SmartRecruiters Blog

Recruiting Startup of the Year Nominee:

As hiring tech continues to grow, one startup is hedging its bets not on how wide a base their software can coral, but how small. This is, the next big thing in boutique recruitment. Vote here!

Meet the companies vying for the title of Recruiting Startup Of The Year (RSOTY) at Hiring Success 18, in San Francisco, March 12-14. Register here! Your vote determines which six are flying to California to pitch their ideas to 1000+ Talent Acquisition leaders and puts them in the running for the grand prize.

One of these six will be selected by a group of C-Suite experts and industry analysts for the ultimate prize of a Gold Sponsorship to Hiring Success 19, worth $10,000, which includes a branded booth and dedicated demo-room for potential customers to interact with their product.

A selective tech recruitment platform, is one of the many startups looking to win big at Hire18. We spoke to CEO Ivo Betke, a software engineer, entrepreneur, blockchain enthusiast and startup mentor with over ten years’ experience in Software & Tech Recruitment. He started off as a freelance developer and later on founded webcrowd, a Berlin-based freelance agency and recruitment company, which he successfully sold to

What’s your company’s elevator pitch?

Each week, we handpick and highlight 100+ great software engineers that companies can contact without a middle-man. Companies and candidates all get a personal Advocate to help guide them through the process. All of our candidates are strong and available right now, meaning that is the fastest way to recruit a programmer in France, London, and Berlin: average time to hire is 17 days.

Where did your startup begin? was founded in March 2015, when two Stanford graduates that just sold their first startup to TripAdvisor, met a French entrepreneur and recruitment specialist. When scaling their former startup in the Valley, the Stanfordites needed tech talents, but realized a real lack of such candidates. Candidates were either unavailable, unresponsive, or just not good enough. On the other side of the Atlantic, the Frenchman had noticed that “selective marketplaces” were gaining traction across the world and that Europe was missing a major player. He then started working by himself on adapting this concept to recruitment in Europe. One day, as he was talking to a VC friend of his, he learned about two SF entrepreneurs working on the same idea. Having a “friends at first sight” type of experience, they joined forces after one Skype call.

How do you envision your startup changing the talent acquisition landscape?

Explaining our business model to clients, I often use the metaphor of ordering food at home. A few years back you looked at a flyer, chose a pizza and placed your order. No one does that anymore, everyone uses a mobile food delivery platform. We aim to achieve the same for recruiting: Instead of wasting your time and money on job ads and unsolicited applications, selective recruiting platforms allow you to talk to pre-qualified, actively available candidates that fit your needs. You can hire in days instead of weeks.

What does ‘hiring success’ mean to you?

Hiring Success is more than just filling up your open position with suitable candidates. Everyone hiring should aim to provide an outstanding experience that treats candidates as customers. Companies should provide sufficient insight before people decide to apply and provide an engaging and diligent process that enables both parties to come to a conclusion, after all, your ultimate goal should be to transform every applicant into a promoter of your brand and company, even if you don’t hire them in the end.

What’s the ultimate role of technology in hiring?

Technology should not take over hiring but enable it. It should support all parties involved to reduce operational overhead, so one can focus on getting to know the human on the other side of the table. Tech should enable hiring companies to understand what works for them, and how they can optimize their hiring process.

Peter Braun