Whiteboards Are Not Designed for Writing Code in Technical Interviews
You want to hire the absolute best software developer for the job. But top-notch programming skills can be hard to assess if you don’t have a technical background or advanced knowledge of coding languages.
Unlike many other fields, where a well-honed resumé and interview performance can tell you a lot about a candidate, programming is one area where technical ability must be present at the outset. You can teach some things on the job, but the right software developer already needs a particular type of mindset and skills that he or she can put to work immediately on hire.
How Can You Look Beyond Interviewing Ability?
The same personality types who can create excellent code may not always shine in a job interview. Less competent developers may catch your eye — and stay in the running for the position you have available — simply because they’re better at cracking the interview process. The most competent people to compete for the job may not be from the best schools or may not immediately impress you because they’re not as good at interpersonal skills.
Tests that involve your candidate writing lines of code on whiteboards aren’t going to be a good assessment, either. Using a dry-erase marker to scribble lines of code really doesn’t compare to the reality of composing code on a computer.
Outdated tools and methods of candidate evaluation that work in other fields may not give you the best chance of hiring the best developer.
Why Worry So Much About the ‘Right’ Candidate?
It may be challenging to find the absolute best coder for the job, but isn’t anyone with the basic skills going to work out? Not when it comes to a highly technical position like software development. Pick the wrong person — someone without the ability or the attention to detail — and your company’s products are at risk.
Forbes cites financial statistics that emphasize the dollar cost of hiring the wrong person — it can be as high as one-third of the person’s annual salary. The cost just to bring on a new employee can be as high as $240,000. The wrong hire can be costly.
There are also less tangible issues with hiring the wrong person. Someone without the necessary skills is going to place a higher burden on the rest of the team, leading to decreased morale and possibly a loss of truly talented employees as they jump ship to work with more cohesive programming teams.
How Can You Improve Your Hiring Process?
It’s all well and good to know you’ve got some challenges in hiring skilled developers. What can you do to overcome the issues and bring the right people on board?
- Have a standard evaluation for each candidate. This doesn’t mean writing on whiteboards — it means a coding test customized for your company and its needs, but that is given the same way to each potential hire. Reduce the possibilities of judging any particular candidate for the wrong reasons. That’s where Codela’s assessment process comes in. Our testing helps you accurately compare skills between candidates.
- Measure the right skill. You need to be checking a candidate’s ability to produce solid code in the type of environment where he or she will be working. We can work with you to customize testing that measures exactly the skills you are looking to fill in your open position.
- Reduce bias. As some of the most talented coders are introverts, their true personalities simply don’t come out in a short job interview. Use Codela’s testing to measure ability to do the job, not ability to make eye contact or small talk.
- Lessen your dependency on resumés. You want to have qualified candidates. In the modern environment, though, amazing coders can be self-taught or get all they need to know from specific programs rather than going through all the hoops to get a degree from a four-year university. Prove without a doubt that your top candidates have the right skills and can use them in a real-world environment like our online testing provides.
It comes down to the need to design technical interview processes that come as close as possible to mimicking the actual job that you’ll put each developer into. Chances are, that’s not solving algorithm questions on whiteboards.
Give your candidates a chance to show you what they are capable of and how well they fit your needs. Codela’s online coding challenges can help you automate your technical interviews so you get a good baseline assessment of each candidate. That helps you weed out the people with shiny resumés but who lack independent programming skills. Your end result: Better hires.
If you have more questions about how Codela’s technical assessments work or would like to see more, contact us. We’ll show you a demo and let you see how our solution will make it easier to hire the best software developer for your open position.