How does a dynamic company manage to hire 150 talented software developers per year in Germany - a country that is experiencing an extreme shortage of skilled professionals? The answer? They took a new direction in order to achieve their hiring goals.
HERE is part of the Nokia family. This rapidly growing division of the global telecoms giant has evolved to become one of the most popular maps services for Android and iOS over the past few months. This comes as no surprise - as smartphone users can not only use the service for car navigation, but for pedestrian navigation as well, with maps available in more than 100 countries. It includes route plans for bus and rail as well as real-time traffic information for smartphone users. Additionally it offers features such as shopping recommendations and user reviews. One of HERE’s biggest development centers is based in Berlin where they hired over 100 developers last year alone.
HR Manager Jan Lorentz explained that the biggest challenge his team faced was hiring around 150 developers in Europe and the Middle East. This became even harder as they were looking to build the best software engineering team in the industry. Due to this, recruitment played a key role in their overall corporate strategy. According to Jan, HERE was looking for candidates with a classic developer profile. They wanted high quality education, broad computer science knowledge and expertise in a range of programming languages. It was important that candidates were ambitious and striving for personal development. Their ideal developer would be agile, manage projects independently and take responsibility for their own work.
The Human Resources team used multi-channel approaches when it came to recruiting developers. Some of their methods included job advertising, referrals and active sourcing. However, the most important thing for them was to reach developers in the right place. Stack Overflow allowed them to do just that. "Stack Overflow is the largest developer community in the world, so it was logical to publish our vacancies there - internationally." explains Jan Lorentz. "Diversity is very important to us too. Currently there are employees from 56 different nations working in our Berlin office. Our female developers account for over 20% in the engineering teams. The corporate language is English and we are very conscious of well-mixed teams."
Since HERE started posting their job vacancies on Stack Overflow they have hired 12 developers. Jan Lorentz explains the reason for such good results: "The number of great candidates coming through Stack Overflow is much larger than traditional job boards. The high level of applications saves us a lot of time – and as you know, time is always short.
Jan Lorentz knew that developers at HERE used Stack Overflow regularly to share their knowledge. “Most of them do it out of passion for their job. Therefore it was clear to us that we needed to be in the middle of this vibrant developer community to attract and engage with technical talent.”
Currently the time-to-hire at HERE is 60 days, also thanks to Stack Overflow. This is a great performance compared to the national average of 114 days time-to-hire of IT professionals in Germany.