The European Talent Landscape

European Talent Landscape 2016: Health of the Continent

In this report, we’ve set out to identify where people working in European technology companies come from, what experience they have, and what they expect in their roles. We did this by profiling almost 15,000 employees in over 1,000 venture-backed companies in Europe, and by working closely with a select group of recently launched start-ups.

While not exhaustive, this report is intended to provide insight into how companies grow from seed stage upwards, and to help new founders and experienced recruiters to make great hires. We would love to get your feedback on further areas to look into at james@balderton.com

The full report

We have distilled the report into the ten key findings below, but feel free to view or download the report below.

Find out more

Key findings

  1. London, Paris & Berlin dominate the European start-up landscape today
  2. Hiring is getting harder, with technical and product hires the toughest to make
  3. Technical talent is highly mobile across Europe’s hubs, especially engineering
  4. London has a particularly mobile workforce, with 40%+ of founders coming from or spending considerable time abroad
  5. Almost 50% of employees previously worked in a start-up or large tech company, rather than traditional professions
  1. London is the most popular destination for developers looking to work abroad
  2. Pay for engineering roles can vary by almost 4x across European hubs
  3. Start-ups can expect to scale the number of people by 12x between seed and growth rounds
  4. It takes an average of 20 weeks and over $5K to hire senior talent, longer with visas
  5. A lack of specialist skills and the time to hire are the biggest challenges when making new hires

London, Paris & Berlin dominate the European start-up landscape

London, Paris & Berlin are home to almost two-thirds of tech start-ups in Europe, but there is also a long tail of tech hubs with higher densities of skilled engineers

Graph showing that London, Paris and Berlin dominate the European start-up space

Hiring is getting harder, with technical and product management hires the toughest

Despite the growth of start-ups, hiring has become more difficult for technology companies, with product and technical roles the most difficult

Graph showing to what exten competitian for talent has increased in the last year, and how difficult positions are to fill

Technical talent is highly mobile across Europe’s hubs

Talent is truly mobile, with an average over 40% of employees in tech start-ups not native to the countries they work in.

Graph showing that talent is truly mobile and international

London in particular has a highly mobile workforce, with over 40% of founders studying abroad

This is especially true in London, where up to 41% of founders of London tech companies studied abroad with a high likelihood they aren’t UK nationals. This compares to an average of 22% of non-native founders in the U.S.

Graph showing where founders of venture-backed companies studied

Most start-up employees previously worked in another start-up or blue chip tech company

In a sharp change from the previous decade the most common backgrounds of employees in start-ups are now other start-ups or blue chip tech companies

The top 20 companies that employees in European start-ups previously worked at

London is the most popular destination for most developers outside of their home nations

The U.K, and in particular London remains the top destination for engineering talent outside of their home nation for almost all countries in Europe, even after the Brexit vote.

Percentage of job searches outside home country

There are still considerable pay differences between hubs for developers

Pay varies considerably by hub, in particular in more niche engineer skills. Although this variation falls when adjusting for local living costs.

Graph showing average developer salary per country

Start-ups can expect to hire 12x the number of people from seed round to growth stage

While the types of hire can change by sector, the average start-up is focussed on engineering and sales roles across every stage

Graph showing number of staff by type at for seed, venture and growth

It can take up to 20 weeks and on average $5K to hire top engineering talent

Hiring senior people in both non-engineering and engineering roles can take roughly the same amount of time and cost

Graphs detailing the recruitment of non-engineering and engineering talent

Lack of specialist skills and time to hire remain the biggest challenge for recruitment.

While hiring is always hard, having an employee referral system, a strong brand and introducing applicants to the team early are the best ways to improve the process

Graphs showing the most effective ways to attract candidates and how companies can improve the recruitment experience

The full report

We have distilled the report into the ten key findings below, but feel free to view or download the report below.

Download the report