Hashlist - 2023 in Review

As the year 2023 is coming to an end, we thought it might be a good time to reflect on the learnings, accomplishments, and future of Hashlist.

Calle Unnérus

Where the year started

At the start of the year, we helped tech companies in different industries hire on-demand tech workers faster through a subscription model. The concept was simple: We create a network of vetted, on-demand tech specialists who can work on projects and be placed in full-time roles.

Our focus was on serving large industrial enterprises. 

However, after digging deeper into the different industries worth specializing in, one stood out: The mobility and automotive industry.

The demand in this single industry was larger than many of the other industries combined but had several major challenges when digitalising.

The problems in hiring tech workers for the automotive industry

  1. Old employer branding: Almost all major automotive companies and their suppliers have hundreds of unfilled software positions open at any given moment but don’t attract quality candidates due to their brand being connected to the past.

  1. High demand, low supply: The demand for tech workers in the industry is 3x higher than the available supply, creating extreme competition between players

  1. Slow hiring: Big tech has learned to be agile and fast when it comes to increasing headcount, but the automotive industry still lags behind, usually taking several months to take a candidate through a process

We thought there had to be a marketplace specifically built to serve this sector, but found no reliable solution. The alternatives for automotive players were:

  1. Recruitment firms and staffing agencies: Expensive and usually as slow as the automotive firms themselves. No automotive specialization

  1. General tech marketplaces: The Upworks, Toptals, Turings, and Fiverrs. Unfortunately, due to being entrenched in many industries, they can’t attract a large enough pool of workers for the automotive industry specifically, and therefore can’t solve the industry's problems.

  1. Automotive suppliers: Great for large external projects, but not useful for increasing internal headcount

Old solutions aren't competitive for a changing industry landscape

Seeing these solutions, we understood that the sector needed one reliable marketplace specialized only for the automotive industry that can scale to thousands of hires/year/company.

Our mission going forward

The mobility & automotive industry is arguably one of the sectors that will see the most exciting developments regarding AI and Machine Learning in the upcoming 5 years.

Our network supports workers transitioning into the sector or changing jobs within the sector while making it extremely competitive for automotive companies to deal with an ever-changing flexible workforce. Our mission is therefore to:

“Build a network of on-demand workers that power the tech revolution in the global mobility & automotive industry.”

The mobility & automotive industry: 5 massive trends

The reason for the tech worker demand in the sector can be attributed to 5 developing trends:

  • Electrification: Every vehicle is sooner or later becoming electric and requires a massive amount of software to be operated reliably. 

  • Data-collection: Nowadays, every vehicle collects millions of data points each minute, ready to be analyzed to improve performance, safety and comfort through real-time over-the-air updates

  • Autonomy: As soon as the technology matures and regulations come into place, most cars will drive themselves. This will mean fewer cars per road as owners can rent their vehicles when not using them

  • Connectivity: Millions of vehicles are already connected, sharing real-time data that’s used to predict everything from safety to traffic and road conditions

  • Smart Manufacturing: Automotive, being the largest manufacturing industry in the world, is constantly changing and improving how vehicles are manufactured and how the process is automated.

The trends will require automotive firms to face a new reality of becoming technology-first & hiring massive amounts of software workers, often doubling engineering headcount year on year during the upcoming 5-10 years.

The foundations of our solution

Designing an on-demand marketplace for the industry is a challenge in itself, but we knew we needed to dig deep and create a solution that not only improves but revolutionizes.

Extreme efficiency: Two critical metrics we constantly review with our customers are: 

a) Time to hire: We have gone from an industry avg. of 3+ months to less than 2 weeks

b) Interviews per hire: Instead of interviewing 50+ candidates, hiring managers interview < 5 on Hashlist

Data from live hires

Low cost: Hourly rates per contractor are extremely transparent and low, allowing you to hire at volume, and within budget

Software-powered: Our online platform serves as the portal between hiring managers and candidates and is accessible 24/7


Flexible: Hiring contractors through Hashlist allows you to keep an on-demand, flexible workforce for when projects or priorities change

Global: Active in all major automotive tech hubs worldwide, meaning hiring collaboration across borders

One vendor: Having Hashlist as a vendor means all your tech contractors can work and be billed through one lean platform, saving complexity and headache

The Hashlist process in a nutshell

Our thoughts on vertical labor marketplaces

We have seen both major wins and failures in building marketplaces for work. However, we believe the biggest labor marketplaces in the next decade will be vertical for a specific industry, solving one problem very well.

It means solving a big problem and scaling with a high volume of workers for a few customers instead of solving a small problem for a high volume of customers

We predict previous generations of horizontal marketplaces will start to lose customers as industry-vertical marketplaces take over thanks to solving the problem better for all customers in a specific industry.

We believe Hashlist can lead the way for the mobility & automotive industry, and become a market leader.

Our plans for 2024

Having built the product closely with some of the largest car brands in the world in 2023, we plan to continue scale with our existing customers, as well as entering new partnerships with mobility & automotive firms all around the world.

Our network of on-demand candidates with continue to grow quickly, increasing as more customers join and more projects & roles become available.

The technology behind Hashlist is operational and will receive large investments during 2024 to become even more efficient.

Our team will continue to grow, but only when necessary. We want to ensure we rely on technology to scale, not headcount, and that each hire brings something significant to a team of A-players.