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We did our first Recruitment survey in 2017. Back then, we just wanted to find out how many recruiting messages tech candidates received monthly (on average, 16.4) and how relevant these messages were (less than 1/2 turned out to be relevant).  Last year, we decided to focus more on the recruitment journeys of tech candidates in Berlin. We learned that candidates received on average 17.9 job-related messages via LinkedIn, most of which is recruitment spam. We also found that the hiring process can be frustratingly time-consuming and the poor communication within the hiring team is a struggle to deal with as a candidates. 


Now, after having hosted discussions between representatives of both Berlin’s developer community and Berlin’s tech companies, we are looking a bit deeper into the journeys of tech candidates in Berlin’s talent-driven job market. Example questions include:

  • What is your seniority level? 
  • How many reach-out job messages did you receive last month? 
  • How many of them were sent by third-party/agency recruiters? 
  • In your experience, which are the most stressful things about the recruitment process?


A total of 123 people took part in our survey. We focused our Report on those 110 respondents who either live in Berlin or have been in a recruitment process with a Berlin- based company.  Our typical respondent lives in Berlin, is employed full time, works on site and has flexible working hours, is a web developer, works with various technologies (most commonly, JS, Java and Python) and has been trying to find a new job within the last 2 years. 

  • 91% BERLIN 
  • Full-time 94.5 % 
  • 52.7 % ON-SITE & FLEXIBLE 
  • 88.2% Job search in Berlin in last 2 years 


Tech professionals received, on average, 13 recruitment messages per month. In our last year’s survey, it was 17.9 monthly reach-outs (and 16.4 in 2017). The most common number of messages was 10. Developers and engineers were approached around 15 times. Those who were senior received more reach-outs. DevOps engineers turned out to be the most popular among recruiters. 


People in tech are mostly contacted by third-party recruiters, and they can distinguish between agency and in-house personnel. On average, 76.4% individual reach-outs came from agency recruiters. 28% of respondents were approached by third-party recruiters only.  Last year, around 74.79% of recruitment approaches came from agency recruiters, and 72.9% in 2017. 


We asked our respondents to name up to 3 things they find the most frustrating about recruiters. They could choose from our list of 8 options or/and suggest their own one(s). This way, we learned that people in tech complain the most about: 

  1. recruiters who don’t read their professional profiles (73.6%) 
  2. overly generic messages (58.5%) 
  3. irrelevance of jobs suggested to them (52.8%)even at work. 


Changing a job is no joke. It requires lots of resources, mainly time and nerves. What are the top 3 things that stress developers out the most when job searching?

  1. The test assignments are too time-consuming
  2. The hiring process takes too long
  3. There is a lack of effective and timely communication/feedback 


No matter how broken recruitment is, there are happy stories as well. Our respondents (however, only 56.4% of them) shared with us some of the most memorable recruitment experiences, and we could identify 8 categories of factors that make one’s recruitment journey feel good. 
This year, the ingredients of a great recruitment process are somewhat different than last year. Consideration and Care was recognised as more important than Speed and Relevancy. Similarly to last year, 12.9% of people said they had no good recruitment experience so far. What’s also interesting, almost 26% of those who responded to this question, mentioned a professional recruiter as a factor contributing to the satisfaction with the recruitment process. 


The attitude of developers toward different job interview types varies. Last year, we learned interviews were that whiteboard interviews were regarded as the most time-wasting part of the recruitment progress by developer candidates, and home assignments got mixed responses.


Most people in Berlin get hired within 1-4 weeks. Very rarely it’s over 3 months. 


We were eager to learn whether factors that persuade tech people to accept a job offer have remained the same. 
This year, Salary turned out to be even more important (picked by 76.9%) than a year ago (73.2%) and became the main offer acceptance factor again.  Interestingly enough, Experienced (more senior) colleagues moved from position 2 to 4 switching places with Strong company culture. This way, Salary, Company culture and Flexible office time have become the top 3 offer acceptance factors. 


This is something that we didn’t ask about in our last year’s survey. Because Salary was the main job offer acceptance factor, we wanted to check if people in tech might feel underpaid. And tech teams do indeed feel underpaid. Salary and bad management share the top position with 53.3%. They are followed by overly high expectations from employees (29.9%) and both lack of company culture and lack of interesting projects (22.4%). 


We asked about the cons of Berlin’s tech companies, so we couldn’t miss the pros.  Diversity and Variety of projects and opportunities topped our list with 25.9% mentioning them. Berlin as location (with its atmosphere, cultural mix and great transport system) turns out to be a major plus for a tech company as well, as 15.5% respondents believe. 

  • “You get a chance to work with lot of skilled and nice people from different cultures and backgrounds.” 
  • “You can choose where you want to work, since there are many companies and many areas [within Berlin so...]. You will definitely find what suits you.” 
  • “They don’t have a ‘bro-culture’ like American startups.” 


Most of our respondents (61.1%) prefer small or mid-sized company, slightly less than 1⁄4 prefer a large corporation, and only 12% would specifically look for a job in a startup.


In Berlin, where new companies emerge scene undoubtedly attracts talented daily and tech professionals have a people who are looking for diversity, new choice of where to work, businesses career challenges and potential that the should do more to stand out. Still, many feel that things such as treating candidates with Berlin’s tech companies underpay their consideration and care create a good employees (while having overly high recruitment experience when it expectations toward them) and have come to making a career decision, a problems with management. What’s strong company culture, decent pay, and more, as our respondents confirmed work-life balance often come into the again, not everything is smooth when it foreground. Here again, companies might comes to hiring and need a hand to manage expectations and negotiate an offer. 

First of all, it’s unconscientious recruiters who message candidates about Tech businesses in Berlin must irrelevant jobs and don’t bother to read understand that employees are their their profiles. In the situation of reported fewer reach-outs than in 2018 ferocious competition and abundance or 2017, that’s still 3 job messages per of choices, they should go above and week! Simply partnering with specialised beyond to attract and retain talent. It all agencies that don’t mass-message would starts with nurturing robust company fix this. 

Secondly, the recruitment process itself transparent and friendly hiring process, is far from perfect. Just like last year, on the other. time-consuming test assignments, a long overall process and lack of adequate And we are here to help you make a feedback from the hiring team are the difference. biggest frustrations. Having a trusted recruitment partner to help the company manage and optimise their hiring process would help a lot, wouldn’t it? 

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