To outsiders, technical recruiting looks shiny and sophisticated. Whiteboards are involved. Rumors of offbeat interview questions about golf balls and school buses have made the rounds. But the people who actually hire engineers know the truth: technical recruiting is challenging. It's challenging in Silicon Valley, and at companies around the world.
Does it need to be so costly to find and recruit great engineers? Is there really a shortage of coding talent? Is the technical recruiting process inherently too complex to standardize, or even streamline?
Recognizing these challenges eventually led us to start Triplebyte. We wanted to explore the technical recruiting process. We examined it from as many perspectives as possible, including our founder's experience at Y Combinator. In a nutshell, we found that the current technical hiring process doesn't do enough to help engineers show their strengths, resulting in too many false negatives and a lot of overhead for employers.
So, we built a better process. Here's a side-by-side look at the prototypical old way of technical recruiting and how it compares to what we've done at Triplebyte.
We cultivate a marketplace of qualified candidates
One of the most obvious efficiency barriers in technical recruiting is the grueling, seven or eight-step recruiting process that's become standard. Each step of this intense evaluation process gets repeated for each desirable candidate. That's not efficient.
Through a screening process we built on meaningful and thoroughly analyzed data—including skills testing and engineer-conducted interviews—we provide a pool of screened, qualified candidates. At the same time, we put just as much effort into understanding your organization's needs and capturing as many relevant data points as possible. This two-way data capture and analysis enables us to match engineers to your company via machine learning that is predictive of success.
Even better, we don't limit this process to candidates who are actively seeking a new job. In Triplebyte, we incorporated passive candidates into the marketplace—those who aren't actively looking to make a switch but who are open to new opportunities. This provides employers with a much larger pool of qualified candidates who might be the perfect fit.
We remove unconscious bias
The heart of our system is what we call our background-blind process. We found that often, engineers from unconventional backgrounds are screened out by applicant tracking systems (ATS). Maybe their job history doesn't match pre-set parameters. Maybe they majored in a different subject, but have been passionately coding since high school. Such candidates lack the expected credentials—but, time and time again, we've found that many of them are still very much worth employers' consideration. That's because credentials aren't everything.
Our background-blind process helps companies discover highly skilled candidates from unconventional backgrounds. We offer two layers of screening that start with an adaptive technical skills test. From a broad set of potential questions, the quiz asks individual candidates different questions based on where they have shown strength and weakness. To score the quiz, we use a statistical model similar to what's behind the GRE and GMAT tests (item response theory). Companies will be able to see the screening criteria. Out of those who have passed, some will proceed to our technical interview, which is conducted via screen share by experienced engineers (including former employees of Apple, Google, and Uber). Our interviewers test candidates' aptitude in coding, debugging, system design, and other areas. The questions get harder through the interview, as we aim to measure how deep each candidate can go.
We screen for candidates with the following characteristics:
• Technical skills. Hard skills are not up for negotiation. We've developed a screening method that evaluates programmers' technical skills effectively. Coders must have the ability to write logical, clean, high-quality code using test-driven development. Familiarity with a few programming languages - and the willingness to learn more if needed - is another crucial skill.
• The ability to work well on a team while also self-managing. While engineering is highly collaborative, and candidates must be able to work with a team, it's equally important for software developers to be able to work independently. We favor candidates who can do both of these things.
• A passion for learning, growth, and creativity. The world of engineering is always changing, so candidates must come to the table with a fresh approach. We value candidates who show a love for their work and a willingness to grow through additional classes, seminars, and training sessions, as well as by suggesting creative new solutions to problems continuously.
• Strong communication skills. Candidates need to be able to express their ideas and industry-based knowledge to fellow team members effectively.
We took great care to develop this adaptable background-blind process, and (being engineers) we're also continually improving it to make it even more effective.
We use a scalable strategy
Today's tech recruiters work hard to unearth great talent. But there are serious downsides to the current methods that characterize the old way. In our research, we noticed some HR recruiters are using non-scalable techniques to source tech talent. For instance, some recruiters look at open-source projects on websites such as GitHub and SourceForge in search of rising tech talent. Others attend tech events, such as local hackathons, to meet potential candidates and cultivate a presence in the local engineering scene. Still, others travel tirelessly to conferences in the hope of poaching talented engineers from other firms. All of these methods can be powerful, but they depend on some shaky variables, such as candidates' proclivity to contribute to open-source projects or attend social events. Not to mention, there is a limit to how many events a recruiter can attend.
One of the biggest challenges that goes along with these traditional recruiting methods is the lack of scalability. For virtually any company that doesn't specialize in recruiting, these methods are incredibly time-intensive and costly. You don't have to take our word for it: it has been estimated that hiring an engineer can cost up to $50,000.
Triplebyte empowers leaders and recruiters to sidestep these processes by taking a different route that's closer to home. Our process is scalable, repeatable, and cost-efficient—and it's been proven to work - 40% of on-sites through Triplebyte result in an offer (that’s double the market average!) And that $50,000 per-hire cost? Thanks to our subscription pricing, some of our customers are scoring top technical talent for as little as $7,000 per hire.
We help employers offer what great engineers really want
Great engineers command high salaries, but they also care about other factors. We've researched what motivates the best engineers. We ended up with reams of data revealing the reality that even experienced developers want - more than anything else - opportunities for professional growth. They want it more than pay, more than work/life balance, and more than autonomy.
Here are just a few of the top non-monetary priorities for eager, talented job seekers in software engineering:
- Opportunities for professional growth (this tops the list at all levels of seniority)
- Hardworking, impressive and team-oriented co-workers
- Learning opportunities
- A product-driven culture that welcomes innovation
- Flexible work arrangements
- A healthy corporate environment
- Loyalty rewarded with equity
We use data to identify the most appealing non-salary incentives for employers to offer to candidates. In turn, offering these incentives makes it possible for smaller companies and startups to secure top talent in spite of tech giants' robust ongoing recruiting efforts.
Finding and hiring top engineering talent is a multi-faceted skill that lies at the crossroads of social networking, technical acumen, process management, and intuition. That's a complex, specialized skill, which is why we don't believe that recruiting should be a core competency for companies. Anyone who has ever had hiring responsibility already understands the expanse and depth of the hiring challenge. We've tailored our expertise to this particular challenge, and thanks to our specialization, we make it easier for many other great companies to find the best engineering talent for their teams.
The end result
Our efforts at Triplebyte have produced highly effective, efficient technical hiring, and it's been proven to work for hundreds of companies. Every week, Triplebyte matches hundreds of programmers, engineers, and developers with more than 450 tech companies. We think of ourselves as a matchmaking service between talented software engineers and attractive tech companies, and we look forward to using our unique collection of skills and talents to help you build a healthy, happy, and productive engineering team.
Request a demo now to learn how you can join successful companies like Evernote, Adobe, Instacart, and Coursera to build and strengthen your technical team.
Triplebyte helps engineers find great jobs by assessing their abilities, not by relying on the prestige of their resume credentials. Take our 30 minute multiple-choice coding quiz to connect with your next big opportunity and join our community of 200,000+ engineers.