Innnovation Study: A Challenge When Recruiting Specialists: Entry-Level Professionals Want More Scope of Action

  • Recruiting specialists is one of the biggest challenges facing almost three quarters of all German industrial companies
  • Entry-level professionals expect their employers to have a corporate culture that promotes innovation
  • By their own account, ever-fewer managers are making a relevant contribution to their company’s innovation culture

Recruitment of talented specialists is posing more and more of a challenge to German industry. Nearly three quarters of the industrial companies in Germany ascribe great importance to this issue. Obtaining talent is the second-biggest challenge facing German industry after the general pressure to differentiate. These are results of the “Industry Innovation Index 2016” study conducted by the Forsa institute. For the study, which was commissioned by the specialty chemicals group ALTANA for the third time in a row, 500 managers and entry-level professionals working for industrial companies were surveyed.

Especially young and well-trained specialists want their potential employers to have a corporate culture in which there is sufficient room for employees to come up with their own ideas and innovative solutions. Hence the development of an innovation-promoting corporate culture is decisive for attracting and keeping specialists.

“Trust employees and at the same time entrust them with responsibility”

Managers are particularly important when it comes to promoting innovation. However, the number of managers who say they make a relevant contribution to promoting innovation in their company decreased compared to the previous year. In 2016, 67 percent of the managers surveyed said they did so, while in 2015 it was 74 percent, and in 2014, 81 percent.

According to the study, only 22 percent of the entry-level professionals saw their superior as a true role model for applied innovation culture. In 2015, the figure was 26 percent.

“People need to be able to excel to the best of their abilities. To do so, managers need to trust their employees and at the same time entrust them with responsibility,” says Martin Babilas, the CEO of ALTANA. “Only those who have the opportunity to unfold their personality can embrace the development of future-oriented ideas and solutions in a motivated and sustainable way.”

Background to the “Industry Innovation Index” study

In the spring of 2016, the market research institute Forsa conducted 500 telephone interviews with representatives of industrial companies with at least 250 employees for a study commissioned by the specialty chemicals company ALTANA.

A total of 250 management board members, managing directors, and division heads were interviewed. In parallel, Forsa surveyed 250 entry-level professionals from industrial companies aged 18 to 35 with one to five years of professional experience.

This press release and printable graphic can also be found at









ALTANA is a global leader in true specialty chemicals. The Group offers innovative, environmentally compatible solutions for coating manufacturers, paint and plastics processors, the printing and packaging industries, the cosmetics sector and the electrical and electronics industry. The product range includes additives, special coatings and adhesives, effect pigments, sealants and compounds, impregnating resins and varnishes, and testing and measuring instruments. ALTANA's four divisions, BYK Additives & Instruments, ECKART Effect Pigments, ELANTAS Electrical Insulation, and ACTEGA Coatings & Sealants, all occupy a leading position in their target markets with respect to quality, product solution expertise, innovation and service.

Headquartered in Wesel, Germany, the ALTANA Group has 47 production facilities and more than 50 service and research laboratories worldwide. Throughout the Group about 6,000 people work to ensure the worldwide success of ALTANA. In 2015, ALTANA achieved sales of more than 2 billion euros. About 6 percent of sales are invested in research and development every year. Its high earning power and high growth rate make ALTANA one of the most innovative, fastest growing, and profitable chemical companies in the world.