This guide brings together proven strategies from Talent Acquisition leaders at top companies for increasing diversity on your engineering team.
Finding Quality Candidates in Less Time
Finding Footing to Take Off Running
Like so many tech companies before it, RedRoute started in a college dorm room. In 2015, a group of Cornell University students envisioned a ride-sharing app that could serve the college population in upstate New York, where established companies like Uber and Lyft weren’t allowed to operate. Founders Jacob Cooper, Samuel Krut, and Brian Schiff developed their idea in Cornell’s eLab student accelerator and launched soon after.
While they found some early investors and clients, their results weren’t what they had hoped for—so, 18 months after launching, they pivoted to explore an entirely different niche: voice AI. It was here that RedRoute found its footing; the first SaaS product for call center automation, RedRoute has grown rapidly in the past 2 years, reaching $4 million in revenue.
Scaling Up and Shedding Subjectivity
Their product and market niche settled and a client base secured, RedRoute stood ready to face the next great challenge of any young startup: scaling its workforce. With AI as the backbone of their product, hiring skilled and specialized technical talent was imperative. However, as co-founder and CTO Jacob Cooper notes, hiring for these roles can be extremely time-intensive. “We didn’t want to spend all day every day on phone interviews—which we easily could have,” he says. RedRoute isn’t alone in this. It’s estimated that it takes an average startup 990 hours to hire 12 engineers—more than 80 hours per role.
…we didn’t want to spend all day every day on phone interviews—which we easily could have. There’s a lot of seemingly great candidates out there, and we wanted to find some different solutions, but didn’t know what we were looking for.
— Jacob Cooper, co-founder and CTO
Moreover, Jacob notes that equity and inclusion was also a concern as they prepared to scale. He states that remaining objective when screening candidates “just based on resumes alone” was challenging and resulted in further hiring delays, as their team would spend time “debating subjective qualities of resumes.” The overall result was a hiring process that took up a lot of hours that could be spent developing and improving their product; and so, Jacob set out to find a solution to help RedRoute scale its workforce.
Saving Time to Spend Time
Jacob admits that they weren’t entirely sure what such a solution would look like. While searching, he found Pre-Screen, CodeSignal’s top-of-funnel assessment solution. “We stumbled upon CodeSignal,” he says, “which seems to really share the values that we have in giving candidates an objective, impartial, just completely fair score based on their talents and not based on where they might’ve went to school or what their experience has been in the past.”
Additionally, Jacob points to Pre-Screen’s depth of skills evaluation frameworks as a key benefit in terms of promoting equity and objectivity in their hiring. Pre-Screen features a library of over 4,000 pre-built questions for assessment creators to build from, and supports more than 70 programming languages—this flexibility not only makes it easy for RedRoute to leverage role-specific assessments but, as Jacob notes, “candidates can choose any language they want to complete the tasks, so even if you have background in 10 different things, we’re not going to exclude you.”
Candidates can choose any language they want to complete the tasks, so even if you have background in 10 different things, we’re not going to exclude you because you don’t have skills in the languages that we’ve worked with.
— Jacob Cooper, co-founder and CTO
Since partnering with CodeSignal, Jacob says that they’ve been able to invest more engineering hours into their product while also spending more time with highly-qualified candidates in late-round interviews. They were able to achieve these seemingly opposing outcomes by reducing the amount of time spent on under-qualified candidates by 70%. Pre-Screen helps RedRoute screen through candidates both quickly and objectively, helping them scale up without sacrificing excessive engineering hours or candidate quality.