In 2015, Bosch plans to recruit 12,000 trained graduates worldwide. In addition to a number of prospects for mechanical and electrical engineers, the chances for graduates with an IT background are especially favorable. “We are increasing the number associates hired for software design and development. As connectivity expands in every business sector, from Mobility Solutions to Industrial Technology, the importance of software does too,” says Christoph Kübel, member of the board of management and director of industrial relations at Robert Bosch GmbH. The number of associates needed for software design and development will continue to rise in the future. The countries with the greatest need for recruiting trained graduates are India, which is planning some 3,200 new hires; China, which is planning 2,600 new hires; and Germany, whose plans include 1,200 new hires. Three out of every four new associates will be in the field of engineering. The prospects are also favorable for people just starting their professional careers. Almost every third position is open to potential associates with no previous professional experience.
Growing demand for software developers
Bosch is already busy connecting entire cities and bringing cars online, creating access to heating control systems via an app, and automatically integrating its suppliers into the supply chain. It has also connected electric stoves and other household appliances to the internet. As a result, the amount of software and its complexity – in terms of product development and manufacturing as well as for the products and systems themselves – is growing. Consider emergency braking systems for vehicles, for example. Using a radar or video sensor, the emergency braking function is able to detect whether there is an obstacle in the lane ahead. The system’s software evaluates the information in just fractions of a second and then triggers full emergency braking, if necessary.
Bosch is prepared for these demands facing product development and manufacturing. In cooperation with universities in the United States, associates in Palo Alto, California, are developing software for applications including automated driving. The software for the Indego Connect robotic lawnmower was also developed there. Bosch Software Innovations, the Bosch Group’s software and systems unit, designs, develops, and operates software and systems solutions for the internet of things. Robert Bosch Engineering and Business Solutions in India also employs a large number of software specialists. The specialists there, for example, have adapted the software algorithms of a video camera used in quality control in such a way that the camera can perform examinations of the human retina. This solution makes it possible to detect eye diseases more quickly and cost-effectively than before.
Wide range of career opportunities – room for creativity
Start-up fan or corporate enthusiast? They do not have to be at odds with each other because Bosch offers both. The company supports proprietary start-ups as a means of quickly translating research findings into new business fields. Bosch also taps entirely new business fields with small, powerful units. One example of this is Bosch eBike Systems, which has evolved from a start-up into a global player and the European market leader in just five years. Bosch not only facilitates the shift between corporate and start-up structures, but also the move between specialist, project, or leadership career paths.
In addition to a wide range of career opportunities and working environments, Bosch attaches great importance to ensuring room for creativity. As a result, many associates have the option to spend some of their working time on other software projects within the Bosch Group as part of an open-source approach. Associates are able to suggest their own ideas, such as for new products on the internet of things, on Bosch’s internal social business platform known as Bosch Connect. One project that grew out of this aims to make the search for parking spots in big cities easier.
Equal opportunities for women
By 2020, Bosch wants to increase the share of women in leadership positions to 20 percent worldwide. That figure for the company as a whole has already reached more than twelve percent, with certain countries, such as China, having already exceeded the target. “We want more female executives because mixed leadership teams are more successful,” Kübel says. For this reason, Bosch is pursuing a policy of diversity management worldwide, encouraging respect for heterogeneity and non-standard career paths. To provide women with assistance and support on their career paths, Bosch offers special mentoring programs, networks, seminars, and training courses. In total, Bosch invests some 190 million euros each year in the further training and development of associates.
To help reconcile the demands of associates’ professional and private lives, Bosch offers some 100 working-time models – from working from home to part-time employment and job sharing. The technology and service company believes this is one key to its innovative strength, and its guidelines for a flexible and family-friendly working culture apply worldwide and contribute to the satisfaction, productivity, and creativity of associates. In addition to family and child care options, the recognition of family time as a career stepping stone also promotes a family-friendly working culture at Bosch.