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12 Essential Questions to Optimize Your Tech Hiring

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49 days. That’s the average amount of time it takes to hire just one engineer, according to a recent study by LinkedIn. This study also finds that hiring engineers takes more time than hiring for any other type of role—in spite of software engineers being some of the most in-demand candidates.

Is it possible to hire the engineers your company desperately needs faster, without compromising quality of hire? Absolutely, say CodeSignal’s Ellen Markman, Director of Recruiting, and Michael Newman, VP of Engineering. At their recent talk at HRTX June, Ellen and Michael walk through best practices for hiring diverse and highly skilled technical talent, faster. They provide 12 essential questions Talent Acquisition and Engineering leaders can use to level up their engineering hiring processes.

You can view a recording of their 30-minute talk here.

Questions to design a more effective technical assessment

Hiring software engineers almost always involves some kind of technical skills assessment, whether that’s a live technical interview, automated assessment, or take-home assignment. The best technical assessments are job-relevant, predictive of candidates’ skills, and validated to ensure legal defensibility. Here are four questions to ask to ensure you’re using an effective technical assessment:

1. Are your evaluations designed by subject matter experts who know how to write questions that truly reflect the requirements of the job? 

2. Are you able to prevent cheating through consistent question variations?3

3. Is your scoring fair and predictive?

4. How are you monitoring for adverse impact and other legal and compliance risks? 

Questions to deliver a better candidate experience

Delivering a top-notch candidate experience doesn’t just help keep qualified candidates in the recruiting funnel. For technical candidates, it also goes hand-in-hand with ensuring candidates have the tools they need to show off their best work. Here are three questions you should ask of the technical interview and assessment tools you use:

5. Do your candidates have the tools and functionality to code as they would on their local machine? 

6. Does your environment allow you to accurately evaluate all the roles you’re hiring for (e.g. full-stack, data science, front-end, etc.)?

7. Are you missing qualified candidates because they stumble during the interview due to a lack of tools they are accustomed to (e.g. terminal access, debugging tools, effective auto-completion etc.)?

Questions to optimize your hiring processes

Optimizing your technical hiring practices is an ongoing effort. Data from tools you already use, like your Applicant Tracking System (ATS), can be leveraged to help you analyze your recruiting funnel and areas for improvement. Here are five questions to help you make best use of data to optimize your processes:

8. How predictive are your early stage interviews? How does changing the minimum passing score for your interview or assessment impact your onsite-to-offer ratio?

9. How many days do candidates spend in each stage of your recruiting funnel? Can you identify and eliminate bottlenecks to speed things up?

10. Are you experiencing high rates of drop-off at any stage of your recruiting funnel? What reason are candidates giving when they drop out of the process?

11. Who are your main talent competitors at onsite interview and offer stage? How are you doing in comparison?

12. Are there key integrations that could reduce your manual workload and streamline your process (e.g. ATS)? 

Answering these questions sets you up to create a technical hiring process that reduces time-to-hire while empowering hiring teams to identify and land top candidates. Want to learn more about optimizing your tech hiring processes using validated assessments and a state-of-the-art live coding interview tool? Let’s talk.

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