Amid historic demand for technical talent, a new set of custom interview frameworks by technical hiring platform CoderPad is hoping to improve the hiring process through customizable interview environments, the company announced earlier this month.
“The whole industry has revolved around this front step of resume screening, where the assumption is you studied computer science therefore you’re going to be a good programmer,” CoderPad CEO Amanda Richardson said. “There’s a lot more that goes into being a good employee than just having the resume.”
The new framework lets companies create technical interviews in React, Angular, Vue, Svelte and HTML/CSS/JS environments. Back-end technical interviews in Node.JS and Rails environments will roll out in the next few weeks, according to Richardson.
Hiring for in-demand technical roles is a top business imperative. More than one-third of businesses identified talent acquisition as a top risk, according to PwC data.
But filling seats with the wrong people can be costly — and detrimental to technology goals.
CoderPad’s yearlong development project was inspired by the desire to look beyond basic computer science skills in the interview process.
“The technical interviewing tools were not sophisticated enough for what our customers needed, and frankly, what the candidates deserved,” Richardson said.
One of the biggest problems with traditional interviews for technical roles is that there is a bias toward people who have recent familiarity with basic computer science concepts, according to Richardson.
“You end up in an environment where you’re kind of pop-quizzing people, and it’s very adversarial as opposed to working together on skills that you actually know and have to have in the job,” Richardson said.
Technical interviews are not perfect either.
In certain situations, candidates can feel like they are being assessed based on their performance anxiety rather than their skills.
When candidates are watched by interviewers, they perform half as well, according to a study of 48 computer science undergraduate and graduate students at North Carolina State University.
Some studies also suggest technical interviews can alienate minority groups. During the NC State study, researchers found no women successfully solved the problem when being watched, while all the women in the private setting solved the problem.
To combat this, Richardson said candidates can work with interviewers as a partner.
“An example would be: we need to build a feature that helps to better sort something, expand capabilities or we want to modify an existing website,” Richardson said. “The interviewer and the candidate would work together, and the candidate would say something like, ‘I think I’d start by doing this,’ and then they can actually do it in the machine to see if it works.”
If the code doesn’t work, candidates can tweak and iterate.
For tech leaders with urgent talent needs, it’s critical that interviews are beneficial to both parties. The majority of software engineers reported issues with the interview process, and more than half said they’ve been turned off from a role because of disorganization and too many interviews, according to data from LinkedIn.
Engineering roles take on average the longest time to hire with a median time of 49 days. When the perfect candidate comes along, tech leaders have to make them want to stay.