Career Development – Create Your Own Career

Career Development

50 countries, eight business divisions and 126,000 employees: Bertelsmann is a multifaceted company that can offer you extensive career and development prospects. Relationships between managers and employees that are based on trust are simply the norm for us.

We encourage our colleagues to engage in regular exchange with one another and to bolster Group-wide networks. Once you start, we provide you with support in reaching your personal and professional goals and meeting new challenges. Through regular exchange with your manager, you have the opportunity to take your skills and personal strengths to a new level. With innovative learning opportunities and our worldwide network, we support you in realizing your individual potential.


Talent Management

Plan a Career that is tailored to You

Bertelsmann offers a number of different talent pools that foster the exchange between and development of executives and prospective managers across all divisions worldwide, thus encourages them to form and participate in Group-wide networks. 

As a network member, in these pools, you’ll receive support for your personal development and advice on the next career steps to take. To start, we create an employee profile based on a personality assessment and an in-depth interview, which can then be used for further career planning. Should you switch to another division, role or country, you’ll receive advice and support from your talent pool manager. Furthermore, at various events you’ll have the opportunity to discuss strategic issues relevant to the Group with top managers. In addition to building up their personal networks, people often take home ideas for cross-divisional collaborations and synergies.

Bertelsmann University

As an international media, services and education company company in a dynamic business environment, Bertelsmann's most important resource and asset are its dedicated and highly qualified employees.
But as this environment undergoes rapid changes, employees are facing new challenges every day. Therefore, Bertelsmann supports employees in knowledge management and skill-building to prepare them for the requirements of their jobs.

Bertelsmann University is designed to drive organizational capability: It offers innovative state-of-the-art learning solutions and formats that systematically promote and develop Bertelsmann competencies and skills worldwide, across divisions and hierarchies.
Bertelsmann University is divided into four campuses that foster individual learning and development, strengthen core business functions and their networks, develop executive leadership skills, and support the Group’s strategic transformation process. 

Bertelsmann University

The Strategy Campus – Promoting Strategy and Transformation

Innovative learning solutions, combined with expert knowledge from practitioners and academics, enable Bertelsmann executives and talents to continually hone their strategic capabilities and expand their capacity for innovation. New, seemingly abstract trends are addressed to formulate concrete learnings. The Strategy Campus supports the Group’s strategy and transformation process.

The Leadership Campus – Shaping the Bertelsmann Leadership Culture

Targeted leadership programs, executive coaching and carefully selected leadership instruments are put at the disposal of Bertelsmann’s executives to reflect on their respective leadership challenges and to expand their personal scope for action. In various formats, leaders learn to further develop their leadership style and to apply modern approaches of successful leadership. Thus, the Leadership Campus promotes and supports the continual development of the corporate culture based on Bertelsmann’s leadership principles.

The Function Campus – Supporting Functional Excellence

The Function Campus supports core business functions and their strategic aims across divisions such as HR, IT and Finance. Accordingly, its multi-tiered, functional learning programs are specifically developed to expand critical competencies, capabilities and skills in a given field. The Function Campus acts as a strategic learning platform to foster function-specific and cross-divisional communities, facilitating continuous learning between and among their members.

The Individual Campus – Enhancing Talent and Ability

The Individual Campus offers Bertelsmann employees a broad range of learning solutions for their personal and professional development – independent of the employee’s role, function or division. In acknowledgment of individual learning needs, the campus offers both short learning nuggets and comprehensive training programs. In this way, the Individual Campus supports employees with knowledge management and skill building, to prepare them for the demands of their jobs – today and in the future.

Corporate Management Development

It takes the best employees to convince our customers in the future with creative content, innovative concepts, first-class services and perfect logistics. Thus identify talents early on, make sure they are committed to the company and continuously prepare them for new tasks. We do not develop employees on the basis of skills, but on the basis of potential. Because: At Bertelsmann, replacements come from within the organization whenever possible.

We accompany our employees on their way: In our development programs, they can build informal networks, the Bertelsmann University programs provide targeted support and prepare them for developing further. We offer full transparency with regard to career options and personal contact with the top management. 

Understand Bertelsmann as a knowledge and experience network: Your own top performance qualifies you for further development steps. Your personality and your performance determine your career.

HR Tools

Open Discussion for a Successful Collaboration

A regular exchange of perspectives between employees and managers is an integral part of Bertelsmann’s corporate culture. Annual dialogs are being held to discuss mutual expectations and objectives, and to reflect on the employee’s performance over the past year. 

Bertelsmann places employees’ respective assignments in the context of the company’s strategic direction, focusing on the individual employee’s potential for performance and development.

  •  Performance and Development Dialog      
  •  Agreement on Assignments and Objectives
  •  Team Talk
  •  Employee Survey
  •  Bertelsmann corporate idea management (bessermachen@Bertelsmann)

Performance and Development Dialog

The Performance and Development Dialog comprises an evaluation of the employee’s individual performance in the light of work results and behavior. A revised version of the form is now available, containing the new Bertelsmann competencies for employees and managers. These new competencies focus more on observable behavior, which facilitates constructive feedback and target-oriented development. A uniform set of success-related competencies valid for the entire Bertelsmann Group also make performance evaluation fairer.

In addition, the entire dialog is centered on the subject of development, so personal strengths and development areas can not only be identified, but also addressed even more specifically through appropriate measures. The Competency and Development Booklets contain some inspirational ideas for competency-based development measures. 

Agreement on Assignments and Objectives

The delegation of responsibility is an integral part of the collaborative management model at Bertelsmann. The Agreement on Assignments and Objectives allows the delegation of responsibilities in line with general company goals. At the beginning of each year, employees and their respective managers meet to agree on assignments and objectives for the coming year.

This open dialog begins with a discussion of both participants’ respective expectations. Ideally, this is followed by an agreement on three to a maximum of five assignments or objectives, which should be formulated as concretely as possible and include clear and, as far as is possible, measurable criteria for their achievement. The rest of the interview is devoted to discussion of the organizational framework and resources to support achievement of the assignments and objectives. A further meeting to discuss and review achievement of the assignments and objectives takes place about 10-12 months later, using the previously defined success criteria as a basis for evaluation. 

Team Talk

The Team Talk is the annual group meeting between employees and their supervisors, i.e. a “bottom-up” feedback process. The “Team Talk” is about cooperation within the group and the supervisor’s management conduct. It represents an important element of Bertelsmann’s corporate concept of partnership: the idea is to strengthen cooperation, provide feedback for supervisors and thereby help them to improve their work as managers. The purpose of the Team Talk is to gather suggestions and ideas that are then translated into specific measures.

Bertelsmann Employee Survey

What do employees say about their work? How do they rate their supervisors? What do they think of their working conditions? 

The employee survey is part and parcel of Bertelsmann’s corporate culture of partnership. For the first time as early as 1977 and worldwide since 2002, employees are regularly asked to anonymously assess important aspects of their working life by means of a questionnaire. Questions regard, for example, working conditions, the leadership behavior of direct superiors and teamwork. The aim of the survey is to enter into a dialog with employees and to jointly initiate and shape change. It is therefore mandatory for all managers to discuss the results and derive an action plan with their team.

Internal Mobility

Discover our different Group Divisions

The way in which colleagues from different divisions share knowledge and experience is an important contributing factor to Bertelsmann’s success as an international company. 

To facilitate this dialog in our decentralized corporate structure, we help you develop your career through various programs and networks. On our internal job board you’ll not only find current job listings, but also information on switching divisions and first-hand reports from people who have done so. We also promote cross-divisional exchange through the Bertelsmann Exchange Initiative: We enable you to gain new professional experience in a different position within the Bertelsmann Group for up to three months.

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