Are you struggling to recruit top tech talent? You’re not alone. As per Indeed Survey, almost 9 out of 10 HR professionals (86%) find it challenging to hire technical talent, with over a third (36%) finding it “very challenging.” Ever wondered why hiring technical candidates is easier said than done? Apart from having aggressive hiring goals, it is the inability to quantify a candidate’s on-the-job potential.
On average, a typical corporate job attracts 250 resumes. Add to that, a combination of talent shortage and intense competition, as organizations often swiftly poach the best talent.
Time is of the essence here. Hence, to quickly sift the best from a vast pool, hiring managers tend to skim through cover letters. They review resumes by matching the closest applicant-job-description to the needed qualification, connect with a selected few for the interview (via video or phone), pepper it with some instincts and hire ‘someone.’ The probable result is hiring a generic or wrong candidate.
Bottomline resumes only tell you so much. The inability to holistically and instantaneously assess a candidate’s skills has always prevented business from hiring the most talented candidates.
Hence, to minimize these difficulties, bolster quality decision-making and speed up the time-to-hire, pre-interview inefficiencies must be eliminated. HRs must zero in on the right candidate before commencing the interview process. They’ll need to know whether the applicant can fulfill the essential criteria and job requirements, by charting a concise filtration process at the initial stage. A meaningful talent evaluation from the beginning ensures that ensuing steps work toward more successful hiring. For instance, initiating a coding test for hiring jobs. Subsequently, hiring managers optimize their hiring by garnering detailed insights to ensure there are no additional biases in the process. This can help companies save considerable time and financial resources and also promote integrity.
How does one do that?
By undertaking tech screening to select the best candidates and ensure new hires are seamless fits.
Technical screening is a significant process of simultaneously testing and evaluating thousands of technical candidates’ skills and experience against pre-decided parameters. Using a combination of knowledge and application-based techniques such as MCQs and simulators, a hiring manager filters out quality technical talent even before the interview. It is a filtration between receiving an application and hiring a candidate.
Let’s take an example: Hiring managers are seeking back-end Java developers at scale. They also want them to possess basic SQL knowledge of writing REST APIs. This is a specific requirement, but the candidate pool is vast. Hence, hiring managers need to create a filter to assess every candidate’s skills across their requirements and scout the potentials. They enable tech screening tools and micro-analyze the candidates by focussing on:
Tech screening verifies each candidate’s fundamental and advanced skills, ensuring that the employers don’t have to manage time-consuming interviews with applicants, who are neither qualified nor suited for a particular position. You’ll be amazed at the remarkable number of candidates technical screening weeds out.
The technical screening process helps HR understand a programmer’s capability to learn and comprehend. This not only provides insights into the extent of knowledge candidates can apply and analyze, but the baseline understanding of where the candidate’s technical abilities are gives the company a much needed competitive advantage.
Also, valuable, evidence-based analytics on candidate potential and performance deter hiring managers from shortlisting based on bias. Hence, the company is left with only the best candidate pool for the interview process, accelerating the hiring process holistically and fairly.
Here’s what tech screening deduces. It includes, and is not restricted to:
Competency-based screening enables businesses to align their goals and visions and create a culture of success. An outline of expectations regarding a candidate's performance and behavior makes it easy to checkboxes during the recruitment process. All parties involved lay out a well-defined competency framework based on which a transparent screening process is executed. Adopting the competency framework impacts the recruitment process’s overall success rate and the key metrics that define it, namely, time-to-hire, offer acceptance rate, and rehiring rate. Interviewers and assessors carefully design tech screening questions and activities to assess a specific set of skills and traits.
Resumes can be untrue, and interviews can be manipulated, but technical assessment tests prove that the potential tech candidates can perform the job for which they are being hired. It also gives candidates a closer look at the work they will be performing daily. Screening assessments are also a great way to reduce human bias in the hiring process by basing the decision to hire solely on the candidate's knowledge and skill set.
Tech screening tools helps identify candidates worth further consideration. After all, the more clarity you have in the initial selection, the better are your chances of interviewing and hiring worthy fits.
Here are five simple steps to enable programming tests for hiring-
Using the combination of MCQ+ Simulators in technical screening makes for an accurate recipe for successful hiring. It is a transparent, fair, time-saving package that validates the capability of the candidate. Subsequently, technical screening as a process also ensures that no top talent is alienated.
Whether it is a small mid-sized company or a Fortune 500, any organization can use technical screening to test job-relevant skills and sharpen their hiring strategies. Be it to assess a millennial with basic programming skills or to check a mid or senior developer’s sophisticated expertise; programming tests for interviews helps winning top talent for any level or role in no time.
Here is an example of two scenarios, where technical screening comes handy-
The campus hiring season has begun. Companies are looking to hire in bulk. But with a significant number of candidates having similar qualifications, how does one shortlist the all-rounder? The answer lies in technical screening. Technical screening assesses and filters engineers based on technical or domain skills, cognitive skills, behavioral and personality traits, effective communication, core skills, and suitability, before selecting for the interview. They are then graded on predefined parameters without manual intervention. Rather than believing the candidate’s favorable impression and exaggerated abilities, online programming tests their actual knowledge and proficiency. This helps in making informed hiring decisions and building the best team.
In top employment markets, the best candidates are off the market within ten days. Hence, hiring managers uplevel their lateral hiring strategy by assessing technical, behavioral, and cognitive skills via technical screening. The swiftness, mindfulness, and accuracy of technical screening ensure companies can hire highly qualified mid and senior coders in no time. Subsequently, it also prevents any organization from making shortsighted hiring decisions and ensures that its lateral hiring aligns with its strategic hiring goals.
There is a considerable difference between what a candidate knows and what a candidate can do. It is vital to create parity between both. Not only does technical screening enable that, but it also increases the quality of candidates you invite to the interview. This makes the otherwise time-consuming and tedious hiring process, engaging, dynamic, and swift.
Here’s how technical screening has a positive impact on hiring:
A right technical fit is hard to find for a myriad of reasons. Well, not anymore. Technical screening is a reasonably short process that starts early in your hiring process. That is why, its accurate overview of performance and potential based analysis helps assess what candidates know – not who they are. Foreseeably, this enables finding suitable candidates faster, thereby improving the quality of hire.
When hiring managers, with limited development knowledge, assess candidates, they prefer to select candidates based on favorable interaction, shared interests, assumptions, or peer approval. This prevents organizations from identifying and hiring the best candidate for the job. Technical screening hence shortlists and evaluates candidates fairly and without any unconscious prejudice.
Technical screening ensures that your hiring decision is based on the right data, science, and technology. As we mentioned earlier, candidates are observed and graded on various factors. These collective observations backed by real evidence are most effective at predicting success. They strongly validate the hiring manager’s decision and eliminate selection on assumptions or intuition.
Screening, interviewing, and decision making are all vital yet typically long and arduous processes. Add to that the resources wasted on wrong candidates. Hence, technical screening as a recruitment tactic reduces the strain on various resources by speeding up the filtering and hiring process. With two quick and efficient screening rounds, tech screening evaluates candidates at scale and eliminates unfit candidates. You are eventually left with the best from which to choose.
Top talent will always have a host of opportunities at their disposal. Many times HRs don’t recognize this or take it too lightly, leading to high turnover. But technical screening’s additional benefit gives you access to a candidate’s comprehensive profile. With detailed scores and insights, hiring managers hire not only the best but also those worth retaining, thereby increasing the retention rate.
Mercer | Mettl has a fast-growing roster of online screening tools like technical screening services that enable a comprehensive hiring process. Our technical screening services harness the crowd’s wisdom and select eligible and qualified candidates for the interview round. A combination of application-based questions, and simulation-based tests, screen and evaluate candidates quickly and fairly. At the same time, data and valuable insights back your decision so that you only hire the best.
Here’s how Mercer | Mettl’s technical screening services help organizations and hiring managers improve accuracy and hiring quality:
We offer an unprecedented range of online programming languages and frameworks, available for all significant coding job roles. The diversity of our coverage of every existing and new-age language, framework, technology, topics, and skills requirements, is equally unmatched. A rich repository of 100,000+ technical questions for 300+ skills and the landscape of our offerings gives an accurate picture of a candidate’s competency and all-round fit at every level. You can choose from a set of readily-available standardized tests or customize them as per your need in no time.
Mercer | Mettl I/O is the first-of-its-kind, all-in-one coding assessment platform. This highly sophisticated and customizable tool assesses online programming capabilities by providing a comprehensive coding environment for all major programming roles (Front-end, back-end, database, full-stack, data science, DevOps, QA engineers, etc.) supporting all major languages and technologies. You name it; we have it. Mercer | Mettl I/O is well-suited for simplifying and improving lateral hiring processes at a large and small scale. In-built with real-time, insightful reports, this efficient screening tool auto-evaluates codes and provides best-in-class integrated development environments (IDE) that measure an experienced candidate’s real ability.
Mercer | Mettl’s coding platform is embedded with a list of simulators that evaluate a fresher’s essential coding skills in various languages. Simulators give recruiters the liberty to test real coding skills in over 20 programming languages with a supremely user-friendly interface. Codelysis enables assessing and hiring the best freshers at scale.
Simulator assessment is incorporated with a few much needed state-of-the-art features such as:
To be an excellent developer, an applicant must possess specific skills, knowledge, and aptitude. HR needs to know whether the candidates possess the requisite expertise before employing them. Otherwise, significant resources would be squandered, besides causing avoidable chaos if the testing is done later during the job interview. Subsequently, decisions cannot be made on static content anymore. It mars the outlook toward technical hiring and even undermines the process’s integrity.
Organizations and their hiring managers must re-examine their hiring process and leverage the benefits of technical screening services. Technical screening adds value by bringing multiple filters to the hiring process. It improves how companies identify and hire developers, also helping retain them. Once integrated into the system, this process will optimize hiring practices and change your perception toward technical hiring.
A technical screening test involves using a combination of knowledge and application based questions to decode a candidates true potential and understanding.
A screening test is a part of the job filternation process to segregate high performing candidates from average one’s. Thinkful tech screening goes a long way in helping companies build high-performing teams.
Originally published August 19 2020, Updated August 11 2021
Shirisha has been helping countless brands gain traction with her content. Her deep understanding of the education sector and sound knowledge of technical skills have helped her structure the most creative solutions for key stakeholders. Shirisha has also ghosted pieces for several industry honcho’s successfully published both online and offline. When she's not keeping up with the world, you're sure to find her catching up on bollywood stories or gramming for fun.