Why Tech Companies are Choosing Berlin for Executive Hiring

Why Tech Companies are Choosing Berlin for Executive Hiring

Germany’s capital – a hotbed for Tech Leadership

19 June 2023

Berlin has a diverse and highly educated workforce, making it an ideal location for businesses looking to tap into the European hiring market. The city has a vibrant and rapidly growing tech scene, attracting startups, established companies, and entrepreneurs from around the world.

Here are some factors that make Berlin an attractive destination for hiring tech executives:

Largest CTO pool in Europe

If you do a quick search for CTO’s on LinkedIn across some of Europe’s biggest tech cities, you will notice a substantial amount of CTO’s based in Berlin. Of the 4,700 CTO’s based in Berlin, close to 50% of them are Co-founders or previously founded their own venture. Berlin has almost double the amount of Technical leaders compared to Amsterdam (2,300) and Barcelona (2,700). Compared to other EU cities, Berlin will provide you with a strong pipeline of experienced, entrepreneurial minded CTOs with a slightly lower salary expectation compared to their London counterparts.


Low office rent

Considering building your R&D hub in Berlin? Good news! Office space prices in Berlin vary from €15 to €38 m2/month on average depending on the neighbourhood. In Mitte, where many tech startups are typically based, rent would be approximately €21 to €36,50 m2/month on average. Now that’s pretty damn attractive compared to central London which could cost anything between £80 – £95 m2/month.

No language barrier

No German? No problem. 56% of Germans speak English fluently. Many cities and countries offer temptingly low costs when it comes to rent and everyday expenses, but a language barrier prevents founders from growing their businesses in these locations. English is widely spoken throughout Berlin, so there’s no language barrier to contend with when you’re looking for your next Executive, or you’re planning to move your growing startup to the capital.

You’re in great company

Berlin’s tech scene has been booming for more than a decade. C-level talent are attracted to the city for it’s extensive tech community and financial landscape. You’re guaranteed to be surrounded by other innovators, VC’s and Private Equity and gain access to top shelf employees and funding. Oh, and did we mention that most people in Berlin tech know each other? Regardless of the size of the ecosystem, the city is also popping off with Meetups, conferences and other techy get-togethers.

Government grants

The city offers favourable conditions for starting and scaling tech businesses, including government grants for startups. In July last year, Germany pledged to mobilise €30bn of additional funding by 2030 to foster the startup scene and laid out its first comprehensive roadmap for startup. Check out Germany’s top 10 public grants here.


Central European Location

Berlin’s central location in Europe makes it a strategic choice for tech companies looking to expand their operations across the continent. It offers easy access to major European markets and a strong transportation infrastructure, including airports, train connections, and highways.

Cost of Living compared to other global tech hubs: Compared to other major European tech hubs like London or Paris, Berlin offers a relatively lower cost of living. This can be attractive for tech leaders and their teams, allowing them to allocate resources more efficiently and potentially invest more in research, development, or talent acquisition.


Less red tape in the visa process

Once you secure an executive hire or need to start scaling your R&D team, you’ll need to tackle the immigration process for those that don’t hold EU citizenship. For example in  Silicon Valley or London entrepreneurs are finding it more and more difficult to attract top international talent because of strenuous immigration rules. But Germany’s relatively relaxed visa application process is favourable to startups.


Diverse teams are better

17% of Berlin’s residents don’t hold a German passport. The city has seen a large influx of visitors and tourists, but its permanent population is growing by hundreds of thousands of new residents per year. As Berlin opened itself up to the world, the city has become much more cosmopolitan. The international workforce in Berlin helps bring new perspectives to tech companies and creates an environment that’s attractive to other internationals.

While a slowing economy may force some companies to increase efficiencies or slow down hiring, for many Tech Leadership will be the last departments to be affected. With digital transformation on the mind of every C-suite executive across Europe, many companies will still prioritise hiring for tech roles. So far in 2023, Berlin also received the 2nd highest amount of VC funding to date, behind only London. Another reason why Berlin’s Tech Executives thrive on the various influences that the capital has to offer.