Should You Use Coding Assessments in Your Hiring Process?


Are you struggling to find and evaluate technical talent?

Recruiting software engineers is one of the most challenging aspects of hiring due to the high demand for talent and the difficulty in evaluating the candidates that you do get. When it comes to coding, resumes are far less important compared to more traditional skills and roles.

Coding assessments evaluate a candidate’s technical abilities and skills in a specific programming language or technology. They are important in hiring because they help organizations identify the most qualified candidates and ensure they have the necessary skills for the job.

This article will explore the benefits and importance of incorporating coding assessments in your technical hiring process. The goal is to create an objective way to shortlist and evaluate technical candidates, going beyond past experiences and their ability to solve theoretical computer science problems.

Let’s dive in.

The Consequences of Not Incorporating Coding Assessments in the Hiring Process

First, let’s look at what are the risks of not incorporating coding assessments in your technical hiring process.

  • Making bad hires
    Without coding assessments, evaluating a candidate’s technical skills and abilities becomes subjective, leaving room for error. It increases the likelihood of hiring unqualified or under-skilled individuals, thereby hindering the organization’s overall progress.
  • Wasting time
    In addition, the absence of coding assessments may lead to a longer and less effective screening process. It can result in increased costs, lost time, and delayed hiring in general.
  • Missed opportunities for improvement
    Coding assessments provide valuable data throughout the hiring journey. Over time, you will gain a sense of how difficult (or easy) your coding questions are so you can adjust accordingly. You will notice patterns in strong applicants and understand better the ideal candidate profile you should aim to attract. Without coding assessments, you are likely to shoot in the dark for a longer time.
  • Unconscious bias
    Another challenge that you may face is the risk of bias in the hiring process. Standardizing the assessments to evaluate applicants is important to eliminate this risk. It will ensure that the assessments are fair and impartial, allowing you to assess the skill level of each candidate objectively.

Recruiting developers is a critical process that several obstacles can hinder. However, by using coding assessments to evaluate applicants, standardizing assessments to eliminate bias, and conducting assessments early in the hiring process, you can overcome these challenges, saving time and selecting better candidates along the way.

The Importance of Coding Assessments in Technical Skill Evaluation

Companies using coding assessments achieve up to 50% faster time-to-hire and may reduce cost-per-hire compared to those not using coding assessments.

Furthermore, coding assessments testing for creative problem-solving are more likely to predict job performance than brain teasers, trick questions, or school grades. These statistics demonstrate the clear value of coding assessments as an essential hiring tool in the tech industry.

Appropriate Use of Coding Assessments in the Hiring Process

When used appropriately, coding assessments can help you quickly and accurately assess potential candidates’ technical skills. 

  • When using coding assessments, you should tailor the assessment to the skill level and role of the candidate. For example, for senior roles, the coding assessment should be more complex and focus on deep skills and knowledge. For junior roles, the coding assessment should be more basic, ensuring the candidate has the necessary foundation of coding knowledge. 
  • You should ensure that the coding assessment is fair and free from bias. For example, it should be designed to assess the technical skills of the candidate, ideally hiding their gender, race, or any other demographic factors (this is doable with specialized platforms like CodeInterview). 
  • When administering coding assessments, you should provide clear instructions and allow adequate time to complete the assessment. This way, candidates can demonstrate their true coding ability without feeling rushed or under pressure. 

Selecting the Right Coding Assessment Tool

To facilitate coding assessments in your hiring process, you can choose a dedicated online platform.

Popular platforms include CodeInterview and HackerRank, which offer a variety of challenges for all skill levels, automatic scoring, and access to other features.

Additionally, these platforms are created by developers for developers and are industry standard. Custom coding challenges can also ensure the assessment is tailored to your organization’s requirements.

The right coding assessment platform can be a great asset in selecting the best candidate for the role without creating a manual process internally. Therefore, it is essential to consider the time and cost of building a custom evaluation process and the features and benefits of using a pre-existing platform.

Final Thoughts

Recruiting developers is a critical process that requires careful consideration and attention to detail. Organizations may encounter several challenges during this process, including a lack of quality applicants, the risk of bad hires, and limited time for hiring managers. Therefore, it is important to take a strategic approach to the recruitment process to overcome these obstacles.

Coding assessments are an essential hiring tool in the tech industry. They provide a reliable and objective way to evaluate a candidate’s technical skills and abilities, which is crucial in finding the right fit for a tech team. Additionally, they offer a way to screen a large pool of applicants efficiently and minimize the risk of bad hires. Therefore, coding assessments are a valuable tool that should be considered in any tech hiring process.