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Post by Rich Moy on Dec 21, 2016 12:00:00 AM

Hey, I get it. After countless hours of sourcing developers and ushering them through the technical interview process, the last thing you have time to think about is how to improve the candidate experience. And if you’re like some of the recruiters I’ve spoken to in the past, you might also think that the most common candidate experience best practices require huge chunks of your recruiting budget. Based on what a few developers told us, the truth is twofold: candidate experience is important, but improving yours doesn’t require a complete overhaul of your hiring process. Here are a few specific suggestions they had for employers looking to go beyond technical interview basics and make a better first impression on developer candidates.

Opportunities to Interact With a Potential Boss in a Casual Setting

Of course, it’s important to give your hiring manager the opportunity to evaluate whether or not a candidate can write quality code. But when it comes to improving the candidate experience for developers, Alex Genadinik, founder and CEO of Problemio, suggests scheduling additional time for candidates to chat with their potential boss in a more casual setting. In addition to giving the hiring manager another opportunity to evaluate the candidate’s overall fit for the team, Genadinik says, “That helped me understand whether we have good personal chemistry and whether I would like working at that company.”

More Details About the Technical Interview

I remember working with hiring managers who wanted to keep interviews as unpredictable as possible for candidates just to make them squirm a bit. And sure, giving developers all the answers ahead of time would make it borderline impossible to evaluate their abilities. But Stuart Noble, Senior Software Engineer at The Predictive Index, told us that improving the candidate experience is often as simple as telling candidates what types of interview tests to expect. Noble also says, “I once failed an interview because, assured that prior knowledge of their language of choice wasn’t required, I was unable to decently express a textbook example I was comfortable with because the language I knew how to do it in wasn’t one the interviewer could understand!”

Transparency About the Company’s Challenges

If you’re anything like I was when I was a recruiter, you might think that selling top candidates on your company means withholding details that could make your team seem unstable. After all, developers have a lot of job options, and the last thing you want to do is scare the off. However, Jaime Muñoz, a Senior Developer at MarketGoo, says that the complete opposite is true. In fact, Muñoz told us he feels that organizations that purposely hide details from top candidates aren’t nearly as attractive as those that are willing to discuss them. “With my current company, there was full transparency on where the company was currently, how they started out, and where they were realistically headed, as well as any bumps along the road,” he says. “Honesty like that inspired more confidence.” 

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