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 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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Want to know more about developer roles? Then have the upcoming articles sent directly to your email.

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.