How to hire developers?
Finding technical talent is a major challenge for most companies.
Hiring for a technical role is an art form unto itself.
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What a developer says their skill set consists of, may be entirely different to what their skill set actually is.
In a face-to-face interview, this is something that you just can’t test for.
Enter: online coding tests.
Data backed lessons for tech recruiting
In 2018, over 112,000 coding tests were taken on the Devskiller platform.
These tests were used by tech recruiters to screen, assess, and evaluate the coding abilities of potential applicants.
And in analyzing this plethora of data, we saw trends, patterns, and habits started to form.
We looked at this data under a microscope and put our findings into the Devskiller Technical Hiring & Skills Report 2019.
What’s represented here is unique data that you - the recruiter - can use to keep your hiring process cutting edge, and source the most reliable, proficient developers from anywhere in the world.
While most hiring data that’s available online is based on surveys (which require self-reporting), this data presents raw facts and trends taken from your peers - fellow HR recruiters.
Top 6 insights for hiring developers
Here’s a brief overview of the most important lessons we learned:
Looking at the technologies tested by most companies, it’s surprising to see Java isn’t the most popular.
This shows that Java is used by a smaller group of large enterprises.
Furthermore, with SQL coming in 2nd place, this shows that database skills are important for both back and front-end developers.
Lesson #2 Most developers will get a database technical skills assessment, regardless of their main focus
SQL is the next most co-tested stack, with 4 mentions.
You can see that database technical skills are also tested regularly, in addition to the main skill set needed for a position.
Lesson #3: Candidates wait on average 2.88 days to take a coding test
Developers prefer to do take-home coding tests during the week and save their weekends for themselves.
This is reflected in the fact that:
Tests send on Tuesday get the fastest response
Tests send on Wednesday get the slowest response and
The average turn around is 2.88 days (69.23 hours).
As a recruiter, this gives you valuable insight into how coders prioritize coding tests for a new position.
If you can plan your recruitment funnel so that you’re sending coding tests early in the week, you can quickly push through talented developers and move on those that don’t fit your standards.
Lesson #4: The vast majority (73%) of candidates take the coding tests they receive
Statistically, nearly 3 in 4 candidates who were sent a coding test completed it.
It’s worth noting that regardless of candidates technical skills, most developers will finish a test that’s based on work principles.
The countries with the top completion rates are:
Latvia: 98% completion rate
Armenia: 97% completion rate
Denmark: 96% completion rate
New Zealand: 95% completion rate
The UK: 92% completion rate
As a recruiter, this may be surprising - especially if you’re concerned that a coding test will scare away candidates.
This statistic proves that a hiring procedure that reflects the actual work being done is accepted by a majority of candidates, and that coding tests should be a part of your recruitment process.
Lesson #5: Over 90% of candidates finish the coding tests they start
Thanks to the methodology powering the platform, there are very few programming surprises that come up in the middle of a test.
The tasks given to a candidate during a test are lifelike, practical, and familiar to a majority of candidates.
It should come as no surprise that nearly all candidates who start a coding test go on to finish it.
What is interesting is the completion rate per continent.
Although small, the changes in completion rate may reflect the reliability of internet infrastructure.
Lesson #6: The US recruits internationally while being a major source of international technical hiring
You may be surprised to know that countries that produce and export coding talent also hire talent from abroad.
For example, India makes up over 25% of the talent that’s picked up by international companies.
The US comes in second thanks to the sheer volume of tech talent it creates.
Germany, Brazil, and Argentina make up the top 5.
What’s interesting within this data, is that large candidate countries like the US also recruit from abroad quite a lot.
For example, the US also hires from the other top 5 candidate countries like India and Germany.
Most interestingly though, India doesn’t recruit from anyone else in the top 10 sources of exported talent.
For some countries, technical hiring goes just one way.
Want to excel in tech recruiting?
If you want to take a deeper look at the skills and trends that we found in over 112,000 coding tests, and see how they help your own recruitment process, you can check out the report here:
About the author
Tom Winter is the CRO at Devskiller, a developer screening & online interviews in one platform powered by RealLifeTesting™.
Madly in love with everything tech, Tom specializes in streamlining the hiring process of tech talent and data-driven recruitment.
He’s also an avid conference speaker.