of Tobias Stahl am 04.01.2021
imago images / ULMER press picture agencyLike mechatronics student Elias Pfeffer, whose aggressive application campaign even brought him a conversation with Elon Musk, many young graduates are currently dreaming of a job at Tesla in Grünheide
Electric car pioneer Tesla wants to really take off in Germany this year: the construction of the Gigafactory in Grünheide, Brandenburg, should be completed by the summer. Tesla wants to hire 7,000 employees by the start of production and attracts potential buyers with high wages. Even Tesla boss Elon Musk is beating the drum and promises on the short message platform Twitter: “It will be great fun!” However, the first applicants report that the application process is anything but fun.
Brandenburg’s Economics Minister Jörg Steinbach (SPD) believes it is possible that Tesla’s German Gigafactory could employ up to 40,000 people over the next ten years, depending on the market situation. 7,000 to 12,000 employees in production and administration are expected for the period after completion.
It shouldn’t be a problem for Tesla to find enough interested parties for the vacancies, as the industry pioneer is one of the most popular employers worldwide. And when it comes to salaries, too, Tesla seems to want to play at the top. Jochem Freyer, head of the Frankfurt (Oder) employment agency, recently promised in an interview: “Tesla pays significantly better than is customary in the area and will be based on the collective wage agreement of the metal and electronics industry The lower limit is, however. Unskilled and job changers can expect a gross starting salary of 2,700 euros. The pay is “a hit for this level.” With relevant vocational training, it even starts at around 3,500 euros gross monthly salary. Unskilled or long-term unemployed should also have an opportunity get the coveted jobs at Tesla.
Now, however, the first applicants speak up and report that the application process – and apparently also the work at Tesla – is anything but a picnic. The finance portal WirtschaftsWoche reports on an applicant whose experience does not exactly match the image of the “most valuable, digital and fastest car company” in the world.
Just one day before the planned interview, he received an email with the appointment. In the mail, however, “two different locations were named for the interview,” reports the applicant. Because Tesla did not respond to calls and e-mails, the applicant went to one of the two addresses – a hotel – on good luck. Then there was even more confusion: “The lady at the information desk couldn’t tell me whether I was right,” says the applicant. At some point, however, he was asked for an interview “in a kind of break room”. Two people from Tesla were on site and a third person was connected online. There was nothing to drink, but it wasn’t necessary because “after ten minutes there was no radio silence”. After the conversation, there were no more reactions to e-mails and calls. “That’s not how you behave. Very bad style!” Sums up the applicant.
gettyimagesTeslas should soon be able to find a parking space themselves.
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Other applicants do not express themselves benevolently about Tesla either: “I have already applied twice because Tesla’s image in the media is cool,” reports one of them. “If a company doesn’t even have the money to send a standardized rejection e-mail, that’s just weak. That’s not how you deal with well-trained people in Germany!” Another applicant wrote: “I received an e-mail from a recruiter and was asked when it would be suitable for me for an interview. I made three suggestions, but after that there was no more feedback.” Another applicant, this time for a management position, is annoyed by the interpersonal relationships: “Managers should be more friendly. No reason for arrogance. And no reason for eight interviews. We are not applying for the US Congress or Paradise ! ”
On the employer evaluation platform Kununu, other Tesla employees from the sales locations in Germany and the administration are also disappointed. Although there are always positive, satisfied voices there, the “Kununu Score” is only 3.1 out of 5 stars and the recommendation rate is only 45 percent. For comparison: Daimler can look forward to a recommendation rate of 78 percent on the platform, and at Volkswagen it is even 85 percent.
Twitter / JasonTuatara
The steering wheel is definitely one of the components of a vehicle that shouldn’t fall off if possible.
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According to the reviews, the salary does not satisfy all Tesla employees either. In addition, there are apparently many other problems at the US electric car manufacturer that do not end even after the application process has been successfully completed: “Catastrophic executives” headlines one evaluator, “This is where the madness begins” another. A third even claims to have had the “worst work experience” in his entire career.
One assessment summarizes that the group’s electric cars are “great”, but the working conditions are “very bad”. Another Kununu user thinks that this is mainly due to the fact that at Tesla only numbers count, not employees.
On the other hand, there are other reviews, according to which, for example, an intern completed the best internship at Tesla that he could have ever imagined. “Great employer – everything is right here” or “Finally arrived” are the titles of other reviews that suggest in this direction.
No matter which of these ratings you believe: 2021 will be a crucial year for Tesla. As the year progresses, it will become clear whether the group can meet its extremely ambitious schedule for building the Gigafactory – and whether it can celebrate success not only as an electric car manufacturer, but also as a German employer.