IT-Jobs at Daimler: Visiting a fair from your living room

No long drives or flights, and no struggling to get through the crowds — with Daimler’s virtual online fair, every visitor can get all the important IT information they need from the comfort of home.

The IT@Daimler online fair celebrated its premiere last year. The event was a huge success for both our team and the more than 2,000 people around the world who registered for the fair, and its format enabled us to fill numerous international jobs in IT departments at Daimler. The fair was recently held for the second time, and we’d therefore like to take the opportunity to explain the format to you in more detail — from our perspective and the perspective of a visitor.

Accessible from everywhere

My name is Maren Hirzel and I didn’t join the online fair organizational team at Daimler until February 2018, so it was such a great experience for me to help organize the format this year and be part of the fair when it finally took place.

Daimler AG makes truly incredible things possible for fair visitors and potential job applicants. For one thing, they can log on to the platform and participate virtually in the fair from any location around the world — all they need is an Internet connection.

They can also discuss specialist topics with Daimler-IT experts for free, after which they can apply directly for vacant IT positions in Germany and abroad.

Behind the scenes at the online fair

A visitor to the fair probably can’t even imagine what goes on behind the scenes and how Daimler-IT experts and HR employees spend the entire day chatting with fair visitors on their laptops.

There wasn’t much happening at our stand early in the morning, but there was plenty of action for our colleagues in India and Singapore at that time. Things started picking up for us at around 9 a.m.

Group chat with Daimler experts

Visitors to the fair were able to communicate with each other in a large group chat in our virtual lounge and also had the opportunity to chat directly with Daimler employees. In addition, they were able to chat directly with people who appeared as avatars at the information stands, or they could just sit back in the Auditorium and watch presentations and videos that showed what IT work is like at Daimler.

Some applicants decided to play things safe by chatting directly with several representatives from Germany at the same time.

190 applications including some outstanding job candidates

The fair produced very impressive results. For example, we received a total of 190 applications for positions in Germany and we’re sure that we managed to recruit several outstanding candidates.

One such candidate last year was Christian Fischer, who basically began his career at Daimler AG when he participated in the IT@Daimler online fair in November. His girlfriend, who works at Daimler, was the one who told him about the fair. In the following section, Christian describes how he navigated through Daimler’s virtual fair halls and what he found there:

I used the online form to register for the fair a few days before it took place — I wanted to be sure I would be able to log on easily and start checking things out immediately on the day of the fair.

I logged on to the platform at around 7:30 a.m. and then entered the virtual fair hall. I was moving back and forth between locations during the week the fair was held, but on the day of the fair I was in my home office in Stuttgart drinking my morning coffee.

It’s really fascinating to be able to participate virtually in a fair from the comfort of your home — and still feel like you’re right in the middle of the action. I’ve been to several fairs and for me the online fair was “completely normal.” The digital format offers a realistic fair experience and doesn’t inhibit anything in any way — in fact the opposite is true.

Okay, maybe the design and depiction of the fair stands could have been a little more customized and modern, but the classical variant made it easy for me to quickly get my bearings.

A glimpse of the IT world at Daimler

At first I just looked around to see what the IT fair halls had to offer us visitors. The stands were staffed all day, so there was no time pressure with regard to visiting certain ones.

I then used the auditorium to watch a couple of videos about various IT topics at Daimler in order to get a glimpse of the IT world at the company. I liked the videos a lot, and they were also very informative.

I also used the chat features, of course, and exchanged messages with an HR employee on one of the German stands. She told me about her personal experiences at Daimler, which gave me the courage to apply to a major international corporation.

I was very positively surprised by the way the chat went — the HR employee really took the time to talk to me and give me more detailed information about what actually goes on at Daimler.

Completely authentic

I also chatted in parallel with other IT employees and HR staff members who were working the stands in India and China, for example. I was surprised by the quick responses I received and also by the open and authentic way people at Daimler communicate. It took only seconds to get a response to a question.

I also tried to talk to other fair visitors about IT topics in general, but this proved to be pretty difficult because all of them were more interested in talking to people from Daimler, which I understand of course.

From the online fair to a job interview

I had sent in an application using the online form a few days before the fair, and on the day of the fair I asked whether it had actually been received. I then had my first interview at Daimler about a month later, which was a lot faster than I would have expected from a large corporation. I used the time leading up to my first day at Daimler to finish my doctoral dissertation — it was truly a win-win situation.

The online fair not only allowed me to get to know Daimler much better; it also made it possible for me to interact very quickly with Daimler employees from all over the world. That wouldn’t have been possible at a normal fair, especially when you consider your own time constraints in such a situation.

I also very much liked the fact that the freedom and anonymity offered by the fair format allowed me to just be myself and not feel pressured. Anyone who takes this format seriously, gets involved, and gets themselves a bit organized could end up starting a career in IT at Daimler.

I would say that anyone interested in IT at Daimler, whether it’s just to learn new things or to help with a planned job application, should visit the next online fair and take a little time check out all the great things there. Where else can you visit an interesting fair without having to leave your couch — the fair comes to you!

Maren Hirzel is a working student and supports the team in the context of the project "People in IT" around the topics recruiting and marketing for IT departments.