What to do when traditional hiring methods fail with developers

It is a time of struggle. Uncertainty has gripped the land of recruitment, and there is chaos all around.

Hopes of matching the right talent to the right roles have started fading for companies and job seekers across the Empire.

With the help of the Republic, a few bravehearts design a new weapon that abolishes cumbersome and flawed hiring processes.

So after much conflict and strife, we witness the miracle of the millennium — the birth of the Internet.

 

Okay, so this may have not been a galaxy that far away after all. More like Upstate New York and surrounding areas. It may have not been that long ago either. Kind of like 20-odd years ago…

But that doesn’t take much away from the point I’m trying to make.

Hiring processes, and job seeking itself, were a lot more hectic a couple of decades ago than they are today. Then came the game changer, the Internet.

No more running after job consultants or faxing résumés to “The Office of the CEO.”

The Hotjobs and Monsters cropped up everywhere, and it was all sunshine and roses for a while.

And did these portals turn out to be a magical universal-cure for recruiters and job seekers?

Umm… not really.

A generalized solution was never going to work for niche category hiring in the long run. And we, the developer community, were one of the first to realize that. There was still a huge gap between what the résumés promised and what the candidates delivered.

So what did we do?

We went ahead and created a better solution—HackerEarth. (We are taking a bow now.) A solution that trusts real-life skills more than the words printed on a résumé—one that grades people on their ability to deliver work rather than on fancy degrees from Ivy League schools. We are happy to say that this solution is now trusted by the likes of Amazon, Adobe, IBM, Intuit, Honeywell, ThoughtWorks, and hundreds of other global giants for tech hiring.

HackerEarth is a platform where developers participate in real-time coding and hiring challenges to prove their mettle to top companies. But how exactly is this solution better? To answer that, let us take a look at the common struggles of the tech recruiter until a few years ago.

1. “How do I pick the best developers from a thousand identical résumés?”

Hiring developers

"Nobody said it was easy. No one ever said it would be this hard." - Chris Martin (Coldplay)

Imagine walking into office on a Monday morning and finding a pile of 70 résumés on your desk. *shivers*

But that is how life was before the Internet and online job portals came along.

All you had to do now was apply a few filters and—voila! All your shortlisted candidates would pop up in a row. Neat, right?

Yes, but how can you find people who actually know how to code well?

Programming is a job that requires a good amount of book knowledge as well as experience with code. If you are brought into a company as a Java programmer, you are expected to already be a good Java programmer. It isn’t the usual job profile where you can “pick it up as you go along.”

When you look for developers to hire, how do you identify the best out there—the crème de la crème?

The solution: Simple. By asking them to code…

At HackerEarth, every user has a dedicated developer profile. But unlike a LinkedIn profile or an average résumé, this profile isn’t built overnight. Nor is it just a bunch of achievements and qualifications mashed together using fancy terms.

The developer profile is a merit-based visual representation of the user’s programming skills.

What does that mean?

It means that a user’s profile is auto-generated based on how well they perform on the 3,000+ programming problems on HackerEarth. It also takes into consideration how well they fared in competitive programming challenges and ranks them against the rest of the users based on their skills.

Hackerearth Developer Profile

A standard HackerEarth developer profile

If you’re looking to hire a programmer with specific requirements, you can either source the best profiles from HackerEarth, or you can even conduct your very own hiring programming challenge.

Define your requirements and ask all participants to appear for an elaborate online coding test. Get access to all the performance reports, and you have your top programmers waiting to get an interview with you.

How much easier and foolproof can it get?

2. “I can only interview candidates in a limited geographical radius.”

This one is always such a mood-killer.

There are these applicants based out of Kolkata trying for a role in your organization in Mumbai. The profiles look a perfect fit, but you’re yet to put them to test.

But is it worth flying them in and providing them accommodation for just a face-to-face interview? What if they doesn’t turn out to be suitable? You can’t experiment and risk wasting company resources.

But without a face-to-face interview, and at least one coding test, how can you be sure whether they fit your team’s skill requirements? Emailing assessments is in no way a fail-safe process to screen applicants; you could receive answers copied from somewhere on the Internet.

The solution: Get the candidate on a video interview with you, with a built in real-time code editor to test him. Yes. Imagine taking Skype and merging it with an online compiler. What do you get? An excellent interview tool tailored for remote tech interviews. (And HackerEarth offers you such a tool.)

So cast your hiring net wide. With minimum investment, you can easily source top talent from across the world.

3. “How do I get out-of-the-box ideas for a new product (and the people to work on them)?”

hackathon benefits

"Look at all these projects we're never gonna take up"

Most teams today are too swamped with work to afford taking time out for creative projects like creating a new web app to boost employee productivity or an Android game for brand promotion. A company could always take an outsider’s perspective and enthusiasm to solve it. But how do you go about hiring new employees for such short-term projects? Won’t that be as time consuming and taxing as the entire project itself?

The solution: Well, not really. Because it’s time for you to try hackathons!

For the uninitiated, hackathons are a platform for developers to showcase their unique solutions for specific problems like the one we just talked about.

It’s easy to host your own hackathon on HackerEarth.

All you need to do is give them a challenge and invite the best developers to bring their ideas to the table. You’ll be surprised at the mind-numbing level of creativity of these developers. And once you choose the idea that has the most potential (and you’ll have a lot to choose from), you ask that team to deliver the complete product for you. With the goodies you promise them, you’ll be bringing in a super-charged team to work with you on vital projects.

Hackathons have given birth to quite a few revolutionary concepts in recent years—from multi-million dollar companies like EasyTaxi and GroupMe to the Facebook “Like” button. Who’s to say you can’t build something that awesome?

4. “How can I pick the best developers from my existing team for a new project?”

Sometimes choosing the right team members for the right projects can be a bigger worry than hiring new talent.

Suppose you've bagged a project that needs top RoR programmers. Unfortunately, your team has never worked on it before. Does anyone in the team have the requisite RoR skills? You can't possibly scan all their résumés. So what do you do?

The solution: Internal programming challenges—now you can magically grade them all depending on their skill and simply pick the best.

Set it up with ease on HackerEarth and get your team to participate in a fun challenge. It is a great change from everyday monotony, with some bragging rights at stake.

And at the end of the challenge, get a comprehensive report on each team member’s performance. Assembling your A-team was never this easy (or fun).

Whatever your tech hiring requirements may be, the traditional method is sure to place a lot of roadblocks in your hunt for the best talent.

If the quality of hiring is your major concern, it is time you embrace a modern method of hiring developers—a method tried and tested by 4000+ companies on HackerEarth.

It’s time to breathe new life into your tech team.


Also published on Medium.

About the Author

Varun KR
Arsenal fan with a keen liking for barley & hops. Realized a little late that engineering was not God's purpose for him in life. Bitten by the startup bug, Varun is now trying to contribute to one of the most happening startups in the country - HackerEarth!
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