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The largest R&D team, services team, and partner ecosystem in the insurance software industry demand a constant stream of top tech talent. With Codility, Guidewire has been able to streamline hiring processes, increase candidate quality, and reduce overall time to hire.

When the co-founders of Guidewire started the company in 2001, they said “Let’s find an area where really quality software engineering can create deep definitive economic value.” 

Co-founder and Chairman Marcus Ryu said that led them “Straight to property and casualty insurance” because claims workers using 1980s COBOL mainframe systems and paper-based processes “were making systematic errors that were causing deadweight economic loss.”

The software Guidewire develops has been helping solve this P&C problem for 20 years. But as the software has evolved, Guidewire has faced challenges while trying to hire the best tech talent to keep up with product development demands.

High-volume hiring demands new recruiting processes

The last five years have brought significant change to Guidewire’s software and the company as a whole. Today, Guidewire combines digital, core, analytics, and AI to deliver its cloud-based P&C platform. And to make that happen, the company has built the largest R&D team, services team, and partner ecosystem in the insurance software industry.

But the rapid shift to new digital models highlighted issues in Guidewire’s hiring processes. For years, “there was a manual test that our hiring teams used to assess candidates for new roles,” according to Director of Talent Acquisition for the EMEA region, Denise Airlie. This assessment process proved problematic on multiple fronts as the company evolved and Guidewire had to fill an increasing number of roles for new digital positions.

The first problem was that the test was actively hurting the company’s ability to hire top tech talent. It took candidates multiple hours to complete, forcing them to wait until they had large blocks of free time available on weekends. The candidate feedback was largely negative, leading to significant drop off as other software companies made decisions much faster. 

The second problem was one of internal productivity. This manual assessment wasn’t just time-intensive for candidates—it was taking up significant hours for the engineers who had to conduct and grade the tests. Airlie and others involved in setting hiring best practices needed to “make sure engineers could focus their time on product development” instead of sinking so many hours into code assessments.

And the third problem was that having a concrete manual test led to copied solutions. The test was published online and Guidewire found that candidates were artificially acing the assessment.

Ultimately, the company turned to Codility to “improve the quality of our candidate pipeline and implement new processes that would reduce time to hire” as new digital demands led to a need for high-volume recruiting.

Three key benefits of a robust platform for tech hiring

Guidewire was able to make do with its manual testing process thanks to a robust set of phone and onsite interviews for candidates once they passed. Even if certain candidates managed to foilthe system, experienced hiring managers were able to work through the extra noise to find the perfect candidates for open positions at Guidewire. 

However, implementing Codility to achieve more efficient hiring processes across the technical departments in the organization led to invaluable benefits, including:

  • Increasing Productivity: CodeCheck helped Guidewire automate so much of the technical assessment aspect of its hiring processes. Instead of manually creating, distributing, and grading assessments, CodeCheck streamlines those processes to free up valuable time for engineers to focus on development. When Guidewire “had over 4,000 applicants for our graduate program, Codility helped us scale candidate assessment at a level that wouldn’t be possible with manual review processes.”
  • Transitioning to Remote Hiring: When the global health crisis hit in early 2020, Guidewire wasn’t sure it would be possible to maintain its hiring schedule once the office closed. CodeLive became a cornerstone of the interview process, giving hiring managers and candidates a user-friendly developer environment to conduct essential whiteboarding sessions. In just 24 hours, Guidewire was able to pivot entirely to remote hiring without disrupting existing plans.
  • Finding the Best Candidates: As Guidewire continues to focus on improving diversity across its organization, creating an unbiased assessment and interview process is essential. Implementing Codility has laid the groundwork for Guidewire to identify the best candidates by maximizing the overall quality of its recruitment pipeline. And moving forward, Guidewire will take advantage of new Codility features to bring greater anonymity to the early stages of hiring processes.

Wrap Up

“When faced with any trade-off or decision, we make that decision based on what’s best for our customers. Thinking that way at every level of the company creates the customer-first culture that serves Guidewire and our stakeholders most effectively.”—Mike Rosenbaum, CEO of Guidewire

With Codility, Guidewire has been able to apply the customer-first mindset to its hiring processes. Instead of getting bogged down in assessment processes that take away from the company’s ability to serve customers, Guidewire is reducing its time to hire while also boosting its employer brand reputation. As a result, the company will maintain the quality of its recruitment pipeline and uncover top tech talent that it can train over time.

Daryna Brazhnyk, Enterprise Customer Success Manager at Codility.

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