Chal-Tec is one of a kind company in Berlin. With 12 different brands, the company is as diverse as its people. They are growing very quickly, hiring people for different sectors: content, brand management, brand communications department, quality assurance, technical parts, customer support, IT, sales, marketing, purchasing, logistics, acquisitions, everything.
If you are a boring nerd, this is not your place. If you are passionate, social and creative – you should apply for their vacancies now!
In our interview with Yvonne Stoffel, Head of Human Resources of Chal-Tec Vertriebs- und Handels- GmbH, you will understand why people from all over the world want to work for them. You should apply as well!
Immigrant Spirit: Hello, Yvonne. Thank you for this interview. For those that still don’t know Chal-Tec, could you please describe what Chal-Tec is?
Yvonne: Chal-Tec was founded around 9 years ago by Peter Chaljawski. He is still the CEO of the company, and we are producing various consumer electronics.
We have our own brands and understand ourselves as a brand incubator.
What I really love about the company is that it grows through its own growth. This means: Peter started with his own resources, and the company has grown to more than 200 employees at the moment. All through the company’s own money, without any investors.
We have the dynamic of a start-up company, with the safety of a naturally-grown company.
We make shopping unique, and we are really, really excited about all of this!
Immigrant Spirit: What would you say is the profile of your team?
Yvonne: Our main common factor is that everyone here is really passionate about their jobs, the brands, the company, or all of them together. People are also very keen to developing themselves, to learn something new, to create something, in each department and in each part of the company.
They have strong communication skills, and they are happy to work in an international team. We have strong team spirit, and we spend working time not only as working time, but as living time. We really enjoy spending time together, and even have activities outside work together.
This is essential. To be the perfect candidate, you need to be quite ambitious, courageous even, to try and build something new.
Immigrant Spirit: Walking through your office, I saw you have a table tennis, a very friendly environment, a lot of open space… What can one of our readers expect when joining Chal-Tec?
Yvonne: When people enter the company, they receive a friendly, warm welcome by their team, our HR and the whole company. We have a professional environment with space to create something new, and you can expect a very open-minded company. Space for discussions, to think out of the box, share new ideas and develop new ideas together. To make it happen.
We have more than 24 nationalities here. The main advantage of this is getting new ideas all the time. Each person has a different point of view for what we are doing and thinking of.
I love this from the personal aspect as well, as we are able to practice languages learned in school, share ideas about vacation destinations. It is really exciting!
Also, I felt that you can really create something new here. You are learning something each day, and you have the freedom to build with your ideas. It is a very flexible, warm and dynamic environment compared to other companies.
As we are producing DJ equipment, we have DJ workshops in our flagship store here in Berlin. Internally, we have two large parties throughout the year here in the company, and the last one was a summer party and a Christmas party.
We also have smaller celebrations in between, when we reach milestones, and team/sector reunions. It is like a big family, as we all have the same direction, we are here for the same reason. So we work hard together and we really love to spend some time together as well.
Immigrant Spirit: What does someone have to have to be successful when applying to work for Chal-Tec?
Yvonne: We need a Cover Letter, or a Letter of Motivation, which is even better to understand what that candidate expect for his career and can deliver to Chal-Tec.
We are looking for individuals, we are looking for potential, so the letter of motivation is even better because we can learn about that person, why he or she is interested in that specific job, or why they want to build their career in that particular job area.
This is not typical in the German labor market, I guess. We often have that traditional person, focused on studying with a conventional CV. In Chal-Tec, we also have more open-minded people, some have not even finished their studies but are really creative and very competent. It all comes down to your motivation.
Immigrant Spirit: You have more than 50 open positions… What are some of the areas you are currently expanding?
Yvonne: Actually, we have more than 70 vacancies as of today! We are growing really fast, in all parts of the company. It is quite interesting that we are building up almost every part of this company. We are growing in content, brand management, brand communications department, quality assurance, technical parts, customer support, IT, sales, marketing, purchasing, logistics, acquisitions, everything.
Immigrant Spirit: What are the most challenging areas to find great candidates?
Yvonne: They are all very challenging, in a way, but I believe IT is the hardest. We are in a city with several IT companies, all growing.
We are also really looking for the right person. We are not looking for typical IT nerds, we are looking for IT professionals that are willing to integrate and share ideas.
Furthermore, we are growing very quickly in our marketing team, especially in online marketing. Finding great people can be a huge challenge.
We are also looking for international sales people. We have open positions for native-level French speakers, which can be very hard to fill.
Immigrant Spirit: What traces of personality are you looking for in new employees?
Yvonne: We are looking for ambitious, passionate people, willing to change the world, bring ideas to the company and willing to stand up for their ideas.
This person needs to be someone who loves to work in a team, with great socializing skills, and interested in personal development and growing their career. We want people that are interested in joining us in our journey for a long time.
Immigrant Spirit: What made Chal-Tec so successful over the years?
Yvonne: Chal-Tec has a fast pace. Everything happens fast here.
Also, our people is a key factor. People working here are very passionate, and they are always up for the challenge and up for the company. In the end, it all comes down to each individual.
Also, differently from so many other start-ups, we offer our own products and brands. We are focused on that. We have a way of understanding what the consumer needs, and we design products and brands for those requirements. This is something essential for the company.
Immigrant Spirit: What are the main areas you are working in?
Yvonne: We are focused on consumer electronics. One of our main areas is kitchen appliances, and we also sell light systems, audio systems, DJ equipment, and every year we develop more and more products and segments of business. It all comes down to what the customer needs, if we have that already or if we can develop that, maybe create something new.
We always try to stay connected to the market and bring new products.
Immigrant Spirit: Which markets do you work in?
Yvonne: We are working in more than 25 countries at the moment. We have various shops in those markets. Our biggest markets are France, the UK, Germany, Spain, and also smaller countries like the Netherlands and Finland.
We also offer customer service in those languages, so we have more than 25 languages spoken in our offices. This helps us build our company.
Most of our activities are centralized here, in Berlin. We are growing more and more and constantly expanding our office space.
Immigrant Spirit: What are the advantages of being headquartered in Berlin?
Yvonne: Berlin is one of the most popular cities in the world right now. It is centrally located in Europe as well, which is great for our business, and has a great cultural life. Cinemas, theaters, libraries, the music scene, clubs, bars, pubs… Also, Berlin is growing and you can feel that, which makes it very interesting to live in.
Immigrant Spirit: Where would you like to see Chal-Tec in the future?
Many new challenges will show up, and I am personally passionate about this from the HR perspective, as we are also responsible for personal development, to retain talents and develop people into their potential.
We also offer support so people can grow and improve. We are working on people’s career path, so they know what are the challenges and opportunities for each department.
We also support them to develop skills, like training at the job, mentoring, and we are also working on giving an academia to support in new skills and knowledge.
Immigrant Spirit: What would be your key message for potential candidates about Chal-Tec?
Yvonne: The one thing I want to say to candidates is that we want them to be path-driven, highly dynamic, passionate people. We want people to walk in the same direction as the company does, embracing challenges and opportunities to create something on your own inside the company’s environment. Being a businessman in the company.