Annual Report 2020


  • Almost 13,800 employees work for HUGO BOSS
  • HR management focuses on employee recruitment and employee retention
  • Mobile working significantly expanded under "Threedom of work"

HUGO BOSS firmly believes that its employees are key to its success and to the realization of its corporate vision – “to be the most desirable fashion and lifestyle brand in the premium segment". Key responsibility of the Company’s HR management therefore is to acquire the best employees in the industry, promote their personal development and ultimately retain them in the Company in the long-run. The principle of supporting the Company’s teams and talents to fully exploit their potential is firmly anchored in the Group strategy. In addition, the five corporate values – quality, passion, respect, cooperation and innovation – form the principles underlying daily working relationships.

As an international company, diversity is a key element of the corporate culture at HUGO BOSS. Accordingly, all employees are guaranteed equal opportunities and a non-discriminatory working environment. To take account of the importance of diversity from an organizational perspective, the position of Global Head of Diversity and Inclusion was created in 2020. Starting in the role on April 1, 2021, the selected candidate will report directly to the Director Global Human Resources. In addition, an international task force, consisting of employees from different subsidiaries, was implemented in 2020 in order to promote selected topics at HUGO BOSS, such as inclusion or diversity in management positions. The Company is convinced that the intensification of its activities in the area of diversity will make a positive contribution to employee satisfaction and is also considered to be a relevant factor for potential applicants.


HUGO BOSS aims at further strengthening its positioning as a top employer among relevant target groups. This is intended to enable the Company to continue to win suitable applicants for HUGO BOSS in the future. The Company’s global recruitment strategy is increasingly focused on reaching out to qualified candidates directly. In addition, talents are to be acquired through a targeted approach via digital platforms, such as the HUGO BOSS careers website or social media networks. The continuous further development of digital communication channels is a key focus when it comes to the Company’s recruitment strategy. A core component of the digital recruitment activities is the global employer branding campaign "That’s my HUGO BOSS", which aims to attract the attention of external talents to the diverse range of activities and personalities at HUGO BOSS. In addition to its digital presence, the Company also regularly presents itself to potential applicants at career fairs.

In order to attract young talents, the Company offers graduates a variety of vocational training options and dual study programs. In the past year, there were 75 apprentices and dual program students at HUGO BOSS AG (2019: 76) with 22 new apprentices and students beginning their professional education in 2020 (2019: 25). The professional education offered at HUGO BOSS is tailored to the needs of the Company and is continuously adapted to its strategic priorities. In 2020, HUGO BOSS offered an apprenticeship as a designer of visual marketing for the first time.

HUGO BOSS aims to constantly improve its external reputation and raise its profile among potential applicants. For this reason, the Company operates active reputation management on relevant rating platforms and social media networks. Target group-specific, emotional and product-related campaigns are intended to foster enthusiasm for the Company among potential applicants. A wide range of awards attest the success of the HR work at HUGO BOSS and at the same time serve to raise the profile of the Company among potential applicants. In 2020, HUGO BOSS was once again ranked in the top 100 most attractive employers in Germany among relevant target groups, according to an annual survey conducted by the Universum and Trendence institutes. In the "Working in Fashion" study conducted by the German industry magazine Textilwirtschaft, HUGO BOSS took third place, retaining its ranking of the prior year. The Company ranked particularly well in the categories of working internationally and salary levels, finishing second place in both categories.

Employee retention

HUGO BOSS determines the satisfaction and 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 HR work and corporate culture. In addition, employee satisfaction at HUGO BOSS is an important component of compensation within the framework of the long-term incentive program (LTI) for the Managing Board and the management at the two levels below the Managing Board. With a Group-wide participation rate of 70%, overall satisfaction rose to 72% in 2020 (2019: overall satisfaction of 70% with a participation rate of 66%). Combined Non-Financial Statement, Employee Matters

Employee surveys from previous years have shown that fair compensation is key for employee satisfaction. HUGO BOSS therefore sees this as an essential aspect of its HR work, and is committed to further enhancing the motivation of its employees, and their loyalty to the Company, through a fair and transparent compensation structure. Based on a regular assessment of all jobs in Germany and Group-wide key positions, all employees are compensated on the basis of job-specific salary bands. The salary bands are based on external salary benchmarks and are intended to increase transparency. HUGO BOSS is currently working on an assessment of all international roles in order to establish a uniform compensation system throughout the Group based on salary bands. HUGO BOSS is convinced that this as a key component to further increase 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. In addition to their basic salary, non-tariff employees receive a 13th monthly salary instalment and 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 (LTI) 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. Already today, numerous initiatives for flexible ways of working allow a large proportion of employees at the Company’s headquarters in Metzingen to work in an agile and cross-functional environment. Flexible co-working spaces are intended to offer the opportunity for productive work in a creative atmosphere, while at the same time promoting networking between employees. In light of the COVID-19 pandemic and on the basis of a survey of employees at the Metzingen site, HUGO BOSS also introduced the "Threedom of Work" hybrid working concept in 2020 which initially applies to all administrative staff in Germany. The concept is looking for three days of attendance at the Company’s headquarter in Metzingen from Tuesday to Thursday. On the other two days, employees are free to choose their place of work. HUGO BOSS is one of the first companies in the industry that have made the permanent expansion of mobile working standard. While other Group companies are also working on the development and implementation of hybrid working models, the traditional concept of working from home is now available to almost all administrative staff globally. In addition, trust-based working hours and tailored part-time models complement working from home, and are intended to help increase retention and satisfaction at HUGO BOSS. Additionally, HUGO BOSS promotes a good balance between work and family life through numerous family-friendly offers, which are described in more detail in the section 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 by offering numerous activities aimed at improving the physical and mental wellbeing of its employees. 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. Against the backdrop of the COVID-19 pandemic, the range of sports and coaching offered at the Metzingen site was predominately offered in digital form in 2020. In addition, a balanced nutritional concept in the Company’s canteens is intended to improve the personal well-being of its 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.

In addition to vertical promotions, HUGO BOSS also considers horizontal movements of its employees into new departments and functions as an important instrument for promoting talents and retaining employees for as long as possible. In light of the increasing importance of filling vacancies internally, the digital "HUGO BOSS Spotted" employee referral program was set up in 2020. To further boost employee motivation, commitment and qualifications, the Group also offers its employees a wide range of in-person and virtual training and development opportunities. These are described in detail in the section entitled "Combined Non-Financial Statement". Combined Non-Financial Statement, Employee Matters

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 ideas both between employees, and between employees and management bodies, are intended to contribute to this. In addition to internal newsletters from the Managing Board and Supervisory Board, as well as regular in-person and virtual townhall meetings, the Company’s "We are HUGO BOSS" employee app has become an increasingly relevant communication tool during the pandemic. The app enables HUGO BOSS to communicate content on any significant topics – from news about the BOSS and HUGO brands and the global store network to sustainability topics – in real time to employees in 20 countries. The app also offers employees different ways of interacting, thereby strengthening the exchange of ideas and the identification with the Company. In addition, in 2020, the internal network "connect", which had already been launched at the Metzingen site in 2018, was rolled out to all of the Group’s administrative staff. Relevant news about the Company, enriched with livestreams and video messages, but also external content, such as industry news, are regularly made available to employees via this channel.

Employee figures

1 Full-time equivalent (FTE)

At the end of fiscal year 2020, HUGO BOSS had 13,759 employees. As such, the number of employees was slightly below the prior-year level (2019: 14,633 employees). The average age was 37 years and has thus increased only slightly compared to the prior year (2019: 36 years).

The Company’s global positioning is also reflected in the composition of its workforce. Last fiscal year, a total of 78% of the Group’s employees were based outside Germany (2019: 79%). Within Germany, HUGO BOSS employs individuals from 70 different nations. Whereas 9,647 employees (2019: 10,167) worked in the commercial and administrative sector at the end of 2020, 4,112 employees (2019: 4,465) were assigned to industrial activities.

At 60%, women once again accounted for the majority of the Group’s workforce (2019: 59%). In management, women held 50% of the positions across all four management levels at the end of December 2019 (2019: 50%). The Managing Board has set a target gender quota of at least 30% women in the first management level and 35% in the second management level below the Managing Board to be achieved by December 31, 2021. As of December 31, 2020, the share of women in the first management level was 25%, and thus unchanged versus the prior year level (December 31, 2019: 25%). With a share of women of 43%, the target at the second management level was once again strongly exceeded as at December 31, 2020, (December 31, 2019: 48%). In the context of a re-assessment of all international positions in the past years, HUGO BOSS has realigned the affiliation to management levels in 2020. As a consequence, figures for the years 2019 and 2020 are not directly comparable. Corporate Governance and the Corporate Governance Statement

Read more