ECC "The City as an Employer"

26. - 27.4.2023

During the European City Conference "The City as an Employer" in April 2023, the City of Vienna and its partners from the Network of Cities analysed the opportunities and current challenges faced by city administrations in the field of human resources. Well-functioning city administrations are a major asset for the quality of life in cities. On the first conference day, 26 April 2023, the development of the labour market, demographic change and the resulting impacts on the public sector were discussed in expert presentations, and also the recruitment, promotion and management of employees were discussed in international panels, with best practice examples being presented as well. During the subsequent get-together, participants had the opportunity to participate in an informal exchange. The second conference day, 27 April 2023, was dedicated to the new requirements of the world of work and how we can shape them together. We took a look at modern working models, trainee programmes and talent management, new findings from psychology and behavioural economics, as well as the possibilities of international knowledge exchange.


© W24


Day 1, 26 April 2023

Day 2, 27 April 2023


© PID/David Bohmann

Peter Hanke

Peter Hanke was born in Vienna on 28 March 1964. He studied at the Vienna University of Economics and Business Administration before joining Wien Holding in 1993.  There he was responsible for a number of areas, starting as a business consultant with a focus on investment controlling in the areas of culture, events, telecommunications and housing, and later also as head of accounting. Between 1996 and 2002 he was also chairman of the works council of Wien Holding. In 2002, Peter Hanke was appointed as one of two Managing Directors of Wien Holding, being responsible for the business areas of culture and event management, as well as for logistics and mobility.

In May 2018, Peter Hanke was appointed as Executive City Councillor and has been responsible for Finance, Economic Affairs, Labour, International Affairs and the Vienna Public Utilities (Wiener Stadtwerke) since November 2020. In this function, he was also elected President of the Vienna Business Agency and the Vienna Tourist Board.

Apart from his professional activities, Peter Hanke is also active in numerous civil society associations. He is a board member of Kinderfreunde Wien, the association Wirtschaft für Integration and the Lions Club Monte Laa.

© Metodi Avramov

Metodi Avramov

Metodi Avramov is Director Strategies, Innovations and International Projects of Sofia Urban Mobility Centre. He is currently responsible for the development and implementation of urban mobility projects, plans and programmes for Sofia Municipality and Sofia Urban Mobility Centre. He has worked for the development of sustainable urban mobility in Sofia for more than 15 years. He is also in collaboration with various European urban networks.


Sofia Urban Mobility Centre (PDF)

© waff Kundenrat

Astrid Augeneder-Köllerer

Astrid Augeneder-Köllerer has been working in the field of labour market policy for many years and heads a department at Vienna Employment Promotion Fund (waff) for the development of job-related training programmes in occupations for which there is a particularly high demand. One of her core topics is the target group-specific approach of interested persons for qualification programmes being held within the framework of the waff offer named Jobs PLUS Training.

Key questions for addressing customers, as well as for the appropriate marketing mix, are how adult persons can be motivated to go for a new qualification, what these people need to take this decision and also what their needs are during the training programme. In collaboration with the City of Vienna, several projects are already being implemented for the qualification of future professionals.


Jobs plus training (PDF) (German)

© Foto Schuster

Dietmar Baurecht

Dietmar Baurecht has been District Leader of Vienna's 15th municipal district since October 2022. Holding a degree in theatre studies, he has most recently worked as a project manager in a management position in cross-border projects, labour market projects and in the field of creative economy. A further focus of his activities was on journalism and volunteer work.


Karin Bayer

Karin Bayer has been working in HR management for the City of Vienna for many years. In 2014, she started building an employer brand for the City of Vienna and has since been responsible for the strategic orientation in employer branding and personnel marketing. Many measures initiated by her have contributed to a significant improvement in the quality as an employer.

In March 2023, she was awarded the prize "Employer Brand Manager of the Year" at the Employer Branding Awards DACH 2023.


Employer Branding Strategy of the City of Vienna (PDF) (German)

© Maximilian Biwald

Maximilian Biwald

Maximilian Biwald is Head of the Group in charge of Talents and Trends in the HR Department of the City of Vienna and as staff member is assigned with special duties for the further development of the world of work. He studied public management and on his professional journey – in addition to various stations in the city administration as a project manager – he built the knowledge management strategy of the City of Vienna and introduced mobile working, among other things. He is always looking for opportunities of work design, believes in solutions and prefers to take the path of greatest resistance. His team is, among other things, currently working on making working hours more flexible and introducing a new talent management system for the City of Vienna.

© Onahti Čerkez

Onahti Čerkez

Onahti Čerkez is a law professional currently occupying a position of the Head of the Administration Sector to the Ministry of Justice and Administration of Canton Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH). She graduated from the Faculty of Law at the University of Sarajevo and passed her bar exam in 2018. Onahti is presently also a second year PhD candidate at the same Faculty.

Onahti’s governmental work journey started in 2013 at the Legal Unit of the Federal Institute for Statistics of BiH, and later, at the Operation Unit for the Public Administration Reform Coordinator’s Office (PARCO). She participated in the implementation of several EU IPA projects on human resources management. Since occupying her current role, Onahti has been involved with administrative law, public administration reform and human resources management. 

© WH International Services

Jacqueline Collet

A qualified administration consultant, Ms. Collet has been working in the European Administration of the State of Berlin since 2014. She is responsible for the European Affairs Committee of the House of Representatives of Berlin and the topic area of European competence of administrative staff. This includes advising the Senate and district administrations on the implementation of measures to strengthen European competence, such as further training, language courses and job shadowing, but also the development and coordination of European job shadowing as part of Berlin's knowledge management.

© Christian Fürthner

Rolf Denkenberger

Rolf Denkenberger has headed the Human Resources Department of Wiener Wohnen Hausbetreuung GmbH since 2022, his areas of responsibility being HR management, personnel and organisational development, payroll accounting, apprentice management and occupational health management. A trained lawyer, he was authorised signatory and Head of Human Resources & Legal at NORDSEE GmbH Austria for eleven years as well as Team Leader HR at ÖBB-Postbus GmbH. Thanks to his experience gained in the aforementioned positions, he has a very broad overall knowledge of HR-related topics in the areas of civil servants, employees and blue-collar workers.

© MecGreenie

Stefan Etzelstorfer

Stefan Etzelstorfer has been Head of the Human Resources Management Department of the City of Linz since 2022, being responsible for recruiting, human resources development, apprentice management and post management. Previously, the graduate lawyer and business economist was, among other things, a legal advisor in the Municipal Directorate as well as head of the Real Estate Management Department, where he was responsible for commercial and legal real estate management.


Addressing new employees and offering opportunities (PDF) (German)

© Feelimage

Gabriele Fuchs-Hlinka

Gabriele Fuchs-Hlinka has been working in different roles and functions for the Vienna Health Association (WIGEV) since approximately 40 years and is a living example of the development opportunities and career possibilities that can be achieved through employment with the City. Originally, she is a qualified nurse and completed her studies while working. When it came to her further development, she has always been supported by her employer as well, having been involved in both teaching and training, as well as in various management functions.

Since 2020 Gabriele Fuchs-Hlinka has been head of a newly established organisational unit in the general management of WIGEV: personnel development and training, which also includes the area of strategic recruiting. She is building up this area with a lot of passion, given that in times of labour shortage we need sound, sustainable and creative answers to the daily challenges – and this is particularly the case in the health system. All instruments and offers of her department has the primary goal of putting in place measures that promote employer attractiveness and provide a variety of training and/or personnel development offers in order to support the individual and professional development and the experience of self-efficacy, as well as maintaining the ability to work for as long as possible. In this entire process, the employer promise of the City is the guiding principle.

© Sylvia Gers

Sylvia Gers

Sylvia Gers is Head of Department at the Senate Administration for Finance and is responsible for state-wide personnel marketing and recruiting. In this function, she makes use of the employer brand "Hauptstadt Machen" together with her team to implement strategic and creative conceptual projects with the purpose to recruit staff for the state of Berlin.

As a graduate in public administration and an expert for communication and project/change management, she has held various positions in federal and state authorities.


#JOINUS Roadshow 2023 (PDF) (German)

© Wirtschaftsagentur Wien/Karin Hackl

Julia Kniescheck

Julia Kniescheck is head of the HR & Organisation department of the Vienna Business Agency. A business economist, she has been working in the field of human relations for 23 years and has additional training in the fields of agile management, systemic coaching, change management, mediation and moderation. She understands New Work as an interplay between human resources and organisational development. The Vienna Business Agency has received several awards for its innovative approaches in the above areas, including the titles "Great Place to Work" and "Investor in People".


New Work - The new way of work at the Vienna Business Agency (PDF) (German)

© Ildikó Kocsy

Ildikó Kocsy

Ildikó Kocsy has worked in the Human Resources Management Division at the Budapest City Hall since 1994, and has been Head of the latter Division since 2004. In addition to the tasks of recruitment, selection and administration of personnel, she is also responsible for the training of the City Hall's employees and for the awarding of City of Budapest awards.

A special focus of her activities lies on expanding the range of social measures, implementing programmes for promoting the recruitment of personnel, family friendliness along with equal opportunities, as well as supporting colleagues from disadvantaged groups on the labour market (such as job entrants, pensioners or colleagues with children).

© Éva Környei

Éva Környei

Éva Környei has been the Head of the Directorate for Legal Affairs and Human Resources Policy at the Budapest Transport Privately Held Corporation (BKV) since 2015. In addition to legal tasks, her duties include the development and implementation of the company's human resources strategy, the development and implementation of the company's social policy, the organisation of educational activities, the management of labour-related affairs, as well as the company's labour administration. In view of the current staff shortage, the recruitment and retention of employees is a priority.

© Christoph Lucks

Christoph Lucks

Christoph Lucks was born in Dortmund in 1966 and studied law in Bochum and Bonn. He completed his legal clerkship in Kiel, Bad Doberan, Speyer and Bonn.  In 1996, he entered the higher general administrative service of the Free and Hanseatic City of Hamburg. From 1997 to 2001, he was a consultant for foundation supervision and matters relating to churches and religious communities in the Senate Chancellery; from 2001 to 2003, he was deputy head of the Senate Office for Equality; from 2003 to 2007, he was head of the Family Policy Department in the Social Welfare Authority; from 2007 to 2013, he was head of the Legal Department in the Social Welfare Authority.

Since 2013, he has been head of the Central Human Resources Management Department and deputy head of office in the Human Resources Office of the Free and Hanseatic City of Hamburg, where he is responsible, among other things, for the areas of executive recruitment and development, health promotion and equality.

© Foto Wilke

Isabella Mader

Isabella Mader is Director of the Research Institute Excellence Research. She has also worked as a university lecturer for IT strategy, collaboration, knowledge and information management and business psychology for 15 years. Since 2017, she has served as Executive Advisor to the Global Peter Drucker Forum, where she has also been active as a speaker and Session Chair since 2013.

In 2013, she became "Top CIO of the Year" in Austria (EY & Confare). Prior to her current position, she was a board member of a software company and worked in methodology development at the CTBTO (United Nations).


Culture, Strategy & Breakfast - News from Psychology and Behavioral Economics (PDF) (German)

© Dominika Miklásová

Dominika Miklásová

18 years of professional experience in different environments (Telco, IT, commercial, infrastructure and interim management) in HR taught me to balance my strong performance orientation with empathy and feeling for people's needs. I enjoy the diversity of HR everyday – people, project management and striving for excellence.

"Where is a will there is a way" is a motto of both my private and professional life. Experienced HR professional, motivator and reasonable change initatior with strong people focus, passion for innovation and digitalization.

Dominika Miklásová is Head of People care department of the Bratislava Water Management Company (BVS).


The role of managers in time of changes (PDF)

© Barbora Möglichová

Barbora Möglichová

Barbora Möglichová is the head of the human resources and HR marketing department. She has 12 years of experience working with people from various sectors of logistics, security and services. She did business in the private sector and ran a staffing agency. For the last three years, it has been part of Pražské služby a.s..

"For me, HR is a set of activities that will ensure the running of the company in the area of human resources and, at the same time, the possibility of helping people realize themselves, develop and guide them on their professional path within our company."

© Robert Peres

Silke Neubauer

Silke Neubauer has been in charge of the Central Apprenticeship Management at Wiener Linien GmbH und Co KG as Deputy Head of Department since 2022. She started her own apprenticeship as an office administrator in the same company in 2008 and then took over the training management for commercial apprenticeships in 2017 and will soon be responsible for more than 350 apprentices.

Given her own professional career, both the strategic and operational orientation of apprenticeship training are very personal matters of the heart for her.


FiT - Women in Crafts and Technology (PDF) (German)

© Marie & Michael Photography

Stefanie Neuner

Stefanie Neuner works at Vienna Employment Promotion Fund (waff) and is the coordinator of the trainee programme of the City of Vienna and its companies. Once a trainee herself, she has been coordinating the programme since 2018, thus connecting the various stakeholders. This includes the organisation of the trainee assignments and the diverse framework programme as well as the monitoring of the ten trainees and participating companies during the 15-month term. Ms. Neuner is a trained lawyer and payroll accountant. She now works in human resources development and has completed various further training courses in the areas of group moderation, facilitation and systemic coaching.

© Polona Novak

Polona Novak

Polona Novak, Assistant to the Director of the Ljubljana City Administration, graduated from the Ljubljana University and holds a Bachelor’s degree in Russian Studies and Sinology. She has been working for the Ljubljana City Administration since 2014. First, she started at the Finance and Budget Department and continued her career in the International Relations and Protocol Department, where she worked four years. In 2020, she became Assistant to the Director of the Ljubljana City Administration and Head of the General Affairs Department and the Human Resources Department. Her work focuses on the digitalization of the City Administration and the integration of City Administration departments, public institutions, and companies owned by the City of Ljubljana. The tasks entrusted to her by the Mayor of Ljubljana include regular communication with all ministries of the Government of the Republic of Slovenia and finding solutions to open issues between the Government of the Republic of Slovenia and the capital Ljubljana.

© Anna Maria Nusko

Anna Maria Nusko

After starting her career in marketing at the publishing group News, Anna Maria Nusko switched to the area of HR after having held expert and management positions in the postgraduate sector and in adult education at the Vienna University of Economics and Business Administration and BFI Vienna. In her capacity as team leader for HR development at the Vienna Municipal Works, she was responsible, among other things, for executive development, knowledge management and the central education programme. In her current position, she designs and manages the group-wide employer branding measures for the Vienna Municipal Works Group as an HR group leader. 

She finds unlimited enthusiasm in personal development, leadership and strategy. She studied business administration and communication sciences and completed a university course in coaching, human resources and organisational development.


Our world at Vienna Municipal Works (PDF) (German)


Carina Orthofer

Carina Orthofer has been working for the City of Vienna since 2015. After having completed her studies in human resources management and organisational development, she started her professional career as a trainee. During this time, she became acquainted with many areas and facets of the city. Today, she is part of the coordination team of the trainee programme of the City of Vienna and its companies and enthuses young talents to work on a city with over a million inhabitants.

As Deputy Head of the Personnel Marketing and Recruiting Department, her work on the employer branding strategy contributes to positioning the City of Vienna as an attractive employer both internally and externally.

© Stadt Belgrad

Mirjana Radanović

Mirjana Radanović was born in 1977 in Tuzla, Bosnia and Herzegovina. She graduated from the Faculty of Law of the University of Belgrade in 2002 and passed her bar exam in 2008. From 2002 until 2016, she was employed by the State Administration for Geodetic and Property-Legal Affairs of the Republic of Srpska. She was appointed Head of the Regional Unit in 2004. From 2016 until 2020, she was employed by the Urban Municipality of New Belgrade at the Department for Assembly and Normative Affairs and Legal Aid Affairs.

From 2021 until August 2022, she was appointed Acting Secretary of the Ministry for Family Care and Demography. In August 2022, she was appointed Head of the City Administration of the City of Belgrade.


BG Practicum (PPT)

© Sofiaplan

Georgetta Rafailova

Georgetta Rafailova is an architect and spatial planner with long experience and director of Sofiaplan, a municipal enterprise responsible for the high-level spatial and strategic planning of Sofia Municipality. The plans created by this enterprise define the future development of Sofia; most important are the long-term General Master plan, Vision for Sofia 2050 and the Plan for integrated development of the municipality 2021-2027.

The young team of Sofiaplan under her lead is now intensively working on the overall assessment of Sofia master plan achievements 2007 to 2023, as preparation phase for a general update of this plan and the instruments for its implementation.


Sofiaplan Sofia (PDF)

© MA 40

Sandra Reiterer

Sandra Reiterer is Head of the Administrative Department for Human Resources Management at the Municipal Department 40 (MA 40) and has been working for the City of Vienna since January 2011. Thanks to her many years of experience in the field of human resources as well as her ability to solve complex personnel issues, she has earned an excellent reputation. She is responsible for developing and implementing human resources strategies, organising personnel recruitment measures and ensuring compliance with labour law and labour regulations.

Ms Reiterer is known for her strategic thinking, her leadership skills and her commitment towards employee satisfaction. Her objective is to promote the strengths of each and every individual and to create a positive working environment in which fairness and appreciation are of particular importance. Holding a degree in banking and finance, she puts people at the centre of her activities and stands for open and transparent communication in the company.

© HR-Lounge

Elisabeth Schindler-Scholz

Elisabeth Schindler-Scholz has been Head of the HR Department at Wiener Wohnen Kundenservice GmbH since June 2020, being responsible for personnel development, recruiting, onboarding, as well as personnel administration. In her capacity as a legal expert, she previously worked in the federal administration in the areas of service and remuneration law as well as impact orientation.

© Pressestelle Tempelhof-Schöneberg

Mirka Schuster

Holding a degree in administration, Mirka Schuster has been working in the Tempelhof-Schöneberg district office in Berlin since 1994 and acquired her Master's degree in European Administrative Management alongside her work. In her capacity as an authorised representative for Europe and city partnerships, she supports all European and city partnership activities and initiates EU and partnership projects. Together with her colleagues from other Berlin districts, she developed the European job shadowing project "Locals Go! Europe" in 2005 and has since then coordinated the European knowledge transfer of the Berlin districts with many European partner administrations.

© cs2 Communication & Strategy Services

Peter Weixelbaumer

Climate crisis, Covid crisis, energy crisis, inflation crisis, Ukraine crisis – our world seems to be trapped in a permanent crisis mode. As a consequence, it is no wonder that many people feel deeply insecure and look at the future with pessimism. This poses a challenge to all of us – also in organisations.

Consequently, it is absolutely right to ask the question "Leadership quo vadis", given that leadership makes the difference between success and failure, motivation and demotivation, loyalty and "internal resignation" like never before. However, what will leadership look like in 2023 and beyond aside from slogans? We are looking for answers.


"Leadership quo vadis?" The role of the leader in times of change (PDF) (German)

© Studio Matphoto/Matjaz Stefanic

Melanie Widder

Melanie Widder has been Head of the Administrative Department for Human Resources at the Vienna Social Fund (FSW) since 2021, where she has already been working since 2010. Being a qualified social worker, she started her career in the field of care and support services, a subsidiary of the FSW, as head of department for social work.

Her further path led her to the ombudsman's office and the department for cost contribution settlement of the FSW customer service, before she switched to the area of human resources. Melanie Widder rounded off her multidisciplinary scope of education with university degrees in sociology and HR management.


Leadership at the Vienna Social Fund (PDF) (German)

© Volker Wiedemann

Volker Wiedemann

Volker Wiedemann, born in 1968, has been Head of the Human Resources Office of the Free and Hanseatic City of Hamburg since February 2018. The Human Resources Office works out the principles of personnel-related work and provides central services for the city's approximately 77,000 employees. Previously, he was Managing Director of the State Company ZAF/AMD for five years, where he was in charge of the Centre for Education and Further Training (ZAF) as well as the Occupational Health Service (AMD). He studied economics at the University of Hamburg and has held various management positions at the Free and Hanseatic City of Hamburg since 1996, including that of a personnel officer, in budget and accounting, as well as in education and further training.

© Markus Wache

Peter Wieser

Peter Wieser is Head of the Department of Economics, Labour and Statistics of the City of Vienna. He was born in Vienna and studied political science, history and economics at the University of Vienna. In 2007, he started working for the Municipal Administration of the City of Vienna and was initially responsible for economic statistics and economic analysis at the Department of Finance in his capacity as an advisor. Following the establishment of the Department of Economics, Labour and Statistics in 2012, he changed to this department and has headed it since 2021.


Demographic development in Vienna (PDF) (German)

© Christian Wimmer

Christian Wimmer

After having worked as a chemical engineer in the field of environmental chemistry for several years, Christian Wimmer studied at the Vienna University of Economics and Business Administration and received his doctorate in 2006 on the topic of human resources development in combination with environmental management systems. He completed his training as a coach in 2004 and graduated from the Master programme in Environmental and Bioresource Management at the University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences in 2014. Having spent several years working in the field of human resources development and as a lecturer, he has been primarily concerned with the didactic design of further training programmes in business, including onboarding events, as well as the planning of human resources development on the basis of strategic controlling approaches.

He is Deputy Head of the Vienna Academy of the City of Vienna, where he is in charge of international knowledge exchange, among other things. In addition to this activity, he acts as a supervisor at a university for diploma theses on topics of human resource management. Also, given his biography connected with a guiding principle according to Wilhelm Schmid (1998): "Education is connected with a gain of choices".

© Julia Zdrahal-Urbanek

Julia Zdrahal-Urbanek

Julia Zdrahal-Urbanek is Head of the Austrian business of AltoPartners Executive Search, one of the  largest personnel consulting company groups worldwide. She has gained many years of experience in filling executive board, supervisory board and top management positions in Austria and Europe, both for major global corporations and for public sector companies. Looking back on almost 20 years of experience in executive search, talent development and the professional development sector, she started her career in personnel consulting in London. At a later stage, she became a partner in one of Austria's leading personnel consulting boutiques before she finally set up AltoPartners in Austria more than eleven years ago.


Major cities are big players and must compete in a volatile world (PDF) (German)