This is our review!
The unique focus of the event was that it would be 'Founder to Founder' - where speakers and delegates alike can engage candidly on the challenges of building, launching and growing a Startup in the hyper competitive HR tech space.
To help start the conversation, 3 founders from HR tech startups at different stages of maturation where invited to speak, along with the famous HR tech advisor and investor, Bill Boorman. These were:
Despite the freezing rain and late after work start, the event was a sellout, with over 100 delegates attending with a 50/50 mix between HR tech enthusiasts and other HR tech founders.
The location was hub:raum in South West Berlin. Deutsche Telekom's incubator / accelerator is making a huge contribution the tech scene in Berlin, not only providing space and investment, but contributing hugely to the community, in no small part, by hosting events like this!
Bill Boorman, Trumunity
As a HR tech board advisor and investor, Bill gave his unique insight into how investors view HR tech products, and underlined the importance of platform design principles, particularly towards customisation and addictive design. Book recommend - Hooked, a book which has influenced the design of many addictive apps on your phone (remember Flappy Bird?).
Hung Lee, WorkShape.io
The next speaker was our very own CEO, Hung Lee who founded and bootstrapped WorkShape.io to 300 paying customers across 17 different countries. Hung's key points were distributed across different aspects of Startup, but mainly focused on the understanding the tools landscape is exceedingly complex for the HR/Internal Recruiter market, which means that your product needs to communicate clear value at the very beginning of the customer interaction funnel. Hung also emphasised that it was as important to build community (i.e channel) as much as you build product, because without distribution there will be no customers!
Marius Luther, HeyJobs
Next up was Marius Luther from HeyJobs. Marius prefaced his talk by honestly declaring that he had misinterpreted the founders-to-founders angle and would have to improvise some of his presentation! However, as a serial entrepreneur, Marius had no problems going through his talk, telling us about the origin story of HeyJobs, as well as the longer term strategic journey of building one product with a view of ultimately building another.
Hessam Lavi, JobSpotting
The final speaker was Hessam Lavi from Jobspotting, who were recently acquired by SmartRecruiters. Hessam's story was a classic one in tech Startup - solving an existing problem for himself before realising a much wider market for this proposition - and then building a sideline on the main project which became larger than the parent. So this is how BerlinStartupJobs, the most widely used job board for tech startups still to this day - segued into JobSpotting - a personalised job discovery engine.
In the End
Of course, events are great not for the speakers but for the everyone else in the room! Turns out there HR tech founders from Flow, GoHiring, Talent.io, as well as recruiters from Amazon, Zalando, IKEA, Lyke, NewStore, Viessmann Group and many others in the room.
It turns out that there are many people currently in the recruitment industry that have ambitions to leap into tech Startup and build the next big innovator in the recruiting tech scene. At WorkShape.io, we don't think that there can be too much innovation in the space and would encourage anyone with the inclination to Startup and give it a shot!
HR Tech Berlin will be back in April 2017, so please feel free to join the group on Facebook here.
Until next time everyone!