Tech Recruitment Blog

How to lose tech candidates and alienate recruiters

TB4HR Team


Here at Toolbox for HR, we hire geeks. We treat every single one of our candidates as an individual while at the same time we constantly crunch data to verify any hypothesis or remove the bias. Big data helps our recruiters not to waste candidates/ interviewers/ hiring managers time.

In the last 2,5 years, we saw 500+ successfully accomplished recruitment processes. Many Software Engineers, DevOps, Data Scientists and Test Engineers got some new wind underneath their wings, moved jobs, cities, and countries. The total compensation of our hires is equivalent to the annual budget of Falkland Islands.

Today almost every company is, to some extent, a tech company. Owner of the lemonade stand at the farmer’s market needs a portable POS, ride-sharing driver needs to understand where to go to get 2.4 multipliers for his rides and the demand for the geeks making businesses smarter is not going away anytime soon.

We recently looked at the data coming from 500 recruitment processes to see what we learned.

We compared different interviewing philosophies among our clients. We grouped them into 3 categories:

a/ Friendly human – 2-3 stages of technical interviews with humans

b/ Hostile human – 3+ stages in unpredictable order and decision process with humans

c/ Talk-to-the-bot – test and/or homework followed by 2+ stages with humans

It turns out that more complex recruitment process (and test and/or homework) does not lead to better decisions. You need 2.6 tested candidates interviewing with a CTO to make a hire, but only 1.6 candidates who were previously interviewed by the engineers. Candidates who were exposed to tests are less likely to accept offers.

Source: Toolbox for HR


This also translates into the time invested into interviewing of tech candidates.

Source: Toolbox for HR


You might say that 11 hours to hire the right match is not a big investment and it’s hard to argue with that. Now, imagine growing from 20 to 100 people that is 6 months of one of the team members not coding, testing, maintaining infrastructure and not even using the bathroom and having coffee chats… just being locked up in a room with an army of candidates.

So do you still want to grow your team?

The best way to start is to invest in trained and enthusiastic interviewers, help them calibrate and have the best ambassadors of your employer brand! Side effect: more time spent on coding less time spent on the interviews.


Happy recruiting!

Marcin Smolinski is a tech recruiter with 20 years history of building engineering teams around the world. He is a founder of Toolbox for HR, a Recruitment Process Outsourcing focusing on tech and space.


Raise or the fall of the empire? Tech Talent in the UK

TB4HR Team


Every industry (not only in the UK) is considering the impact of Brexit on the global economic landscape. For the past 2 years, the British tech industry is being impacted by a weak pound through increasing costs of services outside of the UK (like hosting, growth services, outsourced software development etc.). According to our research, ~32% of 100.000 tech professionals in London are educated overseas. ~10.000 Geeks in London work in the financial services industry and some of those jobs are to be located elsewhere soon. More and more Developers, DevOps and Data Scientists (especially non-UK born) are considering opportunities in continental Europe due to the uncertainty of their post-Brexit status and (again) weak sterling. Will the British Empire rise like a phoenix through education and innovation or will it fall due to lack of both? Our current infographic shows a landscape or current status of talent in the UK, but we’re looking forward to revisiting these numbers in the future to assess the real impact of Brexit onto Britain’s tech talent landscape.


Keep on recruiting – Ta ta

Marcin Smolinski
Founder @ Toolbox for HR


Building Tech Team for AI Toothbrush

TB4HR Team


Every morning it’s a battle for parents to get their kids brush in a right way. Parents spend lot of time, energy and efforts convincing kids to brush by talking, educating and playing, no matter what parents do the end result is always the same, kids brush in a fast, inappropriate way and find their way out. This is how a daily routine looks like.

Kids are very smart who are armed with information, the internet, gadgets, interactive toys. What if smart kids were given a smart brush? A smart brush powered by Artificial Intelligence that turns boring brushing experience into a fun & educative game. Introducing Kolibree the world’s first AI toothbrush that was developed by parents and dentists, for parents and kids. The toothbrush interacts with the game like a joystick and the interactive educative game Go Pirate 2 is designed to teach kids to cover and brush all areas of the mouth, while rewarding kids with coins. The game is designed to last for at least 3 months, with two brushings per day for two minutes each. In total there are 16 game levels. Parents can use mobile app available on Android and iOS to see personalized reports on daily brushing habits and what was missed.

That’s the kids story, what about parents? Honestly, even if adults brush as thoroughly as their dentists recommend, it might not be that effective even with the so-called motorized smart toothbrushes. Kolibree’s AI brush is loaded with 3D motion sensors — including accelerometers, gyroscopes, and even a magnetometer to give that perfect guided brushing experience. The Coach app is designed for adults and allows real-time data capture, interaction and qualitative analysis: teaching grown-ups how to improve their oral hygiene.


If you would like to know more or own one visit

Toolbox for HR is proud to build Kolibree’s engineering team in France.

Image Sources:

Tech Talent in Germany

TB4HR Team



For the last few years, many doubted whenever Silicon Allee is a thing but with a rise of Soundcloud, Zalando or GoEuro, Berlin is becoming a strong player on the global tech scene. Berlin’s size, liberal environment, reasonably priced services and properties are attracting young entrepreneurs and VCs in large numbers. An interesting fact is that approx half of all geeks in Berlin did not graduate from German universities which is a great proof for its inclusiveness.
Klaus Wowereit (fmr. Mayor of Berlin) once said ‘Berlin ist arm, aber sexy’ (Berlin is poor but sexy) we believe that with Rocket Internet recently raising USD 1 Billion fund the only part of the message that still holds true is ‘sexy’.


Munich, Ruhr region, Hamburg and Frankfurt are, since a couple of generations, home to German industrial, media and financial sector behemoths. There are more and more Developers, DevOps Engineers, Data Scientists in those cities moving away from 9 to 5 jobs into innovative products that have a global scale outreach.


We checked Germany’s talent pool, their skills, and experience to share it with you. Enjoy our Germany tech talent infographic.


Keep on recruiting – Tschüss
Marcin Smolinski
Founder @ Toolbox for HR


Tech Talent in FinTech Industry

Marcin Smolinski


FinTech is gaining a momentum but there is still a long way to go.

We’re still walking around with our cards, our money is laying around in our current accounts not being invested when we don’t need it and currency exchanges can be found at every airport. At the same time, we see fraud detection or mortgage credit scoring being nearly 100% dependent on machine learning. There are still plenty of opportunities for FinTech companies to change the way we and businesses earn, pay, transfer, borrow and invest money.

Hiring talents for the FinTech industry is an arms race. The more skilled developers, data scientists and product managers companies can hire the more of the technology edge they have over competitors working on tackling the exactly same challenge. William Mougayar in his book The Business Blockchain says that by mid 2016 there were only “5,000 developers dedicated to writing software for the cryptocurrency, Bitcoin, or blockchain in general. The good news is that Java, C++, JavaScript, Python, Golang and Haskell developers are out there to be hired!

We looked at the most popular tech stack among FinTech companies and checked how deep are the talent markets for those technologies in several countries. Enjoy our first infographics of 2017!

Marcin Smolinski
Founder @ Toolbox for HR

Infographic FinTech Jan 9th.001

Infographic FinTech Jan 9th.002

Infographic FinTech Jan 9th.003

Infographic FinTech Jan 9th.004

Tech Talent in E-commerce Industry

TB4HR Team


HO HO HO e-commerCO!

With all holiday shopping madness, we looked up what is the most popular tech stack used by major e-commerce platform. Then we looked up how does it translate into geek talent market in several countries.

Happy Festivus, Hannukah, Christmas, days with limited food deliveries, days with slow internet at your parents, anything else you will be observing in coming days.

Keep on recruiting in 2017!

Marcin Smolinski
Founder @ Toolbox for HR

E-Commerce Infogrpahic.001


E-Commerce Infogrpahic.003

Real Time Analytics