Competitive Technical Hiring: 4 Best Practices from HireVue

June 27th, 2019
Candidate Experience,
Recruiting Teams

Software developer jobs are expected to grow over 24% in the next decade. The trend is led by organizations across industries - not just tech - who are hiring developers to digitize large portions of their existing businesses.

The US Bureau of Labor Statistics also places the unemployment rate for software developers at 1.9%, roughly half the national average. And with the costs associated with backfilling a software engineer (6-9 months of their salary, on average), it pays to invest in the right talent.

This puts recruiting teams in a dilemma. Recruiting teams have incredibly small talent pools to pull from, technical recruiters oftentimes cannot properly screen candidates because they are not developers by trade, and hiring managers have little time to interview and assess candidates. All together, these make for a lengthy time to fill that likely results in a candidate accepting an offer somewhere else.

At HireVue, we see our ability to attract, screen, and hire great developers as a key competitive advantage. These are some of the approaches we’ve used to evaluate and hire great technical talent.

1) Consider Technical Candidates from All Backgrounds

Knowing the kind of engineer you want on your team doesn’t make it any easier to find them.

Like many technical hiring managers I’ve poured over stacks of resumes and done my fair share of phone screens. And that’s just to qualify the engineer to meet with my team for an on-site interview. If the engineer moves to the next step of the process, the interviewers start from a resume and my notes. It makes the on-site interview a repetitive experience and doesn’t respect the candidate’s time when they end up telling the same story to each panel.

There are many, many different paths candidates can take into software engineering now. A computer science degree doesn’t tell you if someone will be a great engineer. Limiting your search to candidates with a “classic” computer science education unnecessarily restricts your ability to find great talent.

Candidates who are trying software engineering as a second career after completing a training program, self-taught candidates, and bootcamp graduates are all potentially valuable additions to your engineering team. They’ve probably developed great soft skills and the ability to learn quickly in their previous careers, but their resumes show minimal relevant experience. The challenge, then, is scaling recruiting to consider these types of candidates.

This is where a platform like HireVue’s CodeVue comes into play.

Get a glimpse at HireVue's technical hiring solution.

2) Give Non-Technical Recruiters the Tools to Prioritize Talent

Nearly every organization today requires some sort of in-house development work.

Those new to the tech arena quickly find that their previous recruiting practices aren’t sufficient to land great engineers. They typically try to scale their hiring process with technical assessments and coding challenges, only to find their recruiting teams don’t know how to evaluate a candidate’s performance. This pushes the burden of screening and evaluation to hiring managers, who don’t have the time to consider every candidate.

At HireVue, we empower our existing recruiting team with the tools to prioritize technical talent. Rather than hire dedicated technical recruiters (eg, recruiters with coding know-how), we let our CodeVue solution do the heavy lifting.

CodeVue gives non-technical recruiters deeper insight into developer candidates’ proficiency by automatically scoring coding challenges and checking for code uniqueness. It also allows recruiters to “playback” and watch how a candidate completes a coding challenge and incorporate video interview questions into the assessment. You can learn about the different features that make this possible in the bottom half of this blog.

While technical hiring teams will always play an important role in the hiring process, CodeVue gives recruiters the ability to handle initial screening and prioritization in a more comprehensive way than coding challenges and phone screens do alone.

3) Don’t Neglect Soft Skills

Soft skills are underestimated and under tested in most technical hiring processes. Even during classic in-person interviews, emphasis is placed on a candidate’s hard skills.

This is a mistake. Software development is a highly team-based job. Most developers spend less than half their workday coding. More than that, it is much easier to overcome a gap in hard coding skills than it is to overcome a gap in soft skills.

CodeVue’s video interviewing functionality allows hiring teams to assess candidates’ soft skills within the technical assessment.

We always follow the programming challenge with a video question where the candidate describes their solution and the choices they made. For candidates that continue in the interview process, the answer to their CodeVue challenge is a great starting point to talk about how they write and test code.

When you follow a coding challenge with a video interview question, you get the opportunity to learn about that candidate’s thought process and problem-solving approach. You’ll also uncover if they understand the code they wrote, or if they just found a solution online.

Optimize Convenience and Time Savings for Candidates

It’s no secret that developer candidates can be picky. It’s unrealistic to expect them to sit through a lengthy take-home test or take a large amount of time off work to fly in for an on-site interview.

CodeVue on-demand technical assessments lower barriers to entry for busy developer candidates. The tool provides a comfortable editor and a wide variety of programming languages so that candidates can use key bindings and syntax they’re familiar with.

CodeVue also offers a video-enabled live coding, where candidates and members of the hiring team collaborate within a code editor. This virtual version of traditional coding interviews saves time for hiring teams and for candidates, while also reducing travel costs.

codevue live coding CodeVue’s live coding functionality, from the perspective of the hiring manager.

Finding Great Developers Requires More than Typical Recruiting Processes

Building software that makes HireVue customers successful requires an engineer that can communicate clearly with a cross functional team, understand customer needs, make good decisions, and deliver great code. Technical expertise is necessary but not sufficient to be a great software engineer.

We lean heavily on our CodeVue platform to validate candidate’s hard skills with coding challenges and their soft skills with structured interview questions. The informative interface and feature set empowers non-technical recruiters to prioritize candidates and free up hiring manager time to focus on those with the highest potential. All this culminates in hiring process efficiency that allows us (and other organizations leveraging CodeVue) to extend offers quickly before candidates accept offers from any other company they are being recruited for.

At HireVue, we firmly believe that great engineers do so much more than write great code. CodeVue delivers a key competitive advantage in our mission to build a world-class software development team.

Learn more about how CodeVue can help you uncover and hire great technical talent in our free webinar: How to Crack the Technical Hiring Code.

Register for the webinar

About the Author:

hirevue engineering employeeByron Clark is VP of Engineering at HireVue. As VP of Engineering, he is responsible for overseeing a rapidly growing team of software, infrastructure, and QA engineers. Byron has worked at HireVue for over 7 years, and has played a critical role in the development of HireVue's scalable, enterprise-ready platform. Find him on LinkedIn.