A solution to one of Germany’s biggest challenges

—by refugees, for refugees


For refugees by refugees

Some of us at the DO School waited for this particular Challenge Day with baited breath. Don’t get us wrong—it’s not that other Challenges aren’t plenty exciting. But with this one, it seemed that the stakes were higher, the issue perhaps more acute. At the heart of the Bridging Challenge was nothing less than one of Germany’s most pressing concerns: the task of integrating thousands of refugees into the country’ workforce. The participants? Refugees themselves, who were to use their immediate experience and their unique perspective in devising ways to connect German employers with skilled refugees.

So it was with much anticipation and excitement that we packed into the DOers space to listen to our participants’ presentation. In front of representatives from Challenger Siemens Stiftung, supporters Be An Angel Berlin and Charta der Vielfalt as well as HR reps from various organizations and companies, they revealed a unique app-based tool: Profee.

The central problem: the “Expectations Gap”

German employers have created a wealth of attractive training and employment opportunities for refugees. However, they often find it hard to get the right – or even any – applicants through established channels, even though many refugees are eagerly looking for training or job opportunities.

Research during the Bridging Challenge showed that one of the key causes for this is the fact that refugees and employers have different expectations of each other; indeed, they frequently have conflicting perceptions of whether or not they are a good fit. It becomes clear then, that connecting German employers and refugees takes more than just a successful first point of contact. The group’s solution to this? Profee!


Profee helps close the “Expectations Gap” between refugees and employers. An online/offline hiring tool supported by a webapp, Profee enables refugees and employers to get to know each other gradually, building trust and understanding in a systematic way. In each level of Profee, participants are asked to complete missions in both the digital and real worlds (e.g. self-assessment checks, attending language tandem or networking events). With each level, their chance of finding the right employer increases. Particularly skilled refugees (based on the self assessment and a verification process in the background) can even skip one or more levels so as to be matched with potential employers more quickly.

Companies are encouraged to contribute to this process by selecting motivated employees who know about open positions and training opportunities or inviting employees to act as refugee-mentors.

level #1

Players complete self-assessment checks for language, values, expectations, and qualifications. Once this initial assessment is complete, players are encouraged to complete specific missions based on the result of their self assessment to unlock the next level.


Refugees and employers submit simple video pitches presenting themselves and help create a digital community. In order to progress to the next level, they complete missions where both refugees and employers can meet first contact in curated on-site events.


Level#3 brings select refugees and employers together for a networking event with a fixed agenda. In this level, refugees are encouraged to build mentoring relationships which need to be sustained so as to proceed to the next level.


Level#4 brings refugees who have cleared previous levels to a workshop in German work culture conducted by a specific employer. Additionally, a trained refugee-facilitator offers a workshop in breaking stereotypes to employees of the company.

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