New Name + New Coding Score + New User Profile 🤯

Since we launched back in 2014, we’ve created a diverse community of developers who learn new coding skills and practice for technical interviews on our platform every day.  We learned a lot over these years and one of our top priorities is still to make our platform as useful to our users as possible. We want our brand and our products to best reflect why we exist, what we believe in, and where we’re headed.

So below are three important launches effective today 🚀.  

New Name

You may have noticed, that as of today, we changed our name from CodeFights to CodeSignal. We believe that our new name, CodeSignal, better reflects our continued focus on measuring technical skills and adding unbiased skills data to the recruiting process. Our goal is to ensure that we can provide a completely objective way of signaling your level of skill to those that matter (get it? 😉).

New Coding Score

We are also excited to announce the CodeSignal Coding Score! Under your new dedicated “My Profile” tab, you’ll find a new section called “Coding Score”. This score is an overall measurement of your implementation and problem-solving abilities and a predictor of how you will perform in technical interviews. Whether you’re measuring your own skills as you learn new ones, comparing your skills to those of your friends, or finding a new job; the CodeSignal Coding Score will be your way of showing your skills to the world.  Learn more about your Coding Score

New User Profile

We’ve also created a whole new User Profile to highlight your coding skills and make it more useful, especially if you’re interviewing. Now, you can update your profile, control your privacy settings, and most importantly, share your profile link with potential employers. From now on, you can use your CodeSignal profile as your Developer Resume.  Login to see your new profile!

There’s even more announcements just around the corner. But in the meantime, Happy Coding!

The CodeSignal Team

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.

3 Options for Coder Candidate Management

3 Options for Coder Management

As a recruiter, you spend most of your day interacting with technical talent.

To stay organized, your job involves a significant amount of recordkeeping. Tracking each candidate’s skills, qualifications, and professional experience can feel like a full-time endeavor. As candidates advance through the recruiting funnel, you encounter additional information, such as resumes, coding assessments, interview transcripts, internal notes, and emails.

Without a proactive plan for managing candidate information, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed. In this article, we’ll explore the pros and cons of three common approaches to candidate management.

1. Shared Spreadsheets

Does your company rely on spreadsheets to track candidate information. Don’t feel too bad — many firms still do.

Pros: Spreadsheets are attractive because they present minimal upfront friction to internal stakeholders (other than you, of course). Most everyone at your organization already uses spreadsheets, which bypasses the learning curve of a recruiting-specific application. In addition, spreadsheets are easily manipulated, exported, and customized, and Google sheets makes it easy for your colleagues to comment on the content.

Cons: As you know all too well, however, candidate tracking spreadsheets can’t possibly tell the entire story. Sure, you can do your best to keep excellent records and notes, but what about the details that can’t fit into a data cell (such as resumes and email threads)? It may be possible to link your spreadsheet to other resources and documents, but doing so fails to offer a cohesive view of each candidate.

2. Standalone Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS)

Given the shortcomings of spreadsheets, your company has likely considered the implementation of an applicant tracking system (ATS). Such systems deliver a variety of recruiting and administrative features, aimed at solving the headaches of spreadsheets and manual processes.

Pros: Many ATS systems are similar in structure to CRM (customer relationship management) software. The applicant is essentially a contact record, upon which additional information can be layered. Notes, attachments (i.e., resumes), and events (i.e., interviews) create added layers of transparency and accountability, which would otherwise be impossible with spreadsheets.

Cons: Implementing an ATS at your organization can be a big decision. There’s obviously the per-seat licensing expense, but there are also countless other opportunity costs to consider. Will users from engineering or senior management actually buy in? How much training is necessary? Will the system be too generic for the needs of recruiting technical talent? How will the ATS actually help fill the funnel — or will it end up being just another database of information? Answers can vary widely based on the ATS and your needs.

3. Skills-based Recruiting & Management Platform

Recently, a third option has emerged for technical recruiters like you. A coding-specific recruiting ecosystem, such as CodeSignal Recruiter platform, combines the tracking capabilities of an ATS with a community of 1 million pre-screened candidates.

Pros: In addition to helping you fill the funnel faster, CodeSignal Recruiter brings clarity to the entire candidate management process. The platform automatically organizes candidate assessments and interview histories in a highly intuitive way. An advanced collaborative coding environment makes it easier to facilitate interviews and objectively test candidates. And, if you’re already using an ATS, you’ll be delighted to know that  CodeSignal integrates to several popular solutions.

Cons: Skills-based recruiting is a relatively new concept and might require a change in how you think about recruiting.  As with anything that’s innovative, you may face some internal resistance. However, recruiters are seeing great results with skills-based recruiting so it’s becoming more popular. CodeSignal Recruiter isn’t free, but it is affordable and scalable.

Streamlined Candidate Management

Whether you rely on spreadsheets, an ATS, or an all-in-one platform, no candidate management process is ever perfect. Take time to continuously refine your workflow and seek out tools that align with your goals. Request a demo of CodeSignal Recruiter.

 

A New Generation of Skills-based Developers

skills-based software engineers

Over the past decade, we’ve witnessed a revolution in how information is accessed and consumed. From massive open online courses (MOOCs) to lectures published on YouTube.com, learning has been officially democratized.

As a result, talented individuals from across the globe are acquiring skills previously accessible only to those at expensive universities and learning institutions. Unfortunately, some firms have been slow to adapt their recruiting style to this reality, causing them to overlook an entire generation of coders.

On the other hand, a growing number of technical recruiters are embracing the skills-based movement. Unlike traditional resume-based recruiting, which is often riddled with biases and inaccurate assumptions, a skills-based approach can equalize the playing field for everyone.

Let’s take a closer look at why skills-based recruiting can be a win-win for any company hiring software engineers.

Skills vs. Fluff

Let’s face it — it’s not easy to measure an applicant’s technical competency for a skill. Sure, you have the candidate’s resume to go by, but how objective is that? To provide additional insight into the decision-making process, many companies will attempt to create their own assessments. Best intentions aside, such assessments can be difficult to administer and even more complicated to score fairly.

The ability to code is one of the areas where skill can be measured which is why skills-based recruiting is rising in popularity. Skills-based recruiting can help technical recruiters overcome resume fluff and hone in on candidates who possess the right mix of qualifications.  Within the CodeSignal community alone, there are more than 1 million pre-screened engineers who are actively engaged in building their skill profiles. Some skills-based platforms also offer integrated technical assessment capabilities, seeking to go beyond basic whiteboarding or algorithmic work.

Tapping into Hidden Talent

Another downside to traditional recruiting is its tendency to overlook those with nontraditional work histories. Take, for example, the stay-at-home mother who temporarily pauses her career to raise children. Although she continues to practice her skills every chance she gets, there’s little she can really do to impact her current work situation.

A skills-based model makes it possible for engineers with nontraditional work histories to knock down common employment barriers. From the employer’s standpoint, this can represent an exciting opportunity to tap into an underutilized source of talent.

“Elite” Shouldn’t Overshadow Skills

Most software engineers did not attend an elite technical university. In fact, some haven’t even earned formal degrees. Does this mean they’re unqualified by default? The sad truth is that many developers are ignored simply because they did not attend (or graduate from) an elite institution.

Skills-based recruiting overcomes this bias by starting with the developer’s technical know-how. Although educational experience may be relevant to the hiring decision, it should never overshadow a coder’s true abilities.

Empower Developers (& Your Company) with a Skills-Based Option

If you feel like you’re missing out on too many good developers, consider incorporating a skills-based option into your recruiting funnel. In doing so, you’ll add value to your company and further empower the new generation of developers.

Want to learn more?  Request a demo today!

CodeSignal Engineering Profile: Albina Ezus

There’s been a lot written about the gender gap in technology. The good news is that more and more companies are working to close the gender gap, and technology is helping as well.  We’ve had a lot of feedback from both recruiters and engineering teams that CodeFights’ skills-based recruiting has helped them source, measure and hire candidates in a much more objective way.

Albina Ezus is one of our rockstar software engineers at CodeFights. She came up with all the challenges for Python world which is one of the five worlds in the CodeFights Arcade, and also created the initial version of our testing and interviewing applications.  We wanted to share her story and recognize her contribution to CodeFights.

 

When did you know you want to be a software engineer?
Actually, when I was younger I wanted to be a doctor.   Then, when I was in high school I realized that I was good in math and that influenced my desire to become a software engineer. It wasn’t until University that I decided I wanted to code.

When I first got to university I did well on a test that put me in the ‘premier class’ and we started to code in that class.  A friend of mine made me join the ‘olympiad group’ which was an extracurricular group that met and worked on group coding exercises on weekends.  This helped accelerate my coding skills and I started to tutor other students in math and computer science.

 

How was your experience as a female engineer when you attend university?
As part of the ‘olympiad group’ I didn’t really notice any difference between myself and the male members of my group.  I did have to deal with a couple of ‘old school’ professors who didn’t want to spend a lot of time with female engineers.

 

How did you come to CodeFights?
Tigran (CEO) was looking for someone and knew my friend that ran the ‘olympiad group’ so that’s how I got connected.  I started working at CodeFights part time while I was still in university.

 

As a new coder what was your first project at CodeFights?
Initially when I came to CodeFights I worked on our content team – that is the team that creates the challenges for the engineers that come to CodeFights. As I built up my skill set, I started to work on automation projects and the CodeFights admin tool.

 

When did you take on the testing and interviewing applications?
I started working on the applications about a year ago.  It was really exciting because I was working on an application that our customers would see and use (as opposed to the back end application).  While building these applications, I had to do a lot of product and competitive research, as well as work with our UI designer; this exposed me to a lot of new experiences.


Building a new application is kind of a big deal, were you afraid of failure?
Not really, I was really excited about taking on the new project and the new things I would learn  and also share my ideas about the product. Since we had a long history of creating challenges for engineers on CodeFights, we had a lot of feedback from our developer community in terms of product design. This helped guide us in the initial stages and I worked pretty hard to get V1 of our application ready in 4-6 weeks.  Now, not only do lot of companies use our testing and interviewing tools as part of their recruiting process, we also use CodeFights internally to assess our engineering candidates. This way, we are continually improving and updating the application.

 

What advice would you give other women that want to get into software engineering?
If you love coding then go for it.  Don’t be afraid and remember that not everyone is threatening. The engineering community is pretty awesome — I’ve met some really supportive people. Regardless of the type of engineer you want to be, as long as you’re striving to be the best, you’ll get there. There are a lot of female engineering groups online and many of them can be very useful. Unfortunately, some members who publish their code online don’t have advanced programming skills, so they were the subject of discussions on Reddit and 4chan that used these coding samples as a basis to disparage women coders, and add biases against women in tech. At the end of the day, whether you’re a man or a woman you need to be a good coder – so it all comes down to the skills. Keep learning, practice, and let the work speak for itself.

How to Swim with the Big Fish (When You’re Not One)

How to swim with the big fish when you're not one

You work for a tech startup that has both an innovative product and an impressive story.

Since the company’s founding a couple years ago, the sales team has significantly grown the user base. Revenue is up, and customers are requesting new features. So much so, in fact, that you’ve had to quickly ramp up hiring for software engineers.

Despite the many positive trends, one thing remains true: Your company is still a small fish in a gigantic pond. And, to complicate matters, the big fish that you’re swimming with have equally large appetites, particularly when it comes to recruiting technical talent.

Does this mean your company must settle for second-rate talent that’s been rejected by bigger fish?

Absolutely not.

It does mean, however, that you must continuously refine your outreach program and expand your search beyond the traditional talent pools.

In this post, we’ll share a few tips for swimming with the big fish – when you’re not one.

Stop Dwelling on Your Company’s Weaknesses

When comparing yourself to larger tech firms, it’s easy to identify potentially insurmountable shortcomings. As a recruiter for a tech startup, you’ve probably wrestled with how to best address one or more of the following:

  • Completely (or partially) distributed workforce
  • Lack of a true “headquarters” or central office
  • Dozens of employees, rather than hundreds or thousands
  • Lack of a formalized “company culture”
  • Informal or semi-informal corporate hierarchy
  • Underdeveloped feature stack, as compared to competitor offerings
  • Minimal number of years in business

Without the right context, these challenges can seem difficult (if not impossible) to overcome. After all, most applicants want to be assured that they’ll be working for a well-established, solvent company. This concern causes many recruiters in your shoes to overcompensate, thereby attempting to position their companies as larger — and, as a result, more rigid — than they truly are. Development engineers are smart people, which is why they can see past such veiled attempts to gloss over the truth. (It’s also why so few of them reply to unsolicited outreach campaigns from technical recruiters!)

Your Weaknesses Might Actually be Strengths

Although you can’t change reality, you may be able to convert your weaknesses into an advantage. Remember, not every developer wants to work in a “normal” office setting and live in Silicon Valley. Not every developer wants employment with a multi-billion dollar mega corporation, either.  

As you reconsider your developer outreach process, consider how your company might differentiate itself by simply emphasizing the following possibilities:

Remote Work: Don’t underestimate the appeal of being able to work remotely. Developers love the flexibility of working from home or from co-working spaces.

Flexible Work Arrangements: Some developers might not be ready for a full-time commitment. Others might prefer working late hours. Flexible work arrangements can be a big draw, especially in the development world.

Less Red Tape: Your company doesn’t have a ton of mid-level managers overseeing every minute coding decision. That’s actually a perk for the result-oriented software engineer.

Making an Impact: The developers you’re recruiting won’t be lost in a ridiculously complex organizational chart. They won’t be doing menial work, either. You’re looking for high-caliber technical talent that can make an impact on day one. Use this to your advantage!

Career Advancement: Given your relatively flat organizational structure, the possibility of career advancement is feasible. Developers who join your team now could be getting in at the ground floor of something big.

Spend time crafting outreach messages that maintain a personal tone and incorporate your company’s key differentiators. In an age when developers are routinely spammed with canned messaging, taking a more organic, straightforward approach might give you the upper hand. What makes you different makes you unique, so just be yourself.

Expand the Search to New Waters

There’s no question that the big fish are attracting talent from all the obvious places. Job boards, developer groups, and LinkedIn.com are teeming with technical recruiters. Though you can’t overlook such sources of talent, you can try expanding your search to new waters.

One such “talent pool” is the CodeSignal Recruiter platform. Unlike traditional sources, CodeSignal starts with over 1 million tested and vetted engineers. At its core, CodeSignal is a community of developers seeking to better themselves through participation in interview practice and real world company challenges. As participants compete and engage through the platform, CodeSignal evaluates the participant’s efficiency of code, the time it takes to complete challenges, and the accuracy of the solution.

As a recruiter, you dive into this innovative talent pool by utilizing the CodeSignal Recruiter. CodeSignal Recruiter harnesses the power of machine learning to inform its proprietary candidate matching algorithm, and then adds a human touch to verify the algorithm recommendations to match the engineer’s preferences with your company’s requirements.  For example, if the candidate only wants to work at an enterprise company, then CodeSignal won’t submit that candidate to you even though the algorithm may identify that candidate as a technical match for your position. Unlike traditional passive recruiting, which relies heavily on the manual outreach process, CodeSignal brings the candidates to you that have signaled they are looking for a new position so the candidates are far more responsive.

In fact, recruiters who use the CodeSignal system enjoy a much higher candidate response rate than those who don’t — 5x the typical response rate of passive candidates, to be precise. Instead of making your pitch to hundreds of developers, you can focus on actually engaging a select list of coding experts.

Let the big fish swim in deep oceans. You’ve got CodeSignal now.

Get Swimmin’

Ready to jump in and give CodeSignal Recruiter a try?

Learn more about how CodeSignal can help your company recruit, assess, and interview technical talent. Get to know our affordable pricing plans and enjoy unlimited seat licenses and no caps on usage.

Guest Post: AI Will Dominate Recruiting – So Prepare For Major Changes In These Areas

AI Will Dominate Recruiting – So Prepare For Major Changes In These Areas

Most recruiters are busy with their day-to-day work. So, some fail to realize that many recruiting processes and tools currently in use will soon improve significantly by the continual learning provided by Artificial Intelligence (AI). In addition, not only will AI and its advanced cousin Machine Learning (ML) make recruiting processes faster and cheaper, soon and in many cases are already adding significant new capabilities that were simply not possible with legacy systems. However, relax, this isn’t a job security issue, it’s an opportunity to improve performance with little effort on the recruiter’s part.

It’s quite common these days for the CEO’s from Amazon, Google, MS, Facebook and Apple to expound on how artificial intelligence and machine learning will dominate their businesses over the next few years. Even Vladimir Putin stated, “The country that leads in artificial intelligence will lead the world.” It’s also important to realize that in addition to contributing to the most visible product areas, like digital assistants and driverless cars, “Machine learning and AI are a horizontal enabling layer” says, Jeff Bezos of Amazon, meaning that AI will impact and improve every major function and its processes and decisions. Recruiting leaders shouldn’t be surprised that I predict that “machine learning will soon begin to dominate every major aspect of recruiting.” Just as previous technologies like ATS’s and CRM’s have already transformed recruiting. It’s important for recruiters to be aware that there is an upcoming wave of mostly vendor developed recruiting applications that assist in producing extraordinary hiring results because they include machine learning capabilities.

The goal of this article is to highlight the upcoming AI/ML and technology changes that are likely to occur in each of the major areas of recruiting.

 

The Top 15 Recruiting Areas That Will Be Most Impacted By AI And Machine Learning

The areas of skills-based recruiting and job/candidate matching that will be impacted are below. Note that they are listed so that the initial items in the recruiting process appear first.

Recruiting areas related to finding and attracting prospects

  • Advertising placement and content – Machine learning will continually improve your placement process for branding materials and job postings rather than relying on costly trial and error approach to advertising. This is critical because accurate placement is essential if you expect to get the right kind and number of applicants. Systems will continually learn by analyzing visitor cookies and response rates so that you place your highly targeted materials in front of the right people at the right time. Also, machine learning technology can help you continually refine your content so that it gets the highest response from your recruiting targets.
  • Your own website and social media – continually improve by firms using machine learning on their web and social media pages to better attract and continually engage your target audience. Software bolstered with machine learning will also be able to monitor and make you aware of both positive and negative comments that others make about your firm and jobs on the Internet and social media.
  • Finding individual prospects – during sourcing will become much more automated and accurate when augmented with machine learning capabilities. Automated sourcing programs will be able to find many more and better matches, based on the continually updated target profile that you develop as a result of feedback. There are already vendor packages that allow you to identify currently employed individuals (e., passives) that are likely to quit soon and prospects that are likely to be diverse.
  • Enhancing prospect profiles – can make the existing candidate profiles found on sites (like LinkedIn) more complete by supplementing them with additional information that a machine learning program will find on the Internet. Machine learning driven programs can sort through a prospects search histories, cookies and social media sharing. The additional information on a prospects interest, capabilities and behaviors might indicate that a candidate can do things that they haven’t done in the past. Once they apply, chatbots can contact an applicant directly to clarify unclear elements in their resume or profile.
  • Improving job descriptions and postings Recent research data has revealed that job descriptions and job postings can be dramatically improved so that the content better attracts your target audience. So, rewriting them can reduce terms that create a bias. Software can now help you reduce those biases and add content that draws initial attention and that attracts more qualified applicants.
  • Responding to questions – from potential or actual applicants is immensely time-consuming for recruiters. So many firms are already utilizing chatbot’s to answer questions quickly 24/7. The U.S. Army, for example, has been using its Sgt. Star chatbot for over ten years to answer its extremely high volume of questions. Chatbots can also periodically update a candidate status, once again saving recruiters time.
  • Personalize selling – Machine learning uses big data to identify the attraction factors and the elements of the firm’s employee value proposition that best engage certain personas (e., types of individuals). Rather than a “one-size-fits-all” approach, this allows you to make your attraction, marketing messages and personal communications more effective because they are highly personalized to the individual.

Recruiting areas after candidates apply

  • Resume sorting – with machine learning software uses the resumes of successful hires at your firm to find patterns and then it can use these past success patterns as a basis for predicting which resumes and candidates are most likely also to be successful when hired. If programmed correctly, resume sorting software can also help to eliminate a great deal of unconscious bias in resume screening and candidate slate selection. Machine learning assisted search programs can also help you find hidden or lost talent within your ATS database.
  • Matching people and jobs – Using matching programs supplemented by machine learning can help a firm determine if there are any, less obvious, jobs that an applicant would also qualify. Matching people with jobs will also be improved by looking not just at an applicant’s past job titles and degrees, but also at their skills and capabilities.
  • Interview scheduling – is time-consuming and dramatically reduces your speed of hiring. Fortunately, there is existing software that allows a candidate to self-schedule their own interviews depending on their availability.
  • Interviews – can be time-consuming, so it makes sense to automate the initial ones with a chatbot that provides personalized questions based on your job profile. Also, there already exists technology that allows the use of neuroscience tools like voice and facial recognition to assess aspects of video recorded interviews that no humans could detect. There are even voice modulation programs that can help you obscure the voice of telephone interviewees so that it’s harder to identify their gender and national origin.
  • Supplemental candidate assessment – in addition to traditional interviews. Natural language processing can check language skills and online technical tests and challenges can help to assess the skills of applicants. There are automated programs that can more consistently determine cultural fit. Eventually, virtual reality simulations will be able to supplement interviews by giving candidates actual problems from the job to solve.
  • Offer acceptance – based on the candidate’s persona and profile. Recruiters can put together offers that are more likely to be accepted while at the same time treating all genders equally when it comes to compensation.
  • Learning from hiring failures – By definition, machine learning processes continually identify mistakes and errors. Recruiting will have an ongoing failure analysis process that continually and automatically finds hiring and bias errors and their root causes, allowing recruiting processes to improve at a much faster rate.
  • Other technologies – in addition to AI/ML technologies. Block Chain may eventually make checking educational and employment credentials easier and more accurate. Skype and video technologies already make it much easier to interview remote candidates without requiring them to travel. Machine learning will make predictive analytics in the area of projecting the future trajectory of finalists (in the areas of performance, retention and promotions) much more accurate.

Final Thoughts

Although most firms don’t track it, the average failure rate of new-hires at all job levels hovers around 50%. For example, Leadership IQ found that when “they tracked 20,000 new hires, 46% of them failed within 18 months”. Former Harvard Professor and author Michael Watkins reveals that “58% of the highest-priority hires, new executives hired from the outside, failing in their new position within 18 months”. Part of this broad failure results from overworked recruiters, normal human errors and unconscious biases throughout the recruiting process. Fortunately, the machine learning technologies highlighted above will soon minimize those problems through automation and continuous improvement. The results will be hiring faster, lower cost and more importantly hires that perform better on the job (i.e., quality of hire), that are more diverse and with fewer hiring failures. Recruiters should also take note that as more recruiting transactions are automated, it will allow current recruiters to “raise the bar” and to move into the more strategic Talent Advisor role.

Finally, recruiters should also be aware that they will soon be recruiting many more individuals into machine learning roles. The share of jobs requiring AI skills has grown 4.5 times since 2013 (Source: Stanford).

Want to see how machine learning can help you find better technical matches for your open roles?  Check out CodeSignal Recruiter or attend an upcoming webinar.

About the Author:

Dr. John Sullivan is an internationally known HR thought-leader from the Silicon Valley. Specializing in strategic Talent Management solution. He is a prolific author with over 900 articles and 10 books covering all areas of Talent Management. Fast Company called him the “Michael Jordan of Hiring”, Staffing.org called him “the father of HR metrics” and SHRM called him “One of the industries most respected strategists”. He was selected among HR’s “Top 10 Leading Thinkers” and was ranked #8 among the top 25 online influencers in Talent Management. Dr. Sullivan is currently a Professor of Management at San Francisco State

If this article stimulated your thinking and provided you with an accurate picture of the future of technology in recruiting, please take a minute to follow or connect with Dr. Sullivan on LinkedIn.

© Dr. John Sullivan 5/2/18 for Codefights

You Can’t Always Get the Developers You Want…but with Flexibility You Can Get the Ones You Need..

Another week passes, and you’re still no closer to filling the position.

Unlike most job openings that you’ve recruited for, this one has been particularly challenging. Your development team has tasked you with the near-impossible mission of recruiting a Ruby on Rails expert who is also willing to relocate to your corporate office. Ruby on Rails engineers are hard enough to come by, but someone who is willing to pack up and move?

That’s doubly complicated.

You’ve spent countless hours personally inviting hundreds of seemingly qualified developers. You’ve cross-promoted the position in every job board imaginable. You’ve even tried LinkedIn ads, but the response rate has been almost nonexistent.

To add to the stress, your hiring manager and the development team continue to press for results. You’ve tried asking for some leniency regarding relocation, but that hasn’t gone over very well. Simply put, you’re stuck in the middle of a difficult situation.

Then, genius strikes.

What if you could extend the opportunity to engineers with similar skill sets? Would a top-tier Python expert be a suitable option for your development team? After all, you’ve always heard there are commonalities between the Python language and Ruby on Rails framework. Could this be a viable solution to your problem?

You might be onto something. Let’s unpack this idea.

Preparing Your Pitch

Before you run down the hall to your hiring manager’s office, let’s take a step back and examine your idea a bit further. It’s no doubt an interesting idea, but, without the right data to support you, there’s a low probability that anyone will listen.

Here are a few suggestions to help you make a compelling case.

Do Your Homework: You’re probably not the first technical recruiter who has struggled with this exact same scenario. In today’s world of countless Saas tools, smartphone apps, and machine learning, there could be dozens of articles that explore the feasibility of placing hard to find developers. As with most things these days, doing a little online research could be the right place to start.

Assess the Opportunity: Your gut tells you there are more Python experts to choose from than Ruby on Rails developers. Based purely on LinkedIn developer group membership data (132K vs. 69K), you may be correct. What other data points could you use to support your theory?  

Talk to Colleagues that You Trust: Does your company already have a few Ruby on Rails developers on the payroll? If so, do you have a good enough relationship with any of them to pick their brains about your idea? What challenges do they foresee?

Analyze the Opportunity Costs: Even if your idea has merit, the first objection you’re likely to hear will involve the time and cost of training. Hiring an engineer with adjacent skill sets will yield additional onboarding considerations. You’ll need to weigh this reality against the opportunity cost of prolonged vacancy. Would your developers rather have someone now who might require training, or would they prefer to wait six more months for the “perfect match”?

Getting What You Need – Skills not Resume

To your surprise, everyone (including the development team) loved your idea of expanding the candidate pool to include Python engineers. In fact, your hiring manager recommended going one step further. She shared a blog post about skills-based recruiting, and suggested this situation might be the perfect use case to put more emphasis on a candidate’s skillset rather than sourcing them through traditional means such as LinkedIn or job boards.

Your flexibility in this situation proved to be a smart decision. Not only did it bail you out of a tough spot, it actually led you to discover a more scalable method of technical recruiting.

Check out CodeSignal Recruiter or attend a webinar to learn more.

How to Free Up More Time When Recruiting Developers

How to Free Up More Time When Recruiting Developers

You look up from your desk, and it’s already 6:38 pm.

Another busy day has drawn to a close, but what do you have to show for it? Despite reaching out to dozens of seemingly qualified engineers, only a handful have expressed marginal interest in your Full Stack developer position. As you know all too well, these days hiring programmers is not for the faint of heart. If you want to find the right technical talent, you’ll just need to try even harder tomorrow — right?

Here’s the obvious problem: You’re already working as hard as you possibly can. There’s only so many outreach emails and LinkedIn messages you can send per day. Recruiting takes time, and time is constant.

Although you can’t slow down time, there are certain strategies you can take to identify talent more efficiently. Let’s explore how.

Traditional Sourcing Consumes Way Too Much Time

What is it about your current recruiting model that demands so much of your time? There are of course many variables to consider, but the following issues can be particularly time consuming:

Low, Low Response Rates: The reality is that most software engineers are already happily employed. Sure, they’d be willing to talk if the money and situation were right. Unfortunately, you don’t have the authority to openly discuss compensation, much less promise to double what they’re currently making. Instead, you’re tasked with making a somewhat generic job posting sound compelling — without revealing too much information. For all of these reasons, low response rates are commonplace in tech recruiting.

Copy, Paste, Repeat: With such a low response rate, you have no choice but to reach out to as many candidates as possible. Your ATS system makes this a little easier, but that’s only the tip of the iceberg. The vast majority of recruits do not reside within your ATS, which means you’ll have to engage them one by one (usually by sending LinkedIn messages). You’ve got this down to a science, but it still takes several minutes to review each candidate’s profile, create a new message, copy and paste from your template, personalize the greeting, hit send, and update your ATS. If you did this all day, you might be lucky to connect with 50 or 100 applicants.

Developers Work Weird Hours: In today’s world of virtual companies and remote teams, it’s not uncommon for developers to work late into the night. Unless you happen to be working beyond the normal 8-to-5 schedule, connecting with a developer in real time can be challenging.

Coordinating Interviews is a Chore: Even when you’re successful in connecting with an interested engineer, you then have the chore of managing the interview process. Coordinating internal calendars, preparing slates of questions, organizing conference calls, and administering assessments are just a few of the steps you’ll go through. The back-and-forth necessary for even a single applicant can consume several hours of your time — time you’d otherwise be dedicating to inviting more candidates.

Leveraging the Efficiency of Skills-Based Recruiting

To help recruiters like you free up more hours in the day, our team at CodeSignal is shaking up the staffing industry through the power of skills-based recruiting. Unlike traditional recruiting that targets passive candidates through tremendous manual effort, the CodeSignal Recruiter platform starts with a network of pre-qualified developers who are actively exploring new opportunities. Our proprietary sourcing algorithm serves up a sorted list of matched talent, based on skills alignment with your needs. Our talent managers verify the skills-based matching and ensure that candidates are right for your company.  For example, if you’re company is a startup and the candidate wants to work for an enterprise company, then that particular candidate would not be a match for your company even though they may have the skill set and experience that your role requires.

CodeSignal also simplifies your interviewing process. Our interface is custom-tailored for hiring programmers, delivering a one-stop solution for hosting and recording interviews, posing coding questions or tasks (in 40 different programming languages), comparing candidates on a level playing field, and saving all the data so you can make more informed hiring decisions.

In short, by starting with a pool of pre-qualified, available candidates in a coding-friendly ecosystem, technical recruiters can expect much better results (as compared to passive recruiting models). In fact, our customers report 5 times greater response rates and, in many cases, onsite-to-offer rates are twice that of traditional recruiting models.

Give Yourself a Much-Needed Break

There are only so many hours in the workday. Unless you want to work more hours, it might be time to give skills-based recruiting a try. Click here to learn more about supplementing your current recruiting with a skills-based option. Or, to see a product demo register for a webinar.