October 4, 2022


Tigran is co-founder/CEO CodeSignalan automated technical assessment platform that helps companies go beyond resumes when recruiting.

Engineers play an important role in finding and recruiting new technology talent. And rightly so, they are often the best people to assess a candidate’s technical ability and team fit.

But as the technical hiring climate heats up, engineering time spent interviewing, writing specific technical questions, and evaluating candidates is no longer sustainable. Research shows that some engineering managers spend staggering amounts of money 15% of the time during recruitment. This affects engineer productivity, which costs your business money: Due to higher hourly rates and time-consuming processes, companies pay six times more for recruiting engineers compared to recruiters.

The good news is that you can have it both ways: Engineers can (and should) be part of the onboarding process, but there are steps you can take to ensure the process is as streamlined as possible. This article will help you identify four common mistakes that take up valuable engineering time and how you can fix them.

1. Your engineers conduct initial stage interviews.

Technical phone screens. Secondary technical screens. Panel interviews on site. Executive interviews…the list goes on.

Engineers often go through multiple rounds of interviews, spending a lot of time and money on your case. A traditional phone screen, from what I’ve seen in the tech industry, usually lasts an hour. With an extra hour to prepare and brief and an average engineer salary of $200 (in my experience), that means the average of 40 tech phone screens needed to fill one position costs $16,000 to rent—and that’s just the first. recruitment phase.

What is the solution?

It’s important to involve your engineers in the interview process, but early-stage interviews like technical phone screens can easily be handled by a technical review vendor. The best in the business use industrial-organizational (IO) psychologists and trained interviewers to validate the question, minimizing the risk of bias and enhancing the candidate experience. You should also look for services that use computerized assessment to assess candidates that come with ATS integration and can save you hundreds of interview hours while providing a fairer assessment process.

2. Your engineers create custom interview questions without support.

Depending on the complexity of the question, it’s common for engineers to spend two to six hours on a single interview question for technical assessments, homework, and live coding interviews. I’ve observed that the average assessment for an engineering role consists of four questions and can take up to six hours, meaning an engineer can spend up to 25 hours on just one assessment, costing your business $5,000 (based on a $200/hour salary ).

There is also the issue of durability and reliability. While engineers undoubtedly understand the technical side of coding assessments, they may not know how to best present the questions to accurately and fairly test a candidate’s skills.

What is the solution?

The best assessment questions aren’t just created by engineers. Instead, assessment design should be a collaboration between subject matter experts (SMEs) and IO psychologists trained in best practices. To minimize or eliminate the time your engineers spend writing interview questions, you can rely on technical interviewing and assessment vendors that provide assessments developed and validated by IO psychologists and SMEs. The benefits are two-fold: You’ll save your team time and money, while increasing accuracy by ensuring each question is unbiased and relevant to the job.

3. Your engineers rewrite leaked questions.

Leaked questions are an inevitable part of tech recruiting. Even if candidates sign non-disclosure agreements (NDAs), questions are still completed online. A recent study found that fraud and plagiarism are most common three months after a company implements a new technical assessment, meaning engineers must rewrite them at least four times a year. At the companies I’ve worked for, I’ve seen assessments take an average of 100 hours per revision, meaning engineering teams spend a minimum of 400 hours each year solving question leaks. $200 an hour, well – I’ll let you do the math.

What is the solution?

Of course, you can follow popular forums and request a DMCA takedown. But for most companies, this approach is neither scalable nor sustainable. Rather than spending hours trying to manage the uncontrollable, a better approach is to mitigate the impact of leaking questions by using a service that conducts technical interviews and assessments through skill assessment frameworks. These highly effective frameworks use dynamic question rotation to ensure that each test and interview is highly personalized for each candidate.

4. Your engineers manually evaluate each applicant.

The last mistake teams make in the hiring process is to manually assess each applicant’s technical skills and fit for the role. Depending on the company, candidate evaluations can include technical phone screens, homework evaluations, and on-site interview results, which together add up to hundreds of engineer hours and thousands of dollars for the business annually.

What is the solution?

There are two ways engineers can reduce the time they spend manually evaluating candidates. The first is to use a research-based tool that automatically evaluates candidate code. Many services offer this, but be sure to partner with one that provides you with a comprehensive coding report for each candidate. This allows for more accurate assessments and leads to a higher correlation with both subsequent interview performance and on-the-job performance.

The second part of the solution uses structured rubrics in the candidate discussion process. Rubrics are used to assess a candidate’s knowledge and skills in an objectively consistent and less biased manner in the process. Having a reusable scoring template not only makes the hiring process fairer, it speeds up the process by focusing engineers and giving them a structured process.

Recruiting the best tech talent, regardless of the process, takes time and patience. But following these tips will give your engineers the breathing space they need to do what they do best: develop new products, solve real-world problems, and drive your business forward.


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