Interview with Chal-Tec CEO Peter Chaljawski: Employee recommendations against IT experts

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Disclosure & Image Rights: Chal-Tec GmbH supported us with several free test devices, which we were allowed to keep after the end of the test period. Images of Chal-Tec.

Peter Chaljawski is the founder and CEO of the Berlin-based IT e-commerce company Chal-Tec. In an interview, he explains why he used recruiters to recommend employees right from the start.Interview with Chal-Tec CEO Peter Chaljawski: Employee recommendations against IT experts

The foundation for today Company put Peter Chaljawski right after graduation. With 19 years, he turned his private passion for good music and high quality DJ equipment into a professional business. Via Ebay he sold event technology to music lovers and in a short time became a Powerseller on the well-known online market place. At the same time Chaljawski designed his first own platform: electronic-star.com. Under the umbrella of the 2006 launched web shop, the product range has been steadily expanded and now includes 13 own brands and 7.000 products from the areas of Home & Living, Consumer Electronics, Sound & Light, Sports & Health, the company is active in 21 European countries.

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Mr. Chaljawski, how many employees has your company?

We have 350 employees with an average age of 33,82. The positions are represented, ranging from trainee, team leader and head to C-level positions. Only 2016 we are grown by approximately 50 employees.

With the opening of our warehouse in Kamp-Lintfort, Chal-Tec will grow by approximately 2017 employees in the 2018 - 200 period.

Do you also hire international staff?

Yes, we are also looking for international employees. In our company 25 work different nationalities. Accordingly, German and English are business languages.

Are there positions where you have great difficulty in filling them?

Yes, especially IT positions are currently in high demand in Berlin. Due to the high share of companies in the digital economy in Berlin, the employers' market in IT is particularly fierce.

It is no longer enough to promise flat hierarchies, interesting tasks and great colleagues to win the best software developers for themselves. It is above all to inspire the candidates with a passion for the brands and vision of Chal-Tec.

In fact, we also see a drop in applicants for positions at specialist level. The low rate of unemployment has led to a tough fight for good profiles at this level, and it is no longer untypical to go back on the path of recruitment, which has previously been the focus of expert and senior positions.

On your website, I saw that you also target employees externally as testimonials: Please briefly briefly.

It is important for us to point out that it is possible for us to ascend and develop continuously, regardless of the profile. If you are motivated, there is no limit for Chal-Tec. We want to bear these success stories outwards.

They place emphasis on celebrities such as Enie van de Meiklokjes as brand ambassadors: How important are faces in the communication of the employer's brand?

Enie van de Meiklokjes is our long-standing brand ambassador for the Klarstein products and addresses a large part of our target group.

But not only does it show customers and applicants that as a company, we attach great importance to high-quality products with a lifestyle character and offer many different possibilities of how people in the kitchen can live out and try out new things. Also our market shops give a good insight as Chal-Tec as a company ticks and its brand communication lives.

Where do you see the benefits of employee recommendations?

We are absolutely convinced that a working employee recommendation program reduces recruiting time by a large number and at the same time offers a high cost savings compared to other recruitment channels. Especially in the initial phase, employee recommendations were a very important recruiting tool.

Why this?

As a young founder, the company's own recruiting network is usually not as extensively developed and in the initial phase an internal recruiting team is not to be thought of. Particularly during this phase, internal employee recommendations can help particularly and considerably reduce the costs for external support. In addition, the company's own employees are often deeply networked in the Berlin e-commerce scene.

Are not employees concerned about being held responsible?

Yes, probably - it would be human. However, we try to convey to our employees that they are not held responsible. The employees are happy that they can significantly shape their working environment. The responsibility for the final closing lies with the management and the HR.

Is there no risk of group formation in the company, because employees only recommend friends?

There are rare friends, but more often former work colleagues, business partners or recommendations of this. The advantage is that you know their way of working and strengths - weaknesses profile, which can make things much easier. In any case, this is recommended for key positions. For a scaling phase, each company needs a strong HR and recruiting.

Group formation has therefore not been experienced and is also untypical for a fast growing environment, where all have to tackle together. We are also convinced that open office design and transparent communication, as well as interdisciplinary work on projects, can be counteracted here.

Which legal points should be observed in employee recommendations?

There are no legal concerns. The employee makes the contact and the lead, which we are very grateful for. In the end, it is up to the HR and management to assess the candidate and the candidate goes through a normal application process.

If it does not fit in the end - what can happen - then we analyze where we as the HR and Managementteam have made the mistake and learn to do so.

Do the employees receive a bonus for your recommendation?

Yes. Employees receive a bonus when the recommendation passed the probationary period. The amount of the bonus depends on the level and thus on the difficulty level to fill the position. Nevertheless, an amount is paid out for each employee, including trainees.

How does this type of recruiting affect company culture?

Not only the company benefits, but also the recommended employees. These strengthen the existing corporate culture, prove initiative beyond their original scope.

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