We are looking for people who want to create and make a difference

Nov 23, 2021 • 6 mins read

Verena Clemens is responsible for recruiting at Eppendorf. In this interview, she explains the qualifications, but also the soft skills, which help applicants score points. After all, each new employee should also be a good fit as a person.

Verena, you yourself joined us only a few months ago. Why did you apply to Eppendorf?

I have always been interested in the Life Science sector, and Eppendorf was not unknown to me. "Collaborate on new ideas" as a common employer philosophy and cultural spirit appealed to me, as well the 100% focus of my position on Recruiting/Talent Acquisition.

Which areas offer the best opportunities for new applicants?

We are currently looking to hire in all areas. As a highly specialized production company, we strongly focus on the STEM groups; however, we are also recruiting talent in the corporate sector, including controlling, as well as in the legal department, in marketing, real estate and in quality management. Everywhere – it is the complete colorful mix. Right now, more than 280 positions are advertised across the entire group of companies. We are growing, and we are redesigning many areas. Across all departments, we are in need of new employees who enjoy contributing.

In addition to professional and technical qualifications – what skills are you looking for in an applicant?

We are looking for team players! People who successfully implement teamwork, who courageously drive change and who consider personal achievement a positive challenge. We are looking for people who enjoy creating and making a difference, who are always willing to contribute, and who have the courage to say: I would like to propose a different idea, or: I don’t entirely agree. Of course, professional expertise is a prerequisite, but that can always be developed and strengthened within the team if the person is a good fit.

We are looking for team players! People who successfully implement teamwork, who courageously drive change and who consider personal achievement a positive challenge.

Verena Clemens

Expert Recruiting/ Talent Acquisition, Eppendorf SE

So, it’s fair to say that Eppendorf values personality?

At the end of the day, we are always interested in the combination of professional expertise and personality. Nobody should shy away from contributing. Right now is the perfect time to join us and help advance Eppendorf: Eppendorf is a family business, about to become a global player. We are growing, and we want to forge new paths – this includes business, processes, and the way we work. We are looking for candidates who would like to join us on this journey.

In your opinion, what does the perfect application look like? What do you expect?

Please – no lengthy prose! A well-composed, comprehensive and detailed cv should provide a first impression: What did I accomplish professionally? Which methods and tools did I employ? What did I learn? A common theme, as well as motivation for the position, must be evident. In addition, for initial guidance, I hope to learn something about relevant framework conditions: When will the applicant be available? What are their annual salary expectations? Are they willing to relocate?"

Would you like to share any tips for the interview?

Candidates should be authentic and honest – and open to an inspiring dialog through which we will both find out whether we are a good match. At Eppendorf, we have a multi-step selection process in place, with a focus on mutual compatibility: What are the needs of the candidate; how would they like to work and grow? It is important to us to really get to know the person. We would like to find out what moves and motivates them, how they reflect on their stations to date, and what they have learned along the way. For these reasons, we prefer to have an extra conversation over not having enough, and if necessary, we may also conduct a case study. Throughout the different phases of recruitment, various conversation partners will join the interview; for example, someone from the candidate’s future work environment. From the applicant’s perspective, it is important to have conducted preliminary research on the company and to continue to discover Eppendorf through our conversations.

What happens if you realize that this is not a "good fit"?

In that case, I will state honestly what is currently still missing. If applicants want or need to pursue other avenues first, I will be happy to remain in contact with them, for example via social media, and I will wait for the right time for the applicant to join us. On the other hand, it is absolutely possible that I may suggest a different job opening, or that I will ask the applicant to keep us in mind and apply again in the future.

What makes Eppendorf special and attractive for applicants?

From the very first meetings, I have found Eppendorf to be a company which values and respects its workforce. And since I started, I have been experiencing a work environment that is shaped by the will and the joy of creating and making a difference. The Eppendorf family is colorful, liberal and cosmopolitan, and it is characterized by a strong sense of collaboration, mutual understanding and togetherness. Eppendorf is an organization that is dedicated to continuous learning, relying on the motivation and personal initiative of its employees. There are diverse options for continuing education, as well as talent management, individual coaching, Eppendorf Academy programs and LinkedIn learning, and there are opportunities for working abroad. As a family business, we embrace a long-term view that conveys security. In certain areas, it is still customary for people to work for us from the time of their apprenticeship through to their retirement.

You have been working in recruiting for 15 years. Can you give us an example of how an applicant really impressed you?

I am always impressed when an applicant manages to turn the tables, and when during the conversation I get the feeling that I need to apply to this candidate because I would really like to secure them for Eppendorf. To stand out as an attractive employer, to present ourselves and answer questions honestly – these qualities are absolutely required nowadays in order to secure the right talent. The labor market is evolving more and more towards a job applicant market where companies must actively compete for professional talent.

Career at Eppendorf