Making great hires when for software development is crucial to building a successful business. The stakes are high: hiring a poor developer can even decrease your team’s efficiency as your engineers must train, coach and waste resources on the weaker ones. To keep things moving at full speed, you need to hire talented developers without losing too much time and productivity on the process. Indeed, the very search for a good developer can create a backlog of candidates to review, delay the production chain because of scheduling conflicts, drain your team’s time and energy with constant interviews and create inconsistent interview formats.
This is where code assessments come into play, to improve the quality of technical screens. They can be used in a multitude of ways: to test real-world programming skills, thought processes through whiteboarding, or by working alongside candidates through pair-programming tools.
There are exist skill assessment software such as KillerCoder that can make your hiring even more efficient. By using automated code assessments and pair-programming tools, KillerCoder accelerates the technical hiring process and allows you to identify the best talent. Here are some examples to successfully use code assessments in your hiring process:
If you are receiving a lot of job applications, you can set up a quick coding test for candidates to take before your team talks to them. This will allow you to filter applications and avoid backlog, while allowing your technical team to focus on their work until you have promising talent to show them.
KillerCoder’s automated coding assessments will streamline your hiring flow by allowing you to test candidates consistently by auto-scoring their solutions without requiring your engineers to lose their focus by getting involved in the screening process.
Once candidates have gotten through a low-pass filter, you can propose more in-depth assessments, for example by giving them an assignment they can complete on their own time and which will give you an overall idea of their skill sets. By giving the same assignments to all candidates you will also be able to compare them with one another.
The first option for this is to propose a “take home project” which will give you real-world code sample. Your interviewers will need to be familiar with the solution to have an efficient process, and a system will need to be set up for tracking results. However, this can be quite an intensive time commitment which can be off-putting for candidates. And your development team might still need to spend a critical amount of time reviewing submissions, while there are risks of reaching interviewer fatigue if these projects aren’t used selectively enough.
A better option would be to use an automated assessment platform. Instead of a full project, the candidate will receive one (or more) in-depth coding assessments to complete. This allows you to target the specific skills that you will need, and the system will score the candidates for you, giving you ample time to focus on how the assignment was solved and whether it matches your expectations.
Pre-screening out the unsuitable candidates and using in-depth assignments to identify high quality talents will have saved your development team precious time and energy before getting more hands-on with the hiring process. It’s still important not to shortcut on the interview process. Companies usually use a mix of technical phone screens and on-site formal interviews; however, both have drawbacks. Phone screens only provide shallow skill insight, while on-site interviews are costly for your team.
This is why pair-programming during a phone screen is a promising technique that can go as far as replacing on-site interviews when applicable. It involves your engineers meeting with a candidate in a real-time collaborative coding environment. This allows developers to code together, working through a code assessment or whiteboarding problem, even remotely.
A tool like KillerCoder will optimize your hiring flow by breaking down the interview process and automating its different stages. Firstly, pre-screens will allow you to filter out poor performers, followed by in-depth code assessments that will help you identify those that deal with real-world projects. Finally, pair-programming phone screens will save your team from hours of in-person interviews by showing you how candidates will work as part of your company.