Dev Job Platform Honeypot Wants To Be Berlin’s Answer To Hired

Another recruitment startup is launching today, with a specific focus on developer jobs. Honeypot is based in Berlin and follows a similar model to Hired, flipping the traditional recruitment modus operandi by having companies apply to software engineers, rather than vice versa.

Honeypot was founded by mobile app marketing platform AppLift co-founder and former CEO, Kaya Taner, who is also funding the startup himself — along with some friends and family financing — to the tune of a mid-six-digit Euro figure at this stage. Taner started working on Honeypot this May, with the first team members joining in June. The business model is based on taking a fee for successful hires.

Honeypot’s twist is a pre-screening process for techies that aims to ensure a certain baseline quality level to make the search process more efficient for employers. This can include code reviews and coding tests, says Taner. And while it’s doing some of this reviewing manually at this early stage, the aim is to fully automate it down the line — so having algorithms assess algorithms.

He says it also has some tech aimed at detecting “to some degree” code plagiarism or other “suspicious” activity when a candidate is taking one of its coding challenges — again to try to weed out coders who might not be up to snuff.

“Companies usually contact so many developers who are unresponsive. And developers get loaded with a lot of requests so the platform wants to make everything more transparent. Basically before you actually decide to interview somebody, and to have people who are pre-screened on both sides,” says Taner.

“We invite developers and then each developer undergoes a short screening interview with us and additionally a code review by our engineers — so they look at their open source contributions or anything they can share on Github or Bitbucket. And if that is not enough there because sometimes the code is under NDA or so then we send out our own coding challenges. And review them before accepting any developer on the platform.”

How scalable is this approach? Taner reiterates that the “longer term” aim is to automate all the code checking, which is obviously more scalable than manual checks. But even at launch not all the code reviews require manual checks, he says, with some coding challenges that are graded automatically.

Another core feature he points to is the ability for employers to filter developer candidates on the platform by key details such as salary expectations, where they want to work, and what they want to work on — to avoid wasting time trying to hire engineers with no interest in working in a particular location or on a particular project.

“So many hires fail because a company might see a technology that somebody might have worked with but it’s not necessarily always what the developer wants to work with, as well,” adds Taner.

The platform goes live today — it’s invite-only at this stage — with an initial database of more than 1,200 developer profiles from more than 20 different countries across Europe and beyond, plus more than a dozen German startups with employment needs on board — including HitFox Group and Carmudi. Honeypot also has some employers in Austria and Switzerland signed up.

In terms of where it’s sourcing developers, he says the aim is to work closely with existing developer communities such as Github. “We’re building this whole approach around a developer community where we really want to focus on adding content as well, around conferences, for example,” he tells TechCrunch. “We’re planning the first hackathon currently.”

Taner name-checks Hired as a competitor but argues they are not strong on mainland Europe at this stage — although they do now have a presence in the U.K. Other European players it’s competing with include in France.

“Being based in Berlin, in the centre of Europe, we have access to different countries. It’s easy to get talent with different language skills. And we are supporting the migration of talent — so on the talent side we are already active pretty much all over Europe,” he adds.