If you’re an HR leader looking for a new technology solution to some of the most-pressing people problems of the moment – be it hiring, retention, engagement, or how to make hybrid or remote work effective for the long-term – turning attention towards some of the best HR tech startups in Germany is not a bad idea.
With Berlin as its capital, Europe’s largest economy has big plans to make its startup ecosystem an even more central part of its future economic growth: earlier this summer, the 83-million-person country’s government approved plans to boost the startup economy to the tune of €30bn, with finance minister Christian Lindner saying he wants to make Germany a “[business] founding republic”.
With additional plans to make it easier to hire and innovate within its borders, Germany already has good startup foundations. In 2021, a record €15bn was invested in the country’s startups and it ranked as the 6th best country for startup innovation in the world, with startup founders, time and time again choosing Berlin as the best place to found a firm.
And, for those interested in HR, over a quarter (26.33%) of all investment in European HR tech startups went to Germany-headquartered firms in 2021. Additionally, 30% of startups in the country are in the ICT, technology, and healthcare space; key areas of people function concern.
To find out more about the top HR tech startups from the land of Goethe, Mozart, and Kraftwerk, read on below.
There is almost too much to write about the Munich-headquartered developer of HR management and recruitment software for SMEs. Having raised another €189m in funding this year, the unicorn is now valued at a staggering €8bn and is one of the most valuable startups in Europe.
With accolades including being called “among the best SaaS companies in the world” and “an indispensable tool for SMEs as they bounce back from the pandemic”, the company already has over 6,000 customers and 1,200 employees.
And that’s before it properly rolls out expansions to its core offering, including a new people workflow automation system and an employee experience solution. With plans for strong growth into 2023, Personio’s future certainly looks bright.
In early 2022, the Chemnitz-headquartered employee engagement platform provider – Staffbase was founded in 2014, offering clients better internal communications utility; since then, branching into employee apps and intranet provision – became Germany’s latest unicorn after Series E funding of circa €100m boosted its overall value to €1.1bn.
Amongst its enterprise customer base, it boasts Adidas, Hitachi, and Ikea, and claims to boost key HR and financial metrics for its clients, from increased revenue, to better survey responses and reduction in safety incidents. With a big future ahead of it, the business plans to use the latest funding to expand the platform and complete full integration with Microsoft 365.
With businesses facing up the stark reality of a difficult labor market, many firms are looking at what their next competitive advantage in this area might be. Berlin-headquartered WorkMotion aim to help solve this. With Germany facing up to a potential shortfall of two million skilled workers by 2030, the HR platform hopes its technology, which allows hiring, onboarding, and management of international employees, can circumvent this.
Founded in 2020, their offering creates internationally and locally compliant contracts for companies hiring abroad, as well as looking after all the different parts of payslip and people management. It already has 170 customers and recently won eight-figure Series A funding.
Another Berlin-based business, HeyJobs is the AI-enabled talent acquisition tech tool that aims to better align the individual wants of a jobseeker with a company that can specifically deliver those needs, moving past a simple skills-to-role method. Fresh off a €35m Series B funding round – the largest ever financing round for a talent platform in Germany – the platform has already assisted in over 100,000 hires.
In fact, in 2021 HeyJobs was responsible for one percent of all German hires and recently doubled its headcount, and, in the words of their co-founder CEO, hopes to continue adding value for both job seekers and customers as it grows.
Lano’s hiring and payroll offering is broad. They partner with clients to allow them to hire outside of their own country more easily, and offer contractor management and remote worker payment services, visa management, and general payroll utility, too – the whole time keeping compliance front and center.
The Berlin-headquartered business even entered into a recent partnership with Fintech Group in order to allow employees to get part of their salaries in Bitcoin if they want to. Founded in 2018, it has over 1500 customer firms and also has acquired over €15m in funding so far.
It’s a news agenda item all of Europe: the worrying shortfall in staff willing or able to work in the healthcare sector. MEDWING claims it is its mission to solve this by empowering potential hires to find jobs that suit their lifestyle, doing this through recruitment services, job matching, communication technology, and a consultation service, too.
So far this approach has won €28 million in Series B funding and, as customers, over 2,500 partner hospitals, nursing homes, and medical practices. It also has over 200,000 registered professionals on its customer base. With aims to help employers rethink healthcare employment practices, they plan to use the recent capital acquisitions to expand internationally.
Offering SMEs an HR management platform – which includes everything from recruiting and onboarding and offboarding services to payroll and scheduling – the Johannes Roggendorf-founded firm (he is now CEO of MEDWING) has raised eight figures in funding over its seven years of existence.
Customers state that HeavenHR‘s services greatly simplify their HR processes, making operations modern and transparent, which, in an increasingly complex time for employers, acts as a big thumbs up for their cloud-based SaaS facility.
Based in the city of Karlsruhe, Workwise (founded in 2015 as Campusjäger) aims to improve digital recruitment outcomes through better job matching and an additional consultation service. Having acquired another €12 million in funding in early 2022, the Martin Trenkle-helmed firm plans to double its headcount by the end of 2023, aiming to become a recruiting thought leader in the process.
This isn’t to say it hasn’t achieved a lot already. Workwise has already had an impressive beginning: bootstrapping its way to 3,000 customers who it helps by making their digital hiring easier.
Specializing in making employee allowances and benefits digital, Harmony GmbH is the 2016-founded firm that allows employers to save taxes based on meal subsidies they give workers.
Based in Berlin, the company already has Unilever, thyseenkrupp, and axel springer as customers, and claims it can boost employee relations, branding, and tech stack integration through its easy-to-use product. In 2021, it was awarded for its excellent product and brand and has attracted seven-figure funding.
Utilizing AI, the Berlin-based startup claims it helps both job seekers and employers get better job and talent search results by additional use of big data. It also offers customers a platform for managing the recruitment and candidate management process in one location.
This approach has won Talentwunder many awards already, including the 2019 Digital Leader Award and the 2017 HR Award. And, amongst businesses that use its search engine and recruitment offerings, are multinationals such as Amazon, Audi, Tui, and Capgemini.
Another recruitment and talent-sourcing services firm, Berlin-based MoBerries uses big data to help businesses rank applicants when they’re searching for new hires. It also has features such as allowing hiring companies to recommend talent to others in their industry and has been lauded for its simple interface and ability to integrate with some of the biggest HR tech providers.
It helps clients benchmark their hiring against the industry they operate in and, as a result of its utilities, has acquired over seven figures in funding from 13 different investors.