Recruiting Technical Developer Talent: Speed vs. Quality

Coding assessments are not the first thing that hiring managers or HR managers think of when it comes to technical screenings.

The conversation usually sounds more like this…

“We have an urgent need to fill several important software development roles – as quickly as possible.”

Sound familiar?

Hiring managers often want the best of both worlds, especially when it comes to technical developer talent. Unfortunately, HR teams, staffing firms, and recruiting firms frequently struggle to meet engineering expectations due to the apparent inverse relationship between speed and quality.

Without the right tools, assessing technical talent can be a time-intensive process that must incorporate countless data points, such as problem-solving skills, speed, style, and coding language expertise. As a result, some companies bypass coding assessments altogether, leading to a low recommendation-to-interview ratio.

In this article, we’ll explore how to deliver the best of both worlds: speed and quality.

Why Hiring Managers Have a Need for Speed (and Neglect Coding Assessments)

Before you can optimize your balance between speed and quality, it’s important to first understand why technical hiring managers are so crunched for time.

Technology is a Hot Industry

According to the Bureau of Economic Analysis, the information sector, which includes software publishing, data processing, and other information services, is rapidly becoming one of the top contributors to GDP growth (Q1 2018 data). In fact, information-related economic activity added over $955 billion in nominal value and was second only to real estate as a contributor to Real GDP growth. Companies from all industries are cashing in on the global information economy, and they need top technical talent to do so.

Fierce Competition Necessitates Rapid Change

With an ever-increasing number of competitors developing innovative tech solutions, existing market players are forced to iterate faster just to remain viable. And, although intense competition usually results favorably for consumers, it typically has the opposite effect for your companies. In-house development resources are already working at full capacity, so the only option is to quickly ramp up talent sourcing. Each day that goes by without filling vacant positions makes clients more vulnerable to competitive threats.

Turnover is a Big Problem in Tech

Tech companies are dealing with a two-fold problem when it comes to competition. Not only must they outflank competitors from a product standpoint but they must also deal with an increasingly tight labor market. With so much development activity going on, top programmers know that they are in high demand. They’re right, of course, as the Bureau of Labor Statistics is forecasting a 24% increase in employment for software developers by 2026. This 24% increase is significantly higher than the average for all other occupations (7%). When a developer leaves for a bigger paycheck or greater opportunity (which seems to happen more so than ever before), your clients must scramble to fill the gap.

Blocked Development Inhibits Revenue Growth

Even if increased competition wasn’t a factor, companies still have an aggressive product development pipeline that’s aimed at fully monetizing their user base. Just as manufacturing companies can’t scale with a single production line, tech companies can’t scale without continuously expanding their “production line” of programming talent. The longer it takes to get a production line up and running, the longer it takes to deploy features, capture market share, and improve top-line performance.

Recruiting Tech Talent Can Be Highly Specialized

Though there are over 750,000 app developers in the United States, there are also more than 256 different programming languages. Some languages are extremely complex to master, making it difficult to find a sizable quorum of talented developers who are proficient in a given language. Despite this reality, it doesn’t mean that clients have a less pressing need to fill highly specialized roles. Actually, it compounds the issue.  

The simple truth is that tech companies face tremendous pressure to fill vacancies, which is why some hiring managers turn to staffing and recruiting firms for support. Sadly, most of these firms don’t have the in-house knowledge to adequately evaluate and recommend technical talent. Instead, many resort to a failed “strength in numbers” strategy (i.e., sending a large quantity of resumes and hoping for the best).

What Hiring Managers Really Want (in Addition to Speed)

We’ve established why hiring managers have such an urgent need for technical talent. However, the need for speed does not diminish the need for quality talent.

Before your recruiters send over another batch of mediocre candidates, now might be a good time to implement a technical assessment platform that can expedite your placement of high-quality programmers by delivering:

Top-Tier Candidates with Verifiable Skills

In a perfect world, your candidate pipeline would be much more than a database of names and resumes. Ideally, each coder would have his or her own Coding ScoreTM that objectively measures true problem-solving abilities based on an in-depth history of completed coding challenges and tasks. Your recruiters could use this score as a benchmark to rapidly identify and recommend top-tier candidates who are likely to excel in interviews and make positive impressions.

Fewer Failed Coding Assessments

After reviewing a candidate’s work history and education, it’s not uncommon for hiring managers to put the candidate through a technical coding assessment of their own. Companies that utilize in-house technical assessment platforms increase the pass rate of their recommended candidates, resulting in fewer failed assessments and happier clients. Look for a system that empowers recruiters to set up, administer, and score real-world programming tests within minutes – not hours.

Data-Driven Insights into Candidate Expertise

Performing well in an interview and passing assessments is a good starting point, but it’s no guarantee of success for any company. Provide hiring managers with the data-driven insights they’re looking for by selecting a coding assessment platform that objectively measures a broad spectrum of performance indicators, such as coding language knowledge, domain expertise, responsiveness, problem solving, and other job-related criteria.

Fewer Resumes, More Solutions

At the end of the day, hiring managers are not impressed by how many resumes recruiters can throw at them. In reality, most hiring managers prefer fewer resumes in exchange for a vetted shortlist of candidates who can readily demonstrate their capabilities during an interactive coding assessment.

How to Find the Right Balance Between Speed & Quality

Does your hiring strategy need a better balance between speed and quality? Perhaps it’s time to try our CodeSignal technical coding assessment platform.

Our predictive Coding ScoreTM harnesses the power of machine learning to deliver data-driven insights about each candidate’s technical abilities, helping your team to make faster and more informed recommendations. In fact, companies that use CodeSignal experience higher onsite-to-offer rates (35%) versus the industry average (20%). In addition, our library of over 4,000 coding tasks and support for over 41 programming languages streamlines the entire technical coding assessment process, resulting in quicker hires, fewer empty positions and more revenue for your company.

Schedule a risk-free demo of CodeSignal today.