About Company

  • Global leader in cleaning technology
  • 11,000 employees
  • 100 Offices
  • 60 Countries
  • More than 50,000 service centers offer non-stop support to customers around the world


Faced with the need to make better, fairer talent decisions, Kärcher turned to SHL’s talent assessments to standardize its HR processes globally and ensure high-quality hiring and development outcomes.

The Challenge

Kärcher achieved an annual turnover [revenue] of 2.12 billion Euros, the highest in its history. It was the latest landmark in the company’s continuing transformation from a mid-sized to a global company. And just as its revenue continues to grow, so does its requirement to hire and develop the best.

“There is a long-standing tradition of employee and managerial development at Kärcher, reflected not only in the number of days spent in training, but also in our high expectations of what it should deliver,” says Carmen Kiesele, HR Specialist and Project Manager.

She explains, “We were looking for suitable talent assessment solutions that would enable us to manage our talent more efficiently globally, while maintaining the quality of our personnel selection and development.

We needed to be able to make objective, fair and informed decisions about who we hired and developed in a national and international context. The assessments we used had to be scientifically robust and available online in as many languages as possible, backed up by national and international groups.”


  • Secure quality outcomes from recruiting and development programs
  • Manage talent more efficiently worldwide

The Solution

In searching for a suitable talent management solution, Kärcher quickly became aware of SHL Talent Assessments. “The online solutions on offer, such as the OPQ personality assessment, were the convincing factor, as they are so easy and efficient to set up, and they minimize the risk of bias or of the results being falsified,” says Kiesele.

Kärcher also found that the solution could easily be applied globally. “Our need for an internationally applicable solution was answered by the variety of languages and norm groups available,” continues Kiesele, “thereby standardizing and professionalizing our talent management worldwide.”

Before the new processes were introduced, HR managers from all regions were trained and verified by experienced SHL trainers, guaranteeing that the assessment results were properly interpreted and that they were able to provide high-quality feedback for recruitment and development purposes.

A custom personality report was developed, which profiled a candidate’s strengths and weaknesses against the Kärcher competency model, along with a corresponding HR interview questionnaire. Armed with these, HR specialists throughout the world could verify the ‘fit’ of applicants and employees to Kärcher’s corporate culture, enabling more accurate and informed talent decisions.

The Results

Today, Kärcher uses SHL Talent Assessments in 20 languages and across 48 countries for personal and team development, and as a tool for predicting current and potential performance. “We have received very good feedback on the assessments from many HR managers in various countries.

By adapting the way the results are presented to our own competency model, the SHL tools speak our corporate language, and enable us to provide specific answers to our talent questions,“ says Kiesele.

She adds, “By applying this solution in an international context, we can achieve global quality standards, with standardized and professional HR processes. By being able to compare our talent, in both recruitment and personal development, we can fill positions internationally with the best-qualified candidates—an important step in our global and local growth strategy.”




  • A comparable framework for talent management globally
  • Consistent and defensible selection process across all geographies
  • More accurate and efficient talent decisions internationally

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