best practices.

Where on your company’s list of priorities is recruitment?

Recruitment is one of the highest priorities for Bosch, since the company is undergoing a transformation process into the Internet of Things (IoT), with a strong focus on AI and blockchain. Of course, we already have many great people on board, but we are growing intensely in this area and therefore need to expand our team significantly.

What does Bosch do differently in recruiting than anyone else?

Our common global recruitment philosophy is ‘Candidate First’. This means our recruitment process is consistently oriented towards the candidate experience, which also strengthens our image as an employer of choice. Our new recruiting system, engineered by SmartRecruiters, is driven by user experience in order to bring this philosophy to life.

What is one thing about your process you’d most like to change?

Our success does not only depend on the tool, but on the impression we make throughout the candidate journey. We need all our associates to act as ambassadors for Bosch. They need to support, live and promote this recruiting philosophy. Hiring the most suitable talent for Bosch is our shared responsibility and common task.

What is the thing you are most proud of in your work?

I am very proud of the team that works with me on introducing our new global Talent Acquisition platform. Our team is cross-functional and international, working on several parallel sub-projects. We have to work overall time zones with colleagues from China, the US, Germany, India, and many other countries. This makes our project even more complex. Nevertheless, everybody is 100% dedicated to our common success. All team members are incredibly motivated and team-oriented when it comes to solving complex tasks in virtual sessions.

What is the current balance between technology and human intuition in your hiring process?

Of course, the individual is always in the center of our hiring process. AI is only a measure to support the pre-screening and cannot substitute a personal screening. Recruiting is never only about the system, but we try to profit from new technologies. Take for instance the fact that whenever humans act intuitively, they also act somewhat biased. To counter that, we already introduced seminars to make our recruiters and hiring managers aware of these issues and teach them how to make their recruiting decisions more objective. In addition, we are looking very much forward to recruiting AI, which will make our pre-selection process even more objective and efficient.

What have been some of the biggest changes you’ve seen occur in the industry since you began?

The market for highly qualified candidates has changed substantially. Finding and hiring outstanding people is crucial for business success at Bosch. But outstanding candidates receive numerous job offers and can opt for their favorite employer. We have to deal with changed candidates’ expectations, values, and preferences due to new lifestyle patterns. Think of the Gen Y and their high requirements regarding work-life balance and social benefits. Candidates are not coming to us anymore – we have to search for them and sell our possibilities by marketing Bosch as their employer of choice. Thus, we need to show them how attractive it is to work for Bosch.

What will your job look like five years from now?

I think the importance of active souring will increase even more. Our sourcers will become sales agents and relationship managers. They will act proactively to have the right people in their ‘pipeline’ at the right time for our business strategy.

Who was/is your biggest professional influence and why?

My biggest professional influence was not only one person. I think it is a mixture of the experiences I made during my education and professional career, as well as the exchange with internal and external colleagues. All these impressions made me form ‘my vision’ of recruiting in the context of Bosch. And this vision is changing constantly. I think we should never stop trying to improve.

What would be your first bits of advice to a new hire in your department?

Bring in your ideas from the outside. Question what we are doing and why we are doing it. You can make the biggest difference by bringing in your experiences!

Peter Braun