By the end of the business year 2011/12, the voestalpine Group had 41,649 employees (excluding temporary employees and apprentices). This corresponds to an addition of 949 employees, or a 2.3% rise over the comparison value of March 31, 2011 (40,700). Taking the 1,263 apprentices and 4,305 leased employees into account, the total number of staff as of the end of March 2012 equals 47,217 employees.
The development of the workforce will be depicted on the basis of this calculation for the last time in the present financial report. To achieve better data comparability with those of other international corporations, and to establish a greater explanatory significance of the long-term employee development in the Company itself, we are shifting to the “full-time equivalent” indicator (FTE) starting in the business year 2012/13. With the “FTE” indicator, one full-time employee corresponds to a full-time equivalent of one; part-time employees are taken into account on a pro-rata basis corresponding to their working hours. This approach results in a workforce level of 46,473 employees in full-time equivalence at the voestalpine Group as of March 31, 2012, which corresponds to a 2.7% increase compared to the prior year (45,260 employees).
The Group’s own personnel level on March 31, 2012 remained below the pre-crisis level on September 30, 2008 (by 3.2%, or 1,384 employees). Basically, this is attributed to the fact that to a great extent, human resource needs continue to be covered by temporary employees so that the Group can respond as flexibly as possible to the periodic increased volatility in demand fluctuations. The number of temporary employees consequently increased in the year under review by 6.7%, from 4,036 to 4,305 person years.
The ratio of employees working in Austria to those working abroad remained unchanged in the business year 2011/12. At 53.5% (22,297 individuals), the majority of the employees work at corporate locations outside of Austria; thus, 19,352 employees or 46.5% are assigned to domestic sites.
In addition, the voestalpine Group trained 1,263 apprentices worldwide as of March 31, 2012 (36.4% thereof at international sites). Compared to the previous year (1,330 apprentices), this figure corresponds to a 5.0% decline, or 67 fewer youths.
Steel Foundation in Austria
The Steel Foundation (“Stahlstiftung”), established in 1987, provides former voestalpine employees from virtually every Austrian Group company with the opportunity to complete further training and continuing education for professional re-qualification or advanced qualification for a term of up to four years. Besides cushioning the social impact of job loss, this service is the best possible means of assisting with and supporting the search for new employment. In the business year 2011/12, 85% of job-seeking participants actually found a new job with the aid of the Steel Foundation.
On March 31, 2012, there were 506 individuals being assisted by the Steel Foundation, which is approximately 18.3% less than the year before. The Steel Foundation also makes itself available to external companies, which were represented most recently by 36.4% of participants.
Educational leave in Austria
During the financial crisis, the Steel Foundation organized, and for the most part financed. “educational leave activities” for the advanced qualification of employees, as an additional service limited to a 12-month maximum. The chance to enroll in this program was closed in December 2010, once the business cycle normalized; by the beginning of calendar year 2012, the last participant had graduated from this program. At the end of the educational or training program, the employee is typically guaranteed the chance to return to the parent company. Upon completion, 97% of the participants resume working at their respective company.
Employee shareholding scheme
In the fall of 2011, the voestalpine Group celebrated the ten-year anniversary of its employee shareholding model, which has been held in high regard since its inception. Initiated in Austria, the model has since been adapted to subsidiaries in Great Britain, Germany, Poland, Belgium, and the Netherlands. The gradual integration of additional businesses and countries is planned for the current business year.
As of the end of the business year 2011/12, a total of 22,400 employees of voestalpine AG are participating in this scheme through the voestalpine Mitarbeiterbeteiligung Privatstiftung; they hold about 20.1 million shares. With a holding of 11.9% of the share capital, employees are the second largest core shareholder of voestalpine AG through their general voting rights block.
About 1.6 million private shares owned by current and former employees (this corresponds to about 1% of the voting shares) are also managed by the voestalpine Mitarbeiterbeteiligung Privatstiftung.
Collectively, nearly 13% of share capital in voestalpine AG is currently owned by its employees; this figure remained virtually unchanged from the previous year.
Focus of Human Resources activities
The voestalpine Group is committed to its own apprentice training and has consistently maintained the highest standards for it, even during economically challenging periods. Currently the activities related to career training of youth, both in Austria and internationally, are continuing; in doing so, the Group emphasizes communications that are appropriate for the target group. Thus, the Group will install its own website that bundles targeted data about all available apprenticeship occupations, for example, or about all locations that offer training. Social media represents another channel of communications of consistently growing importance to young people, and it is currently a focal point in communications development.
Development of executives
In the year under review, 121 executives of the Group from 17 countries participated in the Group-wide professional development program for executives known as “value:program”. The program was expanded by a training module for top management, called “visionstage,” which puts the spotlight on the long-term strategic challenges they face. In recognition of the innovative design of this module, the Austrian Human Resources Award was bestowed on voestalpine AG, which was also nominated for the European Human Resources Award.
High mobility pool
Training under the “high mobility pool”, which was redesigned last year particularly in light of accelerated internationalization and updated content, will be continued thanks to the extraordinarily positive response it received. This pool provides “high profile” candidates from Europe who have a few years of professional experience with the opportunity to get to know the voestalpine Group through definitive projects in the individual divisions and departments.
For the high standards of its HR department and the intensified personnel marketing efforts of the Group, voestalpine AG was recognized with a series of awards. According to Career’s Best Recruiters Study 2011/2012, the Company once again came in first place in the iron/metals industry, was bestowed the “Golden Seal” award and, in addition, could lay claim to the top ranking even in comparison to Germany. Altogether, 500 Austrian and 500 German companies in 22 industries were studied and evaluated in regard to the online and offline corporate presence and the feedback obtained from applicants. The jury specifically emphasized the online applicant portal of the voestalpine Group, which is currently used by companies from Austria, Germany, and the Netherlands, and which will gradually be expanded to other countries.