Juicebox (PeopleGPT): AI in recruiting

In our category "HR Tech in US" we present HR tech companies from the USA and what the European HR world can learn from them.
In this interview, I spoke with David Paffenholz. He is Founder of Juiceboxa company that offers an AI solution for recruiting.

David, you developed PeopleGPT with Juicebox to bring artificial intelligence (AI) into recruiting. - How does your approach work and what makes it special?

Imagine if you had a recruiting assistant who's read through hundreds of millions of profiles and built an understanding of each individual's experiences, skills, and interests. You can ask the assistant to help you set up searches for best-fit candidates, craft personalized messages for them, and present you with an organized list of results.

That's what PeopleGPT brings to market - today - an AI powered people search engine. You enter a description of who you're searching for, and PeopleGPT will 1) find best fit profiles across 30+ data sources, 2) write personalized outreach, and 3) export those candidates, including candidate summaries, to your ATS / CRM.

Will AI put recruiters out of work?

No, but it will transform their jobs. 

Sourcing will evolve from reviewing thousands of profiles to selecting among best-fit candidates that the AI found. Candidate relationships will become even more important, as personalized messaging becomes commonplace. Employer branding will take on increased importance, even involving role-specific branding initiatives.

Overall, more time will be spent in AI-assisted workflows, guiding software to help achieve goals. It will result in more impactful TA departments, with more attention placed on candidate experience, higher conversion rates across all funnel steps, and greater hire success rate.

How do you envision the future of your AI? Do you think beyond the recruiting sector?

We're focused on recruiting. 

That involves 1) adding more data sources into our platform, many of which have entirely untapped data on candidate skills and experiences, 2) expanding our AI features, including entirely new workflows, and 3) deepening our integrations with the 60+ ATS and CRM platforms we currently support.

You know the German and American markets. What do American tech companies do differently to German ones?

I'm more familiar with the American than the German market, but some of the key differences we've observed (purely anecdotal):

  • Active Sourcing: more commonplace across roles in the US
  • Candidate Outreach: outreach still leans towards LinkedIn or Xing in European, though there is increased willingness to try other channels (email, phone, WhatsApp)
  • Personalization: generally high personalization and strong engagement in the European market

Why did you set up in the USA? 

I first moved to the US to go to college and have stayed here since. In my mind, it's undoubtedly the best place to build a tech startup: you have a high concentration of like-minded founders, access to capital, and a large talent pool with previous startup experience. We started building PeopleGPT while going through Y Combinator, a startup accelerator in San Francisco, and it was an easy decision to stay here since.

David, thank you for the interview and your insights!


Tech recruiting: The guide for hiring managers (2024)

Are you a hiring manager looking for new employees for your team and are now expected to work with your recruiter? You don't really know what to expect or what is expected of you? Then read this article.

Candidate persona: Who are you looking for?

The most important thing comes first: At the beginning, you need to be clear about who you are looking for (candidate persona). Even before any job title is considered or a job advertisement is written, this initial question is the all-important one and forms the foundation for your recruiting success. Because answering this question is not that easy. 

Be aware of what the potential new employee is actually expected to do in your team. But also bear in mind what a person can realistically achieve in a given working week of around 40 hours. There are already a lot of job advertisements out there looking for a full-stack developer who can also do DevOps (and will certainly have to repair a printer or two). Do yourself, your recruiting success and the potential applicants a favor and stay realistic. You can ask yourself the following questions: 

  • Who exactly are you looking for?
  • What are the absolute must-have criteria? (Limit these to 3)
  • What is nice-to-have? What could you learn in the job itself or train afterwards?
  • What is the prioritization within these criteria?
  • How do you imagine the new team member? Is it a man or a woman? How old is he or she? Where is he or she from?

The last questions violate the General Equal Treatment Act (AGG), but are still important to get an accurate picture in mind. This picture is important to share with your recruiter who will support you in your search for the new team member. If they understand what you are looking for, you are already a big step closer to recruiting success. 

However, it is important that you do not insist on the candidate persona. The 100% perfect candidate is rarely to be found. So keep your expectations realistic here too. With potential candidates, focus on what your counterpart brings to the table and not on what you think they lack.

Recruiting vs. active sourcing: know the difference

You and your recruiter have now understood who exactly you are looking for. This, in combination with the tasks that the potential employee is to perform, already results in the job advertisement. Pay attention to the legal provisions such as compliance with the AGG. 

In the next step, your recruiter will generate reach for your job advertisement in order to distribute it to as many people as possible. They will use job boards such as Stepstone or Indeed for this purpose. This is classic recruiting, where companies wait for someone to apply. You can support your recruiter by sharing the job advertisement on social media, such as LinkedIn, or telling your friends and acquaintances about it.

But especially when recruiting tech talent, who can currently choose their workplace, additional recruiting measures are needed to find and convince good people. This is where the Active sourcing comes into play. Active sourcing is the active search for candidates. You have probably already received messages from recruiters via LinkedIn who wanted to persuade you to make the switch. In active sourcing, your recruiter will search for suitable profiles via LinkedIn or other platforms and contact them. Again, it's good that you've talked about the candidate persona and its criteria. You can also consider together whether it makes sense to contact the profiles found via your LinkedIn account. The closer the contact person is to the specialist area, the better. Potential employees would rather speak directly to the person or team member they are potentially working with than to a recruiter or (even worse) an external party such as a recruitment agency. 

But why is the difference between recruiting and active sourcing so important?

The difference is important for you as a hiring manager to understand because the perspective is different in each case and therefore requires a separate process. In recruiting, the candidate applies to you. In active sourcing, you apply to the candidate. As a result, the interviews in the active sourcing process are not traditional job interviews, but rather an opportunity to get to know each other. Bear in mind that you are talking to someone who has been contacted by you, is in an existing employment relationship (without the need to change) and is listening to what other options are available during your conversation. This is a different situation to someone who is actively looking for a job. 

Know and help shape the recruiting process

You therefore need to know and understand how candidates come to you. It would be pretty disastrous if your first question in the interview is "Why did you apply to us?" and the candidate can only reply that "You contacted me...". That's how quickly a potentially good candidate can drop out. 

It is therefore important that you know where the candidate is coming from and are familiar with the recruiting process. How many interviews do you conduct? When do you come into play? And what can the candidate expect next? These are all questions you need to be able to answer. And the best way to achieve this is to help shape the recruiting process yourself. Simply ask yourself: What process would you like to go through as a candidate? What would be important to you?

Do you think it's okay if someone hasn't contacted you even 2 weeks after a conversation? Or if you don't get in touch at all? Ultimately, we humans are all the same. We have put in the effort in the form of an application, a job interview or a telephone interview and we want to know straight away what the outcome will be. And if we don't hear anything for weeks, it only hurts the reputation of the other person, in this case the company. Therefore, remain empathetic and offer a process that is fair and pleasant for everyone involved. 

Sit down with your recruiter and agree on goals. How long should the process from initial contact to hiring take? When will candidates receive an acceptance or rejection (by when do you need to have made a decision)? Who all has to approve whether an offer is made?

Tech recruiting for hiring managers: 5 tips & tricks

Finally, I'll summarize 5 tips & tricks that will boost your recruiting success and allow you to relax a little during the process.

Tip 1Don't take too much time. Good candidates are quickly out of stock. So make recruiting your top priority for a short time with a clear focus.

Tip 2Exchange information with your recruiter 5 minutes before an interview so that you go into the interview on the same page.

Tip 3Schedule your meetings for 10 a.m. (e.g. 1:10 p.m.) so that you are on time, can coordinate for 5 minutes beforehand and go into the meeting as a unit (this makes a serious impression).

Tip 4Remain open to new recruiting ideas. How about a video message to candidates, for example?

Tip 5If you liked the conversation with a candidate, connect with him or her on LinkedIn. This shows positive momentum and you will stay in touch even after a rejection. Perhaps there will be a match at a later date.

Recruiting is not that difficult. Just stay down-to-earth, empathetic and open to your recruiter's input. Create processes that you would like to see yourself and get actively involved. Then you're hiring.

Tech Recruiting


What does a Hiring Manager do?

A hiring manager is usually a manager from the department in which a new employee is to be hired. They therefore assume responsibility for hiring the new employee from the perspective of the department and work together with the recruiting department.

Paidwell: simplify employee compensation

In our category "HR Tech in US" we present HR tech companies from the USA and what the European HR world can learn from them.
In this interview, I spoke with Nathan Young. He is Founder of Paidwella company that simplifies employee compensation.

Nathan, you founded Paidwell, a company that aims to simplify employee compensation. How does your approach work? And why is it better than other solutions?

Our goal right now is to build the most equitable pay-for-performance compensation tools on the market. We focus on three elements to help our customers succeed - consulting to understand their needs and to design custom compensation programs that fit their needs, coaching to help our customers learn to manage compensation according to their own philosophy, and then we provide our proprietary compensation software to help them stay on track.

We don't focus on building something better for everyone - we focus on building something better for our tribe - companies that want to make decisions based on data and focus on doing things right, not just right now.

How important is employee compensation in the pay package?

Our philosophy is that pay is 1/3 of the equation in the employer/employee value proposition. It's critical, but it's insufficient by itself. We believe that the culture and lifestyle of a business make up a third of the value for employees, with career development being the final third.

Do you see any differences between the U.S. and, say, the European market in terms of employee compensation?

Yes. And there are variations by country, as well. Overall, the US is one of the best, if not the best, compensation market for tech talent in the world. However, different regions and countries have different approaches to compensation, as well as overall rewards (compensation, benefits, development, and other pieces). In some areas it's common to get bonuses, others equity - some offer base, bonus, and equity. Some regions have lower salaries with better healthcare and retirement, others emphasize higher direct cash compensation.

What can companies do better in terms of employee compensation? How should they position themselves in this area?

I think the best advice I'd give here is to think about for what you're solving and be intentional in how compensation is delivered to employees. We see a lot of companies being very reactive to the market or to whomever is asking for things right now. Instead, we recommend developing your own philosophy, know your target talent market, and then to build a talent strategy with a compensation component that is designed to attract/retain that key talent. You can never catch the market - it's better to build something fantastic and then let the market catch up to you.

How do you think technology can help in HR in the future?

I think technology is the future of HR. There are so many decisions and processes in HR that are people-dependent. We have to remember specific details and conversations, data points from multiple systems (if they're in a system at all), and organizations are made up of individual people with their own unique backgrounds, needs, and opinions. Ultimately, employees are customers too - we should know as much about our own teams as we do about our customers. I think HR will be similar to other functions like finance and marketing, where even small companies will use advanced systems to effectively manage their people operations. 

Nathan, thank you for the interview and your insights.

AccuChain: Validation of resumes and more

In our category "HR Tech in US" we present HR tech companies from the USA and what the European HR world can learn from them.
In this interview, I spoke with Maura Sparks. She is Co-Founder of AccuChain, a company that validates resumes, ensuring that written content is accurate and AI free.

Maura, at AccuChain you developed Validator, a tool to prevent misinformation in resumes. How does it work?

We have developed a cloud-based resume validation and recruitment platform using proprietary validation processes to dramatically reduce false information in resumes. A jobseeker starts by building their resume in our resume builder. The user can upload and edit an existing resume or create a resume using prompts from the platform. The resume can be fully customized and content can be easily edited. In addition, the platform allows users to upload supporting documents, credentials, diplomas, portfolios and more. Each resume claim can be validated with the platform's built-in validation system. The platform emphasizes factual information using trusted third party validators. The validator is someone familiar with each resume claim, such as: a manager, colleague, partner, client, or customer. The communication between the platform and the validator is automated by our platform. The platform's validation uses a screening technique to fake accounts and validators. Once validated, the resume can be sent to hiring managers or HR departments. The jobseeker is providing a complete online profile we call an 'Enhanced Digital Resume'. 

Why is the validation of resumes so important? And how can technology help here?

The Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) states 46% of resumes have false information. A resume filled with over-inflated claims can easily lead to a bad hire and cost companies up to $240,000. In addition, it can negatively impact project timelines and budget. Validated resumes have the potential to become a new standard in hiring, we wanted to create a platform based on having truthful information about the applicants. The platform was also designed for HR professionals to receive applications directly from jobseekers or find top qualified candidates from the platform's dashboard tied to a job posting. Validator was designed to highlight positive validations and maintains a high level of integrity so hiring managers can have trust in their hires. Hiring decisions should be based on having truthful information about the applicants.  

What AI development is taking place at AccuChain?

AccuChain is committed to ensuring written content is accurate and AI free. We are now expanding to detect AI generated content in other written content, including manuscripts, tv and film scripts, blogs, and articles to prevent issues in copyright laws. Publishers and writers who plan to publish and monetize their written content need to protect their work by copyrighting their content and it must be written by the author and free from plagiarism. By using our AI Detection Platform, Documenta, users can authenticate their work is free from AI generated content. Using AI as a tool for productivity is useful, but using it for written content could be problematic. Much like the ruling for screenwriters in Hollywood, AI can be used to generate ideas, but not write scripts. These are useful guidelines for all written content and it is logical to think these steps will be implemented in other industries. In addition, we also have plans to add more AI to Validator to improve the validation process.

What is HYRverse? And what is your goal with it?

HYRverse is a platform we'd like to build someday. We developed a prototype and were selected to the Polygon LEAP accelerator. We developed NFT versions of each profile that acted as a resume or portfolio. Integrating NFTs with smart contracts is a future area we may pursue. Our goal would be to expand Validator to a Web3 platform and create a career network built on trust. Talent and company profiles could be validated and minted. We believe hiring should be based on merit and by allowing a user's identity to be private until hired it removes any bias. By ensuring that everything on their NFT is verified, it brings a high level of trust and minimizes bad actors. We put our web3 work on hold and are focused on Validator and Documenta right now.

Do you see the U.S. as a leader in artificial intelligence (AI)? What are you doing better than other nations?

The United States (US) is seen as the leader in Artificial Intelligence (AI) with over 4000 startups developing AI applications. In addition, the leading US AI companies have developed their own regenerative AI software including: Google's Bard, OpenAI's ChatGPT, and IBM's Watson, to name a few. In addition, many of these companies have made investments in other AI companies, most notably Microsoft's $13 billion investment in OpenAI. The US has a strong community of talent, most importantly developers, researchers and US federal government support. Innovation is revered and funding for new AI advancements continues to be strong for growth and speed in development. Competition from other countries is an opportunity for future collaboration.

What do you see as the future of recruiting?

Many aspects of the 'employee-employer' relationship are broken. Talent deserves stability, a liveable income and potential for advancement. The look of traditional full-time jobs is changing. More people will be working on projects and be hired in teams. They will have a portfolio of their past work history (traditional and project based) and validation provides a better assessment of skills and knowledge than a traditional resume that can easily contain exaggerated claims. Validation of past projects and work will become an important piece in hiring. In addition, HR departments need to focus on communication. I hear too often that applicants never hear back after applying for a position, and even more egregious after an actual interview. Some of this could be automated with AI. Post interviews, talent deserves to hear why they were passed on the position. Companies could benefit from having HR professionals respond with a few words of encouragement or suggestions.

Removing the bias and barrier in hiring is another area that is an important step to democratize recruiting and hiring. If users can keep their name, age, gender, and other personal data private that will remove any unconscious bias during the initial interview stage.

Also, downsizing can be lessened with more redeployment programs. This includes helping talent find other positions within the company by offering positions within different departments or in other teams. Talent that understands the company line of work, products, culture and team is an asset that should not be dismissed lightly. Retaining good talent saves time and money in the long run. The bottom line is talent is not dispensable and start by hiring the right people and work to retain talent with ongoing support. Loyalty and trust work both ways. 

Maura, thank you for the interview and your insights.

Freelance recruiting: More success with your own website

If you are in Freelance Recruiting and want to take your business to a new level, you should work on your findability and your public image. An effective way to do this is with your own website. Alongside your LinkedIn profile, it forms your digital presence. In this article, we look at what you should pay attention to.

Your own website: What do you need it for?

Having your own website puts you as a freelancer in the spotlight. Because you are the product that your customers buy. They are buying your expertise, your skills, your network and you as a person. You can express all of this on your website and give new and existing customers an overview of who they are dealing with. This looks professional and also boosts your customer acquisition. Potential new customers in particular can obtain extensive information on your website before they speak to you directly. Essentially, your website is about brand building, branding and sales.

Your own website: How do you create it?

Today, you no longer need your own software developer to create your own website. There are various website builder systems that you can use for this. These range from WordPress to Wix.com or Jimdo. Just try out which templates you like and how you get on with the respective tools. 

A meaningful domain is of course important for your own website. Your name is usually a good choice here (www.maxmustermann.de). There is probably no better branding. However, you could also choose a fantasy name or your specialization (e.g. www.phprecruiter.com) in the focus.

Example and analysis: christinawilbert.de

To give you a better picture of a good website, we will analyze the website of Christina Wilbert (www.christinawilbert.de). Christina is a consultant and trainer in recruiting and offers a very good example of a successful website.

Website analysis: Structure & organization

The structure and layout of the website are well done in that they provide all the information clearly without being overloaded. The homepage includes the logo at the top left, the telephone number and the menu in the header, as well as a heading H1 ("Coaching, consulting & training") and the selection "For individuals" and "For companies". 

The two buttons pick up the visitor directly and lead them in their desired direction without having to search for a long time. This differentiation is continued throughout the website, both on the home page and via the menu, so that the visitor is always directed to their respective interest. As a result, every interaction leads to a call-to-action (CTA). As a website operator, you want to encourage your visitors to find out more and then do something. This could be, for example, registering on the website or, as in this case, contacting Christina.

Christina offers both written and telephone contact for this purpose. The integration of the telephone number in the header, which can be seen at any time when scrolling, is very good. Remember: Make it as easy as possible for your visitor to contact you at any time. Especially in the business-to-business (B2B) sector, your visitor is on your website for a reason. Perhaps they are looking for new suppliers or comparative offers. They can quickly pick up the phone and talk to a potential new customer. Here it is even a good idea to communicate a clear order to the visitor. A "Call me!" or "Write me a message!" has even more of an effect on the visitor than simply displaying the contact details. Christina uses this in her CTA at the end of the website with "Let's talk!". Inclusion in the header may also be an option.

She also creates a continuation of contact options via cross-references to her LinkedIn and XING profile in the footer of the website. Here you can find out more about Christina, read her posts and get in touch with her. 

Website analysis: Branding

Christina has chosen a very appropriate branding for her public image. The website, just like her LinkedIn posts and certainly also corresponding presentations, always carry the same colors and fonts. She uses a warm beige as the main color, a slightly darker beige as a secondary color and yellow as an accent color. In UI design, the 60-30-10 rule is used to create harmonious and balanced color ratios. 60% of the content is the main color (here: light beige), 30% is the secondary color (here: dark beige) and 10% is the accent color (here: yellow), which is mainly used for the CTA. The integration of a blue tone during mouse-over, i.e. when you move the mouse over an interactive element, makes a lot of sense in terms of contrast and is also visually very balanced. The choice of color is also very well matched to the photos used and offers a good contrast to the font color used (dark blue).

Christina uses her own name as the domain for her website (www.christinawilbert.de). This makes a lot of sense for personal branding. Especially when you google her, her website is displayed at number 1. She also came up with her own logo, which fits in with the branding in terms of both color and content. The staircase within the circle symbolizes the ascent and thus fits the respective target groups of individuals (climbing the career ladder) as well as companies (success through better recruiting). The color and style fit into the overall structure and appear modern. 

Another point regarding branding is that Christina uses first names on her website and also in her LinkedIn posts. The question of "you" or "you" is always one that you should ask yourself at the beginning and then follow through constantly. The "you" creates closeness, the "you" creates distance. For Christina's area of coaching in particular, it makes sense to create closeness right from the start. Furthermore, it fits in with the current times and her overall appearance that she is on first-name terms. 

Website analysis: Sales

As already described, your website has one main goal and that is to sell. As the first point of contact for potential new customers, it should already contain all the relevant information that is important for your customers. These are above all:

  • Who am I dealing with?
  • Why should I employ this person?
  • What can I expect?
  • What will it cost me?

Christina answers all these questions on her website. She introduces herself with her CV and her previous projects ("Who am I dealing with?"). She describes the client's challenges and offers solutions ("Why should I employ this person?"). She describes what someone can expect from coaching, for example ("What can I expect?"). And it shows various price packages including prices. 

As a visitor, I am guided through the entire process. I understand who I'm dealing with and why she can solve my problems, how she goes about it and what it will cost me. This concludes with a CTA that prompts me to get in touch. 

What she also does well is to put the prices in relation to each other. Directly after the price overview, she has included a summary that explains the prices. This way, the visitor is not left thinking "That's expensive", but is directly put back into the situation that they are receiving "over 10 years of experience and psychologically sound work". 

Website analysis: potentials & options

Christina has created a very good website and a strong general public image that goes hand in hand with her branding. But is there anything she can do even better? And what options are there for developing her website further?

An important component of a website is "social proof". We humans simply work in such a way that we like what others like. On websites, this works primarily through testimonials and customer logos. Christina already describes a selection of her clients in her professional career, such as New Work SE, IDnow, ThyssenKrupp Management Consulting and Tomorrow Bank. She could present these more prominently with logos. Logos and images are easier to recognize than plain text. There may also be testimonials from these companies that she can include here. 

As described above, it could also formulate the CTA in the header more clearly. From just a phone number to an "invitation" to get in touch. This will subconsciously encourage visitors to do something.

To expand her website, she could consider implementing a recruiting blog. With a target group-oriented and SEO-optimized blog, she can gain more reach with her website and thus potential new customers. The search engine links for blog articles then lead visitors directly to her website and thus to her offer. She could also do the same in the form of guest articles that link her and her website to the article. 

Own website: Conclusion

Your own freelance recruiting website is your tool for branding and acquiring new customers. It gives you a new level of professional image and reach for new customer acquisition. If your branding runs through your website, your LinkedIn presence and your documents, such as presentations, your customers will be able to identify with it and contact you. Take advantage of online discoverability and let potential new customers find you. Use Christina's website and other freelancers you come across as a guide. They usually use a similar scheme. Above all, remember to answer the potential client's questions when creating your website:

  • Who am I dealing with?
  • Why should I employ this person?
  • What can I expect?
  • What will it cost me?


How do I create a website as a freelancer?

You can easily create your own website with WordPress or similar tools such as Jimdo or Wix.com. Think about your personal branding and present your offer. Take a look at the example in this article.

How much does it cost to have your own website?

The costs for your own website vary depending on how much you do yourself. With tools such as WordPress and the like, you can easily manage with €20 per month. If you hire an agency to create your website, it can cost several thousand euros.

Is it difficult to create a website?

In principle, anyone can create a website these days. Tools such as WordPress, Wix.com or Jimdo offer simple solutions for creating a website yourself.

Tech Stack: The Key to Successful Tech Recruiting (2023)

If you want to be successful in tech recruiting, there's only one thing you need to understand: the tech stack. The world of technologies and their combinations is the key to successful tech recruiting. This article clarifies what that means exactly and what you need to keep in mind as a tech recruiter.

Definition: What is a Tech Stack?

A tech stack (or technology stack) is the combination of technologies used by a company or developer to develop, operate, and maintain its software applications and services. 

What is the composition of a tech stack?

A tech stack typically consists of programming languages, frameworks and libraries. But what do these terms actually mean?

What is a programming language?

A programming language is a special, formal language that allows developers to give written instructions to a computer. To develop a program, website, or other application, programming languages, frameworks, and other technologies are used. Well-known programming languages include C, C++, Java, Python, JavaScript and PHP.

What is a framework?

A framework (also development environment) is a template of ready-made functionalities and structures that simplifies the creation of software applications for developers. Well-known frameworks are, for example, React, Angular and Vue.js in the JavaScript context or Spring and Hibernate in the Java context.

What is a library?

A library (often called a "library") is a collection of code snippets used by developers to avoid having to rewrite that code in every project. This can be, for example, converting a time to a different time zone or editing text. Most of the time, libraries are designed for a specific use case (e.g., working with time and date information) and are therefore used millions of times by developers all over the world.

Tech stack examples

Basically, there is no right or wrong in the tech stack, but there are common combinations that are derived from the significance of the respective technologies. The starting point of a tech stack is the programming language used. The respective options for frameworks and libraries are derived from this. 

In the frontend, for example, JavaScript is often used as the programming language. Developers and companies use React, Angular or Vue.js in particular as frameworks. In addition, various libraries, such as jQuery, Chart.js or typeface.js, can be used. And this is how the frontend tech stack results. It could look like this, for example:

JavaScript (programming language) - React (Framework) - MaterialUI, jQuery, Mica.js (Libraries)

There is also a tech stack in the backend. Frontend and backend do not necessarily have to be separated in the tech stack, but it helps to clarify. 

The backend tech stack is also dependent on the programming language. Here, the variety of programming languages used is significantly greater than in the frontend. Popular languages are, for example, Python, Java, PHP or Ruby. But JavaScript can also be used for the backend via its framework Node.js. With the programming language as a starting point, there are again various options for frameworks and libraries. Possible combinations are, for example:

Python (programming language) - Django (Framework) - NumPy, TensorFlow (Libraries)

Java (programming language) - Spring (Framework) - JUnit, Mockito (Libraries)

PHP (programming language) - Laravel (Framework) - PHPUnit, Composer (Libraries)

Well-known tech stacks that you may have heard of are MEAN, MERN, MEVN, based on JavaScript, and LAMP, based on PHP. Written out, these mean:

MEAN: MongoDB, Express.js, AngularJS, Node.js

MERN: MongoDB, Express.js, React, Node.js

MEVN: MongoDB, Express.js, Vue.js, Node.js

LAMP: Linux, Apache, MySQL, PHP

Tech Stack: What can you learn for your (tech) recruiting?

You now understand what a tech stack is and how it is composed. But why is this important for you as a (tech) recruiter at all? Because it forms the basis for every developer profile you are looking for. The tech stack always comes first in the search for developers. Only then do you look at other hard and soft skills. 

The tech stack that your company and the developers you're looking for use has a hierarchy to it. Understanding this hierarchy will help you source better and talk to the right developers faster.

As a first step, you need to understand what technologies (programming languages, frameworks, libraries) your company or the department you support uses. These have the following hierarchy for you in sourcing:

Programming Language > Framework > Library

The programming language is your most important asset. Since it is not so easy to learn, it is the starting point for your sourcing. Libraries and possibly frameworks are quicker to learn. A good developer can also learn other programming languages and tech stacks, but usually developers prefer to stick to their tech stack and react negatively or not at all to corresponding requests. 

Frameworks are another important point for your search for developers. The combination of the right programming language and the right framework is already a very good basis for your sourcing. Libraries are rather a nice-to-have. Since they are easy to learn and there are many of them, they are often not even listed in the profile.

Even if you only find supposedly poorly completed profiles: If they contain the programming language you are looking for and / or the preferred framework, it is worth to be addressed. 


What is the tech stack "MEAN"?

"MEAN" stands for "MongoDB, Express.js, AngularJS, Node.js" and describes a JavaScript-based tech stack.

What is the Tech Stack "MERN"?

"MERN" stands for "MongoDB, Express.js, React, Node.js" and describes a JavaScript-based tech stack.

What is the Tech Stack "MEVN"?

"MEVN" stands for "MongoDB, Express.js, Vue.js, Node.js" and describes a JavaScript-based tech stack.

Underdog.io: Matching tech companies and talent

In our new category "HR Tech in US" we present HR tech companies from the USA and what the European HR world can learn from them.
In this interview, I spoke with Joshua Goldstein. He is Co-Founder of Underdog.io, a company that brings tech companies and talent together.

Joshua, you founded Underdog.io, a company that brings together tech companies and tech talent. What is special about your approach? How does it work?

Our focus has always been on quality and efficiency for both the candidates who are searching for opportunities, and the companies looking to bring on the best talent. This focus generates a better user experience, which drives everything else. In the early days, we were an email-based product, which was the most efficient way to distribute qualified candidates to exciting companies. Since we've grown, we've built software to help ensure meaningful connections with little-to-no wasted time and energy.

Is this approach applicable internationally? Do you see any differences between the US and, for example, the European tech scene?

Each market is different. The European tech ecosystem is rich with diversity, bringing with it unique challenges. But at its heart, recruitment is about people. While tools like Underdog.io have found success in the US, the principles of quality and efficiency are universal. It's just a matter of tailoring the approach to resonate with the specific audience.

What is special about US tech talent? Do they really all earn as much salary as you always hear? What is the importance of salary for tech talent in the US?

Many of the best technology companies are built in the US, which means the tech talent gets a front-row seat. They are the ones driving the innovation at scale.

With regard to salaries, it's a spectrum. FAANG and FAANG-adjacent companies have driven salaries higher. To compete, other tech companies have had to raise their compensation as well. With that said, salaries will vary depending on the location, company size, company stage, etc. Beyond salary, what we've observed is an increasing emphasis on values, growth potential, and work environment. 

What does the future of (tech) recruiting look like from your perspective?

The future of tech recruiting is all about meaningful connections. It's not just about matching a CV to a job description. It's about aligning values, culture, and visions. As the tech landscape changes, so do the skills and adaptabilities companies are looking for. It's about finding that sweet spot where a candidate's vision aligns with a company's goals. Having worked with tech candidates at Underdog.io for the last decade, I've seen firsthand the shift towards more meaningful recruitment.

How can technology help shape that future?

Technology brings scalability, insights, and personalization to the table. It can help us understand trends, predict needs, and tailor experiences for both candidates and companies. While algorithms and data play a crucial role, the human element remains irreplaceable. Platforms that can strike a balance, understanding the tech and the human side of things, are the ones that stand out.

Joshua, thank you for the interview and your insights.

Recruiting 2.0: How to use SEO to improve your job ads

You want to make your job ads fit for Google and Co. so that they can be found better? Then this article is the right one for you. Here you will find everything you need, including an assessment of what is feasible and what is not. 

What is SEO?

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) aims to improve the visibility of websites, blogs and other web content in Google, Bing and Yahoo search results. The goal is to increase a website's ranking in organic (non-paid) search results for relevant search queries. 

SEO is essentially implemented through the following three methods.

On-page SEO

On-page SEO (or OnSite SEO) refers to the optimization of the individual pages of a website. The main focus is on the website content with relevant keywords, the optimization of meta tags and the HTML source code.

Off-page SEO

Off-page SEO covers all SEO measures outside the own website. These are for example backlinks and mentions of other trustworthy pages on the own website. 

Technical SEO

Technical SEO includes measures that focus on indexing and crawling by search engines. Here, for example, structured data and the loading time of a website are optimized.

What is SEM?

Search engine marketing (SEM) is a form of online marketing in which paid advertisements are placed in search engines such as Google or Bing. The ads are usually (and provided that the searcher does not use an adblocker) placed at the top of a search query and billed according to a pay-per-click (PPC) system. 

So for every search query via Google and Co. you see paid ads from SEM and the content from organic SEO that best matches your search. 

Recruiting 2.0: The starting position

According to estimates, Google, the market leader among search engines (market share in 2022: 87.6 %), processes 64,000 search queries per second worldwide. That is approx. 5.8 billion search queries per day.

This means a huge reach for websites and therefore also for well-optimized job ads. The problem: 99.1 % of all clicks on Google fall on the first page of search listings. Only 0.9 % of all searchers even click on page 2 of the Google results. 

Source: Sistrix

Accordingly, the first page of Google listings is extremely competitive. If you consider that you are on the Internet with over 200 million active websites and most of your competitors also know about the importance of SEO, it is important to paint a realistic picture of what you can and cannot achieve with SEO optimization. 

SEO for job ads: The basics

Before you can assess to what extent SEO optimization is worthwhile for you and your job ads, you need to understand what the content is actually about. How do you do SEO? And how specifically for job ads?

The starting point for your SEO should always be the question, "How or what would I Google?".

How do you Google when you're looking for a new recruiter job? What three keywords best describe your search? Probably "Recruiter", "Job" and e.g. "Berlin"(or the place where you are looking / living). You can transfer this pattern for pretty much any other job. No matter if software developer, consultant or nurse. 

SEO for job ads: The job title

And with this you have the first step to successful SEO for your job ads, namely in the form of the job title. This is your H1 heading (the most important of all headings), which may only be assigned once for your entire document and is an important SEO tool.

The headline precisely summarizes the content and is therefore an important indicator for search engines. Therefore, make sure to mention the right keywords here. For your open developer positions this could be e.g. the terms Software Developer, Software Developer, Software Engineer or also Java Developer, PHP Developer or React Developer be 

Here you can include the required language skills by writing the job title in German or English, and also go into more detail about the tech stack, if this is appropriate. You can also add your industry (automotive, telecommunications, gaming, ...) to give the searcher a direct specification.

Important: When choosing the job title, keep in mind the above mentioned question: "How or what would I google?". Creative titles like "Coding Warrior", "Developer Rockstar" or "Code Hero" sound funny and different at first, but they don't lead to any results in SEO, because nobody searches for them. 

SEO for job ads: The URL

The next step to successful SEO for your job ads is the URL. Since this is also read by the search engines, it is a good idea to use the job title plus the location. Make sure not to use underscores, but use hyphens if necessary. Keep the URL as short and concise as possible and avoid numbers and special characters. 

This ensures that the URL is self-explanatory for search engines and searchers. This can have a positive effect on your ranking. 

SEO for job ads: The meta title and meta description

In SEO, the meta title and meta description is the presentation of your page within the search results. When you google something, the search results are displayed with a title and a description. You define these with the meta title and meta description.

There are certain criteria for the meta title and meta description that you should adhere to so that your presentation remains easy to read. The meta title may be a maximum of 60 characters and the meta description a maximum of 160 characters long. Make sure that it contains all the relevant information that will make the searcher click on the link. 

SEO for job ads: The content

In the center of your SEO-optimized job ad is your most important keyword from the H1 heading - the job title. This should appear frequently in the text, but within a framework that the text remains easy to read. By mentioning it several times, the search engines recognize your job ad as relevant and show it to someone who is searching for exactly this keyword. 

Structure the job ad so that you start with an introductory sentence, which can also serve as a meta description. Introduce yourself as an employer and include links to your career page, press articles, etc. (so-called backlinks) to name trustworthy sources on your page. Be precise about the tasks and the candidate profile in order to mention keywords that your target group is looking for. You can also do this for the benefits section. 

Share job ads on social media

Google and other search engines essentially work in such a way that pages that are clicked on a lot are ranked higher. If many people click on a page frequently and stay on it for a long time, it can't be bad and will accordingly be shown to others who are looking for something similar. 

So your job ad pages need clicks. You can support this by sharing your job ads on your social networks. This will provide you with additional reach and also reach potential candidates who become aware of it via likes, hashtags or sharing. 

SEO strategy: Think long term

Job ads are comparatively entertaining. Your career page and website are not. So it's best to develop a long-term SEO strategy that includes all your web content. Use SEO in all areas of your business to present yourself and your company digitally. An interview with an employee can be relevant for your recruiting as well as for your sales activities. Therefore, develop different formats to present yourself to Google and other search engines on a permanent basis. These could be, for example, the following:

  • Website
  • Career site
  • Interviews with employees
  • Department FAQs
  • Infographics
  • Studies
  • Whitepaper
  • and much more.

Here you can continue to rely on text, photos, videos and audio channels. You can set them all up SEO-optimized and use them for your recruiting. 

SEO: Critical thoughts

To conclude the article, I would like to share some personal thoughts and classify the topic. 

SEO is really relevant and has an effect that is not always immediately apparent. I always advocate being digitally present and understanding and applying the mechanisms of Google and Co. Here you can only win.

However, it is important to maintain a healthy expectation. In the above example of the search "recruiter", "job" and "Berlin" I get about 10 million results. And the first page presents me mainly Stepstone, Monster, Indeed and other large job boards. These have been investing a lot of resources in SEO and SEM for many years and are listed on page 1 in almost every search that has something to do with jobs. As we noted in "Recruiting 2.0: The Starting Point," only 0.9 % of all searchers click on page 2, and again, it's hard to get there. 

Be sure to apply the topics mentioned here to your website and job ad, but also realize that SEO is also a competition where many players are already well listed. 

In case you post your job ads on the mentioned job boards, note that almost identical "SEO rules" prevail here. So your effort will pay off twice.

Tech Recruiting


What is Recruiting 2.0?

The term "Recruiting 2.0" is a word combination of "Recruiting" and "Web 2.0". It primarily refers to the digital placement of job advertisements, employer branding and active sourcing.

How long does SEO take?

Search engine optimization (SEO) depends on various criteria, such as the initial situation, the chosen strategy, the scope of SEO measures and the competition. You can expect at least 6-12 months until you can see measurable success.

Is SEO hard?

SEO is not difficult. In fact, if you understand the basics from this article, it's easy. And the effort is worth it. Google processes about 5.8 billion queries every day. You can generate a lot of reach here.

Active Sourcing and Employer Branding: The Key to Successful Talent Acquisition

By 2035, according to the Institute for Employment Research There is a shortage of more than seven million skilled workers. To counter this, it is important to present oneself as an attractive employer and to break new ground. After all, in today's highly competitive working world, it is vital for companies to attract highly qualified specialists. Two concepts play a prominent role here: active sourcing and employer branding. Both strategies aim to position the company as an attractive employer and to make talent acquisition more effective in order to attract the right talent. In this article, we will take a closer look at Active Sourcing and Employer Branding and explain their importance for modern recruitment.

What is Active Sourcing?

Active sourcing is about finding suitable candidates through an active process, contacting them and getting them interested in a targeted position. What's important here is that it's all about the target group's point of view, so as a company representative, you get to consider what exactly might interest potential candidates in an open position. Since most talent is in employment these days, we focus on the so-called passive candidates with active sourcing. These are those who are not actually looking for a new position.

If you want to know more about Active Sourcing, take a look at this article: Active Sourcing - Everything you need to know.

What is employer branding?

Employer branding refers to the way a company is perceived as an employer with the aim of building a strong, credible and attractive employer brand to differentiate itself from competitors. Employer branding encompasses various aspects such as corporate culture, working conditions, career opportunities, social benefits and the company's reputation. The goal is to sustainably shape the perception of employees and candidates.

It's especially important that you communicate a clear message that reflects the company's identity and values to appeal to potential candidates.

Synergy between active sourcing and employer branding

Active sourcing and employer branding complement each other. If you proactively search for talent, you can show potential candidates the advantages of working with you and strengthen your employer brand at the same time. With authentic employer branding, companies position themselves directly for the future and at the same time prevent bad employer branding. Because if it is developed from within and actually lived, then it can't be bad. And after all, you only want to attract candidates who fit the company and ideally don't even talk to the others. Because that saves you time and money!

Through a personalized, appreciative approach and targeted communication, you show interest on the one hand, and at the same time offer an honest insight into the corporate culture and the company's attractiveness. With the help of active sourcing, you can spread the message of your employer brand in a more targeted way and thus address your target group directly.

Why doesn't active sourcing work without employer branding?

Active sourcing and employer branding are closely linked and complement each other in their effect. While active sourcing focuses on actively searching for candidates, addressing them in an appreciative manner and inspiring them, employer branding lays the foundation for the attractiveness of the company as a potential employer for my target group.

If you as a company do not have a clear employer brand, it can be difficult to attract the attention of highly qualified professionals. This is because your company may be perceived as less attractive or less credible.

When differentiating your company from competitors, a strong employer brand helps you show potential candidates what makes your company unique and attractive. With a weak employer brand, it is much more difficult to get potential candidates to take a closer look at your company or to consider it as a possible employer, even if you actively approach them.

Ideally, you want to retain talent for the long term, and you do that with a strong employer brand that demonstrates a positive work environment, offers development opportunities for your employees, and maps out career paths.

What specifically can you do now?

To take the first steps in active sourcing for your business, I recommend the following:

Define your goals

Before you get started with active sourcing, you should establish clear business goals: Do you want to find targeted professionals for specific vacancies, grow your own talent pool, or build a talent pipeline for future recurring hires? Here, the objective determines the approach and the necessary resources that will be used for active sourcing.

Identify and analyze your target audience

Here you can look specifically at which target group is most relevant for your company, which skills and experience are needed, and which areas of expertise. With a crystal-clear definition of your target group, you can make your search more precise and address potential candidates in a more targeted manner.

Plan your resources

Determine exactly what resources are available for your active sourcing. This includes the number of recruiters, the technologies and tools to be used, and the budget for paid services.

Optimize your online presence

You need an attractive online presence. This means that your career page and social media channels in particular should be tailored to your target group and information about the corporate culture and values should be easy to find.

Identify your sources

Determine on which channels you will find your target group and on which you will stay. This can be business networks as well as career portals, industry-specific forums and specialized platforms.

Build your talent pipeline

Make sure there are candidates in your pipeline who may be of interest for future positions and who are not really actively looking for a new job yet.

Speak specifically and directly to

The key is to address your candidates in a targeted, individualized and appreciative manner. So show interest in the skills and experience and include them in your personalized approach.

Engagement and follow-up

Actively stay in touch with candidates who are in your talent pipeline, show interest regularly, and keep reminding yourself to build a long-term relationship.

Measure your success and optimize

Look at the results of your active sourcing activities, analyze them and see what is already working well and where adjustments can be made.

Active sourcing is a great way to respond to the changing situation of the candidate market. For this, an individually created employer brand is indispensable if you want to attract and inspire suitable candidates in the future. It requires planning, patience and determination, but applied correctly, Active Sourcing, together with Employer Branding, lays the foundation for successful Talent Acquisition.

In summary, active sourcing without employer branding is less effective because the potential of directly addressing candidates cannot be fully exploited. Employer branding creates credibility, trust, and attractiveness for potential candidates, and active sourcing makes it possible to target potential candidates with strong employer branding behind them and get them excited about the company. In the current times of constant change, companies need to clearly demonstrate the values they stand for in order to attract and retain the right candidates for the long term. Both approaches maximize the chances of success in attracting and retaining highly qualified professionals over the long term.

Tech salaries: analysis of the Stack Overflow Developer Survey 2023

The 13th edition of the Stackoverflow Developer Survey has been published. 90,000 software developers worldwide took part in the study this year. Of particular interest from a recruiting perspective: salary data. How have the salaries for backend developers, DevOps engineers and others developed? You can find an overview in this article. (Please note that this article is about the german tech scene.)

What is Stack Overflow?

Stack Overflow is a platform for software developers to ask questions and share problems with the community. With over 100 million website views per month, it is one of the 50 most popular websites on the Internet. Many software developers use Stack Overflow in their daily programming work to solve problems, learn new things or interact with other software developers. 

What is the Stack Overflow Developer Survey?

The Stack Overflow Developer Survey is a study published once a year on various topics concerning software developers. It is divided into the following main topics:

  • Overview
  • Developer profile
  • Technologies
  • Artificial intelligence (AI; new since 2023)
  • Work
  • Community
  • Professional developers
  • Methodology


The "Overview" is classically the introduction to the study, describing what topics the study addresses and what its focus is. In this year's study, the topic of "AI" is a new addition, to which Stack Overflow also adds its new product Stack Overflow Labs introduces.

Developer profile

The "Developer Profile" describes which school career and educational opportunities software developers use to become software developers. 

Extract 2023: Participants under the age of 18 primarily use online tools, such as videos, blogs and forums, to acquire knowledge. Participants between the ages of 25 and 34 acquired their knowledge primarily through online courses and certificates (52 %) and through school careers (55 %). 


In the "Technology" section, the study shows the most popular programming languages, frameworks and co. of the software developers surveyed.

Extract 2023: The most popular technologies 2023 of the respective categories are JavaScript (Programming Languages; 63,61%), PostgreSQL (Database; 45,55%), Amazon Web Services (AWS) (Cloud; 48,62%), Node.js (web frameworks; 42,65%), .NET (5+) (other frameworks; 25,29%), Docker (other tools; 51,55%). In addition, Visual Studio Code is the most popular development environment (73,71%).

Artificial Intelligence (AI)

The "AI" section is included in the study for the first time in 2023. It describes how AI is used in software development.

Extract 2023: 70% of participants are using or planning to use AI in the development process this year.

By the way: How the use of AI in recruiting looks like, shows this article.


In the "Work" section, the professional situation of developers is highlighted. What salaries do they earn? In which companies do they work? What influence do they have on the technologies used?

Extract 2023More than a third of all companies work completely remotely. However, compared to the previous year, +2% of companies also insist on on-site presence.


"Community" describes the use of Stack Overflow itself by participants.

Professional developers

The "Professional developers" section describes the working environment of the software developers in the company. This includes communication with each other as well as the use of tools and programs. 

Extract 2023: 63% of all participants use over 30 minutes of a workday to search for solutions to problems. 


The final section of the methodology shows how the study was planned and analyzed. This also includes feedback from the participants on the study itself.

Stack Overflow Developer Survey 2023: Participants and evaluation

The 2023 Stack Overflow Developer Survey polled a total of 89,184 respondents from 185 countries. 75.39% of them are full-time software developers. That's 67,237 software developers. A further 8,954 participants (10.04%) are not active full-time as software developers, but are involved in programming either professionally or through their studies. 

Stack Overflow Developer Survey 2023
Source: Stack Overflow Survey 2023

Tech salaries at a glance

The Stack Overflow Developer Survey 2023 asks for a total of 3,853 votes from Germany on salary (vs. 2022: 2,879 votes). 56.41% of them are full-time employees, 14.63% are full-time students, and 10.92% are freelancers. The remaining 18.04% are distributed among part-time employees and students and non-employees and retirees.

Salaries for software developers in Germany have increased year-on-year in almost all areas. Please note that the figures given below are average values.

Salary: Senior Executive (C-Level, VP, etc.)

At management level, the average salary in 2023 will be $104,421.5. This is an increase from +7,6% compared to the previous year ($97,045.5).

Sources: Stack Overflow Developer Survey 2022/2023

Salary: Engineering Manager

At middle management level, the average salary in 2023 will be $107,090. A plus from +11,58% vs. 2022 ($95.979).

Sources: Stack Overflow Developer Survey 2022/2023

Salary: Data Scientist / Machine Learning Specialist

For Data Scientists and Machine Learning Specialists, the 2023 average goes up to $87,813. An increase by +17,63% vs. 2022 ($74,651).

Sources: Stack Overflow Developer Survey 2022/2023

Salary: Data Engineer

Data engineering is about +11,58% high on $85,672 (previous year: $76,783).

Sources: Stack Overflow Developer Survey 2022/2023

Salary: Cloud Infrastructure Engineer

Cloud engineering is about +10,99% high on $85,227 (previous year: $76,788).

Sources: Stack Overflow Developer Survey 2022/2023

Salary: DevOps Specialist

In the DevOps sector, the study is the only one to show a decrease in the average salary of the salaries considered here. From $72,983 (2022) to $70,679 (2023). A minus of -3,16%.

Sources: Stack Overflow Developer Survey 2022/2023

Salary: Backend Developer

Backend developers are pleased with an increase of +14,12%. It goes from an average of $70,380 (2022) to $80,317 (2023).

Sources: Stack Overflow Developer Survey 2022/2023

Salary: Frontend Developer

In the front-end area, the average salary in 2023 is $68,537. A plus from +7,11% compared with the previous year ($63,986).

Sources: Stack Overflow Developer Survey 2022/2023

Salary: Full Stack Developer

Full stack developers earn on average in 2023 $69,608. An increase of +4,35% vs. 2022 ($66,708).

Sources: Stack Overflow Developer Survey 2022/2023

Salary: Mobile Developer

Mobile developers have to work with +24,33% made the biggest salary jump in the study. From an average of $67,186 (2022), it goes up to $83,530 (2023).

Sources: Stack Overflow Developer Survey 2022/2023

Salary: Embedded Developer

Embedded developers are happy about +10,52% Salary growth. The average salary in 2023 is $74,963 (2022: $67,825).

Sources: Stack Overflow Developer Survey 2022/2023

The study also shows other salary data. For example, the project manager (2023: $80,317), the desktop developer (2023: $69,608) and the game developer (2023: $64,254). 

A detailed insight into the study can be found here: Stack Overflow Developer Survey 2023

How much does a software developer earn?

As a software developer, you can earn a lot of money depending on your experience level. Exactly how much depends on the job you're aiming for. Check out our article on tech salaries for more detailed salary data for each position.

How much can a software developer earn?

Software developers earn an average of around €63,000 per year. The salary is always based on experience, the value you bring to the company and a portion of negotiating skills.

What is the starting salary as a software developer?

As a software developer, you can expect a starting salary of around €49,000 gross per year. However, the salary depends on various factors, such as the size of the company, the job itself or the location of the company.

AI in recruiting: How is your job changing?

No matter where you look, whether it's on TV, on LinkedIn, in the newspaper, everywhere you look people are talking about AI and how it's going to change everything. But how realistic is that really? Where is AI already finding its way into our everyday jobs today? And how will your recruiting job change as AI takes over more and more tasks? That's the subject of this article.

What is artificial intelligence (AI)?

Artificial intelligence (AI) is a technical application that aims to digitally emulate human intelligence. The aim is to enable machines and programs to adopt and improve human thinking and behavior and to imitate them in various tasks. 

AI is based on huge amounts of data, which are put into relation with each other via algorithms. The AI is trained to recognize patterns and correlations between the data and to draw conclusions from them. The goal is usually for the AI to be able to learn independently and improve itself.

There is almost no area in which AI has not yet found its way or will not do so. Whether it's finance, medicine, production, communication, AI is everywhere. Without you always noticing or questioning it. For example, the facial or fingerprint recognition of your smartphone, digital assistants such as Siri or Alexa, autonomous driving, recommendations on Spotify or in social media, or even your navigation system. The list is already endless today. And it's getting longer all the time.

What advantages does AI bring?

AI is the logical consequence of what we humans have always done: We make things easier for ourselves. It's easier (and sometimes safer) to use your fingerprint to unlock your smartphone than to have to type in a four- to six-digit code every time. It's convenient to learn about new artists you might probably like on Spotify that you might otherwise miss. And it certainly equalizes traffic already when many people use Google Maps as a navigation system and bypass the red areas directly.

AI makes the world simpler, cheaper and faster. And it opens up potential that would probably never be possible with human power. Because it is more powerful and always available. It doesn't need to rest and doesn't make mistakes. It does what people tell it to do, without any will of its own. And with sufficient data, it can make predictions that humans cannot make validly. 

That already sounds very positive. But where there are advantages, there are also disadvantages.

What are the disadvantages of AI?

When it comes to AI, one of the main points of criticism is ethics. After all, the technical application is still based on human creativity, which develops the AI. According to some researchers, this cannot be completely free of prejudice. Furthermore, there is the question of responsibility. Who is responsible if the AI should make a momentous decision? For example, if a human is killed in a car accident with a self-driving car. Is the manufacturer of the car liable? Or the developer? And would anyone then even develop such an AI if they knew they would be liable? There are many new and unresolved issues here that we need to address.

AI continues to bring the risk of unemployment in many areas. Jobs are very likely to be replaced or changed by AI. But it will also create many new professions that we don't even know about today. 

Other disadvantages of AI are its lack of empathy and its unpredictability in the case of self-learning AI. In addition, it is important to remember that the AIs that have been popular so far, such as ChatGPT, are language models. That is, these AIs have been trained to learn, understand, and reproduce language. This does not yet mean that all the information that this AI reproduces is correct. Thus, such an AI can sound convincing, but tell plain wrong.

Where can we already find AI in recruiting today?

The world is changing. AI is already here in many areas of life and continues to make inroads, and we can already find AI applications in recruiting. They relieve recruiters and budgets, optimize processes and help to achieve KPIs. The question is: In which recruiting areas can we already find AI today?

Assessment Center

Assessment centers can be supported by AI, for example. Certain tasks can be used to test the competencies and skills of a candidate. These are automatically evaluated and compared. Both in advance, when selecting who is invited to the assessment center, and during the process. In addition, speech analysis tools can be used to obtain information about the candidate's personality and behavior.

Applicant analysis

Voice and video analysis tools are also finding their way into applicant analysis. The entire process, from the analysis of application documents to the evaluation of interviews, can be accompanied by AI. 


The chatbot has already become a "classic". With this, website visitors to the career site can get in touch with the company via a chat without the need for direct action by an employee. The chatbot can respond to common questions and forward them to an employee if necessary.


Today, it is also already possible to have entire interviews, at least digital initial interviews, conducted via AI. This can evaluate language, choice of words and facial expressions and deduce whether the candidate is a good fit for the company.

Job postings

AI can also support the creation of job ads. By analyzing job ads, job categories, keywords and possible matching job boards can be derived. In this way, AI supports the smooth retrieval of the job advertisement for the applicant.

How is AI changing recruiting?

You will therefore already find AI in the entire recruiting process. As a rule, however, it is more of a support than a fixed component with its own package of tasks. As a rule, there is still a certain susceptibility to errors. But this development will also continue. Errors will be corrected, systems corrected and further developed. AI will become an integral part of the recruiting process and increasingly take over tasks independently. Above all, recurring tasks such as applicant screening and matching (in the Active sourcing), will (be) taken over by AI. 

This leaves the recruiter much more time for the essentials. Hiring the right employees. The bottom line is that this decision will remain one that is not made by AI. Who will be hired when the company has to decide between two or more candidates? Who decides in favor of the candidate who is "worse" on paper, even sometimes? That's what humans do. Because he has one thing that AI cannot reproduce: Gut feeling. AI will therefore change a lot, but not everything. In the end, people still work with people. It doesn't matter what the other person's high school diploma is or whether he or she has frowned in a conversation. Only people and their gut feeling know how to evaluate that.

Tech Recruiting


AI Recruiting: What is it?

AI Recruiting (Artificial Intelligence Recruiting) is the technical support of the recruiting process by means of software and automation. 

How is AI Recruiting changing recruitment?

AI Recruiting (Artificial Intelligence Recruiting) is now finding its way into the entire recruitment process. This can be supported by AI from the initial contact of the applicant with the career site, for example through chatbots, to entire interviews.

How is AI changing human resources?

Artificial intelligence (AI) already supports many areas in human resources. For example, in recruitment, personnel development and employer branding. This article shows you how AI is finding its way into recruiting.

How to calculate my hourly rate as a freelance recruiter

When you become self-employed and start your first job as a freelance recruiter, the question arises as to what hourly rate you can charge. However, you can't start from what you have earned as an employee so far. The financial situation as a freelancer is different. In this article, we'll explain exactly what this looks like and what hourly rate you should charge. (Please note that examples and links are designed for Germany. In other countries, the information given here may vary.) 

Sales do not equal profit

As a self-employed person, the hourly rate forms the basis for your turnover. However, this is not yet your profit or your income from which you live. As an employee, you were provided with a lot by your employer. For example, the workstation with PC and monitor, the license of the LinkedIn recruiter and similar tools, or the proportional payment of social security. As a self-employed person, you bear these costs yourself. On top of that, there are other costs such as marketing, travel expenses and insurance. 

Below I'll show you a step-by-step guide that will explain how to calculate your hourly rate. The bottom line is a very simple economic calculation.

Calculation of the hourly rate 

First of all, it is important to get an overview of all the costs you will be confronted with in your private and (future) business life. 

Private expenses

In order to realistically assess your private expenses, get as precise an overview as possible of your current and past financial situation. You can do this, for example, by taking the longest possible time to get a bank statement from your bank. What do you pay for rent, electricity and food? What do you pay for your car? What insurance do you need to pay for? What impulse purchases do you finance? 

This is a good point to become more aware of your own expenses and, if necessary, to tidy up a bit. But also to look into the future and to consider whether larger investments or, for example, family planning is pending. This should all be considered in advance and reflected in your economic plan.

(Future) business expenses

As a freelancer, you will continue to face expenses that you don't have as an employee. For example, recruiting tools or travel expenses. Therefore, make yourself aware of what you need to realize your business success. Think about what it takes to do your job. In the following, I list some topics with suggestions:


  • What tools do you use to achieve your recruiting success?
  • Do you need a LinkedIn recruiter / XING talent manager or is it enough for you to Google Sourcing?
  • Do you need additional software (like Microsoft Office) or access to digital platforms?


  • Do you write your invoices using a (paid) tool or Microsoft Word?
  • How much does your business account cost?

Marketing & Sales

  • How do you reach your customers (see: Sales for introverts)?
  • Are you planning to visit trade fairs & events? Does the visit pay off economically for your company? 


  • Do you need an office with appropriate equipment, if necessary?
  • Do you need access to a coworking space, if applicable?
  • What expenses do you have for technical infrastructure such as PC / laptop and smartphone? How often do you have to replace them?


  • What business travel may come your way?
  • Do you need a company car, if applicable? 
  • What are your estimated costs for hotel accommodations, etc.?


  • Do you need a tax advisor to help you with your tax return and other tax issues?
  • Which costs are tax deductible?

Further education

  • What continuing education opportunities might make sense for you in the future?

Get as realistic an overview as possible. You may also find creative ways to solve one or the other problem elegantly. The access to sourcing tools could also influence your first hourly rate negotiation. The company provides the tool, so you go down with the hourly rate. For a first assignment this can be a good solution.

Social security

A third major point for the calculation of your hourly rate is the social security. As a freelancer, you are on your own. There is no longer an employer who pays a share of your social security. This means that you have to bear the following additional costs.

Health and nursing care insurance

Health and long-term care insurance are mandatory for self-employed persons. This can be done either privately or by law. It is best to contact your health insurance company directly in order to determine your individual contribution rate. You can also get more information here.

Pension insurance

As a self-employed person, paying into the pension insurance is voluntary. You can choose your contribution as long as it is above the minimum contribution of currently 96.72 € per month (as of 2023). You can find more information here.

If you decide against paying into the statutory pension scheme and prefer to make private provision for your old age, make a realistic calculation of the amount you should set aside each month for this purpose.

Unemployment insurance

As a self-employed person, paying into the unemployment insurance is also voluntary. However, you must decide within the first 3 months of becoming self-employed whether you want to continue paying into unemployment insurance. You can find more information here.

Calculate hourly rate

The sum of your private and business expenses as well as the social security contributions result in your total costs, which you have to bear monthly or annually. On the other hand, you have the time to cover these costs and to generate a profit. How many working days do you have available for this?

To calculate the number of working days, you can break down the year into weekends, vacations, vacation, training and sick days. This results in the days on which you can effectively be economically active. A possible calculation could look like this:

365 days 

- 104 days weekend

- 13 holidays (average; depending on state) 

- 25 vacation days 

- 10 Sick days 

- 12 training days

This results in 201 working days per year. 

Of course, this depends on how many vacation and continuing education days you schedule, which state you live in, and whether and how often you get sick.

This hourly rate would be what you need at full capacity to cover all your costs. This does not include: "low order" times, sales days, trade fairs & events and other days on which you cannot work economically for operational reasons. Of course, individual experience values also count here, but it is not wrong to include a buffer.

201 days

- 36 Sales days

This results in 165 working days per year (about 14 days per month).

For example, if you are targeting a monthly revenue of €6,000 to pay for your personal and business expenses as well as your insurance, the following calculation applies:

6.000 € / 14 days = 429 € daily rate / 8 hrs. = 54 € hourly rate

On top of this we calculate another 30 % for "low order" times when you don't earn any money. You can find a study on this here.

54 € hourly rate * 1.3 = 70 € hourly rate

To achieve a monthly income of €6,000, you should set an hourly rate of €70. However, as you want to build your business further and get better recruiting tools, for example, you also need to make a profit and increase your hourly rate.

Increase hourly rate

The basic calculation is the same for all freelancers, no matter what individual cost requirements are determined. With the increase in the hourly rate, you can subsequently build up your business further, possibly afford a trade fair or hire someone to support you. However, when negotiating higher hourly rates, various factors (market situation, industry, network,...) come into play that influence the hourly rate once again.

Know your value

You and your recruiting skills are now the product in a market of many options for how companies can fill their jobs. Therefore, survey the market situation. For the company it is also an economic calculation which option it chooses. For example, it could work with recruiters instead of freelance recruiters. At the same time, there are also various freelance recruiters with whom you compete in the selection process. This is why it is so important that you know your value and can argue for it. Therefore, pay attention to the tips on building your business in this Article. With the right specialization, a good reputation and appropriate recommendations, you can also charge higher hourly rates. Basically, if someone will pay it, you are probably worth it. There is no right or wrong.

Anchor properly

I know from my own experience that negotiations can be unpleasant. Especially in the beginning, when you're still unsure what the right price is, what other freelancers are asking for, etc. You actually want to do everything right, but are swimming in the sea of ignorance. 

Nevertheless, an hourly rate negotiation is always something where you as a freelancer first specify something. You "anchor" with a price. That is, you first say a number and then the conversation and the negotiation is based on that. It always depends on your counterpart and his basis for negotiation. But try to anchor as high as possible within a realistic framework. See also this lecture at Greator an.

Hourly rate: This is what you should take with you as a freelance recruiter

The hourly rate is therefore made up of a hard economic calculation and various soft factors. As a product on a market, you can always start by looking at what other market participants are doing. Gather experience and references and always test higher hourly rates with new clients. The soft factors are influenced by so much that everyone has to find and negotiate their own hourly rate. I know that's a lot of "it depends," but you'll find in practice that it's just like that. Still, to give you some direction: If you go in at €70 to €80, you're in a good place.

From here, you can act flexibly. Lower hourly rates can also be attractive for orders with a longer duration. If you avoid "low order" times, this will balance out or even have a positive effect on you. For short jobs, you can also try a higher hourly rate. Always keep in mind that it is difficult to significantly increase the hourly rate, especially with existing customers. 

Finally, note the topic of taxes. This again depends on your current situation and tax bracket. It is important for you to keep in mind that profits are taxed and that you have to keep an eye on these taxes.


Definition: What is an hourly rate?

An hourly rate is an amount that you pay your clients for the work you perform. per hour in the invoice.

Is the hourly rate gross or net?

The hourly rate for freelancers is always stated net. The sales tax (VAT) is shown separately and is considered a "transitory item". It is therefore the amount that is passed on to the tax office in the same amount.

How do I increase my hourly rate?

If you want to increase your hourly rate, you need good arguments for your next negotiations. The easiest way is to choose the orders and test higher hourly rates. But even without many orders, you can gradually increase your hourly rate through a professional appearance (website, references, recommendations,...).

The 10 best shortcuts for your (tech) recruiting

Shortcuts - a topic that can be both very boring and very exciting. After all, once you get into the habit of using them, you'll work much faster, more comfortably and more efficiently. For all of you who are tired of doing your daily work with the right-click of the mouse button, we will find a solution in this article. Your (Tech) Recruiting-This will noticeably change everyday life. 

What are shortcuts?

Shortcuts are key combinations on the keyboard of your PC or laptop with which you can execute commands. You can often do this by right-clicking the mouse, for example. However, since this is very time-consuming and inefficient, especially when used frequently, shortcuts are a useful alternative that allows you to work faster and more relaxed. 

Why should you use shortcuts?

Shortcuts make working with the keyboard much more comfortable. If you have to right-click to find the commands, it's like having to turn around while driving a car to shift into the next gear in the back seat. Fortunately, shifting gears is simply a subconscious process. And so it is with shortcuts. Switching between different programs, highlighting, copying and pasting text, or opening and closing tabs without using the mouse with multiple clicks makes working easier and more efficient.

Which shortcuts make particular sense in recruiting?

Mark text

If you want to mark a free text completely, e.g. in an input field or on a web page, you can simply press Ctrl + A (Apple: Command + A).

Shortcuts Screenshot Ctrl + A

Copy and paste

If you want to copy selected text or even files and paste them at the current cursor position, press Ctrl + C (Apple: Command + C) to copy and Ctrl + V (Apple: Command + V) to paste.

Shortcuts Screenshot Ctrl + C
Shortcuts Screenshot Ctrl + V

Search function

If you want to search files and pages for specific words or word combinations, press Ctrl + F (Apple: Command + F). This opens a search bar and your searched word is highlighted in the text. This can be interesting, for example, if you search LinkedIn profiles for certain keywords.

Shortcuts Screenshot Ctrl + F

Open and close tabs

If you want to open a new tab in your browser, click Ctrl + T (Apple: Command + T). If you want to close the current tab, Ctrl + W (Apple: Command + W). Just closing tabs is something I use a lot when I have multiple LinkedIn profiles open in different tabs and click through.

Shortcuts Screenshot Ctrl + T
Shortcuts Screenshot Ctrl + W

Switch between windows

If you have several programs open and want to switch between the different windows, click Alt + Tab (Apple: Command + Tab).

Shortcuts Screenshot Alt + Tab

Switch between tabs

If you have multiple tabs open in your browser and want to switch between them, click Ctrl + Tab (Apple: Control + Tab) for forward (along the right) and Ctrl + Shift + Tab (Apple: Control + Shift + Tab) for back (along the left). I use these shortcuts when I have multiple LinkedIn profiles open in different tabs and jump between them.

Shortcuts Screenshot Ctrl + Tab
Shortcuts Screenshot Ctrl + Shift + Tab

Control browser bar

If you want to open a new page in your browser window and want to use the browser's URL bar (or "browser bar") for this, just click F6 (Apple: Command + L).

Shortcuts Screenshot F6

As you can see, shortcuts can greatly simplify repetitive tasks. Of course, the prerequisite for this is that you execute them almost automatically. This requires a bit of practice, but is very worthwhile in the long run. The shortcuts presented here are neither complete nor recruiting-specific.

Tech Recruiting


What are shortcuts?

Shortcuts are key combinations on the keyboard of your PC or laptop that you can use to execute commands.

How do shortcuts differ on Windows and Apple keyboards?

On Apple keyboards, the Control key (Ctrl on Windows) is the Command key directly to the left of the Space bar. Shortcuts that are controlled by the Alt key on Windows are controlled by the Control key on Apple.

What does an embedded developer do?

Embedded - a term that many have heard in connection with software development. But what does it actually mean? What does an embedded developer do and what does he work with? And how does a good embedded developer distinguish himself? We answer these questions in this article.

Definition: What is an embedded developer?

An embedded developer (or embedded engineer or embedded systems engineer) develops software that is embedded in hardware to make it functional. 

In your modern everyday life, you will come across many products in which an embedded developer has played a part. When you operate the coffee machine in the morning, for example, a small program ensures that the coffee flows at the push of a button or that you are shown whether the water level is sufficient for another coffee. This program was programmed by an embedded developer. When you get into your car, you are surrounded by a large number of embedded programs. For example, the operation of the windshield wiper. Who tells the car to wipe the windshield? And at what intensity? With which lever? The embedded developer does that. The same goes for every single button you can find in the car. And when your car automatically detects that it's raining, how far away you are from another parked car, or you set the cruise control, you realize the complexity and vastness of embedded development.

Embedded: integration into software development

Due to the special use of software in hardware, embedded development or embedded software development represents a cosmos of its own in the Software development ing. Embedded development is particularly about physical limits that set the playing field. Therefore, performance, efficiency and control are the decisive factors. In reality, this manifests itself in the fact that, for example, only limited memory is available and/or the computing power of the processor is significantly lower than in a desktop computer or PC or smartphone, for example. This proximity to hardware is one of the reasons why developers in embedded development often have a background in electrical or mechanical engineering.

Dealing with limited resources, optimal power consumption, high performance and architecture requirements make embedded development very challenging. Embedded development therefore requires a lot of knowledge around hardware and software topics. 

What tech stack do embedded developers use?

Due to the high demands on performance and efficiency, low-level languages such as C++, C or Assembly are mainly used in embedded development. Low-level languages are characterized by the fact that they work very close to the machine. This means that they have direct access to the hardware and do not require a special environment for the software to run. This makes them significantly faster than, for example, high-level languages such as JavaScript, Python or Java. Nevertheless, languages such as Java and Python are also used in embedded development when, for example, the requirements for performance and memory are not particularly high, as in the control of the washing programs of a washing machine.

Simplified, this means: if performance, memory space and efficiency are important, then low-level languages such as C++ or C are used in particular. If performance, memory space and efficiency are less crucial, then languages such as Java and Python can be used because they have a higher fault tolerance and can therefore increase the developer's productivity.

Nevertheless, programming languages are only part of the tech stack used by embedded developers. Due to the proximity to hardware, tools for hardware as well as for software are used.

Real-time operating systems (RTOS)

The programming of microcontrollers or microprocessors (hardware) is often a matter of milliseconds and nanoseconds, as they are used in critical environments such as cars, aircraft or medical devices. Real-time operating systems (RTOS) are used here, which are responsible for ensuring that certain tasks of a piece of software are executed in a precisely timed and/or simultaneous manner. A pacemaker, for example, has to make the heart beat at exactly the right time - all the time. This also explains why the choice of programming language is crucial.

These RTOS include FreeRTOS, VxWorks, QNX, Micrium uC/OS or ThreadX.

Development environment (IDE)

Since embedded development has special requirements, embedded developers use a development environment designed for this purpose, such as Eclipse, IAR Embedded Workbench or Keil µVision, to make their work easier.


Since errors can always occur during the development of software, embedded developers resort to specially developed debuggers, i.e. "error correction software", so to speak. These help the embedded developer to understand the timing of a program or software or to measure the performance or efficiency of the embedded software. These debuggers include GDB, IAR C-SPY, Arm DS-5 Debugger or Lauterbach TRACE32.


Every programming language is an interface so that humans can communicate with machines, i.e. microprocessors, computers and co. Programming languages therefore enable us to give instructions to the machine in a language that we can understand. But these instructions have to be translated for the machine so that they can actually be executed. This is achieved via so-called compilers, which translate the source code (e.g. C, C++, Python or Java) into executable machine code (usually binary code). Again, there are different compilers that are used depending on the environment, programming language or performance requirements. These include the open source compilers of the GNU Compiler Collection (GCC) (e.g. gcc, g++ or gfortran) but also commercial compilers such as IAR C/C++, ARM Compiler or Green Hills Compiler.

In summary, an embedded developer's tech stack is oriented around the performance, efficiency and control requirements of embedded software. As a final note, embedded development mostly uses the Linux operating system as a counterpart to Microsoft's Windows or Apple's iOS or macOS.

What makes a good embedded developer?

Since embedded software is used in hardware, solid knowledge of both software and hardware is essential. Depending on the field of application, this means a good knowledge of microcontrollers (MCU), sensors or even displays and memory on the hardware side.

The requirements for the embedded software also result in the requirements for the embedded developer.

If the focus is on performance and timely execution, knowledge of low-level languages, RTOS and compilers is relevant. If, on the other hand, the focus is less on isolated performance and more on interaction with other devices via Bluetooth or WiFi (WLAN), as is often the case in the Internet-of-Things (e.g., smart washing machines or coffee machines), high-level languages are usually used and the developer should be familiar above all with the necessary communication standards and protocols.

Linux is the most commonly used operating system in embedded development, which is why Linux knowledge can be mentioned as a basic requirement.

The requirements for purely technical prerequisites are supplemented by soft skills such as problem-solving competence, troubleshooting and good documentation. Since embedded systems often have to be fast and safe, it is important that good embedded developers test their developed software sufficiently, document it well and take special cases into account during development.

What should you look for as a tech recruiter?

Embedded development covers diverse activities in different industries. The composition of hardware, software, firmware, PCB design, etc. gives developers some freedom to specialize. As in any other subject, there is always an area where someone can play to their strengths and interests more than others. So one person might be stronger in hardware, another stronger in software. Clear communication with your department in advance about what skills are being sought is therefore essential. 

Another factor is the developer's project history. What systems has he worked with? And in which area? Washing machines and coffee machines have different requirements than cars and airplanes. Is it more about security or speed (real-time) or performance, or should the software work well with other software? Each area requires its own know-how, which the developer has to acquire over a long period of time.

A classification to the performance requirements or efficiency of the software already results from the choice of the programming language (low-level vs. high-level). Further requirements should be discussed by the exchange with the specialist area:

  • What role does security play? Is a specific environment or communication standard/protocol (e.g. Bluetooth or MQTT) used here?
  • What is the relevance of compilers? Does the developer need to know more about them?
  • What is the decisive factor in development? Performance, efficiency, control or safety? How is this expressed in the requirements?
  • Is specific expertise required, e.g. in data compression?
  • Does the software or hardware interact with other devices? How does this exchange take place? Are certain standards or protocols used?

Through the exchange with the department, you will learn what the special requirements for the embedded developer are and can weight them. The department should help you best with this, so that you understand which knowledge and skills are decisive and which are negligible.

You can then mirror these requirements and their weighting in your interview with potential candidates by asking about their experience and knowledge.

What does an embedded developer do?


What do you do as an embedded developer?

An embedded developer (or embedded engineer or embedded systems engineer) develops software that is embedded in hardware to make it functional. 

How much does an embedded developer earn?

An embedded developer earns an average of €70,000 per year.

Which programming languages are used in Embedded?

In embedded development, low-level languages such as C++ or C are used, but also high-level languages such as Python or Java.

How to optimize your tech recruiting in 2024

Looking for software developers and other IT talent? You're not alone. There are currently 137,000 unfilled IT positions. So your target group can choose where they want to work. So it's high time to optimize your tech recruiting and make yourself even more attractive to your target group. 

Definition: What is tech recruiting?

Tech recruiting is the recruitment and hiring of software developers and other IT talent in the software sector. In addition to full-stack, frontend and backend developers, this also includes DevOps engineers, embedded systems engineers and cloud architects, for example. Tech recruiting is thus a target group-specific category of recruiting and includes a special recruiting process. The special features of tech recruiting are the increased use of active sourcing and the integration of tech interviews as part of the selection process.

Tech recruiting: how to optimize your active sourcing

Active sourcing is almost essential for effective tech recruiting. Rarely do companies swim in a sea of developer applications, through which they can fill every developer position. Good quality ones at that. The really good developers don't need to apply anyway. They are poached. And they can choose their employers. And in order for you to be the employer that attracts the really good developers, you have to find them and actively approach them yourself.

If you're not familiar with active sourcing at all, learn all about it in this blog article: Active Sourcing: Everything you need to know.

Active Sourcing: Understand Tech Positions and Terms

If you already have experience with active sourcing, I recommend that you take an in-depth look at tech positions and the associated technologies. It's not so much about learning superficial vocabulary, for example that there is Java and JavaScript, but rather an understanding of the interrelationships of the technologies. Which frameworks belong to which programming language? Which technologies are often used together? What is the hierarchy of a tech stack?

If you understand the hierarchy of the tech stack, you can evaluate profiles much more easily. To do this, you can always ask yourself (and your department) how hard it is to learn a particular technology. Let's say you're looking for a DevOps engineer who should be able to do Kubernetes, Kubernetes is a very relevant keyword because it's a complex technology that's not easy to learn. If, however, you are looking for a frontend engineer who should ideally be able to do MaterialUI, then MaterialUI is a negligible keyword because it is very easy to use, even if you have not worked with it before.

A structure of the relevance of keywords could be, for example:

High relevance

  • Programming languages
  • Optional: Frameworks

Medium relevance

  • Frameworks
  • Optional: working methods like Scrum, Waterfall,...

Low relevance

  • Libraries

The structure also depends on the requirements of the department. Therefore, it is best to talk to your colleagues from the department about which keywords are relevant for the respective job posting. From my experience, you can already find the matching profiles with the top 3 of the list.

In terms of the interrelationships of technologies and understanding the world of software development, this blog also accompanies you.

Active Sourcing: Evaluate LinkedIn profiles correctly

We have now understood which technologies are really important for us and which keywords we can turn a blind eye to. In practical implementation, however, we find profiles of different types. From fully completed to little completed LinkedIn profiles, everything is there. How do you evaluate them correctly now?

Strictly speaking, it is not feasible at all. A developer with a well-filled LinkedIn profile is no better than one with a little-filled LinkedIn profile. What then would be the case with someone without a LinkedIn profile? We are always dependent on what our counterpart reveals and what not. But even the available information in the profile says nothing about whether we are dealing with a good or average developer. Ultimately, we find that out in the tech interview at the earliest, but more likely still during the probationary period. For active sourcing, however, this still means that we can address the most suitable profiles based on our prioritized tech stack. In my experience, two points are important here:

  1. Few filled profiles are unpopular in the rating, but can still lead to success. A developer who does not want to be contacted knows that all he has to do is delete his keywords and he will no longer be found and thus will not be contacted. Therefore, it is always worth a try and it is also just another friendly request that is written quickly.
  2. Profiles that can do "everything" usually can't do anything right. Unfortunately, developers often make things difficult for themselves when they complain that recruiters have no idea about their job. For example, if we are looking for a Java developer and the profile shows C#, JavaScript, PHP, Python, C++ and C as programming languages in addition to the keywords we are looking for, it looks like the developer can do a lot, but no one can guess what he is really good at. Sometimes he has only spent an hour with Python or similar and writes it as a skill in his profile. 

A good developer profile has a certain stringency and a clear tech stack. Overloaded profiles that have all technologies may not be good developers either.

Tech recruiting: How to become attractive to developers

In addition to active sourcing, strong employer branding is important for your tech recruiting. This applies both externally and internally. With the right employer branding, you not only promote your company to potential new employees. It also helps to ensure that existing employees don't leave the company. And it's always cheaper if existing developers don't leave in the first place than if you are confronted with high recruiting and training costs for new developers. Make your company more attractive for developers. So attractive that other companies have nothing to do with your existing developers applying elsewhere or potential new developers not choosing you.

What is important to developers?

To do that, we need to understand what developers really care about. Of course, this can never be seen in a blanket way. However, certain criteria are emerging that are mentioned again and again in surveys. For example, in the Stackoverflow Developer Survey

Salary & Benefits

In a world where developers get job offers every week, it's all about money. Everyone wants to sell their time at the best possible price. In addition to salary, this can also include other benefits, such as a company car or stock options. 

Sense & good product

If you can't overpay to compete for developers, the second point is sense and a great product. For really exciting technology that may one day change the world or otherwise give the developer a feeling of working on something great or valuable, salary can also be waived. Of course, the storytelling has to be right. But one of the two, a good salary or a great product, is the basis for your recruiting success. 

Tech Stack & Continuing Education

The next point includes the technologies used. Developers usually use a certain tech stack that they have acquired in the past. And they always like to learn. Using modern technologies or even influencing the expansion of the company's tech stack is interesting for many developers. This also includes the topic of continuing education. Many developers are self-taught, having acquired most of their knowledge and skills themselves. Accordingly, they are interested in always keeping their knowledge up to date and expanding it further. 80 % of developers also program privately, for example. Figuratively speaking, they come home from programming at work and continue programming privately. You can support this with an attractive training budget.

Technical infrastructure

A technical application area, such as the development of software, also requires a good infrastructure. With the right equipment, which the developer can ideally choose himself, you become attractive as an employer and provide the optimal conditions for the developer to work well. Laptop, PC, large screens, many small screens, height-adjustable desks; every developer has different preferences and you can respond to these. Therefore, allocate a budget for technical equipment and offer your developers the optimal infrastructure in terms of hardware and software.

Remote work

Another important point on the way to becoming an attractive employer is the working environment. Remote working is modern. Especially in software development. Approximately 80 % of companies offer at least partial remote work, which is popular with developers. So if you're not remote at all yet, you're narrowing both your pool of developers and your employer appeal. Even in the case of on-site office work, you should pay attention to the needs of developers. Software development requires a lot of concentration and focus. In this context, you may hear the saying that someone is "in the tunnel" or "in the flow" when you block out everything else and are unresponsive. This type of work is usually incompatible with open-plan offices, for example, where there are many external stimuli. Therefore, provide quiet workplaces where developers can focus and concentrate on their work. And if there is only the open-plan office, you can at least support with noise-cancelling headphones.

What else can you do?

Perhaps you have already found room for improvement in the previous points. Of course, this does not only apply to the attractiveness for potential new developers, but also for developers who are already working for you. Prepare a really good working environment for them, too, according to the points mentioned above. But also ask them what would make the working environment more attractive for them. Because, as I said, it's cheaper if existing developers don't leave in the first place than to find and hire new developers. This may also give rise to new ideas, such as small internal hackathons, to which developers from outside may also be invited in the future. 

Tech recruiting: How to optimize your approach

We now know what is important to developers and can exploit this in good storytelling when addressing them. The key is to communicate differently than everyone else. After all, developers already have enough standard emails with little content in their inboxes. 

Communicate your branding

What makes you special or even unique as an employer? Why does your product need it? And why should the developer you are addressing invest his time in it? Make it clear why it is time well spent for him. This can be, as I said, sense and a great product or simply attractive pay. To be able to keep a developer permanently, one of the two criteria must be fulfilled. And you can use this criterion as a hook in your approach. 

Communicate salary bands

To shine in the existing competition of job offers, it is important to communicate transparently. We all work for money and no one wants to be financially worse off with the next position. Therefore, communicate salary bands as early as possible. Optimally, already in the first approach. This way the developer knows if it's worth talking about or not and you both save time if it's not. Be aware that developers can ask for a lot of money at the moment, because they have a wide range of job offers and there is almost always someone who will pay the high salary. You should face this reality with open eyes and come up with communication strategies on what you can offer developers as an alternative if you don't pay the high salaries. 

Involve the faculty

When it comes to "cover letters", there is a certain hierarchy of those who write. You can use this to increase your feedback rate with developers. The closer the contact is to the future job of the person being contacted, the better. From my experience, this results in the following hierarchy:

  1. Department (CTO, future supervisor, future colleagues)
  2. Human Resources (Recruiter)
  3. external employees (freelance recruiters)
  4. Personnel service provider

This is similar to dating. If I get to know the person I'm dating directly myself, a friend tells me about the person (recruiter in this case) or even a dating agency (staffing agency in this case). The feeling is always a little different. Therefore, use the department and its accounts to increase your joint recruiting success. 


Tech recruiting is one of the most challenging fields you can work in right now. Good software developers are scarce and highly competitive. However, to recruit successfully in the fierce competition, you can optimize your active sourcing, your understanding of tech terms, and your employer branding to attract good developers and keep them with the company for the long term. You can achieve this through the right understanding of tech stacks and their hierarchy in active sourcing and by taking developer wishes into account in employer branding and its communication. 

Tech Recruiting

Tech recruiting: What is important to software developers?

In addition to salary and benefits, the most important things for software developers are continuing education, working with good hardware and software, and being able to work flexibly and remotely. 

What is Technical Recruiting?

Technical recruiting (or tech recruiting) is the recruitment of software developers and other IT talent from the software sector. This includes jobs such as full stack developers, DevOps engineers and cloud architects.

Definition: What is employer branding?

Employer branding encompasses all the measures that a company can use to strengthen its employer brand and thus its attractiveness to existing and potential employees.

What does a backend developer do?

Backend - a term that many have heard in connection with software development. But what does it actually mean? What does a backend developer do and what does he work with? And how does a good backend developer distinguish himself? We will answer these questions in this article.

Definition: What is a backend developer?

The backend developer (or backend engineer) develops the technology that ensures a program runs on a server. During the Front-end developer develops the graphical interface that you can see on a web page, the backend developer develops everything that runs in the background and is not visible to you. This can be, for example, the storage of simple data in a database or images on a storage space.

Backend: Integration into software development

The backend developer takes a central role in the software development process. Because without him nothing of the software or the activities would be stored in the software. The backend developer takes care of the databases, providing functions and data for the frontend and integrating various systems for the program. So, frontend and backend go hand in hand. So do backend and DevOps, which in practice often means that a backend developer is also expected to master DevOps.

What tech stack do backend developers use?

The choice of a well-chosen tech stack in the backend can have a direct impact on the functional speed and scalability of an application. Basically, you can develop with almost any programming language in the backend. Below we look at some examples and at which well-known companies they are used.

In use e.g. at: Netflix, Facebook, Club of Code

In use e.g. at: Google, Instagram

In use e.g. with: Hadoop, Jenkins

In use e.g. with: Visual Studio, Windows Installer

In use e.g. at: Wikipedia, Yahoo

In use e.g. with: Mozilla Firefox, Adobe Photoshop

Sometimes frameworks are used to program the backend in the respective programming language. For example, Node.js for JavaScript or .NET for C#. 

What makes a good backend developer?

A good back-end developer has an understanding of the infrastructure used and an overview of the interrelationships of the technologies and services used. He or she can also evaluate the sensible use of new technologies and introduce them as required. Furthermore, a backend developer not only tests the best-case scenario of the application, i.e. "What if the user does everything right?", but also the opposite, e.g. if users are inexperienced or even have bad intentions. Backend developers mostly work on the interface to the "outside" (API). In other words, they are the barrier between users and, for example, the data in a database. Developers who only implement best-case scenarios write code, but this code is maintenance-intensive(er) and prone(er) to errors, which can cause economic damage.

In addition, a good backend developer should have an eye for performance and scalability, so that a program is fast through the use of caching and different databases, for example, and can be easily scaled through the use of messaging systems such as RabbitMQ or Kafka, enabling the rapid expansion of the business.

An understanding of security issues is important so that damage to the business can be averted. A good backend developer tests his code and especially the API, uses troubleshooting to solve problems systematically and quickly, and has experience with databases to reduce the attack surface of the backend.

What should you look for as a tech recruiter?

Depending on which tasks a backend developer is to take on, the requirements also change. Therefore, in the following we look at essential areas and their influence on the tasks:


When data is transferred in large quantities or to very many users, the scalability of the systems plays a major role. The code must be written efficiently at the crucial points so that the costs of the infrastructure (servers) for the company are as low as possible and the users have a positive experience in terms of the availability and speed of the data. Scalability mostly concerns DevOps developers, as they are often responsible for the infrastructure. Depending on the size of the company or the requirement profile, this can also fall back to the backend developer. Experience with technologies such as Docker (Swarm), Kubernetes and Co is crucial here.

Relevant technologies: Docker, Kubernetes, Redis, messaging system like RabbitMQ or Kafka and more.

Relevant work experience: messaging systems, databases, server clusters, ...


Performance and scalability go hand in hand. Performance describes the capability of an application. For the back end, this means, for example, how high the data throughput is. A streaming service like Netflix, for example, delivers large amounts of data to very many users. Here, backend developers often need experience in data compression and with different databases.

Database experience is crucial for backend developers because performance is about achieving as much as possible in as little time as possible. This is achieved by, for example, only querying necessary data and optimizing availability through the interaction of different storage systems such as Redis (short-term storage) and SQL or NoSQL databases (long-term storage).

Relevant technologies: memory storage such as Redis, NoSQL databases such as MongoDB, SQL databases such as MySQL, ORMs, image and video processing libraries (if needed), and more.

Relevant work experience: databases, ORM, data compression, caching, ...


Backend developers are essentially responsible for whether or not a data leak can occur. They develop the interface of a program or a server to the outside world (API). In the case of a website or a web application, for example, this API can be used by anyone, i.e. the entire public. It thus opens the door to negative effects on the state of the program or even the state of the company due to economic damage. When it comes to security, the most important thing to look for is whether the backend developer writes tested code and thus tests the code for different scenarios in terms of its security. In addition, experience with APIs is important to prevent "accidental" leakage of data that should not. The issue of security also affects the availability and scalability of a program when it comes to issues such as rate limiting or DDoS.

Relevant technologies: Libraries for testing software such as Selenium or Jest; APIs such as REST or GraphQL.

Relevant work experience: testing, API, DDoS, rate limiting, troubleshooting, ...

Therefore, clarify with your department which tasks the backend developer should take on and which technology will be used. Depending on the technology and the range of tasks, you should ask to what extent the above-mentioned professional experience plays a role.

What does a backend developer do?


What do you do as a backend developer?

A backend developer develops the technology that ensures that a program runs on a server. Thus, unlike the frontend developer, the backend developer develops the invisible part of a software.

How much does a backend developer earn?

A backend developer earns between €49,000 and €69,000 gross. The salary can also go beyond that, depending on experience level.

What programming languages do you use in the backend?

Basically, you can develop with almost any programming language (Java, PHP, JavaScript,...) in the backend. The selection of the tech stack has a direct influence on the functional speed and scalability of an application.

Google Sourcing: Active Sourcing simply free of charge

You don't find any talents despite LinkedIn-Recruiter-Lite and want to enlarge your pool? Or you start as a freelance recruiter and don't want to spend thousands of dollars on recruiting tools? Then the following article has a solution for you: Google Sourcing. Because the free Google search can also be used for the Active sourcing if you know how. And how that works, I'll show you now.

How does Google work?

Google is a search engine that is used to search the Internet for information. In order to provide this, Google uses crawlers that automatically read and index web pages. This means that web pages are scanned and stored in a database. With each search query, Google matches the query with the available web pages in the database and displays the most suitable results. In order to be able to provide suitable results, Google analyzes the web pages, for example, for the frequency of certain search terms, the quality of the web page and the linking of other trustworthy web pages. In this way, the estimated 200 million active websites can be made accessible. 

Google Sourcing: Relevant Operators for your Recruiting

For our Google Sourcing, we essentially search on two websites - LinkedIn and XING. Depending on the settings of the user profiles, the profile data can be viewed publicly and thus found via Google. In order to facilitate our search and to filter for profiles in a targeted manner, we make use of various operators. 

site operator

In the first step, we limit the search to one page. We do this with the site operator, which looks like this for our two target pages:



The site operator is always replaced by site: is defined and supplemented by the target page searched for. In the case of LinkedIn this is de.linkedin.com/in. So we are not only limiting to LinkedIn as a website, but directly to profiles located in Germany (de.) and on the criterion that only profiles (/in) are displayed and no company pages (e.g. /company) or similar. We can also narrow down to other countries using the country abbreviation. For example, Poland (pl.linkedin.com/in), France (fr.linkedin.com/in) or Spain (es.linkedin.com/in). For your target country, simply find the corresponding abbreviation of the country-specific domain extension and insert it into the operator.

In the case of XING, this results in the searched target page xing.com/profile. Since XING is only active in the DACH region, we are already designed for profiles in German-speaking countries. We achieve the narrowing down to the profile search via /profile.

With our first step, we told Google to show us only the LinkedIn and XING pages and only profiles in them. 

intitle operator

In the next step, we can, for example, narrow down by job title. The intitle operator searches the title of the page. When you visit a website, the title is visible in the tab of the respective page. LinkedIn and XING often show the job title of a profile here. So we can add the following to our search string, for example:

site:de.linkedin.com/in intitle:frontend

site:de.linkedin.com/in intitle:(frontend engineer)

In the first example intitle:frontend we narrow down the LinkedIn profiles to show all those that are "Frontend" in the title. In the second example intitle:(frontend engineer) we limit it so that "Frontend Engineer" must be included. A "Frontend Developer", for example, would not fall under this. Note that if you want to search for two words in the title as an AND function, you have to use parentheses. Otherwise, only the word directly following the colon (without space).

Text search operator 

Another way to search for a specific term is to use the text search operator, consisting of quotation marks. Everything you write between the quotation marks should be searched for in exactly the same way. Again, word combinations can make sense:

site:de.linkedin.com/in "TU Darmstadt" Computer Science Java

In this example we are looking for profiles that Computer Science and Java as a keyword in their profile and participate in the "TU Darmstadt" have studied. Single words like Computer Science or Java, can simply be written out. Word combinations are put in quotation marks. It also applies that a space is automatically evaluated as an AND function.

() operator

If we want to insert multiple words as an OR function, we make use of parentheses. Above, they can already join an AND function in the intitle operator. But they also give us the possibility of the OR function:

site:de.linkedin.com/in engineer javascript (vue | react)

In this example, we could again look for a frontend engineer who brings JavaScript and one of the two frameworks Vue.js or React. The OR here can also be replaced by | (key combination: AltGr <). Since we don't mention "frontend" as a term, this enlarges our pool, since we also search fullstack or software engineers, for example, and don't build rigidly on a profile title. Basically, try to use as few terms as possible. In the example above we could even use engineer let out completely. The combination javascript (vue | react) already addresses sufficient front-end profiles. 

Advantages of Google Sourcing

With Google, we have a tool that is free of charge, but at the same time also has a very large range of profiles. Very few profiles have stored in their settings that they cannot be found publicly. As a result, we have a pool at our disposal that corresponds to almost the entire LinkedIn and XING reach. For LinkedIn alone, that's over 850 million users worldwide. XING contributes around 21 million users in the DACH region. We can filter these precisely with simple operators and, as always with Google, get the best results first. So we can search for profiles, but also for companies or groups. 

Disadvantages of Google Sourcing

However, Google Sourcing also brings disadvantages compared to classic active sourcing tools. However, if you understand how the playing field is staked out, you can react to it in isolated cases. 

A disadvantage of Google Sourcing is, for example, that Google reads the entire page, i.e. also profiles that are displayed in the side menu or in the recommendations. This means that on advanced page numbers, profiles are sometimes displayed that do not really have anything to do with the search string. 

Furthermore, it is not possible to filter by work experience. For entry-level jobs, this can be filtered using keywords such as "working student" or the graduation year 2023. However, this does not work as reliably as with common active sourcing tools. 

Another disadvantage is the consideration of the current location and language. Narrowing down a city or language skills is sometimes difficult. It can happen that profiles from other cities are already shown on page 1, who may have worked in the searched city in the past, but now live and work somewhere else. 

From my experience it is still difficult to really exclude terms via the NOT operator. For me this is not a shortcoming, since I rarely if ever work with this operator, but for those who do not want to do without it, an important info.

Club of Code

Google Sourcing: Build search strings

The art of Google sourcing lies in the combination of operators. This requires an understanding of the technologies being searched for in order to develop meaningful search strings and alternatives. From my experience, search profiles can be described by three central keywords. In some cases, two are sufficient. In the above example of the frontend engineer, the combination of javascript and vue for example, is already sufficient to find corresponding frontend developer profiles:

site:de.linkedin.com/in javascript vue

(approx. 4,000 search results)

Of course, we can also develop more extensive search strings with locations, such as:

site:de.linkedin.com/in intitle:(engineer | developer | developer) javascript (vue | react) berlin

(approx. 11,000 search results)

site:de.linkedin.com/in frontend javascript vue berlin

(approx. 2,000 search results)

This gives us a good number of possible profiles that we can source for free. 

The search is of course feasible for any recruiting area, even outside of tech recruiting. The results are always somewhat dependent on the previous search behavior on Google. 

Google Sourcing


What is a sourcing tool?

A sourcing tool is software that enables the identification and active approach of talent to fill positions. These are, for example, LinkedIn Recruiter or XING Talent Manager.

What is Google Sourcing?

Google Sourcing is a free active sourcing tool that is performed via the freely available Google search. With various operators, pages such as LinkedIn or XING can be specifically read out.

How do I do active sourcing?

In Active Sourcing, we use various sourcing tools, such as LinkedIn Recruiter or XING Talent Manager. With the help of these tools, we can use Boolean operators to narrow down our search for potential talents. In this way, we find a suitable pool of potential talents that we can actively approach.

Freelance recruiting: Sales as an introvert

We all do it every day. Whether at work or in our private lives. No matter who we meet. We sell ourselves and "buy" others by evaluating them for us. One person is a better fit for us and our needs, the other a worse fit. Everyone has something to offer and presents themselves accordingly in the best possible way. Whether privately, for example in dating, or in the job, when we market ourselves and our service in sales. This goes hand in hand with the fact that we show ourselves and approach others, actively present ourselves and our service to others. Always in the awareness that the answer can also be "no" and that this is not a personal rejection. This is easier for some people than for others. And that's why some people find sales easier, while for others it involves heart palpitations and stress. These tend to be the more introverted among us. 

In this blog post, I'd like to give you 5 tips on how to make sales as an introvert and thus make it as a freelancer. But first, let's define what introversion and extraversion actually mean. 

What is introversion?

Introversion (colloquially also introversion) is a term that refers to a person's personality and defines him as rather introverted. That is, he likes to be by himself and doesn't need the limelight with a lot of outside attention. He likes to be in his thoughts and draws his energy from being quiet and alone.

What is extraversion?

Extraversion (colloquially also extroversion) is the opposite term, which also refers to a person's personality and defines him as more outwardly oriented. That is, he draws energy from contact with other people and likes outside attention. He is sociable and talkative and likes to be in the spotlight. 

Why is it harder for introverts in sales?

It is important to note in advance that there is no "right" or "wrong" and that every person has both parts within him or her. There is no such thing as the extrovert and the introvert. The majority of people are somewhere in the middle. However, there is usually a tendency in one of the two directions. And this can be particularly noticeable in sales. It makes a big difference whether I, as a person with extroverted tendencies, like to be the center of attention and approach other people as a matter of course, or whether I, as a person with introverted tendencies, prefer to stay at home alone all day and don't need any contact with other people at all. 

I am writing this blog post based on my own experiences. I consider myself a rather introverted person and remember exactly how nervous I was in my early days in sales. I can practically still feel the palpitations when I finally got around to cold calling back then. But don't worry, cold calling is not one of the tips I'm going to give you in this blog post. In fact, from my experience, this type of sales is more of a burden on both sides.

5 Tips on how to make sales as an (introverted) freelance recruiter

Tip 1: Specialization and network

The first tip goes in the direction of strategy. Before you start selling, define your target audience. As a freelance recruiter, you can naturally say that you serve anyone who needs recruiting services. Regardless of industry or positions sought. For starters, when you're looking for your first jobs, that can make sense. But if you're thinking sales long term, specializing in a particular area makes a lot of sense. For one thing, you position yourself as an expert in your field. On the other hand, you build up a network in this area, which benefits you in every follow-up order. For example, if you are an expert for sales positions in the SaaS area, you will expand your network of candidates in exactly this area with every job. They see your posts and you can always refer back to them. At the same time, you increase your "value" as a freelancer for new customers. In addition to your performance, they also buy your network and your reach. 

Tip 2: Use LinkedIn

How do you build up this network? For candidates, it's usually done via LinkedIn. And it's the same in sales. LinkedIn is the preferred channel. Especially if you are an introvert, LinkedIn is the channel of choice, because the hurdle to contact someone is much lower and you can get in touch with the "right" people directly. Compared to cold calling, where you often have to phone your way through various instances until you get through to the decision maker, a contact request on LinkedIn is easier and better. You have direct access to the decision maker. Your counterpart sees your request in a relaxed state when he is currently on social media. And you can stay in touch with him even if the feedback is negative for the time being. Decision-makers also like to gather a network that they can quickly call on when they need it. A "no" is usually a "not at the moment." Therefore, send him your documents without obligation and inquire once in longer cycles whether something has changed. 

Tip 3: Other freelancers

It continues with networking. Network with other freelancers in your field and the HR field in general. They are all out in companies and they can't always do everything on their own. For example, someone may be more strategically oriented and you could be operationally involved, or several freelancers may be needed because the workload is too high. There are many reasons and freelancers recommend each other. By the way, this goes both ways. If you have options, bring client and freelancer together. This way you do something good for both and strengthen your reputation as a reliable network contact. 

Tip 4: Measure

Visit trade fairs in the HR sector and your field to get in touch with potential companies. Face-to-face contact in sales can again be a hurdle for introverts, but you can help yourself with structure. All you need is a sentence, a question, and a business card that's cleverly designed. Design the business card to briefly explain your service and include your website or contact information. Then create a sentence with a question that you say as an introduction in every conversation. Each introduction is the same. You greet each other and say your sentence and question. For example, you could say "Hi. I'm a freelance recruiter specializing in sales positions in the tech industry. May I leave you my card once?". The reaction of your counterpart either invites further exchange or not. But you've cleared the hurdle of addressing them. You simply use this structure in every introduction and wait for the reaction. And with each new introduction, the fear of being approached disappears more and more.

However, approach the topic carefully at trade shows. The above method is deliberately kept short and to the point, as sales activities are not very popular at trade fairs. Therefore, with one sentence and one question, you steal a maximum of ten seconds from your counterpart. But: It doesn't cost anything to ask.

Tip 5: Databases & freelancer portals

As a final tip, it is recommended that you simply let others do the selling and let yourself be approached. You can register yourself in various databases of personnel service providers and freelancer portals and let them find you. This has the advantage that you are constantly present for others and receive regular inquiries over time. A disadvantage, however, could be that you have to adjust your hourly rate, since your counterpart will calculate a commission to refer you. 

Sales always has to do with people. As a freelance recruiter, if you want to have permanent contracts on your hands, you should make sure to network and acquire new customers on a regular basis. It's rare that you'll inquire today and it'll go off tomorrow. Therefore, keep sales as an ongoing practice. There comes a point when you "live off your network" and need to do less sales. But you have to work this one out. It's doable even if you're an introvert. Use the tips and establish yourself in your field.

Little Tip:

If you plan to go into business for yourself, start networking or acquiring clients before you actually go into business for yourself. The acquisition process can take several weeks or even months. In the best case, you start your self-employment and can immediately fall back on a small network and one to three orders. This gives you courage and overcomes the initial lean period. You can find more information about your start as a freelance recruiter in the blog post Become a freelance recruiter: Everything you need to know now.

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What characterizes an introvert?

Introversion (colloquially also introversion) is a term that refers to a person's personality and defines him as rather introverted. That is, he likes to be by himself and doesn't need the limelight with a lot of outside attention. He likes to be in his thoughts and draws his energy from being quiet and alone.

What characterizes an extrovert?

Extraversion (colloquially also extroversion) is the opposite term, which also refers to a person's personality and defines him as more outwardly oriented. That is, he draws energy from contact with other people and likes outside attention. He is sociable and talkative and likes to be in the spotlight. 

How do I do sales as an introvert?

You can also be successful in sales without cold calling. To do this, build up a network via LinkedIn, for example, or work together with other service providers. Freelancer portals are also interesting for regular incoming orders.

What does a frontend developer do?

Frontend - a term that many have heard in connection with software development. But what does it actually mean? What does a frontend developer do and what does he work with? And how does a good frontend developer distinguish himself? We answer these questions in this article.

Definition: What is a front-end developer?

A frontend developer (or frontend developer or frontend engineer) develops and optimizes the functions and presentation of a website. When you open a web page, for example, everything you can see has been implemented by the frontend developer. The processes that run in the background, on the other hand, are implemented by the Backend Developer developed. For example, when you register on a website and as a result your data must be stored in a database.

Frontend: Integration into software development

Without a frontend developer, we don't see anything from the web page we visit. The frontend developer creates a graphical interface (also called user interface) for the program, making it accessible to the user. What the program does in the background and is not visible to us is done by the backend developer. Frontend and backend thus work hand in hand to provide a website. Sometimes developers take over both areas. These are then called full stack developers. 

The development of graphical interfaces is also about design and UI/UX (User Interface / User Experience). After all, what we are supposed to see should look nice and balanced and not be cluttered. At the same time, relevant information and buttons must be easily visible and quickly findable for the website visitor. This area is usually handled by separate web designers, who then give instructions to the front-end developer on how to implement the design. 

What tech stack do front-end developers use?

Front-end developers need knowledge especially in HTML, CSS and JavaScript. HTML for the structure of the web page, CSS for the appearance and JavaScript for interactivity.

In addition, front-end developers usually use frameworks and libraries. These are, for example:

In addition, front-end developers use libraries (libraries) for visual design, that is, specifically for CSS. These include:

These lists are by no means exhaustive, and new technologies are being added all the time. However, they provide a direction as to which technologies we may encounter in connection with the term frontend.

What makes a good front-end developer?

A good front-end developer implements the design and integrates the functionality of the app or website. A developer who understands and can balance both worlds (design and function) is worth his weight in gold. Often, such developers are also familiar with design tools such as Photoshop, Figma or the entire Adobe product line (e.g. Adobe Illustrator). This allows him to point out any difficulties in later development while still in the design process. 

In our modern world, the front-end developer is also faced with developing "responsive". Today, a website is accessed on many different devices. The size of the smartphone display is smaller than that of the tablet and even smaller than that of the laptop or PC screen. So the graphical interface of the website has to adapt. This adaptation is also done by the frontend developer when he develops responsive.

A good frontend developer thinks about the graphical user interface and its development process holistically. If we think responsiveness further, frontend development is also about compatibility. In addition to the adaptation to the display size, it is also about the different browsers (Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, Safari,...), through which the website is opened. Or also about loading times of the website, error messages and the type of input devices. Does the website visitor use a mouse and keyboard or a touchscreen? In which languages should the website be available? And does the website visitor have fast or slow Internet?

So the complexity in frontend development has increased tremendously in recent years and a good frontend developer knows how to manage this complexity.

Club of Code

What should you look for as a tech recruiter?

Front-end, as we can see, is an extensive field. If we as tech recruiters are looking for frontend developers, we need to introduce more evaluation measures than just looking at the tech stack. Sure, the tech stack is relevant. However, new frameworks are learned quickly in proportion. It's more about understanding the big picture of what makes a good frontend developer. 

If you are looking for a frontend developer, try to find out whether your counterpart simply implements design, or whether he also (co-)makes the design himself. Design tools like Photoshop, Figma or Illustrator mentioned in the profile can give you some hints. Also try to find out more about the person. Sometimes frontend developers refer to their own projects or websites. Here you can see their design talent. If there is a website, also access it from your smartphone. This way you'll find out if it's "responsive". If it doesn't adapt properly to the smartphone screen, the developer didn't think everything through. 

Of course, a frontend developer doesn't necessarily have to be a designer. It just helps a lot if you can create good design and implement it at the same time. That's just as true for designers. If they can think design in terms of implementation as well, have JavaScript and CSS experience, that helps the development process. 

If the front-end developer's talent is not in design, then they may have other strengths. The implementation of websites for touchscreen devices such as smartphones and tablets or the optimal availability of websites in countries with low-powered devices or poorer internet connections through an efficient deployment of the code.

The questions asked of a front-end developer should be based in particular on what the company needs. Does the company want to expand abroad and therefore have special requirements such as multilingualism or website performance? Then it is important to ask whether the developer already has experience with this.

However, if it is a start-up with very few employees and the front-end developer is responsible for the sole implementation of the website, then an additional talent in the design field can be very helpful, as it facilitates communication within the company, allowing the team to produce results faster.

So the questions to ask a front-end developer arise from the needs of the business. Here are some exemplary questions:

  1. The company is freshly started and looking for someone to implement a responsive website and also take a lot of responsibility in design. What experience do you have with this? Are your strengths in design? Are you able to implement such a website on your own without clear instructions?
  2. The company is looking to expand into India and is therefore looking for someone who is particularly familiar with website performance and smartphones as an end device. It is important that content loads quickly and efficiently. Have you already developed for such requirements? What challenges did you face and how did you solve them?
  3. The company is a large corporation and is looking for a front-end developer to implement forms for data retrieval within the corporation. Do you have experience implementing complex forms on the front end? Can you give practical examples?

Different requirements therefore result in different searches. An exchange with the business department is therefore enormously important. Strictly speaking, the exchange with the business department is more important than the exchange with the front-end developer, because the business department should define what exactly is being searched for. This then also results in the questions that should be asked of the developer.

This way, you can think outside the box and win over the really good developers. During the interview, they will also notice that you don't just ask for basic information about the tech stack, but understand what can be done with it and what is important.

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What does a frontend developer do?


What do you do as a front-end developer?

A front-end developer implements the design of a website and integrates the functionality. In doing so, he makes sure that the website is provided optimally for the target group (different end devices, multiple languages, easy availability, etc.).

How much does a front-end developer earn?

A frontend developer usually earns around €50,000 per year. However, the requirements in the frontend have risen sharply in recent years, which can also justify higher salaries. Especially if the frontend developer has special niche knowledge or skills (multilingualism, performance or search engine optimization, design, ...).

Which programming languages do you use in the frontend?

The most commonly used language in the frontend is JavaScript or TypeScript. Nevertheless, other languages such as Java (backend language) are sometimes used, where the code is not executed in the browser, but only the "finished" web page is delivered to the user.

Active Sourcing: Everything you need to know

What is Active Sourcing?

Active sourcing is the identification and proactive approach of promising talent to fill advertised positions. In contrast to advertisements on job boards and other passive recruiting channels, where applicants approach the company, in active sourcing the company itself actively approaches potential applicants. The job description of the active sourcer has emerged, who takes on this task for the company and actively contacts potential talents.

Why do active sourcing?

There are various reasons why it can make sense for companies to use active sourcing as a recruiting channel. Especially for hard-to-fill positions with special requirements, active sourcing is the tool of choice. But also to increase the number and "quality" of applications. In fact, Active Sourcing makes available a pool of talent that does not apply itself - the latent seekers. Latent seekers are not actively looking for a new job, but are open to a new challenge. The motivation for this is varied. Some can well imagine a job change because their current position does not completely fulfill them, others are interested in testing their market value or use a change as a career jump. The group of latent seekers corresponds to about 60-70% of the employed population, thus enlarging your pool of potential talent enormously.

Why should you consider active sourcing as a recruiting channel? What are the advantages of this channel?

Advantages of Active Sourcing

In addition to the expanded pool of latent seekers, with active sourcing you have a direct influence on your recruiting results. Since you don't leave it to chance whether someone applies to you, but actively approach suitable talent, your success is determined by your activities. You are in control of how much you do, what you do and how you do it. 

In active sourcing, you also meet candidates in direct contact at eye level. While candidates in passive channels are mainly confronted with the company as a counterpart, you are the face in active sourcing. The candidate is addressed by a real person with name and picture. It is a contact between two people. This has a different effect than the anonymity between company and candidate. However, this also entails a responsibility on your side, as you shape the first impression towards the potential candidate. This applies both to you as a person and to the company as a whole. At this moment, you represent the brand of your client. 

Through the direct contact between you and the candidate, there is usually a faster and more flexible process. After a positive response from your counterpart, you usually make a direct telephone appointment to talk about the advertised position without obligation. This is not so much a classic job interview, where the applicant answers questions, but rather a chance to get to know each other. It is more up to you to present the position to the candidate. 

Through the speed and direct personal contact, you can leave a positive impression on the candidate and recognize early on whether you harmonize. 

In active sourcing, the company applies to the talent. This brings with it a certain appreciation of the person, which can have a positive effect on the hiring process and subsequent collaboration. The candidate feels seen and his or her abilities recognized. 

And even if no final match is found for the advertised position, you will usually remain networked. In this way, you build up a network of relevant contacts for your company and yourself. You can always fall back on this network and regularly remind people about you and your company, e.g. through posts in social media.

Where there are advantages, there are always disadvantages. What speaks against active sourcing as a recruiting channel?

Disadvantages of Active Sourcing

Active sourcing is expensive. On the one hand, because it requires know-how, which you may have to acquire first. And secondly, because it is extremely time-consuming, despite the know-how. It will take many hours to identify suitable talents, review them with the department if necessary, contact the talents, follow them up, coordinate appointments and carry them out. At the same time, you may need tools to access potential talent. All of this costs time and money. It is therefore not uncommon to already employ active sourcers, as a separate professional group, or to rely on freelance active sourcers to handle this channel. 

Active sourcing is also a balancing act between quality and quantity of profiles. In active sourcing, we would naturally like to have both. Lots of talent with lots of quality. In practice, however, this proves to be rather difficult. For specific positions, this may be due to the fact that the labor market simply doesn't allow it. But it can also be due to the fact that the data in the profiles is not sufficient to recognize suitable talents or to be able to evaluate them correctly as an outsider. This increases the time required to find interested talents. 

Another point is again the first impression. This can also be negative, for example, due to a generic, boring address. This can also make you and your company look bad to promising talents. Rebuilding this reputation in detail, as the talent would be a perfect fit, is difficult to impossible.

How do you do active sourcing?

The advantages outweigh the disadvantages and you want to start with Active Sourcing? Then let's clarify in the first step how we can identify potential talents with active sourcing tools. 

Active Sourcing Tools

Active sourcing takes place wherever we can assess whether a person we don't know fits our job. That means we need data. We need to know, depending on the requirements of the applicant, what they do and how good they are at it. Now, if you're out at a party with friends in the evening and ask your friend if there's a software developer here, she answers in the affirmative and mentions that the guy at the bar is a software developer, of course you can approach him. You've identified someone who could potentially fit your software developer position. But the data is pretty thin. Just because he's a software developer doesn't mean you know exactly what he does, what tech stack he likes to work with, or how much work experience he has. The likelihood that you will fill your position through this one encounter is very low. In principle, though, you've done active sourcing. 

To increase the quantity and quality, we do active sourcing primarily online. Platforms such as LinkedIn, XING, GitHub, Facebook, Twitter and others provide us with access to profiles. The data situation here varies in its relevance to our project. While job-specific data is requested from professional networks such as LinkedIn and XING, Facebook, Twitter and the like are more private in nature. LinkedIn and XING are therefore preferred for active sourcing. Depending on the occupational group, LinkedIn may be more suitable than XING and vice versa. For each of the aforementioned platforms, however, it is true that filling out the profile depends on the user. He decides whether he wants to be found with a well-filled profile or does without and remains untraceable. Few completed profiles are therefore not a sign of poor quality. Behind it can also be the perfectly matching talents. 

In addition to social media, however, there are other databases in which we can conduct active sourcing. For example, the candidate pool of the employment office or that of various job boards to niche platforms with their own active sourcing access. It always depends somewhat on which jobs we are sourcing for. Depending on the situation, one pool lends itself more than the other. Searching for a software developer in the candidate pool of the employment office, for example, would not be very productive from my point of view. 

How do I identify potential talent in active sourcing?

LinkedIn and XING offer their own recruiting tools that can be used to search the platforms. These are LinkedIn Recruiter and LinkedIn Recruiter-Lite on the one hand, and XING Talent Manager on the other. They offer extended access to the user base with an additional search mask. Here, we work with Boolean operators in Active Sourcing. I will explain exactly how these work in a separate article. In short, we create a search string with AND and OR functions that combine our requirements to find the right talent. 

Essentially, search strings cover a keyword combination of activity, language skills, and location. So, for example, if we have a Frontend-If you are looking for a developer in Stuttgart who should be able to speak German, our keywords would be: JavaScript, Vue, German, Stuttgart, plus other tech terms like frontend, other libraries or frameworks.

How do I write to potential talent?

The cover letter is the holy grail in active sourcing because you only have one chance. One chance to make a first impression. One chance to stand out. One chance to get a yes or a no. Always put yourself in the other person's shoes. Especially in the IT profession, talented people get a lot of inquiries. It would be counterproductive to use the same generic approach as everyone else. Therefore, avoid interchangeable and too long texts that no one has the time to read through. Keep it short and to the point. It's all about an opener in the end, to get into a real conversation. In this you can then include your pitch, why your company is the best and why the talent should definitely come to you. But for the approach, an individualized text that responds to the profile and arouses curiosity is enough. Recruiting is like dating. You don't go up to someone, text them about how great you are, and then expect them to agree to a date before they've had a chance to say anything. It's about an honest request at eye level. We don't want to overpower, spam or annoy anyone. You have something to offer, you think the person might be a good fit, and you'd like to talk about it. That fits into a 300-character request on LinkedIn. 

You can also convey a number of things via the text. For example, whether you use first or last names, whether you write formally or casually, whether you even use smileys. All this communicates and gives an impression of you as a person and also of your corporate culture. 

Active sourcing is about quantity. You will get positive feedback. You will get negative feedback. You're also going to get just no feedback. That's just normal. Don't take it personally. We never know the actual situation of our counterpart. And even if you get a very negative feedback, you will surely get one that is very grateful that you wrote to her. So just stay tuned.

Active Sourcing Tips & Tricks

Finally, I would like to give you three tips along the way.

Tip 1: Less is more

When building Boolean operators, one is quickly inclined to include all available requirements. However, the more keywords you include, the smaller the pool becomes. This can also be suitable for a first search. From my experience you can describe most profiles with three central keywords. This makes the pool much larger, since profiles that are not so well filled out are also taken into account, for example. With this approach you definitely have to look at more profiles and read them actively. But it is worth it. The details make the difference and a broader search helps.

Tip 2: Do not filter by job title

Let's say you are looking for a software developer. You enter "software developer" as a job title and get few results in combination with your other search string. However, your target group may have the titles Engineer, Developer, Developer, Specialist, Consultant and many more in their current job. The developer you are looking for can be behind all these titles. Job titles are not universal and vary from company to company. Therefore, they should not be the central criterion for your search string. If you find out the central keywords, you will automatically be shown the right people. And the ones that don't fit, you can mentally put aside.

Tip 3: Use Google as a sourcing channel

Google is a powerful tool if you really understand how it works. Through indexing, you can read almost any page on the Internet. So can LinkedIn and XING. So you can use a free sourcing tool to expand your pool or save yourself the cost of recruiting tools. Of course, you have to know the playing field here. I'll explain how that works in another article.

Active Sourcing: Everything you need to know


Definition: What is Active Sourcing?

Active sourcing is the identification and proactive approach of promising talent to fill advertised positions.

How do I write properly in active sourcing?

The cover letter in active sourcing is the first contact with the potential candidate. It should refer individually to the profile and aim for a personal interview. Avoid lengthy texts and long signatures.

What tools are available in active sourcing?

There are various tools and methods in active sourcing. The advanced functions of LinkedIn and XING, but also various other databases, are particularly suitable for searching for candidates.

The future of software development: Where is the journey heading?

On May 12, 1941, Konrad Zuse presented the Z3 in Berlin as the world's first computer. The Internet, then called Arpanet (Advanced Research Projects Agency Network), has been picking up speed since 1969. In 1994, the first search engines were launched with Yahoo and Lycos. In 2004, social networks such as Facebook and XING appeared on the market. And since Steve Jobs presented the first iPhone in 2007, the mobile Internet has become indispensable. 

Many still know the world without smartphones. The time when you still had to click keys several times to type a letter into an SMS. That world was only 15 years ago. Today, we talk to our devices and the text is created automatically. Our world has been "software-ized.

1. The importance of software development

Modern life would be inconceivable without software. Consciously or unconsciously, we constantly encounter software in our everyday lives. The preparation of our morning coffee, the traffic lights on the way to work, the organization of supply chains so that we can buy our groceries in the supermarket. Software is in use everywhere. And it is becoming more and more effective and faster. It facilitates our lives enormously and we have all developed a small or large demand for it. Who hasn't been annoyed when the website loads too slowly or the registration on a website was answered with an error. 

To meet this demand and further softwareize our world, software development is continuously evolving. Sometimes so fast that even developers have difficulty keeping up. 

2. The future of software development

Programming languages, frameworks, libraries: technology is evolving ever faster. Frontend-For example, frameworks are constantly being updated, with major breakthroughs also occurring. What is "hot shit" today will be replaced by more efficient technology in a few years. This is what is currently happening, for example, with the programming language Rust, which in certain Big Data and machine learning applications. Python replaces. 

But what does this mean for the future? How will software development change? And what does that mean for us as tech recruiters as a result?

The future is automated: Artificial Intelligence (AI) in Software Development

One of the big topics of the future is AI. The potential of AI is far from being tapped. Just as in every other area of life, it will continue to make its way into software development. After all, software development is not just about ingenious virtuosity, but often quite routine work. And this is what AI can take over. For example, AI is already being used in test automation to help ensure software quality. Added to this is its application in the practical day-to-day work of developers. The automatic writing of code has already begun.

In the future, AI can be used to implement very interesting ideas. Let's take Natural Language Processing (NLP) as an example. As the name suggests, this involves the machine processing of natural languages such as German. We are all familiar with this from voice assistants such as Siri, Alexa and Co. We say something, the machine understands it and responds. If we transfer this mode of operation to an AI that could write software on its own, we can imagine a software developer sitting in front of his computer and dictating code as a first step. That would be conceivable, but not very exciting. In a second step, however, we could also imagine ourselves, as non-developers, sitting in front of the computer and describing our ideas of the program, which the AI then translates into a working program. In this way, everyone could talk to the AI as if it were a software developer, except that the AI could potentially take over the work of an entire team of developers. 

The future is simple: low code and no code

What can already be found today, especially in website construction kits, will be found more and more in the future - low-code and no-code. As the names suggest, it's all about building programs with little or no code of your own. Essentially, individual building blocks are simply put together using drag & drop. That goes fast and can be made also by Nicht-Entwicklern. There are limits to the amount of customization that can be achieved. In the future, however, more and more people will be able to participate in the softwareization of the world, even if they are not developers. 

The future is secure: DevSecOps - security already in the process

The more creative we become in developing software, the more creative the group that attacks that software becomes; namely, hackers. According to the industry association, cyber attacks cost the German economy Bitkom 220 billion euros per year. Almost every tenth company even sees its business existence threatened by cyber attacks.

The topic of IT security is central. For this reason, it will become more central to the development process in the future. With the introduction of DevOps, two departments (Development and Operations) have practically been linked over the last ten years. Modern developers therefore not only write their code, but can also bring it live themselves. Previously, this required a different IT specialist (Operations), who only took care of the infrastructure required for this. Merging the two issues therefore brings more speed and agility to the development process. However, the security aspect is all too often neglected. Seen in this light, they are still located in a different department. So now DevOps and security are being brought together and DevSecOps is being created. This means that security issues are considered directly in the development process. 

The future is mobile: Native Mobile

In our modern society, smartphones and tablets take up a significant part of our time. For this reason, a mobile-first approach has already become established in the past. An application is therefore primarily developed as an app for the smartphone or tablet. In development, this goes hand in hand with the fundamental question: which end device should be developed for? Android or iOS? Special programming languages have already been established for this purpose, which improve the speed, memory security and parallelism of the apps. These include Swift and Kotlin, for example. 

3. The future of tech recruiting

What can we derive from the future trends of software development for tech recruiting? 

Due to the mobile-first approach, a higher demand for mobile developers can be expected. Apart from the existing ones, new developer jobs will also be created. One only speaks of a DevSecOps approach, for example, when a separate security team is really superfluous. Usually, a "security champion" is appointed within the development team who, trained in security topics, assumes responsibility for security fixing. As a result, the profiles being sought are becoming more extensive in their requirements. DevOps developers need security expertise. Security specialists go more into the development process. New role titles may emerge that we don't even know today.

As fast as the technology world is changing for software developers, it is also changing for us tech recruiters. An understanding of software development, languages, frameworks and the like is essential for successful recruitment. For this reason, tech recruiters will also have to deal intensively with the contexts and technical language in the future. 

As artificial intelligence finds its way more and more into software development, it is important to observe how teams change as a result. Routine work or simple tasks are usually taken over by junior developers. Whether these will then become "superfluous" and be replaced by AI remains to be seen. 

The list of possible trends is not exhaustive. It is notoriously difficult to predict how the future will shape up. In any case, there are no limits to the ideas. What is your idea of the future of software development? Have you ever talked about it with someone in your department?

The future of software development


What role does AI play in software development?

Artificial intelligence (AI) will increasingly find its way into software development. It is already being used today in test automation to support the assurance of software quality. The automatic writing of code has already begun.

What is DevSecOps?

DevSecOps is a word combination of Development (Dev), Security (Sec) and Operations (Ops). DevSecOps is an approach to software development and deployment that considers security at every step of development.

What does the future of tech recruiting look like?

Understanding software development, programming languages, frameworks and the like is essential for tech recruiters. Therefore, they will have to deal intensively with the contexts and technical language in the future as well. With a greater need for IT talent, more tech recruiters will also be needed to find and hire them.

Become a freelance recruiter: Everything you need to know now

30 degrees, sun, beach, feet in the sand. The umbrella provides shade, nature sounds in the ears. Waves, birds, wind. Sounds like a vacation, but it could also be work. You would have to be a freelancer. Work, no matter how and where. You want that too? Then read here how you can soon get started as a freelance recruiter.

What is a freelance recruiter?

A freelance recruiter is a self-employed person who supports companies in recruiting as an external employee. Due to their qualification and specialization in the topics of recruiting and HR, they can be quickly deployed in the company without much training. This means that growth phases or "peaks" in which many hires are planned can be supported without having to search for, hire and train permanent employees. Freelance recruiters work on a temporary service or work contract and are billed on an hourly or daily basis. They are not integrated into the organization and are not bound by instructions. 

Advantages and disadvantages of self-employment

For companies, the use of freelance recruiters is very interesting in order to flexibly compensate for personnel bottlenecks without having to rely on notice periods and social security obligations. But what are the advantages and disadvantages of working as a freelance recruiter?

Advantages of self-employment

One of the most significant advantages of self-employment is definitely the freedom of action. You are not bound by instructions. You can decide with whom you want to work and with whom not. You can scale your income. There are few limits. You are also completely flexible, rarely bound to working hours or location. Whether you work at home, in a café or under palm trees in the Bahamas - you decide. Of course, everything is subject to the condition that you produce your best performance. Because that's what you depend on. 

Disadvantages of self-employment

Self-reliance can be tough. It's the free wilderness, where there's no protective, comfortably warm nest. No hand to hold you. Just you alone. You're sick and can't work? You don't earn any money. You're not doing well because things aren't going well in terms of sales? No one is interested. You have calculated wrong and the tax is due? The tax office takes your money anyway.

It can be hard to be alone. But by the same token, it also means that you're in control. Whether you manage well or badly is up to you. From freedom comes responsibility and you can use this. You are responsible for your income, for your insurance coverage, for the growth of your business and also for taking time off.

Become a freelance recruiter: The most important at a glance

If you are considering or have already decided to work as a freelancer, there are some preparations to make. Please note that the explanations in this article apply to Germany. 

Before the foundation

Before anything is registered or invested, network! This point is deliberately at the top of the list. Your network determines your success. Especially in the beginning, where you still have to build up a reputation, can't fall back on recommendations and clients aren't beating down your door, you have to keep your cost base low and your motivation high. It can take time before the first orders come in. Therefore, start networking as soon as possible, talk to the right people about your project and land potential orders. The necessary formalities are quickly cleared up and then you start directly with an order. The most important thing for an entrepreneur, which you are as a self-employed person, is liquidity. If you can start in the plus, do it. But for this you must first and permanently invest time in networking.


Trade Office

Your first order is on the horizon. Now you need to clarify the formalities. To be self-employed, you must register a trade. To do this, you go to the Trade Licensing Office and register a trade as a main or sideline business, stating a business purpose and personal data about yourself. With the registration you are a trader and can go directly. At the same time, however, this also triggers further processes in other authorities, which will subsequently come your way. For example, you become a member of the local Chamber of Commerce and Industry, receive mail from the waste disposal and the tax office.

Tax office

The tax office requires you to fill out a tax registration form. However, you do not have to wait for the tax office to contact you directly. You can also find it on the Internet and fill it out directly and send it to your tax office. For example, you can indicate how much turnover you expect for the current and coming fiscal year. You will then receive a new tax number that identifies you as self-employed at the tax office. You must indicate this number in your invoices. Therefore, it must be available at the latest during your first invoice run. Please note the "speed" of the German bureaucracy.


As a self-employed person, you are essentially confronted with three types of tax. On the one hand, you show your invoices with sales tax (19 % or 7 %). Depending on your expected turnover, you can also apply for the small business regulation and be exempted from the VAT. 

Second comes the income tax. Just like employees, freelancers pay between 14 % and 42 % in taxes (plus solidarity surcharge and church tax, if applicable). The tax-free amount is €10,908 in 2023. 

Thirdly, you pay business tax. This is levied by the municipality and varies depending on the municipality in the trade tax rate. However, the tax-free amount of €24,500 is the same for all municipalities.

Excess income statement

As a freelancer, you generally use the net income statement to determine your profit. You simply compare the operating income with the operating expenses and determine the profit. You were paid for a successful assignment? Operating income. There are annual costs associated with a recruiting tool you use? Operating expenses. The difference achieved is the profit (or loss) and is accordingly the annual income and thus the basis for calculating income tax.

Building your business

You've done a lot of networking, you've got your first job lined up and you've registered your business. Let's move on to building your business. 

Hourly rate

For your first assignment, you need to determine an hourly rate. When calculating the hourly rate, you need to take into account that you will cover, for example, days off work and sick leave, as well as training and the purchase of a new laptop. All of this is financed by your turnover, which is determined by your hourly rate. As a freelance recruiter, the average hourly rate is between €70 and €80.


The freelancer market is similar to the employee market. There are many people vying for jobs and many who are very good and offer good value. So how do you stand out? What makes you special? Why should I choose you as a business? Take time to consider these questions. Develop a brand, your own branding and specialize. Maybe you're particularly good at recruiting SAP profiles. You know every shortcut and have an initial network in this area. Expand it. Position yourself and you will attract the right clients and emerge as a specialist.


With every completed job, no matter how short, someone has experienced a work sample of your skills. Ask for references! References are the foundation of your success. It helps a lot more to have someone else say about you that you're good than it does to say so yourself. Use this as much as you can.


Are you specialized, have you thought about your own branding and ideally already have references? Summarize all this on your own website together. Here you can present yourself and showcase your services. You can include these on your LinkedIn profile and in your sales process. Potential customers may also be able to send an inquiry via your website to get in touch with you. Use your website to show the world what you do, why you are good at it and which projects you have already successfully mastered. You can also pack the same into a sales presentation that you can send to your contacts.


Cash is the fuel that keeps the business running. For this reason, you need to ensure a steady flow of orders. The Distribution will therefore be your everyday companion. 

Job fairs

As a freelance recruiter, you're looking for recruiting or HR jobs. To do this, go through the popular job boards to see where recruiters are currently being sought. Even if they're posted for permanent positions, it's worth networking with the recruiting lead in charge. Introduce yourself to him, send him your website and presentation. Even if he is not interested in freelance work at the moment, this may change at a later date. And then he will have you in mind and your contact details at hand.

Sales are a long process. Sometimes a collaboration doesn't take place until years after the initial contact because there was no need beforehand. But as soon as the decision is made to involve freelancers, you are ready.

Database entries

But since this should not be the standard and you need business in the short term, use databases. There are many freelancer portals or staffing agencies where you can submit your profile. They will then approach you directly and offer you options. This can be very attractive, especially for an entry-level position. You can also approach staffing agencies directly and submit your application for the freelancer pool.


As already mentioned: "The network determines your success". Therefore, network as much as you can, but always with the relevant people. Approach decision makers in HR, especially in the companies that fit your specialization. But also approach other freelance recruiters. Especially with your specialization it happens that you are asked by other freelancers if you can support a project. For example, because several freelancers are needed or because the other freelancer does strategy and you could take over the operational side. 

Continue to build the pool of candidates in your specialization. The company always buys into your network in addition to your expertise. If you can come up with a good network, you're in demand.


As a self-employed person, you are responsible for everything. Also for the acquisition of your infrastructure. While in your private life you often already have a laptop or PC with which you can start your self-employment, there are some tools that you probably don't have. Very few people probably use a LinkedIn recruiter or XING talent manager privately. The purchase may also be far too expensive for the beginning. Therefore, use other options. With Google you can source free of charge, for example. If necessary, you can also obtain an order where the company gives you a license for Active Sourcing-tools, such as LinkedIn or XING. This could affect how you negotiate your hourly rate. It's just important to be clear up front how you're going to manage your work in the beginning until you can afford the tools you're probably used to. You may also need to set aside some start-up capital for your self-employment first.

Freelance Recruiter: Tips & Tricks

Now you are ready for the start of your self-employment. Finally, a few tips.


As a freelance recruiter, you work on an hourly basis and bill according to your working hours. At the same time, you can also use the possibility of recruitment. If your sales activities show that a company is interested in recruitment, support them. This can scale with your network building and support you well financially. Optimally, your hourly based business becomes your base business and staffing is pure profit.

Become a brand

Continue to focus on your expertise. Build your brand by, for example, creating a blog and writing about your specialization. This way you reach your target audience and show them why you are good. At a certain point, this can also be reflected in your hourly rate.

Multiple clients

One of the most important words you should know as a self-employed person is "bogus self-employment". You absolutely have to pay attention to this. As a freelancer, you are not bound by instructions and are free to choose your clients. If you work permanently for only one client who tells you where and how to work, this can be interpreted as pseudo-self-employment. If this is established, you may have to pay additional social security contributions. So make sure you have several clients and contracts that identify you as a freelancer. 


What does a freelance recruiter do?

A freelance recruiter is a self-employed individual who provides recruiting support to companies as an external workforce.

What are the advantages of self-employment?

A big advantage of self-employment is freedom. You are not bound by instructions, you can decide with whom you want to work and with whom not and you can scale your income almost arbitrarily.

What are the disadvantages of self-employment?

Self-employment can be tough. You work alone and have no safety net if you're ever sick or unable to work.

What hourly rate can I charge as a freelance recruiter?

As a freelance recruiter, the average hourly rate is between €70 and €80.