It’s challenging to hire software engineers. Different degrees of seniority have radically different criteria for the skills necessary for each function. Because of these discrepancies, it isn’t easy to create a repeatable and sustainable recruiting process.
Here, we’ll discuss the best techniques for evaluating candidates on their talents, rather than their backgrounds or prior job experience. Find the most sought-after core skills, how to conduct a successful technical interview, and best practices for developing an assessment framework for your firm. We’ll also provide you with a template for designing your own roles’ evaluation rubrics.
How to upgrade your screening process beyond resumes
On paper, a resume isn’t the whole picture. Reviewers might make assumptions about a candidate’s abilities based on information like the candidate’s name, email address, home address, and degree. Furthermore, this data may be deceptive in many respects.
Have you ever employed someone very competent but lacked a solid CV (e.g., a college degree)?
Technical evaluations are a viable alternative for developer employment. They reduce the likelihood of making judgments based on unconscious bias by providing the option to hide candidate data. By comparing all applicants to the same set of standards, it’s possible to make judgments based on more than just a phone screen or CV review.
A technical evaluation’s internal structure
You should learn how technical assessments are put together as a first step. Pre-screening, for example, may concentrate on fundamental credentials, while the technical interview is when the candidate’s problem-solving ability, communication skills, and technological skills are tested.
Solving a Problem
- Correctness: The ability to arrive at a naïve answer.
- Optimality: The ability to find a solution to a more challenging problem
- Belief in one’s own ability to arrive at an obvious conclusion
- Is the code a single large file or broken up into smaller, more manageable chunks?
- Debugging: The ability to locate a problem in a big codebase.
- Is there enough test case coverage in Test-Driven Development?
Conceptualizing and Developing Systems
- A simple architecture with unlimited resources is the best way to ensure correctness.
- Scalability: How will the design change for 1 million users instead of 100 thousand?
- What technology will you use for queuing systems, databases, and the like?
The ability to operate together as a pair.
Is it possible for someone else to understand the code? Do you know how thoroughly it’s documented?
Are they conversant in the language of their preference?
Depth of the candidate’s questions: a sign of overall ability
Front-end, back-end, and full-stack positions often include some mix of the abilities above in their interviews, but there is no single standard for all technical professions.
Because of this, it’s crucial to emphasize that this assessment does not focus just on testing one’s ability to solve technical problems. We want to know how they use their technical knowledge to solve a specific issue. As a result, the difficulties faced must be specific to the job.
Create a task that’s based on what the employee is expected to do every day at work. For example, a weather app interview would not be appropriate if your business is an investment bank. To have a clearer idea of whether a candidate is a good match for the position, you need a problem that is directly related.
How to choose the best evaluation method
A methodology for assessing available positions is the next stage. What kind of experience are you searching for in a potential employer? How will you tailor your questions if the developer has less or more experience? In order to develop evaluations for each function, you’ll need a framework to identify these differences.
In the end, the idea is to make sure you’re asking questions that are relevant to the position and the amount of expertise.
Consider the following example of an evaluation rubric. The ability to comprehend and test code and solve issues are all essential traits to look for in a back-end developer. However, the questions you ask to evaluate each of these abilities will be determined by the amount of expertise of the candidates.
Replacing classroom learning with real-world scenarios
In addition to adapting questions to the candidate’s position and experience level, you must also ensure that your evaluations are customized to the job’s day-to-day duties. For example, you may use assessments to imitate real-world scenarios.
For experienced applicants, this is critical. Real-world applications are more important than simple questions when testing experienced applicants.
Candidates with little or no previous professional experience should answer questions about basic computer programming. Those with greater work experience will be better showcased by questions drawn from the actual world.
Analyzing test results to determine the effectiveness
It is critical to collect performance data after establishing an evaluation for a specific function. What we’re trying to figure out here is:
- Your completion rate is what? Whether or not applicants respond to your evaluations is an important question for you to answer.
- Candidates’ responses to your evaluations are mixed. Are they satisfied with the content?
- How well do those who have passed the assessment fare in the next stages of the evaluation?
- Is the difficulty level of your test appropriate? Is it too limiting, or does it allow for too many candidates?
- Is the average time it takes to complete a test in line with your team’s goals?
You may fine-tune your exam before distributing it to applicants, but field tests will provide you with the most useful performance data. Invite 20 coworkers to take the exam internally. What if you’re developing an evaluation for front-end developers? If so, invite recent recruits who meet the same description to take the test.
You’ll likely need to change the questions if all of your developers fail. On the other hand, if all of your team members do it in the specified time, it won’t be a significant indicator for your organization.
The efficacy of a test may be re-evaluated once it has been calibrated internally and utilized with at least 100 applicants in the field.
Three final suggestions for developing a skills-based assessment approach
Move beyond the resume
Prioritize talents above credentials. Unconscious biases may be seen in resumes, and they aren’t an accurate representation of a candidate’s abilities. They may exaggerate (or understate) their technical abilities, which might lead to inaccurate hiring signals at the outset. Alternatively, technical skills evaluations use the same criteria to evaluate all applicants, allowing for more objective decision-making.
Look beyond language proficiency
Evaluation of skill fit goes much beyond a person’s language ability. Avoid using simple code questions in your evaluations, particularly for senior positions.
What you should do instead is construct a rubric of the abilities you require for each job, and the sorts of questions you would ask at each level of expertise. Verify that the questions you’re asking cover the whole range of necessary abilities, not just a few highlights.
Pay attention to the candidate’s experience
Candidates with greater work experience will benefit from examinations that mimic real-world situations. For entry-level applicants, simple code questions may be appropriate, but for those with job experience, real-world coding problems should be used.
When creating questions for a job interview, think about what the job entails on a daily basis. You’ll be able to assess the candidate’s abilities in context, and the applicants will be aware of the responsibilities of the position.