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How We Recruit Top Tech Talent

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Posted by Svitlana Kravchenko on December 19, 2018
Tech Recruiting at Smaato

While there are a lot of talented engineers in this world, we at Smaato try to find and approach only the best. We look for talented individuals who are eager to advance our products, become a part of an international team, and have a positive influence on our company culture. We truly believe that software and systems engineers are the heart of every organization that offers software development. As long as the heart beats, the product lives!

So what does it take to hire great talent? Here's how we do it at Smaato:

1. Getting Started

Defining requirements and drafting a job description

For every position at Smaato, we complete a briefing form that provides a full picture of the role we are looking to fill. Most important is to get a clear picture of the “must-have” requirements and the “nice-to-haves.”

Preparing tech questions for technical recruiters

Engineers are excited to speak about tech trends — and we let them do this with us on initial screening.

We conduct briefings with the hiring team in order to prepare the technical questions that we then ask on the recruiter’s first screening step. These questions help us to get a better understanding of the candidate and their technical fit within a team. 

Posting a job

It is essential to spread the word about a new job opening across all relevant outlets. How do we do this? By assessing tech-relevant and trendy channels that today’s top developers like to explore. The ones we use at Smaato include traditional job boards like StepStone as well as very popular (and, for us, the most effective) social job sites: LinkedIn, StackOverflow, and Xing.

Training for new interviewers

Conducting interviews is a very exciting, but at the same time challenging, psychological process. To achieve a highly professional as well as effective interview output, we invest time and effort into providing interview skills training for new team members. This helps ensure our hiring managers represent Smaato in the best possible fashion. While technical skills and professional experience are very important for most jobs, these managers also benefit from knowing how to uncover those skills and behaviors that they cannot see on paper.

Collaborating with the marketing team

Visibility and positive brand recognition is a crucial aspect for every organization, and Smaato is no exception. The recruitment team has established close cooperation with the marketing team to efficiently and effectively spread the word about our engineering openings to assure visibility to applicants.


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2. The Selection Process

Applicants and actively-sourced candidates — Keeping the balance!

We are proud to receive a lot of CVs every day, but we do not slack in our efforts to seek other great candidates ourselves. Keeping the balance between both approaches, while also considering diversity, is an integral part of sourcing for the cream of the crop. We are proud to count more than 40 nationalities working under the same roof and towards the same target: Keeping apps free and making Smaato a great place to work!

First screening step 

Our initial screenings include both technical and behavioral questions. Based on the briefing form, we create structured feedback criteria in our Applicant Tracking System (ATS), SmartRecruiters. This includes the already mentioned “must-haves” and “nice-to-haves” as well as the tech, cultural, and motivational fit to Smaato. This helps us to move through the pipeline more efficiently.

Technical challenges

We have two different types of tasks for our tech candidates. Either before or during the interview, we give candidates a real-life task to solve — something they can expect on a day-to-day basis here at Smaato. The task usually takes 30 to 45 minutes, providing useful insight into the candidates technical and problem-solving skills.

Peer-to-peer recruiting and sharing feedback

Given that we are in a seller’s market for technology talent, we share prompt feedback in SmartRecruiters to enable fast decision-making. We are agile, so if we notice that a step needs to be added or reduced, we will adapt the hiring process to meet our business needs accordingly.

Pitching the role to candidates

We have a lot of things to be proud of: the latest technologies used on our projects, our great international teams, flat hierarchies, and a healthy work-life balance. It delights us to share our own stories with candidates and explain how we help with relocation and integration into a new country.

Being transparent and always giving feedback in time

We all want feedback. With our transparent workflow in SmartRecruiters, we offer our candidates the possibility to check their application status regularly. Already in the very first interview, we explain the overall hiring process and the time frame of feedback loops to candidates.

Another important thing: whether it is a CV in an inbox, an interview that took place one week ago, or a 30-minute phone call, we regularly inform our candidates about their application status and whether they will be considered further. We respect the time an applicant has taken for us and strive to offer the best interview experience. 


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3. Tracking and Achieving Success

Analyzing the data and sources

Continuously tracking the source of candidates and assessing the approaches that have worked for successful hires helps our recruitment team to keep an overview of how to achieve the best results. By collecting and analyzing this information, we also evaluate whether to implement new tools or boards in the process.

Staying up-to-date with tech

What’s the latest version of Angular? What is the AndroidX library recently introduced by Google? We believe it is important to speak the same language as engineers, so we do our homework by reading technical articles and exploring what's new in tech. During the initial call with a candidate, we then do our best to show that we are hiring for tech teams. From our personal experience, we have noticed that engineers are excited to speak about tech topics with us recruiters and, furthermore, they are always looking forward to having exciting conversations!

Attending and hosting meetups

We strongly believe that meetups and other networking events can serve as a powerful piece of the recruitment funnel. We proudly host tech events on-site at the Smaato offices and invite other talented and curious individuals from the tech world to give them the opportunity to network, share experiences, and have an informal after-work talk with nice drinks and food.

Interested? We're Hiring!

This thorough recruitment process ensures that we at Smaato only hire the best candidates — truly motivated individuals that will enjoy working here and supporting the development of our products. If you think that you would be the right fit, check out our open positions. We're looking forward to talking tech with you!

We're hiring! View Open Positions >

Written by Svitlana Kravchenko

Svitlana is a Technical Recruiter at Smaato. She has been hiring technical talents for the past four years and finds the most exciting part of her job is the opportunity to meet and speak to people from different parts of the world every day! Outside of the office, you can find her traveling to new places, hiking, reading books, and learning German.


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