About the HR Hackathon Idea

German recruiters are not sales people


When I interviewed Joel Spolsky, CEO and co-founder of StackOverflow, in February 2015 in London, one thing he said about recruiters and developers got me thinking:

Joel basically said that recruiters and developers came from and lived on totally different planets – which is certainly true for Anglo-Saxon countries. In these countries, recruiters act like sales people, they “sell the job”.

In Europe, however, in particular in Germany, Switzerland and Austria, corporate recruiters mostly deal with administrative tasks such as paper work, salaries and other HR-related hassle. Most of them sit behind their desks and when (OMG!) they have to recruit, they do something most commonly referred to as “Post & Pray“!

Our recruiters are only (very!) rarely crafted sales people or “people-persons”. This is, of course, very generally speaking. But still.

I sense a kind of similarity in (certain parts) of “Germanic” recruiters’ and developers’ mindsets.

But maybe I am wrong – time to find out


Go here to find out about the next HR Hackathon


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HR Startups tend to miss HR’s needs


Apart from that, I see a lot of HR Startups emerge on the German-speaking online recruitment markets.

Many of them have great ideas and products, but very often, they are too much advanced technically for, let’s say, the “standard” recruiter in the German-speaking regions (this is supposed to be much more a reality than an offense or criticism).


Further, investment is very difficult to come by, both in Europe and in this particular industry.

So when this summer, I was brainstorming with my friend Andreas Dittes, who has himself organised and participated in several hackathons previously, I came up with an idea:

Let’s organise the first HR Hackathon!

So what the heck is an HR Hackathon?


Let’s go with the definition of a Hackathon first (Wikipedia):

A hackathon (also known as a hack day, hackfest or codefest) is an event in which computer programmers and others involved in software development […] collaborate intensively on software projects. […]

Hackathons typically last between a day and a week. Some hackathons are intended simply for educational or social purposes, although in many cases the goal is to create usable software. Hackathons tend to have a specific focus, which can include the programming language used, the operating system, an application, an API, or the subject and the demographic group of the programmers. In other cases, there is no restriction on the type of software being created.


An HR Hackathon is a “Hack Marathon” intended for HR!


What does the HR Hackathon propose?


The HR Hackathon brings together both innovation-thinking developers and recruiters in one spot.


Why do we think we should do this


  • HR and recruitment techniques are changing
    • they become more tech-oriented
  • Many startups enter the HR (-tech) markets
    • who must understand the needs of recruiters
  • The HR Hackathon will
    • inspire recruiters and developers to elaborate ideas and tools to
    • improve recruiting
    • improve HR Startups


What are our plans


  • Put developers and recruiters in one room to brainstorm useful ideas for HR Tech
  • develop prototypes
  • Demo Day for existing HR Startups
  • Award prizes for the best developer team
  • Propose a great agenda
  • Have inspiring speakers and unconference tracks
Learn more about the event and the team


What’s the goal?


The event will deliver useful tools, ideas and insights for the recruiter community while being an inspiring challenge for developers.


Where, when and for how long?


Click here to find out about the next HR Hackathon


Who will be attending?


Tech-savvy recruiters, highly skilled developers, startup founders, … You, …

Claim your HR Ticket here the next HR Hackathon - Developers register for free via Eventbrite on Event Page


More information?



What’s in the HR Hackathon for sponsors?


  • You’ll be part of the first HR Hackathon, which will be highly present in the media (both on- and offline) through our joint networks
  • You will communicate to
    • modern, innovative and interested recruiting professionals and influencers
    • IT developers that deal with recruitment tech
  • You’ll be able to provide your API to have developers work on it,
    • which gives you new ideas for your product development
See our current Sponsors and Partners


More information and Sponsorship opportunities


To be part of this unique event and in order to highlight that your company is open for digital innovation, request our sponsorship presentation:


Request the HR Hackathon Sponsor Deck


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