UK companies are finding it increasingly difficult to fill positions quickly enough to meet demand, in part hindered by the current recruitment model that is failing developers and employers. One of the major issues is that coding challenges are now a vital part of the recruitment process.
Often candidates are asked to sit challenges at the weekend, which can take hours to complete. Understandably these aren’t popular especially if people are applying for several positions. Another issue is even if candidates do these they are often marked by technical teams who are extremely busy and have little time to give constructive feedback.
This can be disheartening for candidates who may have spent a great deal of time doing the challenge. Equally most software developers dislike undertaking challenges using automated tech screens because they realise they cannot properly evaluate their broad spectrum of skills.
Writing code is a bit like writing prose – there is a style and art to it and the way in which an individual writes the code says a lot about their skills. These nuances aren’t always picked up in the automated challenges.
According to Andy Davies, a consultant software developer at Tenkai Solutions, results generated from restrictive automated coding challenges marked by machines can lead to companies rejecting really good developers.
He says it’s like being in an interview and only being expected to answer ‘yes’ or ‘no’ to closed questions versus having an open discussion. It’s very limiting and not the best way to assess candidates.
These issues are causing companies to lose out on the best talent as the dropout rates are high during the recruitment process. With such a limited talent pool this is becoming a real problem, especially as demand for software developers is growing.
There is solution however that is changing the way companies such as Skyscanner, Accenture and recruitment company, Mortimer Sprinks, approach their IT recruitment and that’s using technology platform, Geektastic, our peer to peer software developer community to set peer reviewed challenges.
This highly skilled community of experienced global software engineers offers in-house recruiters and recruitment companies an alternative to automated coding tests. Members personally review coding challenges to evaluate candidates’ skills, as part of the tech recruitment process. This helps company’s source talent more quickly and cost effectively, whilst also improving the candidate experience.
Recruiters benefit because of the high standards and benchmarks that are set. The peer reviewed experience more rigorously tests a candidate’s technical and problem solving skills, which provides a deeper insight into their capabilities and a more personal and holistic approach to pre-recruitment assessment.
Candidates like this approach as the challenges are more engaging and are reviewed by a real person, rather than being automated.
One recruiter using Geektastic to evaluate candidates is Mortimer Spinks, who was finding that the coding challenges offered by many companies were creating a real barrier to recruitment. They have found Geektastic to be a really effective way of identifying the best software developers.
They say that candidates are much more responsive to taking part in peer reviewed assessments, rather than automated tests, and that their clients value the depth and insight the assessments provide. By getting greater engagement from both candidates and clients, the platform is actively helping Mortimer Spinks make more successful placements.
Another company using the platform is Just Giving who wanted to give the ‘human touch’ to evaluating candidates which they found they couldn’t get from automated technical assessments. This was important as they were recruiting for a number of new high profile roles and needed to ensure they got the right people on board.
Using a peer to peer community is an effective way to source and evaluate software engineers and ensure companies recruit the best talent. Recruitment lead times are also reduced, which can be crucial for companies looking to start major tech projects quickly.
For candidates too it’s proving to be a big hit, allowing them to showcase their skills and knowledge as well as receive valuable performance feedback.