As of March 31, 2014, the voestalpine Group had 43,875 employees (excluding apprentices and temporary staff). This corresponds to an increase of 1,797 persons (+4.3%) compared to the headcount on March 31, 2013 (42,078). The total workforce (including apprentices and temporary personnel based on FTE/full-time equivalent) rose to 48,113 employees, thus increasing by 1,762 employees or 3.8% compared to the previous year (46,351 FTEs)
Due to the Group’s increased internationalization activities in the past years, the employee structure of core staff has changed accordingly: today, more than 52.1% of all employees (22,864 persons) are working at the Group’s international locations outside of Austria, with 21,011 employees working in Austrian companies.
As of the end of the business year, the voestalpine Group was training 1,405 apprentices (65.6% of whom were being trained at Austrian companies and 34.4% at international sites). Compared to the previous year (1,351 apprentices), the number has risen by 54 young people (+4.0%).
Employee shareholding scheme
The employee shareholding scheme, which has existed since 2001 and has since been gradually expanded, is currently available abroad for Group employees in Great Britain, Germany, the Netherlands, Poland, and Belgium. As a result of the integration of additional companies in the business year 2013/14, more than 10,000 employees in these countries have now been invited to participate. As of March 31, 2014, a total of 23,300 employees are voestalpine AG shareholders by way of the voestalpine Mitarbeiterbeteiligung Privatstiftung and hold a total of around 22.3 million shares. Due to the general bundling of voting rights, these employees, with a holding of 13.0% of share capital (previous year: 13.3%), are one of the two largest core shareholders of voestalpine AG. About 1.8 million private shares owned by current and former employees (this corresponds to about 1.0% of the voting shares) are also managed by the voestalpine Mitarbeiterbeteiligung Privatstiftung. Thus, currently 14.0% of voestalpine AG’s share capital (previous year: 14.4%) is owned by employees.
The Stahlstiftung (Steel Foundation) in Austria
The Stahlstiftung, which was established in 1987, provides former employees of voestalpine from almost all of the Austrian Group companies with the opportunity to take up to four years to complete training and continuing education courses to upgrade their skills or to start a new career path. This institution significantly mitigates the social consequences of lay-offs and the participants receive the best possible assistance in their search for a new job. In the business year 2013/14, more than 86% of the participants who were looking for work were able to find a new job with the help of the Stahlstiftung. This high placement rate, which is excellent by international standards as well, even improved slightly compared to the previous year.
As of the end of the business year, a total of 407 persons were being assisted by the Stahlstiftung, of whom 55.0% were participants from companies not belonging to the voestalpine Group. The total number of active participants of the Stahlstiftung in the business year 2013/14 was 777, an increase of 5.1% compared to the previous year (739 persons).
Focus of HR activities
The voestalpine Group was represented at a number of career fairs in the past business year. The focus was on recruiting students majoring in technical and scientific subjects. voestalpine teams from technology fields and HR introduced the Group not only at the International Student’s Day of Metallurgy in Krakow (Poland) but also at national student fairs throughout Austria and Germany as an attractive employer for entry-level employees. In order to bolster the overall strategy of the voestalpine Group, international career fairs were not neglected, for example, the German-Chinese career fair SinoJobs Career Days, which gave the Group the opportunity to introduce itself to talented young people from Asia as an international industrial enterprise.
voestalpine AG is Austria’s BEST RECRUITER 2013/14
voestalpine AG was the overall Austrian winner in the BEST RECRUITERS Study 2013/14 (as a comparison, when the first study was conducted in 2010/11, voestalpine AG was in 37th place). BEST RECRUITERS annually analyzes the 500 top employers in Austria according to various criteria, such as career website, social web, online job ads, and how test job applications are handled. voestalpine precisely analyzed the findings of the last three studies and implemented numerous improvements. Special attention was paid to the target group-specific online HR channels, which voestalpine successively established in the past few years. In addition to the corporate website, there is a separate apprentice website, a career page on Facebook, and a career section in the corporate blog. These channels were again expanded to extend their reach. Reports about day-to-day work on Facebook and the section “blogging employees” have been generating an enormous response.
voestalpine student evening at the Leoben University of Mining and Metallurgy
In addition to ongoing activities, such as fairs, excursions, etc., a voestalpine student evening was held for the target group encompassing technical students at the Leoben University of Mining and Metallurgy, which is particularly important for the Group. Around 450 students took advantage of the opportunity to collect information about the voestalpine Group. All five members of the Management Board of voestalpine AG, two of whom graduated from the Leoben University of Mining and Metallurgy themselves, personally presented the Group’s work environment, its research, and its products. After the lectures, the students utilized the opportunity to gather information about jobs from the various voestalpine companies and to address questions to the members of the Management Board.
Apprentices (focus Austria, Germany)
voestalpine employs 1,405 apprentices worldwide. The majority is trained in Austria and Germany, where the “dual system,” the combination of school and practical application, is in use. Currently, training for around 50 vocational occupations is being offered at 38 sites. In the last business year, many schoolchildren and their parents took advantage of the “open house days” at various sites in order to personally gather information about career opportunities. The voestalpine online channels (apprentice website, Facebook, and most recently Instagram as well) are being extensively utilized by young people.
The voestalpine Group invests more than EUR 21,400 in the training of each single apprentice. The apprentices regularly prove that this is an investment well worth it by their results in international competitions but also by the impressive number of young people who complete their apprenticeships: in the last business year, 95.6% passed their final examination. Of the apprentices in Austria, 63.0% passed their final examination with the grade “good” or “excellent” (this system is not applicable for other countries).
In addition to providing specialized knowledge for their future occupation, voestalpine also supports the development of personal and social skills: language study abroad, simulation games, workshops on health, and excursions to other companies are part of the training concept.
An employee survey was again conducted throughout the voestalpine Group in October 2013. Employees worldwide (!) filled out anonymous questionnaires and evaluated aspects, such as working conditions, cooperation, and the leadership situation. The objective of this survey, which is conducted every three years, is to identify criteria of an attractive work environment that are relevant from the perspective of employees and to improve these criteria on an ongoing basis.
The record response rate of 75.2% shows that employees have confidence in the voestalpine employee survey. From the perspective of employees, the pluses of working at voestalpine are the strong work ethic, enjoyment of one’s work, and activities regarding occupational safety. Employees’ pride that they are working at voestalpine and their identification with the company are also high.
“Feedback” and “professional development opportunities” have been identified as Group-wide topics. At the corporate level, each company will additionally define two to three core improvement measures. A Group-wide monitoring of measures and sharing of experience will support the companies in working through the findings. The employees will be informed about relevant activities on an ongoing basis. The next employee survey is scheduled for 2016.
Development of executives
In the business year 2013/14, 168 participants from 21 countries took part in the “value:program,” an internal development program for executives; 40.5% of the participants came from Group companies outside of Austria. The percentage of women was 15.5%. Frequent lectures held recently are further proof that voestalpine is “One step ahead” with its development program for executives. In lectures at four conferences in Austria and Germany, the innovative design of the program and the methods used piqued the interest of the high-profile audience of experts.
Collaboration with universities
Each year, voestalpine enables students from Emory University (Atlanta, Georgia/USA) to participate in a ten-week internship. In exchange, selected students of the Johannes Kepler University in Linz receive a one-year scholarship to Emory University. Students in the international MBA program “ACT – Austria, Canada, Taiwan,” a joint study program of the Johannes Kepler University Linz, the University of Victoria in Canada, and National Sun Yat-sen University in Kaohsiung in Taiwan, received a comprehensive tour of the Linz plant and took part in project work lasting several weeks.
There are numerous ongoing collaboration projects with the Leoben University of Mining and Metallurgy (MUL), such as voestalpine’s sponsoring of the Montanuni truck for its information tour of Austria and the Metal Days, which are both held to stimulate young people’s interest in studying at the University of Mining and Metallurgy, participation in the Contact Forum (student fair at the University of Mining and Metallurgy), company presentations, etc. Moreover, voestalpine companies provide students with the opportunity to undertake internships or work on scientific papers in collaboration with voestalpine.
At the international level, voestalpine was one of the sponsors of the International Student’s Day of Metallurgy in Krakow in 2013; an expert from voestalpine held a lecture and voestalpine provided the booth. More than 200 students from about 15 European universities took part in this three-day event.
High mobility pool
After the successful Europe-wide recruitment of participants for the 2011 generation, the internationalization of the program was continued. For the 2013 generation, participants from Brazil, China, Canada, and Mexico were recruited. The high mobility pool provides high potentials, who have a few years of professional experience, with the opportunity to get to know the voestalpine Group through concrete projects in the individual divisions and departments.