Your engineering team is often heavily involved in technical recruitment by necessity – they help with critical tasks such as evaluating new hire fit and technical capability. However, companies often involve inefficient ways in the hiring process of software engineers that distract from their other responsibilities and cost more per hour. Some engineering managers may spend up to 15 percent of their time recruiting alone.
By making a few key changes to your technical hiring process, you can ensure that the time it takes to get hired by your engineers is focused and efficient. We’ve put together four actionable strategies to achieve this.
Strategy 1: Use structured technical screens to reduce engineer time spent interviewing.
Many companies engage engineers in technical phone screens, onsite panel interviews or executive interviews. A traditional phone screen lasts an hour, with an additional half hour of preparation and debrief time on each side. This means that on average forty phone screens an engineer may take two full working weeks to fill a position.
Top technical screening services supported by industrial-organizational (IO) psychologists and staffed by expert interviewers can be an option that holds candidate evaluation objectives. Products like CodeSignal’s Tech Screen come with ATS integration and use computer scoring to evaluate candidates, and can save your engineering team hundreds of hours of interviewing.
A leading technology enterprise oriented towards a structured technical screen built and maintained by CodeSignal, saved 18,000 engineering hours annually among 100 technical workers. The company together saved $3 million in engineering team costs, while improving their onsite-to-offer rate by 45 percent.
Strategy 2: Partner with technical evaluation vendors to eliminate the time spent creating coding questions.
Another time-intensive hiring task engineers are often involved in is developing the coding questions used in technical evaluations, take-home assignments and live coding interviews. The average assessment for an engineering role includes four questions, but a question can take up to six hours to develop, making an assessment asking for approximately 25 hours of engineering time. With this upfront time cost, companies that write their interview questions in-house may not have the engineering ability to monitor and adjust questions for clarity or difficulty once they are adopted in the interview process.
Technical Interview Vendors offer pre-made skill assessments designed by Subject Matter Experts (SMEs) and IO Psychologists to reliably evaluate candidates. Assessment teams create questions tailored to the knowledge and skills required for specific roles and may spend additional time maintaining questions, as well as conducting tests to ensure that questions are interpreted as expected. Gone and fair.
Strategy 3: Adopt a dynamic skill assessment framework to reduce the time taken in handling leaked questions.
Interview questions are constantly leaked by candidates, even in cases when they sign non-disclosure agreements (NDAs). A CodeSignal study found that, for companies that use a coding assessment created without the support of a vendor, fraud and plagiarism peak 3 months after the coding evaluation begins. This means that companies that create coding questions in-house have to rewrite them once per quarter. Evaluations require an average of 100 hours per revision, with engineering teams spending over 400 hours annually coding question leaks.
Only monitoring sites like LeetCode and issuing DMCA removals of leaked questions are both volatile and unsustainable. The most effective strategy is to accept that query leaks are inevitable and that it is important to minimize the impact of leaked queries. The skill assessment framework provided by CodeSignal’s Skill Evaluation Lab uses dynamic question rotation to create a personalized coding assessment for each candidate. The lab generates hundreds of variations of questions, both large and small, that maintain a consistent challenge level and pass rate, and can save your engineering team hundreds of hours.
Strategy 4: Reduce engineering time spent on candidate assessment with automatically scored rubrics.
Between debriefing technical phone screens, scoring take-home assessments, and reviewing onsite interviews, an engineer can spend more than an hour and a half evaluating each candidate. When filling a role means interviewing an average of forty potential employees, an engineering team spends twenty hours debriefing the technical screen.
Combining automated code scoring on technical assessments with structured rubrics can significantly reduce that time sink. CodeSignal’s Pre-Screen and Take Screen services provide comprehensive automated reports that account for accuracy, speed, implementation ability and problem-solving ability of each of the candidates’ answers to each question. It eliminates the hours spent manually reviewing the code and makes the final round onsite more focused and productive by ensuring all candidates that the advances are highly qualified.
Using a structured rubric to convey information onsite can help your engineers arrive at a decision more quickly. A rubric that includes a numerical system and an explanation for each score also helps teams make better decisions, and can be used to guide debriefing conversations. Be sure to include all skills – technical and communication – relevant to the role, and have interviewees score the interview independently before making comparisons to ensure that the rubric is being used consistently.
Implementing these strategies together can save hundreds of engineering hours and millions of dollars in annual cost savings. Improving an engineer’s time at one stage of the recruitment process can still save a significant amount of time. CodeSignal’s technical interview and evaluation experts can help ensure that the time your engineering team spends on recruiting is made the best use of. Set up your first conversation here.