How can you diagnose that your hiring process is broken?
August 23, 2021
min read

How can you diagnose that your hiring process is broken?

Ana Gospodinova
Ana Gospodinova

Tech companies are heavily dependent on a rock-solid hiring process. 

The proper hiring process allows you to identify, attract, quickly assess, and onboard new candidates to your team. 

An optimized hiring process becomes even more important for highly competitive industries with substantial talent demand and low supply levels, such as the IT industry.

HR professionals must constantly diagnose their hiring process to determine if it’s working or not. Consequently, it leads to higher conversion rates in the end.

The reasons why (it’s broken)

After going through all the recruitment assignments that my team and I managed to close over the years, I can confidently say that there is one ‘thing’ embedded in all our successful recruitment projects: respect

Companies able to hire tech talent quickly manage to incorporate respect into each step of their recruitment process. They respect the candidate’s time, but also their recruiters’ time.

Today, successful tech recruiters are in constant pursuit to build relationships. When a good candidate decides to enter the talent market, they are already there, waiting to greet and introduce them to the new opportunity on the horizon. 

Let’s mention where flaws might be visible inside your hiring process:

  • Hiring process foundations
  • Covering after someone leaves
  • Glitching technology
  • The interviews 
  • Lack of industry knowledge
  • The time period after the successful hire has been made

HR professionals might notice that these flows might appear all at once inside their hiring process, or it can be just one of them giving a headache. The point is that there isn’t a bullet-proof hiring process, making it reasonable why constant introspection must be in place.

And how to start fixing it

To make it more tangible, here are a few steps (the full list is much longer) to increase your chances of closing tech job openings.

Step 1: Don’t start the process if you don’t know what you are looking for

Firstly, identify the job profile together with the hiring manager. After fulfilling various recruiting assignments with the WeAreDevelopers team, I can say that this step is a must-have.

Teams are dynamic – they change, and so does the required skill set. Accommodating a new hire requires a different focus on the skills listed in the job description. Your focus depends on the overall team skillset available at the certain moment. 

On most occasions, you do not necessarily need the same candidate profile for the same role. We can illustrate this with a recent hiring example for a client looking to close a full-stack position.

Do you need magic powers? Not necessarily.

Tech stack isn’t solely responsible for creating difficulties in your hiring process. Among many others, location has affected the whole industry by the recent pandemic. And let’s not forget the language requirements. Most of us operating in the DACH region know how it feels to hire a German-speaking software developer.

When the talent pool becomes so limited, you, as a recruiting partner, need to ‘open’ many doors, windows, or even tiny holes to secure a successful assignment.

Do you need magic powers? Not necessarily. 

broken hiring process

First, we try to understand how this team works and what they can do. After discussing the role with the hiring manager, it turns out that the full-stack can also be a backend position. Most full-stack developers inside this team were already doing great on the frontend side.

Don’t stack in your job description. Overcoming this bias may make more talent available to your job opening. 

Candidates will know that your hiring process isn’t broken by how you treat them—making the candidate experience the point where the hiring funnel begins to narrow rapidly. Again, your main goal is to filter out bad fits.

Hint: Form realistic requirements

Figuring out what are the requirements of a software developer’s job role is a good starting point. It will make the list of attributes that candidates must have more realistic while reducing binary decisions or bias.

Step 2: Align into one process, no matter how many stakeholders

The hiring process involves different internal departments. 

Your HR department needs to form partnerships with the hiring department or with your external recruiting partner. 

In case you fully or partially outsource recruiting operations, then it will include other organizations as well. No matter how many stakeholders are in the process, the mission stays the same - to secure a good candidate experience. 

Securing candidate experience can be achieved through an aligned hiring process by avoiding duplicating interviews and asking the same questions during the different interviews.

Hint: Avoid doubling interviews

If you are working with an external partner, make sure you avoid doubling initial interviews. Instead, transfer the questions from your internal HR department to the recruiting partner. The candidates must have initial contact with your company and receive first-hand impressions before hitting the ‘send’ button to the hiring manager. A short 15 min call (not an interview) usually works, during which you can directly schedule the following interview.

Step 3: Make interviews short(er)—respect the dev’s time

Software developers’ time is expensive. Having that in mind, we suggest doing as much as possible to avoid keeping people in the process if you know that you're not going to hire them or just to see if the better candidates will show up.

Do as much filtering before you opt to reach them. Make sure that time is well spent on the right candidates. 

Even average skilled developers have hectic daily task lists besides chatting to you. Most of their time, they are also interviewing for more than just one company. 

broken hiring process

If you want to hire software developers out there, you have to go and get them. 

Don’t make them wait. Practice says that if they aren’t looking for a job, they will find a job in two weeks. If they are looking for a job – it will take them just one week. 

Avoiding frustration from losing a candidate depends mostly on you – don’t start the hiring process without getting a prior commitment from all the stakeholders.

Here is what works for most of WeAreDevelopers clients:

  1. Make initial contact with new applicants (invite them to an interview or reject) – within 24 up to 48 hours after application.
  2. Schedule the first interview at the earliest possible date for the candidate (adjust your calendar). Right after the interview, provide your feedback to the candidate.
  3. If there is a coding challenge – make sure it doesn’t take more than 4-6 hours. Discuss with the candidate the preferable setup. Provide them with the feedback and invite or reject the next round in the process – 2-3 days after submitting the coding challenge.
  4. The last interview (see under #2). If possible, provide your feedback at the end of the interview.
  5. Offer and contract – make sure you answer inquiries from the candidate within one working day.
  6. The duration from initial contact to the successful placement shouldn’t be longer than 3 weeks (including all interview stages and job offers).

Start fixing your hiring process

It’s obvious why we suggest HR departments evaluate their hiring processes. 

Once you diagnose that the hiring process is broken, it immediately improves your company’s chances to stay competitive in the talent market just by knowing it. So start fixing it!


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