Are resumes the right indicator of tech talent?

November 19, 2019
4 mins

“I’ve screened through a 1000 developer resumes but still haven’t found the right candidate”

Are you spending countless hours sifting through resumes yet not being able to find the right tech talent?

Maybe, you have been screening them the wrong way all along.

According to staff.com, a tech giant like Google receives close to 2 million job applications in a year. With recruiters spending an average of 6 seconds looking at a candidate’s resume, there is a high chance of overlooking potential candidates among the deluge of job applications that could be coming into your organization.

A resume at best tells you what someone has done in the past and not what they’re capable of doing in the future. If the candidate is fortunate, his or her resume is first read by a human being rather than an automated Applicant Tracking System(ATS). Also, a resume almost always includes details like gender and educational background which could create an unconscious bias among employers.

So, no. A resume is not the right indicator of tech talent

Rather, there are other ways that you can use to shortlist potential talent. Here are some –

1) Administer a personality test earlier in the hiring process

Personality tests are not new to the field of tech hiring but have only been used in the latter part of the process in the past. Good developers are known to exhibit traits that mark high performance such as teamwork, analytical thinking, and judgment. Looking out for these traits in the initial stages of evaluation can help you shortlist candidates who could be the right fit for the role.

Of the many companies using personality tests to screen candidates, Goldman Sachs has concocted tests to devise candidates’ suitability right when they apply for a job. Goldman uses an Occupational Personality questionnaire and the results are compared with current Goldman employees who have already been identified as exhibiting traits that mark high performance. Suitable candidates are then shortlisted for further evaluation.

How do you assess your developer’s personality?

Similar to Goldman Sachs, you can also create your very own developer personality test. These are some questions from Alistair Doulin’s Programmer Personality test you can include –

1) You’ve just been given a complex task to code. What are you most likely to do?

  • Get straight into the task by putting in the initial code and prototyping the task.
  • Get everyone’s feedback on the problem, discuss all the possible options, then decide the best way to approach the problem given the current situation.

2) Where do you spend most of your time?

  • Moving registers around or doing pointer arithmetic (or creating functions)
  • Drawing UML diagrams (or making objects)

3) Who is a ‘better’ programmer?

  • Someone who went to university/college and has at least a masters in their field. They should read as many books on a subject as they can find before starting on it.
  • Someone who has been coding since they were 5 and simply goes by raw talent alone.

2) Gamify your hiring process

Using Artificial Intelligence in the hiring process helps measure specific elements like tech skills, vocabulary, facial expressions, and question response speed. These factors can also help reveal clues about an applicant’s education, intelligence, personality, and emotional stability. 

Unilever’s Algorithm-based sorting

Unilever makes use of Pymetrics to recruit and sort job applicants. This is how Unilever goes about its recruiting process –

  • Unilever runs targeted ads on career websites
  • Candidates who click the ad are redirected to a website where they can apply for entry-level positions.
  •  Unilever’s algorithm scans all applications and those candidates who make past it play 12 short online games by Pymetrics. The games are based on neuroscience and test factors like short-term memory.
  • The top one-third of the candidates who complete the games are then invited for a video interview.
  • The candidates who make past this round are invited for in-person interviews.

3) Use skill-based developer assessments

Looking to test and filter candidates on job competency? One great way of doing this is to incorporate skill-based assessments in the tech hiring process. In fact, one should not only be looking at skill-based assessments for tech screening but the entire hiring process should be based on skills. 

What are skill-based assessments?

Skill-based assessments allow you to create tests for a variety of programming skills ranging from basic ones like C and C++ to more advanced topics like Big Data. 

How do you create a skill-based assessment?

The easiest way to create a skill-based assessment is to sign up for an online assessment platform. For example, if you are looking to hire a Frontend developer with tech skills such as HTML, CSS, and Javascript, you can –

  • Directly create a test by selecting the required skills. The automated test creation pre-populates your test with a set of questions for the skills you are looking to hire for
  • Select the desired experience level( beginner level developer or a more advanced one) as well as a difficulty level (easy to difficult)
  • Roll out this test to your candidate database by sharing an online test invite
  • Allow candidates to anonymously take this test to prevent unconscious biases
  • Identify top performers at a glance and make data-driven decisions through in-depth analytics and reports

Once you shortlist candidates, you can also interview them further on their programming skills using an unbiased video interviewing platform for developers.

Ultimately, all three of these methods boil down to the fact that the future of hiring will be shaped by a candidate’s potential rather than what they have accomplished in the past. Make your hiring insight-driven to stay ahead of the curve and find developer talent who has the potential to really shine.

 

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About the Author

Soumya Chittigala
Soumya drives product marketing at HackerEarth. When she is not marketing SaaS products,chances are that she's baking cupcakes, binge-watching shows on Netflix or fantasizing about her next travel adventure.

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