• Almost 14,600 employees work for HUGO BOSS
  • Focus of human resource management on employee recruitment and employee retention
  • Numerous awards are proof of successful human resource management

HUGO BOSS firmly believes that its employees are key to its success and to the realization of its corporate vision – “be the most desirable fashion and lifestyle brand in the premium segment”. For this reason, the global human resource management has made it a fundamental task to win over the best employees in the industry and to retain them in the Company for as long as possible. The five corporate values – quality, passion, respect, cooperation and innovation – form the principles underlying daily working relationships.


HUGO BOSS aims at further strengthening its position as a top employer among relevant target groups. This is intended to enable the Company to continue to win suitable candidates for HUGO BOSS in the future. The Company’s global recruitment strategy is increasingly focused on addressing qualified candidates directly. In addition, talented staff are to be acquired through a target group-specific approach via digital platforms, such as the HUGO BOSS careers website or social networks. In the further selection process, the continuous development of digital communication channels represents a focal point of the personnel work. The core component of digital recruiting activities is the global employer branding campaign “That’s my HUGO BOSS”, which was further developed across various channels in 2019. In addition to its digital presence, the Company also regularly presents itself to potential applicants at career fairs.

In order to attract young talent, the Company offers school-leaving students a variety of vocational training options and dual study programs. In the past year, there were 76 apprentices and students at HUGO BOSS AG (2018: 79). 25 new apprentices and students began their professional education in 2019 (2018: 31). The professional education offered at HUGO BOSS is tailored to the needs of the apprentices and is continuously adapted to the strategic priorities of the Company.

HUGO BOSS is seeking to constantly improve its external reputation and awareness among potential applicants. For this reason, the Company operates active reputation management on relevant rating platforms and social networks. Numerous awards attest to the success of the human resource management at HUGO BOSS and at the same time serve to increase the awareness of the Company among potential applicants. In 2019, HUGO BOSS was once again among the top 100 most attractive employers in Germany, according to an annual survey conducted by the Universum and Trendence institutes. In addition, the Company ranked third in the “Working in Fashion” study conducted by the German textile industry magazine “Textilwirtschaft” (2018: eighth place). Notably, in the areas of further training opportunities, work-life balance, international work and salary levels, HUGO BOSS performed particularly well last year.

Employee retention

HUGO BOSS determines the satisfaction and the needs of its employees as part of an employee survey conducted annually in cooperation with Great Place to Work® Germany. The knowledge gained provides the Company with an important impetus for the further development of its human resource management and the corporate culture. With a Group-wide participation rate of 66%, overall satisfaction rose in 2019 to 70% (2018: overall satisfaction of 68% with a participation rate of 66%). Combined Non-Financial Statement, Employee Matters

Previous employee surveys have shown that fair compensation is key for employee satisfaction. By means of a fair and transparent compensation structure, HUGO BOSS seeks to strengthen the motivation of its employees and their loyalty to the Company. Based on an assessment carried out in 2018 of all the positions in Germany and Group-wide key positions, salary ranges were developed for all positions in Germany for the first time in 2019 and communicated to the respective employees. The salary ranges are based on external salary benchmarks and are intended to help increase transparency. HUGO BOSS sees this as a key component for further increasing the satisfaction of its employees and, at the same time, its attractiveness as an employer.

The compensation system at HUGO BOSS includes fixed and variable salary components, bonuses above the collective bargaining scale, non-cash compensation and other intangible benefits. It complies with industry and collective bargaining agreements and incorporates national and regional benchmarks. There are also works agreements for HUGO BOSS AG that govern compensation components such as the employee performance bonus. Non-tariff employees receive a basic salary plus a 13th monthly salary installment as well as a short-term incentive, of which half is linked to Group targets and half to the achievement of personal goals. The compensation scheme at the two levels below the Managing Board also includes a long-term incentive program that extends over several years and matches the targets of the Managing Board. Compensation Report

HUGO BOSS offers its employees a wide range of options to best combine work and family life. The “New Ways of Working” project already enables most of the employees on the Metzingen campus to work in an agile cross-divisional environment in the form of more flexible and cross-functional spatial concepts. In addition, so called “coworking spaces” are intended to offer the opportunity for productive work in a creative atmosphere and at the same time promote networking between employees. Trust-based working hours, tailored part-time models and the home office concept complement the offer and are intended to help increase employee commitment and satisfaction. The home office concept was used by around 1,500 employees at the headquarters in Metzingen last year (2018: 1,100) and is also already available to employees at several Group companies, including in France, Switzerland, and Australia. In addition, HUGO BOSS promotes a good work-life balance through numerous family-friendly offers, which are described in more detail in the chapter entitled “combined non-financial statement”. Combined Non-Financial Statement, Employee Matters

HUGO BOSS also attaches great importance to promoting the health and performance of its employees. The Company offers a large number of sports activities. For example, employees in Germany, Switzerland and Turkey can use the Company’s own fitness centers free of charge and participate in a wide range of different sports courses. In addition, a balanced nutritional concept in the Group’s own company restaurants is intended to improve the personal well-being of the employees. Health measures in the form of movement breaks, massages and back training courses are also available at the central distribution centers in Germany and for production employees in Metzingen. Based on comprehensive measures for promoting health and wellbeing, HUGO BOSS ranked first in the “Consumer goods” category of the German Corporate Health Awards in 2019.

In order to boost employee motivation, readiness for duty and qualification, the Group also offers its employees a wide range of training and development opportunities. These are described in detail in the chapter entitled “combined non-financial statement”. Combined Non-Financial Statement, Employee Matters

In order to improve employee retention in the long term, HUGO BOSS strives to strengthen the identification of its employees with the Company and its objectives. A large number of different communication measures which aim to foster the exchange of employees with each other are intended to contribute to this. In addition to internal CEO newsletters, regular townhall meetings and presentation meetings in various specialist areas, the Company’s own employee app “We are HUGO BOSS” was introduced in 2019. This enables HUGO BOSS to communicate content tailored to the app on all significant topics – from news about the BOSS and HUGO brands and the global store network through to sustainability topics – in real time to employees in 20 countries. The app also offers various ways to interact with employees, which are designed to strengthen the exchange of ideas and a global sense of belonging with the Company.

Employee figures

Number of employees as of December 31 (bar chart)

At the end of fiscal year 2019, HUGO BOSS had 14,633 employees. As such, the number of employees was roughly on the prior year level (2018: 14,685 employees). The average age of the workforce remained unchanged at 36 years.

Employees as of December 31 (bar chart)

The Company’s global positioning is also reflected in the employee numbers. Last fiscal year, 79% of the Group’s employees were based outside Germany (2017: 79%). Whereas 10,167 employees (2018: 10,067) worked in the commercial and administrative sector at the end of 2019, 4,465 employees (2018: 4,618) were assigned to industrial activities.

Employees in management (graphic)

At 59%, women once again accounted for the majority of the Group’s workforce (2018: 59%). In management, women held 50% of the positions across all four management levels at the end of December 2019 (2018: 48%). Women accounted for 25% of the first management level below the Managing Board, while they accounted for 48% of the second management level (2018: 26% and 46% respectively). Corporate Governance Report including the Corporate Governance Statement