Who will be a rolling miller?
Target group specific employer branding in the economic miracle
During the boom of the 1950s, workers were desperately sought after. Metallwerke Schwarzwald - part of Wieland since 1931 - therefore advertised with an elaborate brochure to attract young men, who were sold the strenuous job as a rolling miller with numerous arguments.
"Who will become a rolling miller" is asked in large red letters on the title page of the (unfortunately undated) eight-page brochure - and the answer is given immediately: "The predominantly practically minded young man!" Completely unthinkable under today's laws, the targeted addressing of a very specific group of people was still completely normal in the 1950s. The only passage that would satisfy current regulations would be the one describing the job profile: "Anyone who wants to learn, who is hard-working and reliable, who likes to operate large machines and enjoys working independently, who does not want to work on an assembly line but still wants to work with others, is very welcome at Metallwerke Schwarzwald.
But where the brochure becomes more concrete, every labour lawyer would intervene today. After all, page 4 states: "There are professions that place relatively high demands on intellectual abilities, while others require particular physical robustness. But there is also a profession that should interest the practically minded boy. We mean the profession of the rolling miller."
At the push of a button, the rolling miller can trigger a rolling pressure of 1200 tons - an argument that seems so important that it is shown in striking graphics on a large scale. Other factors are also mentioned - such as the canteen, the washrooms or the works doctor who regularly examines the apprentices "to reassure the parents".
Over three pages, the brochure then lists the rolling mill's activities in detail in words and pictures, and finishes off with wetting the appetite for the job. After just two years of apprenticeship, one could become "first man" at the machine, and those who are "particularly capable" could even become foremen or master craftsmen at a young age.
It is not known whether and what success the brochure had. Nevertheless, it is an outstanding example of the effort - and the arguments - used to recruit employees during the economic miracle.
With messages that appear to stem from thoroughly archaic thought structures, school leavers were recruited. But they should also ask themselves the question: "What interests me most?"