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Complete Coding Assessment Guide – Definition, Advantages, and Best Practices

Coding Assessment Tool Guide - HackerEarth

Finding the right talent to fill a vacancy always poses a unique set of challenges. Most hiring processes and coding assessments, while having their advantages, are inherently flawed. There are many talented individuals who may never receive the right opportunity. Conversely, there are also many job posts that are filled with people that are unsuitable for the role.

Resumes can’t always be trusted, which is why it is important to have interviews and assessments. This way, you can accurately gauge the level of skill and expertise possessed by a potential candidate for hire.

When it comes to the technical hiring process, the importance of a coding assessment cannot be understated. Coding assessments are a way of evaluating the technical talent of an individual. The challenge of how to test coding skills needs to be solved as it can negatively impact the entire hiring process if it’s not set up correctly.

What is a coding assessment?


A coding assessment is a structured evaluation process where individuals are tested on their programming skills and problem-solving capabilities. It typically comprises coding challenges, algorithms, and real-world problem scenarios that aim to gauge the candidate’s proficiency in writing, analyzing, and debugging code.

These assessments are prevalent in technical hiring processes, where companies aim to measure the competence of prospective candidates in specific programming languages or tools, and in education settings where students’ understanding of coding concepts is evaluated.

In essence, coding assessments provide a more objective means of evaluating technical talent. Rather than relying solely on a candidate’s credentials or self-reported skills, recruiters and educators can gain a firsthand view of their actual coding prowess.

How to conduct a successful coding assessment


Be concise – It is impossible to test every area of a candidate’s knowledge of coding. This means that employers must prioritize certain skills and knowledge over others to arrive at an accurate assessment. High-level candidates are aware that they have plenty of opportunities, which is why they typically do not concern themselves with taking lengthy assessments.

Maintain objectivity – Creating an in-house coding assessment platform is something that many companies that are hiring, are willing to do. It is a common practice to design a custom coding assessment process that can’t even be solved by members of the hiring team! Custom coding assessments generally create more problems than solutions.

Narrow it down – When conducting a general coding assessment, ask yourself whether algorithmic knowledge is really required for a given role. If yes, can you measure the extent of knowledge that is required for the job? Also, try to understand the demographic that you are trying to target. Is it an industry-experienced coder you need, or a graduate fresh out of college? Answering these questions will give you  a broad view of the qualities you want in a candidate.

Cover a range of topics – The tech stack required for any role keeps morphing constantly. Coding assessment platforms should cover new and pre-existing programming languages, advent in technology, and skill requirements to tackle the modern coding battlefield.

Avoid time sinks – Most candidates will not have a huge chunk of time to spend on coding assessments. This is why it is better to use assessments that can be completed within an hour. It is also beneficial to frame direct questions so that candidates can focus on how to answer them, as opposed to spending too much time deconstructing what the question implies.

Coding Assessment Platform Benefits - HackerEarth


Benefits of selecting candidates based on coding assessments


Optimal use of organizational resources – The recruitment process in any industry generally proves to be lengthy and arduous. This is because of the numerous steps procedures to be followed, as well as the fact that at the end of it all, landing the perfect candidate isn’t a given. Using the right technical screening tools can help you reduce the burden on your workforce by creating a more efficient recruitment process.

Retention of skilled individuals – Employees that possess a highly specialized skill set are aware that there is no lack of opportunities for them. A well-constructed coding assessment platform ensures that the skills of a potential candidate are noticed early on. Based on this assessment, recruiters can accurately gauge the right compensation and incentives for the role.

Scientific hiring process – Coding assessment practices ensure that the selection you make is based on hard facts and data. This means that there is a proper, structured method of finding the right talent by doing away with haphazard methods that do not paint an accurate picture.

Unbiased selection – It is all too common for managers and employers to select candidates based on favorable interactions, smooth communication, and shared interests. Unfortunately, this can lead to organizations choosing the wrong individuals to fill vacancies, as the selection is done solely based on the positivity of interaction between employer and candidate, and not much else. Coding skills assessments go a long way in aiding companies to make better choices when it comes to handling their hiring processes. It is essential that organizations select the right coding assessment platforms.

Quotes from developers on coding assessments


Choosing a coding assessment platform—What should you look for?


Diverse question library: A rich set of questions spanning various difficulty levels and categories ensures that you can tailor assessments to the specific skills you’re looking to evaluate.

Customization: The tool should allow you to create custom challenges that reflect real-world scenarios relevant to your industry or specific job role. On HackerEarth Assessments, engineering managers can add their own custom questions in the tests to make the process realistic and relevant to their industry.

Automated code evaluation: Immediate feedback is vital. Choose tools that can automatically evaluate code for correctness and efficiency, delivering instant results. On HackerEarth, for instance, the code submissions are automatically evaluated by our AI-driven engine and the results are benchmarked against previous submissions. This helps interviewers shortlist candidates easily and provide necessary feedback on their performance.

Plagiarism detection: Ensure the tool has robust plagiarism-checking features to maintain the integrity of the assessment. With the advent of ChatGPT, companies also have to look out for candidates using AI tools for answering test questions. HackerEarth Assessments has a new feature called Smart Browser which prevents this from occurring.

IDE (Integrated Development Environment) Features: An intuitive IDE with features like code auto-completion, syntax highlighting, and error prompts can enhance the candidateexperience. Most coders use an IDE to create code on a daily basis and are familiar with it. Providing the same during and assessments puts them at ease, and allows them a fair shot at the test.

Multi-language support: Given the diverse range of programming languages, it’s essential that the tool supports assessing candidates in multiple languages.

Reporting and analytics: Comprehensive reports detailing candidate performance, areas of strength, and areas needing improvement can be invaluable for making informed decisions.

Scalability: If you’re assessing large numbers of candidates simultaneously, the tool should be able to handle the load without any glitches or slowdowns.

Integration capabilities: A good coding assessment tool should seamlessly integrate with your existing HRM (Human Resource Management) or LMS (Learning Management System) solutions.

Security: Ensure the tool maintains high standards of data privacy and security, adhering to relevant regulations and best practices.

Mobile compatibility: In today’s digital age, many candidates may opt to take assessments on mobile devices. Ensure the tool offers a smooth mobile experience.

Customer support: Reliable customer support can be a lifesaver, especially when dealing with technical issues or requiring guidance on best practices. HackerEarth offers 24*7 support across all geographies so that recruiting teams can hire faster and easier.


How to Create the perfect coding assessments with HackerEarth


HackerEarth is an online coding assessment platform and technical screening tool that allows organizations to design specific tests and evaluate candidates to find the right individuals to employ.

These reasons set HackerEarth apart from its competitors:

  • Versatility – Create customized tests in just a few minutes
  • Wide reach – Scale the hiring process over a large region by enabling multiple recruiters to hire candidates
  • Futuristic – Automate the evaluation process to screen for the best candidates
  • Economical – Reduce the burden on the organization by bringing down manual effort and repetition
  • Scientific – Create reports on the performance of candidates for further analysis and evaluation
  • Diversity – Design and implement assessments using over 35 programming languages

Streamline your recruitment process with HackerEarth

HackerEarth enables recruitment teams to streamline their processes, thus bringing down turnaround rates drastically. Performance reports further allow recruitment teams to break down and analyze micro-details, such as the time in which the assessment was completed, replaying the keystrokes used while coding, and so much more. Organizations that use HackerEarth as a coding assessment platform observe a marked rise in the quality of candidates ready for hire. The interview-to-hire ratio was drastically improved in these cases.


Why choose HackerEarth?

HackerEarth has one of the largest databases of questions to choose from when it comes to designing coding skills assessments. The platform also supports international languages making it easier for recruiters to hire across geographies

Additionally, HackerEarth secures the privacy of candidates by masking personally identifiable information in video interviews. Going by these features, it is easy to see why HackerEarth is one of the most highly-rated and trusted coding assessment platforms on the market today. Get in touch with us to learn more.


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