Objectively Measuring Code Quality

objectively measuring code quality

“All of the software engineering candidates seem equally qualified. Which one should we hire?”

For technical recruiters like you, it’s very frustrating to hear these words from your engineering department. After all, you’ve worked hard to fill the funnel with highly qualified candidates, host interviews, coordinate technical assessments, and schedule on-site visits. Surely there’s enough data to make an informed decision — right?

If indecision and gut reaction is plaguing your hiring process, perhaps it’s time to revisit your company’s technical assessment methodology.

The Problems with “Traditional” Coding Assessments

Let’s start by reviewing some common assessment-related challenges that many tech companies struggle with. Do any of these sound familiar?

  1. Too Generic to Be Useful – Your company has very specific requirements when it comes to recruiting technical talent. Unfortunately, most off-the-shelf coding templates fail to assess a developer’s understanding and proficiency with their daily responsibilities. This forces your company to rely on tests that can only measure generic topics, such as algorithms and data structure knowledge, and this typically results in many candidates passing the initial technical screen but failing the onsite interview.
  2. Subjective by Nature – You can’t fit a coding assessment into the confines of a multiple choice test. Each assessment must be manually administered and scored, most likely, by someone with in-depth technical knowledge. To complicate matters, reviewing hundreds of lines of code isn’t exactly a straightforward exercise, and the logic behind the way the code was written is also important. It’s human nature to see situations subjectively and this could foster more internal indecision and debate.
  3. Internal Bottlenecks – There’s no question that technical assessments can create bottlenecks at your company. Manually scheduling, preparing, administering, and evaluating assessments often requires cross-departmental coordination. All of this consumes time, which slows down the recruiting process. Slow recruiting causes developers to lose interest, and that’s not ideal in today’s competitive market.
  4. Plagiarism – With distributed workforces, many assessments are administered virtually. How can you confirm that candidates are actually submitting their own work and not something that has been plagiarized? Without the right tools, you may unknowingly give the upper hand to candidates who cheat.

Cultivating a More Objective Assessment Process

If any of the aforementioned problems sound all too familiar, then our CodeSignal Recruiter platform might be a useful resource. We built CodeSignal Recruiter specifically for the needs of technical recruiters like you, delivering the following solutions:

Language-Specific Assessments: Our IDE supports 40+ programming languages and offers a library of curated tasks, making it easier to build assessments that actually help you measure competency.

Custom-Calibrated Solutions: Our testing experts will work with you to create two custom assessments at no extra charge.  These assessments can align with your company’s mission or the daily responsibilities of the position.  They are calibrated with your onsite interview questions and are far less subject to any attempts of plagiarism.

Consistent & Collaborative Interface: As candidates submit their work, assessment scores become instantly available within the CodeSignal interface. For developers who progress further in the pipeline, the interview coding environment delivers additional real-time insights into skills and abilities.

ATS Integration: Already using an ATS? CodeSignal Recruiter integrates with several of the most popular applicant tracking systems.

Native Plagiarism Checking: CodeSignal also tests each code submission for plagiarism issues, helping you to feel more confident about the integrity of your assessment data.

Sign up for a quick demo to learn how CodeSignal is helping recruiters create more objective technical assessments.

The Bottlenecks that Bog Down Your Recruiting Process

Tired of feeling bogged down by recruiting bottlenecks? Maybe it’s time you stopped working in your pipeline and started working on it. Start by objectively evaluating your workflow and then seek solutions that will yield greater efficiency.

It’s easy to feel overworked and underappreciated as a technical recruiter.

You put in long hours sifting through countless profiles on job boards, only to be consistently disappointed by the handful of developers who actually apply. To make matters worse, your engineering team isn’t interested in hearing excuses. They need technical talent — and lots of it. Unfortunately, so do your competitors. Simply put, it’s a developer’s market.

Although you can’t change the demand for high-caliber engineering talent, you can take proactive steps to identify and streamline your recruiting process.

In this article, we’ll discuss best practices for overcoming what’s holding you back.

Common Bottlenecks Facing Technical Recruiters

Let’s look at some common bottlenecks facing many technical recruiters these days.

Do any of these sound familiar?

Labor-Intensive Outreach Process: Developer outreach consumes way too much time and effort for the results that it yields. There are literally thousands of qualified developers to engage through platforms like LinkedIn.com — and that’s precisely the problem. Where do you begin? Using filters can be a logical starting point, but even then you’re still dealing with a list that’s far too lengthy. To complicate the issue, most developers are happily employed or not seeking employment opportunities. That’s a big reason why so few developers reply. It’s also why you find yourself spending so much time on outreach. After all, recruiting is a numbers game — or is it?

Clicks, Clicks, & More Clicks: Stop and think about how much time you spend jumping between browser windows. For example, let’s say that you view 250 developer profiles on LinkedIn.com and reach out to 50 of them (requiring several clicks each). You then note each interaction in your candidate tracking spreadsheet (another tab and series of clicks). With each click taking at least a second of your time, you’ve spent at least ten minutes just clicking stuff. That may not seem like much, but over the course of a 260-day work year, it translates into 40+ hours of clicking.

Unintentional Bias: Not every developer is concerned with how his or her LinkedIn profile looks. Some may not even have LinkedIn accounts. So, by isolating the search to only those developers in the PHP Developer group, for example, you could be overlooking an entire crop of technical talent. Even within the group’s membership, some developers may have failed to upload a professional photo or provide updated work histories. Should this disqualify them as candidates? Certainly not, but what other information do you have to go on?

Poor Communication from Internal Stakeholders: Your engineering team is looking for results, but that doesn’t necessarily make them more willing to invest in the process. They’re busy people with an aggressive product roadmap to manage. As a result, you might struggle to get their feedback on candidate qualifications, interview performance, and technical assessment scores.

Too Many Calendar Reminders: Using your calendar to track candidate follow-ups and interviews is certainly better than using handwritten sticky notes. Here’s the big problem: your brain can only handle so many pop-ups before becoming fatigued. Calendar fatigue can cause important things to slip through the cracks.

Objectively Evaluating Your Recruiting Process

If you find yourself constantly battling the same bottlenecks, perhaps it’s time to take a step back and look objectively at your recruiting process as a whole. The bottlenecks you’re experiencing could be symptoms of deeper issues.

Consider these questions:

What is your outreach engagement rate? Your time has a tangible cost. Spending a substantial amount of time on fruitless engagement could represent a negative value proposition. Would a better mix utilize less manual effort and more automation? By monitoring your outreach engagement rate, you’ll feel empowered to make more informed allocations of time and resources.

How long does it take to fill a position? Time-to-fill metrics can vary widely in the technical recruiting world, particularly when it comes to hard-to-find skills. Be that as it may, establishing a baseline should be a priority for your company. Once the baseline has been established, you can then dive deeper into each phase and strategically implement programs that increase throughput.

Do you know your onsite-to-offer rate? Of candidates who get an onsite interview (or, for remote companies, a final virtual interview), what percentage will receive offers? If you’re not presently tracking this metric, it should be relatively easy to re-engineer for recent job postings. As a point of reference, the industry average is about 20-25%. Anything lower than that might indicate problems with your pre-interview and technical assessment processes.

How many qualified candidates do you need in your pipeline? Metrics such as onsite-to-offer and outreach engagement are also useful when estimating your pipeline volume requirements. Rather than aiming for “as many candidates as possible,” a measured approach relies on actual data to find a more realistic balance.

Leveraging Technology to Overcome Bottlenecks

Having developed an objective understanding of your organization’s recruiting challenges, it may be time to shift your focus toward some viable solutions.

One such solution is our CodeSignal Recruiter platform. CodeSignal Recruiter is an all-in-one talent and candidate management system built for technical recruiters like you. With more than 1 million vetted developers, CodeSignal offers one of the industry’s largest pools of technical talent. Many of the developers in the CodeSignal community are actively seeking employment opportunities. Our system’s proprietary matching algorithm combined with the human touch of our Talent Success Managers deliver personalized, curated candidate recommendations that align with your needs.

By harnessing the power of machine learning and AI, CodeSignal keeps you on track — without overwhelming you.

Sign up for a personalized demo today.