Employee report


As of the end of 2016, TÜV SÜD had approximately 24,000 employees. That corresponds to a total of 23,280 employees (full-time equivalents) and thus an increase of 14.0% compared to the prior year, in which 20,446 employees (full-time equivalents) were employed as of the reporting date.

TÜV SÜD created 2,834 new jobs at the existing companies in the fiscal year: 287 in Germany and 2,547 in other countries. Headcount increased by 1,266 as a result of acquisitions. The disposal of non-core activities in Japan reduced headcount by 9 employees (full-time equivalents). In the prior year, the disposal of an eastern European company reduced the headcount by 16 (full-time equivalents).

The average number of full-time equivalents (FTEs) for the year 2016 was 21,738, which is 7.5% up on the prior year. Nearly 90% of new employees work outside Germany, where the average number of FTEs rose by 12.4%.23

As a technical services provider, we mainly recruit in the area of natural sciences, where men still significantly outnumber women, particularly in Germany. The share of female employees in Germany remained unchanged at nearly 29%, in other countries, the share continues to be higher than in Germany at 32.3%, and also above the prior-year figure (31.4%). The percentage of female employees in the Group totaled 30.6%.

In March 2016, the Gender Balance Group initiative was adopted by the Board of Management. The aim of this initiative is to significantly increase the share of women occupying specialist and management positions. Globally, the share of women in the top management level (excluding the Board of Management) is 6.3% and the next level down is 11.3%. Through strategic development programs along the entire employee life cycle as well as the expansion of the program for reconciling work and private life, the share is to grow in the coming years.

Our employees are on average around 42 years of age, with a marked age gap between Germany and other countries. Employees in Germany tend to be older. They stay with the company for an average of twelve years, which is longer than their colleagues abroad, who tend to leave TÜV SÜD after five years.

Staff turnover throughout the Group stands at 6.4%, slightly above the prior-year figure of 5.9%. At 2.3% (prior year: 2.5%), the turnover rate in Germany is at a low level. By contrast, a slight increase from 9.3% in the prior year to 9.8% in the fiscal year was seen in other countries.


Headcount was increased in all three operating segments. The INDUSTRY Segment continues to account for the largest number of employees. The MOBILITY Segment grew most strongly in ­relative terms compared to the prior year. The rise in personnel in both segments is mainly due to the acquisition of the Spanish ATISAE Group with 1,249 employees. Headcount in the ­CERTIFICATION Segment grew marginally. Here, we are continuing the expansion of the Product Service business so that we can offer our customers our entire range of services, in particular at the test laboratories.

More than half of the total TÜV SÜD workforce was employed outside Germany in 2016. New jobs were created in the EMEA and ASIA Regions. In AMERICAS, headcount was approximately at the prior year level. Additions were offset by capacity adjustments to take account of the ­continuing unfavorable economic situation in the oil and gas business as well as in Brazil.


To enhance the efficiency and quality of HR work, we have gradually been introducing a new form of HR organization since 2014, in which administrative activities are pooled in shared services areas. At the same time, we are optimizing the existing HR processes and standardizing the HR IT systems for recruitment and performance appraisal. In the meantime, the transformation of the HR organizations has continued in Germany and the UK, in the focus countries of the AMERICAS Region as well as in the ASIA Region. With the reorganization, the HR business partners are relieved of routine tasks and are given more freedom to provide comprehensive advice on the personnel policy of the experts and management for whom they are responsible. In order to support the HR business partners in their new role, we have conducted numerous workshops and training sessions this year.


We aim to assess the performance of our employees as objectively as possible and on the basis of uniform criteria. To achieve this, we have developed an IT system that enables supervisors and employees to check achievement against goals online and at any time. The system has been used in Asia since 2010. In 2016, we expanded the user circle to the USA, so that now more than 7,000 employees are registered online. We want to introduce the system in other countries in 2017.


TÜV SÜD has been growing steadily for many years, and the number of employees has been growing with it. By 2020, more than 27,000 people are likely to be employed by TÜV SÜD.

At the same time, the demands we place on our employees will also change. Digital transformation in particular requires a high degree of agility in order to take account of the associated change in our business. This is why we have been working intensively for several years to recruit skilled employees for TÜV SÜD in all our markets, retain them and create an environment for them in which they can continuously develop. To this end, we offer our employees extensive training measures, as their abilities are the basis for the future viability of our company. This is particularly required for managers and experts at TÜV SÜD. We want to foster and continuously enhance their talent and knowledge. With the Leadership & Expert Development (LED) project, we have therefore put systematic and continuous development of experts and management at the very heart of TÜV SÜD’s international HR work.

A lot has happened since the project launch in 2013: after the introduction of a program for upper management level, we launched the global program for high potentials. From 2014 onwards, middle management was included in the program and in 2015 we launched systematic expert development, preparing them to take on more demanding tasks. With the global Expert Development Program (EDP), we want to reach experienced senior experts in order to further develop them in core competences such as innovation management, product development, customer orientation or knowledge transfer. In this way, we aim to prepare these experts for new tasks and, at the same time, to increase employee retention and prevent the loss of knowledge through fluctuation. After two successful rounds with a total of 30 participating experts in the fiscal year, two runs of the program with up to 20 participants from all divisions and regions are planned every year until 2020.

Reconciling the demands of career and family
Employees on parental leave532467
Percentage of employees in part-time employment during parental leave20.3 %17.8 %
Total percentage of employees in part-time employment17.0 %20.3 %
Average duration of parental leave4.2 months5.8 months
Thereof women14.5 months16.1 months
Thereof men1.4 months1.4 months

Only Germany without Hesse.


We have been promoting special talents for many years with the Jump! program, which entered the fourth round in 2016, and prepares employees with potential for divisional and cross-regional management tasks. Accompanied by mentors, 17 high potential employees from different countries are currently working on specific tasks and projects. Four further training modules serve to develop the personality as well as the development of leadership skills in an international context. Since the start of the program in 2009, 64.5% of the participants went on to successfully take over a new function in the company. Some now also hold higher management positions.


In 2016, 137 trainees prepared for their careers at TÜV SÜD in Germany (prior year: 127). Many of them combine theory and practice by participating in dual track courses in collaboration with universities of cooperative education for vehicle engineering and services marketing.


After conducting the second employee survey in 2015, we evaluated the results in the fiscal year and defined corresponding follow-up measures. In addition to numerous activities at team and department level, more than 80 region- or company-specific follow-up measures were initiated. The focus was on the areas of workload and organization, work-life balance, communication, leadership, strategy as well as collaboration throughout the company.


Consistently good results in surveys and employer rankings confirm time and time again: TÜV SÜD is a highly attractive employer, particularly for engineers and technical specialists. Students and graduates in technical subjects rate our company highly as a potential employer. This year, we further consolidated our good position in comparison with competitors. Our activities are increasingly recognized in international comparison. In the “Excellence Employer of China 2016” competition, TÜV SÜD in China was acknowledged as one of the 100 companies with outstanding HR management and received the prize for the best HR strategy. In the UK, TÜV SÜD Wallace Whittle was honored as “Employer of the Year” in the category of medium-sized companies for its promotion of young talent.

TÜV SÜD remains active at institutions of higher education in order to reach potential applicants at an early stage and in a targeted manner. We regularly use graduate job fairs, specialist presentations and dedicated in-house events in our recruiting and cooperate closely with student initiatives. We give students in a wide variety of disciplines the opportunity to write their bachelor’s and master’s theses on practical topics at TÜV SÜD. Last but not least, we support a total of 25 students at Munich University of Applied Sciences, TU Kaiserslautern as well as Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Nürnberg-Erlangen, with grants through the “Deutschlandstipendium” initiative.


As part of our 150th anniversary, we launched the Horizons program in 2016 to initiate an international youth exchange for our employees’ children between the ages of 14 and 18. We want to encourage personal relationships among our employees and their families around the world, beyond national and company boundaries. After the application phase in 2016, the first participants will arrive at their host families in the summer of 2017 and will spend two weeks at one of TÜV SÜD’s global locations. The company bears a large part of the costs.


Reconciling the demands of career and family is a key element of our corporate social responsibility. A large number of programs and offerings are available to our employees, ranging from searches for child care facilities through to support with care for family members. The utilization of the service confirms the attractiveness of this service for our employees. A current cost-benefit analysis also confirmed the effectiveness of our programs in 2016. To continuously optimize our commitment, we have regularly participated in the “berufundfamilie” audit since 2009. In 2015, we successfully passed this for the third time.

In the fiscal year, we began intensifying the communication of our diverse range of services and, in particular, integrating TÜV SÜD’s executives even more closely into the programs.


In line with the increasing internationalization of our company, we are also pursuing an international approach to establishing corporate healthcare management. A Global Health Policy will be adopted shortly which will promote, among other things, the global organization of health protection as well as minimum standards and key figures, as well as first aid and emergency management, risk assessment and industrial hygiene. It supplements the works agreement developed together with the group works council in 2014.

We developed and introduced a health index in the fiscal year based on data from the global employee survey. In addition to the locally collected key figures and indices, including accident and sickness levels or the rates of participation in healthcare promotion actions, the health index will be the benchmark for our company’s healthcare management, as we want to measure the success of our activities even more closely.

This year, we also reorganized our first aid and emergency management. Central coordination enables efficient control of the designation and training of first aiders as well as secured processes in the rescue chain. TÜV SÜD is committed to even more effective emergency management beyond the legal framework and provides AED devices (Automated External Defibrillators) at various sites throughout Germany.

Cooperation with International SOS, a service provider specializing in worldwide medical and safety-relevant support services for employees of large companies, has enabled all TÜV SÜD employees on business trips to use a comprehensive network of assistance centers since the beginning of 2017 in order to provide fast and competent assistance in an emergency. Experts are available around the clock in more than 70 countries and in over 90 languages.

We want to support our employees’ own initiatives concerning healthcare with company-wide healthcare campaigns. After the successful premiere of the “Mental fitness” campaign in 2015, we focused this year on the topic of a healthy back, under the motto “Boost your back health”. We reached a large number of our employees both at home and abroad, by means of numerous workshops, webinars in German and English as well as back exercises available online.

We have rounded off our commitment for many years with proven offerings such as flu vaccinations and colorectal cancer screenings as well as healthcare activities at individual locations. Again, we see the attractiveness of our offer confirmed by continuously increasing numbers of participants.