What's Important To Get A Developer Job
Written by Janet Swift   
Tuesday, 22 May 2018
New data from HackerRank reveals that three out of four technical recruiters and hiring managers have hired individuals whose resumes would not have passed the screening process. It also warns that those who are ruling out applicants without a CS degree are missing out on millions of skilled candidates.
While we often cover HackerRank for insights gained through its coding challenges, the company makes its revenue as a technical recruiting resource.
The HackerRank team is on a mission to match every developer in the world to the right job by providing a technical recruiting platform that assesses developers based on actual coding skills. 

For its new 2018 Tech Recruiting Report HackerRank surveyed nearly 1,000 technical recruiters and hiring managers to understand the biggest priorities, pain points, and opportunities when it comes to hiring software developers. A major focus of the report, which is published today, is about differences between technical recruiters and hiring managers, leading to the amusing tag line on its PR email

"New research shows couples counseling needed for tech recruiters and managers".

However, we've looked at the findings from the other side of the the fence to see what it has to say to prospective job applicants.

As we've outlined previously, see The Tech Interview Process Lengthens, gaining a job as a software developer is a multi-stage process with many candidates never getting as far as a phone interview, let alone an onsite one where they get to meet anyone in person.
The survey asked:

the most important qualification for recruiters and hiring managers is strong work experience, above all else. Commenting on this the report notes:

Tech hiring managers and recruiters are finding that resume-bolstering factors, like degree, prestige, and skill keywords aren't good measurements of whether someone will be successful on the job. So, they’re looking to indicators that demonstrate ability, such as previous work experience, years of experience, and personal projects. While these qualifications aren’t perfect, they’re actually closer to the heart of what makes a good programmer: skill.

It adds that this is in line with what HackerRank found in its 2018 Developer Skills Report.

For both large companies (over a thousand employees) and smaller ones finding qualified candidates in a major pain point and the survey looked in detail at sourcing strategies:

The report comments:

Finding the right opportunity is often still about who you know, rather than the skills you have, unfortunately. Referrals are the #1 way that recruiters and hiring managers find tech talent. While referrals can be a good source for talent, they can also lead to homogeneous teams and companies, ultimately affecting overall diversity and leading to bidding wars for the same limited pool of pedigreed talent.

It recommends:

Companies should use a more standardized approach to find and evaluate hires based on skill. In other words, every referral candidate should go through the same rigorous evaluation and interview process as other candidates. The interview panel should also not be influenced by the referee. By focusing on the candidate’s skills, rather than who brought them in, there are fewer biases, which expands the talent pool.

Looking to the future of recruitment, this is bound to be an area where AI will be able to take on some of the burden, so HackerRank included the question:

For recruiters Skill assessment came top - the "right" response as far as HackerRank is concerned as revealed in its comment:

In order to truly transform technical hiring, hiring teams need to be able to use a body of relevant data to predict fit based on proven skills. Looking at our data above, hiring managers and recruiters define success based on the quality of candidates’ technical skills. And this technical skill match needs to happen early in the hiring process so that recruiters can spend more time ensuring that the match is a good fit in other aspects, including soft skills, values fit, and growth potential.

The future of technical hiring is based on skills, first.

While this is perhaps intended the main message, from the point of view of both recruiters and potential recruits, of the survey, it also have the important corollary:

Programming is not conducive to traditional resumes.

HackerRank reminds us that, according to the 2018 Developer Skills Report, over 70% of developers are at least partially self-taught and states:

You don’t need to have CS degree from a top school to be a good developer.

Recruiters and hiring managers are already starting to understand this as is borne out by the fact that 75.4% say they’ve hired a great candidate from a non-traditional background:


More Information

HackerRank 2018 Tech Recruiting Report

Related Articles

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Never Too Early To Code According to HackerRank

The Tech Interview Process Lengthens

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Last Updated ( Tuesday, 22 May 2018 )