Category Archives: For recruiters

Robert Scoble on the future of recruitment

A few days ago at Tech Open Air Berlin, (you might know him as the Google Glasses most passionate advocate) was talking via skype with the conference participants about technology and its impact on our lives.

2013-08-01 18.17.28 team was curious to hear Robert’s view on the future of recruitment, as it is driven by technologies.

Check below his answer.

He was emphasizing on how your social networks can bring you new career opportunities and how employers want to know more about you and check your profiles. is happy to provide the platform that makes this new natural phenomenon easier for both sides.

For employers it will be easier to find matching candidates about who they will have all the relevant information in one place, as we analyze all the activities on social networks. For talents it will be easier to reveal their professional image based on their social media activities and to find the most fit opportunities.

So join us in beta and get all our benefits soon.

How to hire the first employees in a startup – interview with Cristi Badea, Co-Founder of MavenHut

cristi badeaCristi Badea is an entrepreneur in his mid 20s, with a strong passion for growing businesses with limited resources. He spent his last six years in the online gaming industry, where he built and marketed from scratch games that reached several million players, throughout the world. Earlier this year, he was featured on the cover of Forbes magazine, as one of the 30 under 30, a special award received for innovation.

He’s one of the co-founders of MavenHut, where he is in charge of game design and running operations in the Bucharest studio. 

MavenHut is a social gaming company that was founded in Summer 2012. Their first title Solitaire Arena, is one of the most trending games on Facebook this year, with more than 2,5M players. MavenHut is a StartupBootcamp alumni and it recently raised a seed round of over $700k.

Check their company profile on


Q: At startups there is a lot to do, but also limited resources. So what marked the moment to extend your team and start hiring?

A: Obviously you need the cash in order to start hiring. For us, the purpose of raising an investment round was only to get more talent on board. Our first product (Solitaire Arena – a Facebook game) was growing really fast and we needed a bigger team that would sustain this growth.

Q: How did you decide for which roles to hire? 

A: Back then, we lacked a fully functional product team. Our first hire was a programmer, than a producer, a tester and another programmer. We managed to get everyone to join our team in less than 4 months. It’s worth mentioning that we were already a team of three founders (a tech, a business and a product guy).

Q: What were the challenges and lessons learned from hiring your first employees?

A: We first reached out to our network, to seek for the first employees. We were especially reaching to people with whom we worked closely in other ventures. That’s a low hanging fruit, since you already have a special bonding with these guys and there are no major issues (mainly concerning trust). But your network won’t get you far and you quickly realize that there is a limited amount of talent that you are willing to build your company with.

Nevertheless, there’s a lot of disappointment as well, your ex-colleagues that simply don’t believe in you or your venture (even though you already have quite some traction). So we started improving this process by getting more press coverage, participating in competitions and winning a lot of awards. This proved to be a smart move, since there was a quick turn-around and we soon got some interesting resumes.


Q: How were you assessing the skills and the cultural fit for the candidates?

A: We usually have a straight forward process, with short interviews and just a couple of tests. We were seeking for some interest from the candidate in our company, that goes beyond reading our ‘About us’ section. For example, we are highly attracted by candidates that would ask a lot of smart questions, that are genuinely interesting in discovering and learning new things.

Of course, there was a lot of time wasted with divas that were considering themselves superstars. In order to address this issue, during an interview, we started by asking only one question: “Did you play our game?” – if the answer was ‘No’, we would politely stand up and let that candidate know that the interview is over. Later on, we were having the first interview by phone (a phone conversation is much easier to end than a one-on-one meeting, once you figure out that is not the guy you are looking for).

Q: How do you feel as a co-founder when you have a growing team? What are the challenges in setting up an organisational culture? How do you motivate the employees?

A: Now we are a team of 12, motivating and offering enough attention to every single member in our team is not that much of a challenge. The fact that we are three founders helps a lot here. We like to get everyone involved in most of our decision making processes, by applying agile methodologies. The team is self-organised and this will probably help us build the organisational culture, as we will increase the headcount.

Q: What would you do different in your future hiring process?

A: We are obsessed with constant improvements. We are trying different recruitment tools, working with a couple of head-hunting companies and joining local tech events at least once a week. We like to believe that there is always a better way to hire talent and we’re experimenting new stuff with each new opening. Also, we like to get all three founders involved in the hiring process, since early employees have a big impact in your business.

How we hired our first software engineer interns and why they’re awesome

Simplicity is key, it all started with a simple image posted to splinter’s on facebook and in less than 24 hours we had dozens of people interested to join.


This was the first time that announced its internship program so I was very excited. But the question that most of us face when looking for an intern, especially for an early stage startup with less than 5 employees (or as we call them splinters) is how to make the right choice in selecting them?

We were not looking for your regular type of an intern who has the basic understanding of technology and programming and is willing to learn new frameworks and tools,. Coz lets face it, I don’t have the time to walk the interns through a Ruby on Rails introduction, or MongoDB crash course, or Neo4j and graph database tutorials, and yes we use all of this tools and a bunch more, and on top of that we certainly don’t have the time to walk them through a code base with more than 25K lines of code.

So how should we conduct the interview and decide without the plain old please solve this algorithm for me, or find the bug in this really complex SQL query (we don’t even use SQL in our stack, not yet anyways)?

So me and Marwan, the super software engineer that I’m lucky and honored to have on-board, decided that during the interview one of us will draw the entire architecture of on a whiteboard including the various components that are the building blocks of this platform and how these components interact with each other and also giving them a hint about our future plans and what new features or components we would be happy to have them develop.

The key was to see how will they react to the way we designed the architecture. We knew that some of the elements in the stack they probably never heard about before and some they’d love to learn, but we were testing their passion and their way of thinking by simply watching very closely how they react.

And that’s how we selected both Omnia El.Dawy and Ahmed Salah, and we were really confident that they’re fast learners and that they will add great value to the team. But guess what? They over exceeded our expectations, they’re doing a marvelous job so far and both of them deployed new features developed from scratch in less than a couple of weeks.

So what did we learn? It’s not just about what you know, it’s about what you’re willing to learn! And more importantly, your ability to think out of the box, coz that’s how products are built.

Really proud of all my team and can’t wait to welcome more splinters to our team soon :)

Thanks everyone,

Ahmed El.Hussaini

3 tips & tricks for startups that want to hire techies

In case you are recruiting techies for your startup, you’ve come to the right place for some tips & tricks on how not to waste the opportunities to nail the best talents and bring them in your team.

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1) Posting the job vacancy on your website & some recruiting platforms and waiting for applications will not get you too far.

Technical talents are scarce. There is more demand than supply when it comes to developers, engineers and designers. Hence, your potential candidates are most probably working somewhere else at the moment. It’s extremely rare that they are unemployed, actively looking for job opportunities. So if you are just waiting to receive applications, you are most probably wasting your time.

When it comes to recruiting techies, you are the one who needs to be pro-active, scout for talents, approach them. You need to do your search (online and through your network) and contact candidates.

By using you can make your search more efficient because the platform offers an aggregation of all platforms where the potential candidates have information. Plus it offers you Splinter LookUp to ease your scouting efforts.

Note that just waiting for applications could work though if:

  • you have a very attractive startup (a.k.a. you got a big investment or you build an awesome technology that attracts all the eye-balls)
  • you are not looking for experienced techies and you are open to students and recent graduates (because they are the only ones that are free on the market and actively looking for opportunities)
  • you are lucky ;)

2) Be very specific about what you are looking for, while knowing when to be flexible and when to not underestimate some profile aspects.

One very important advice shared by experienced recruiters is to prioritize personality over competences when recruiting. In other words, look first for cultural fit. Look for specific personality and workstyle traits your future employee should have. How much risk taker, how much innovative, how much hard-working, how ambitious etc. Think of all the things that matter for the team to work out and for the fit with the job tasks.

Competences (technical skills) can be easier developed than personality traits. Besides, technologies are evolving so rapidly anyway and skills become so easily outdated, that in any case you should prefer someone with a great power and willingness to learn rather than the most experienced techie.

Another advice is to measure experience in accomplishments/ projects rather than years of experience. You might lose lots of good potential candidates with very rigid job requirements. Replace your required years of experience with other elements that make more sense for the job: types of previous projects, involvements in previous projects etc. Also think: is the experience in the industry extremely necessary?

And speaking of this, give a lot of thought to the location requirements. Since tech talents are so scarce, willing to hire only those nearby that can come and work from your office(s) might be a huge limitation. Nowadays, the trend in most companies is to enable more and more remote work. This is the future, powered by technologies that make it doable and efficient (think of all the video conferences tools, project management tools etc.) If you can extend your talent pool to a wider area than just your city, that would be great.

Last but not least, prioritize your job requirements. Define and communicate which ones are really mandatory, which ones would be great to have, which ones would be nice to have.

3) Present your startup and the work opportunity in an appealing way.

We see many job descriptions or approach messages that seem to be done in a hurry. Information about your startup should be plenty and attractive. Mention your vision, your work environment, show your media coverage, present your team and your investors, mention your achievements and present your next milestones.

With you can present your company in a very personalized way. You can add your mission and vision, social networks, media coverages, images etc. Invest your time into making an appealing presentation for your startup as a workspace because people care a lot about company culture and achievements.

When you approach potential candidates, it was proved that the highest click rate was for messages that mentioned the investors in the title and had all the content personalized for the candidate.

Also you might want to take good care of your candidate experience. Having a fast and pleasant process could not only make you nail the best candidates, but it will also give you thumbs up as an employer in the techies communities (word of mouth) and so ensure an increase of chances for future hires.


Would be great to hear some lessons learned from the startups that are recruiting and to expand the tips & tricks list.

(Image credit: Adelina Peltea) takes startups on Hacker Tour to top computer science and engineering campuses in Europe

We are proud to announce that we are co-organizers of Hacker Tour Europe - a series of events that will facilitate startups’ access to top students from computer science and engineering universities in Europe.

During the course of a few weeks in October and November 2013, Hacker Tour Europe will facilitate company presentations, CXO talks, coding challenges and job fairs in a number of selected campuses.

The companies that want to participate and get the benefits of creating a talent pipeline of the best students from top technical universities are invited to register here. will be the platform that will gather all the professional profiles of the participating students. Employers will be able to use to access Hacker Tour Europe talent pool at any time, to filter the young talents to match their interests and to follow up with them.

We know companies deal nowadays with difficulties of finding adequate professionals for their open positions. Especially when it comes to tech positions. Our platform offers the possibility to reveal talents and to do matchmaking between open positions and professionals. But we also want to participate in the creation of the next generation of tech talents.

Therefore we want to bring companies closer to students and facilitate their interaction.Through Hacker Tour we can help students understand what skills they need to develop and what are their career opportunities. And so we also help companies shape this next generation of talents to match the working requirements of today.“ said Adelina Peltea, co-founder of


There is a big tech skills gap. Let’s do something about it! [case study - London's Tech City]

London’s Tech City released a survey report yesterday highlighting that the biggest challenge for its 1350 tech business is the shortage of skilled professionals in the job market.

Developers and usability specialists are the most difficult to recruit at the moment in Tech City in London. And most probably not only there.

required skills

CyberCoders research findings released earlier this month reveal the most in demand skills for the highest paying technology jobs of 2013:

  1. Mobile development (iOS, Android)
  2. Cloud computing (AWS, Azure)
  3. Front end development (HTML5, CSS3, Javascript)
  4. UX/UI design
  5. Big Data (Hadoop, MongoDB, NoSQL)
  6. C#
  7. Ruby on rails
  8. Java
  9. PHP
  10. Linux

Needless to say that the shortage of tech talents makes tech businesses experience growth barriers.


Hence they are going for these solutions:

  • Importing talents (Some countries are already well known to be good tech talent pools. But to be able to hire someone from abroad means finding those able to relocate and then dealing with the visa systems that are complex and expensive.)
  • Hiring temps (94% of Tech City businesses use temporary recruitment, although only 17% prefer this method. The most common temporary resourcing solutions are freelancers (73%) and interns (63%).)


But this is not solving the root cause of the skills gap.

Technology is rapidly evolving and the education system cannot keep the pace. Students (the future workforce) need to learn what is needed on the job market from the businesses that require them to have these skills. is willing to help close the tech skills gap by bringing together students with tech companies. How?

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This autumn we will organize a tour of tech companies at campuses of tech universities in Eastern Europe (area that is famous for its tech talents). There will be workshops, hackatons, internship/job fairs. More details to be announced soon.

If your company is interested in participating (meaning providing HR and/or tech employees or founders to go on tour, and paying a fee for making the organization of the tour happening), please drop an email to adelina [at]

Also, if you are a tech business willing to organize a few workshops/ job shadowings/ internships for students at your office, we would gladly help you with it. Same, please drop an email to adelina [at]

Meanwhile, don’t forget to showcase the tools you use on‘s Workspace.

Happy skills upgrade!

Manual first (while in beta) – testing hiring talents, the traditional way

We stand for making the hiring process much easier, by directly matchmaking talents with recruiters and removing the long process of posting jobs, receiving and filtering applications etc.

However, while we are in public beta, we will still use the manual process of hiring (quite frequently used in startups), automatizing it slowly slowly.

Therefore, expect to see some jobs postings on in the upcoming period. But don’t get used to it :)

For the moment, we will use the job postings and applications system in order to:

  • understand better the needs of recruiters
  • bring work opportunities to our talent pool

Companies interested in hiring, please contact adelina [at] for promoting work opportunities on our platform. Meanwhile, you can also try our Splinter LookUp to find talents, our aggregated Common Connections to see how you can get introduced and our Splinter Talk to message each other.

Talents interested in work opportunities, follow our  and apply using your splinter profile to promoted jobs. You might want to add more tools and social networks to your profile first.

splinter jobs

We will develop our promised features with the learning we get on the way and in a few months we will be ready to do simple matchmaking for you! launches Common Connections, aggregated from all social networks

Do you want just one place to see all the common connections from all social networks between you and someone else? You have come to the right place! is happy to announce the launch of Common Connections, that enables displaying for two splinters the common connections they have outside the platform – for the moment those on Facebook and LinkedIn (even if the common connections are not using All in one place!

splinter common connections

When checking out someone’s profile, I’m always interested in knowing the common friends or connections between us. But that’s always limited to one social network, which is the social network I’m viewing the profile on. That’s why we’re introducing the common connections on, that are designed to display even the common connections outside of, from other social networks like Facebook and LinkedIn.

For example, if I’m looking at a profile of a web designer that I’m interested in hiring and we have no common connections on but we have a common friend on Facebook, I’ll be able to connect with that friend and get feedback from him/her and ask about the web designer.” said Ahmed Hussaini, co-founder of who made this feature happen together with Marwan Osman, our Senior Software Engineer.

As far as we know, is the first platform to offer this functionality (correct us if we are wrong), that can make people’s life much easier.

In the future we will integrate the common connections on more social networks and add more features related to connections.

Make the most use of your connections! launches Splinter Talk, an easy way to get in touch with other splinters

If you already experienced our search capabilities to discover talents that use certain tools, that live in certain places or that know certain people (Splinter LookUp), you may want to be able to approach them in an easy way.

We are happy to announce that now you can message any splinter on the platform through Splinter Talk.

splinter talk

In order to approach someone, you can either click Message on their profile badge or click New Message in your inbox (that you can find right next to your username that enables all the setting, on the upper right side)

How can Big Data transform the way we hire and get hired?

Nowadays we are experiencing an explosion of user-generated data that is growing at alarming rates supported by technology developments such as internet, mobile devices, connected sensors etc.

A glimpse at how much content was generated every minute in 2012:

data never sleeps

The challenge has become to gather and analyze this big amount of data, so that both the people generating it and businesses can benefit from its insights.

Some industries like retail, manufacturing and financial services already started to explore the benefits of using big data.

An interesting use case of big data is Parchment, a startup that helps high school students choose and apply to college. By analyzing a large database of student profiles such as grade point averages, SAT scores and acceptance data, Parchment assesses a student’s likelihood of admission to a specific  school. It then determines what the student must do to improve acceptance chances. Parchment also plays matchmaker, pointing students toward schools that match their profiles, helping them find a good fit.

A very well known example of benefiting from big data is , that tries to deliver more relevant ads to its users and the companies trying to reach them by tracking their activities on the platform and beyond (any online activities, through cookies).

But what about recruitment?

Just like people would like to receive more relevant ads based on their online activities, they would also like to be informed about relevant work opportunities. And this should happen as well based on their online activities, since these can drive insights into their professional interests, expertise and experience.

The best use of big data for recruitment in the way we envisage it at is: aggregating all relevant data from one’s online activities in one data-rich profile and then matchmaking the profile with work opportunities, returning results for both recruiters and job seekers.

This would be only the beginning. We would then also offer career advice for professionals based on big data, job description advice for recruiters based on big data. Or even more. Now we interpret web and mobile activities, but we are preparing for the Internet of Things. For example you might wear a bracelet that will tell us who you have met at which conference and we can use that on our platform to track and manage your connections. 

What we are building lays at the border between big data recruitment and social recruiting and people search engines.

Social Recruiting taps into the opportunities brought by social networks, just like does. But while Social Recruiting in its traditional sense allows companies to only distribute their job openings across multiple channels, at we also offer them the possibility to have data from all social networks in one place, with all the data analyzed and ready to return fast results.

People Search Engines emerged lately covering exactly this need of recruiters: having all the relevant information across the web about people in one place. But these platforms are designed only for recruiters, while data about talents is gathered from public sources or through paid APIs and not made available for the talents themselves. At we empower talents as much as we empower recruiters. Hence, professionals can see their data aggregation, can edit their profiles while still keeping the social validation and have lots of benefits from using the platform, like for example receiving career advice and being able to explore their contacts in new ways open up by technology.

Overall, the more data is generated by people and the better we can analyze it and make use of the insights, the more transparency in the hiring process will be for both recruiters and talents. We are here to transform the long process of recruitment into real-time and human work into partially or totally automatized work. 

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Image credit: Adelina Peltea