Human Resources

ALTANA gears its activities to long-term and sustainable growth. We can only achieve this goal together with our competent and committed employees. We therefore promote the professional development of our staff, prepare them for leadership positions, and enable them to participate in the company’s success. We put particular emphasis on the recruitment of young talent, specialists, and managers.

Our Employees: Our Most Important Asset

ALTANA is a highly innovative globally leading specialty chemicals company. Of overriding importance for the company’s success is our most important resource, our employees, who are motivated and dedicated and have above-average qualifications. They are committed to the respectful corporate culture defined in ALTANA’s Guiding Principles, which is informed by our four central values: appreciation, openness, empowerment to act, and trust. 

As an attractive employer, we offer our some 6,400 employees around the world individualized further training opportunities, promote their professional development in a targeted manner, and support their health with special preventive measures. Among the measures we offer are many voluntary additional benefits. The success of our offer is reflected by a survey conducted in 2018 at a few of ALTANA’s German sites within the framework of a bachelor’s thesis. Around one-fourth of the employees participated. 

The survey participants were “completely satisfied” (40.5 percent) or “satisfied” (56.4 percent) with the additional benefits offered. For most of the participants, the most important benefits are pension provision, Christmas and vacation money, flextime and compensatory time off, profit participation, and the cafeteria. Nearly 70 percent indicate that no important benefits are missing at present. 

Human Resource Development and Talent Management

To ensure that the company remains highly competitive in globalized sales markets, a primary focus of the ALTANA Group’s human resource strategy is to secure young talent. Special emphasis is placed on consistent and global promotion of internal talent. By 2020, we aim to fill around 70 percent of all management positions worldwide with ­ALTANA staff. To this end, we are continuously improving our human resource development programs. In the year under review, we reworked our competence model. The model helps us develop and recruit employees on the basis of our corporate strategy and our growth targets. In addition, the competence model provides us with orientation enabling us to determine competencies that our employees already have when they join the company and ones we have to (further) develop together with them. 

In 2018, the Advanced Leadership Program (ALP) was launched. With ALP the program the company’s leadership culture is strengthened and networks between managers are intensified. Selected experienced managers with a great willingness to change and high potential for taking more responsibility (for example, globally or cross-divisionally) can take part in this program. Twelve managers are already taking advantage of the opportunities offered by ALP.

In the year under review, a globally oriented Management Development Program (MDP) with six modules was ­offered again. Seventeen participants from nine countries participated. The program is geared to employees with a strong willingness to change and high international mobility, as well as potential for strategic positions. In the context of MDP, they are intensively prepared for global leadership roles and have the opportunity to be part of networks.

On a regional level, dp Europe was introduced in the year under review. In the Regional Development Program (Regional DP) fourteen participants are prepared for operating and strategic functions. The months-long programs MDP and Regional DP enable valuable networks within the ­ALTANA Group for promoting exchange between regions and subsidiaries. 

Furthermore, we in the ALTANA Group carry out specially developed dialogs with all employees on a regular basis. They promote the employees’ professional development by assessing their development. Within the framework of this progress dialog carried out each year, the disciplinary supervisor holds personal talks with each employee at least once a year, which forms the basis for the respective target agreement. 

If a work contract specifies that the target agreements impact the compensation of the employee in question, the supervisor carries out a performance dialog in addition to the objective-setting dialog. All of the dialog elements together constitute the ALTANA compass dialog. 

Women in Leadership Positions

Diversity in leadership positions is an important goal of our Keep Changing Agenda. At the end of 2018, 30.2 percent percent of our employees in Germany and 22.3 percent of our managers there were women. ALTANA’s medium- to long-term goal is to increase the share of women in leadership positions to the percentage of women in the company’s total workforce.

The initiative LEADING WOMEN @ ALTANA is providing important impetus. It includes a mentoring program for women that prepares women who have potential for a possible leadership role and accompanies women who have taken on a leadership role for the first time. The mentoring program makes an important contribution toward increasing the share of women in leadership positions.

To this end, teams consisting of a mentee and a mentor meet regularly over a period of twelve months. The mentor shares his or her knowledge and experience with the mentee. On account of the success, ALTANA continued the mentoring project in 2018 with 19 new tandems across its sites in Germany and is examining whether to roll out the project Europe-wide.


Our recruitment activities received two awards in 2018. ­ALTANA received top results regarding online recruiting channels from BEST RECRUITERS and the Potentialpark study. BEST RECRUITERS gave us the Gold award in its ranking of the chemical industry. In the overall ranking, which evaluates the online recruiting qualities of companies in all sectors, ALTANA finished in third place. The top 400 employees in Austria, Germany, and Switzerland were examined.

In the 2018 Potentialpark study ranking, we also finished in a top position (16th place again) and were awarded as one of the “top 30 in Germany.”

For the recruitment of young talent, the ALTANA Group has relied for years on cooperation with institutes of higher education. The focus of ALTANA’s activities has been extended from “chemistry” to IT courses of study. It promotes, for example, projects and final theses at Rhine-Waal and Niederrhein universities. 

For the ninth time ALTANA supported students majoring in chemistry, chemical and coatings engineering, business informatics, human resource management, and mechanical engineering with a Deutschlandstipendium scholarship. The 27 recipients not only received financial support, but could also personally experience ALTANA within the framework of various events, enable themselves to be considered for internships and degree theses, take advantage of mentoring offers or take part in specialist seminars. 

Since mid-2018 ALTANA has partici­pated in a program called “Make Something Out of Your Studies” launched by Niederrhein University. Students ­majoring in coatings technology or instrumental analytics who are accepted into ALTANA’s program are given a ­realistic picture of jobs they can pursue after they finish their studies. We started with eight students.