Hiring managers and recruiters often struggle to judge technical talent by a resume alone. Developers write in code and are most content sitting facing a laptop screen rather than a panel of HR executives and being asked to “Describe a time they worked effectively under pressure.” When hiring developers, employers need to refine their candidate experience to make it more developer-friendly. This way, the candidate’s skills can be brought to light and ultimately the right hire can be found.
Based on results from our 2015 Developer Hiring Survey, here are a few ways companies can upgrade their interview process for developers.
Meeting with a recruiter or HR manager is a good first step in the interview process, but at some point the developer should be speaking with members of the technical team directly. In fact, 47% of developers want to be introduced to the team when they're interviewing for a job.
There are a variety of ways employers can do this, whether it’s having members of the technical team interview the candidate themselves or simply bringing them over to the team and having everyone introduce themselves and their roles. Getting to see and chat with their potential co-workers is a huge deal to developers and could be a large reason they decide to accept a job or not. Think about it – if you despised everyone you met during your interview, why would you want to work there?
37% of developers would like the opportunity to see the workspace during their interview. Developers don’t want to work in a dark, cramped cubicle farm – and they are more productive in private offices to boot. If a developer walks into an office and sees workstations equipped with all the hardware they want and need, they’re more likely to want to work there. If they walk in to see a cramped, open-office floor plan that’s noisy, they will be turned off.
There’s more to a physical workspace than just the private office vs. open floor plan debate. Technical candidates will take in everything and try to imagine themselves working there. If the space is dimly lit, located in a bad neighborhood, or has stained carpet and chairs that are falling apart, it’s likely that no one – let alone a developer – will want to work there.
Interviews can be nerve-wracking for anyone, and employers should do the best they can to better prepare the candidates ahead of time. According to our survey, 35% of developers want to be better prepared for the interview. This could include giving the candidate the names of the people they’ll be meeting with or informing them of the types of assignments they will be tasked with during the interview.
34% of developers want to see more live code being incorporated into technical interviews. Recruiters and hiring managers often need to run through the typical phone screens or video interviews first, but developers want to be able to physically participate during a coding test. An easy way to do this is to give them a live coding assignment (this can also be done remotely with all the collaborative tools currently available online). Including a live coding portion of an interview shows developers that you have standards toward code quality and allows them to show off their skills.
To track the success of your organization’s technical interview strategy, reach out to your current employees for feedback and go from there. Try implementing each of the solutions above and see which ones have the largest impact. By executing these tactics into your interview process, you’ll see better outcomes in the form of qualified developer candidates.