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Loft’s only technical recruiter was brought on to create more structured hiring processes as the startup scales rapidly–and in just a few months, he’s brought speed and consistency to Loft’s hiring. 

If you’ve ever bought an apartment, you know that the process is in desperate need of disruption. And even though Loft is just a couple of years old, the startup is already making strides to simplify the purchase and sale of apartments through improved organization, data, and efficiency.

After closing a $175 million Series C round of funding led by Andreessen Horowitz and approaching Unicorn status, Loft has its sights set on an expanded footprint and deeper product portfolio. And it’s up to André Antonelli, Loft’s sole Tech & Product Recruiter, to build out a hiring process that brings in the talent necessary to accomplish those goals.

Loft thrives on discovering top tech talent

When André joined Loft in November 2019, he stepped into a rapidly scaling startup with high expectations for its tech and product teams. The company will only accomplish its goals by finding top tech talent that can remain adaptable and flexible in the face of evolving demands. While loose hiring processes sustained Loft in its earliest days, it was clear that recruiting had to become more standardized and efficient.

That’s where André stepped in. Before he joined, all hiring processes were completed in a single, chaotic day of intense interviews and hard skills assessments. It was hard on candidates and “while one person may love a candidate’s CV, another might not like the way they completed the skills assessment. The disconnect and misalignment leads to delays in our processes and greater potential for bad hires.”

Taking hiring remote

During André’s time at Loft, there have been limited technical hiring resources available. That made it even more critical that he work together with hiring managers and engineers to create processes that would efficiently uncover the best talent for Loft product teams. The first step was to modify the hectic one-day hiring processes into something with greater balance between candidate experience and efficiency.

It turned out that remote hiring made it much easier to strike this balance. Even though André and the hiring managers “expected the worst when we started shifting to remote hiring processes,” solutions like CodeCheck and CodeLive made it easy to “run smooth hard-skills assessments and have great interactions with candidates remotely.” Doing away with whiteboards, Google Docs, and basic screen sharing tools made it easier to properly assess each candidate. With CodeLive, in particular, André and the Loft engineers can “run tests, check bugs, and share screens within a real developer environment that feels seamless for our candidates and hiring managers,” finding that “90% of candidates really enjoy the platform.”

These aren’t just anecdotal benefits, though. Even though he’s only been using Codility for a few months, André is already seeing results. When he first started, Loft’s “average time to hire was between 45 and 50 days.” With the help of Codility, he has been able to “cut that metric down to 30 days and continue to look for areas where we can streamline the process.”

Taking hiring remote was a necessity given external factors in 2020. However, Loft has learned valuable lessons from the transition, including:

  • Remote hiring can cut costs and streamline processes by eliminating the need to fly candidates in from outside of Brazil
  •  Live developer environments make assessment experiences smoother and more valuable for hiring managers
  • Having a library of standardized and heavily tested technical tasks streamlines the hard-skills assessment process, eliminating the need for engineers to craft custom tests for each new role

The need for more evidence-based hiring

Over the coming months and years, André expects an even greater push toward remote hiring. We may be a long way from completely replacing in-person hiring processes, but more and more tech functions will shift off-site and hiring managers will need to find ways of evaluating soft skills to find the best fitting candidates.

This leads to what André sees as a key trend in tech hiring—the need for more data and evidence-based decision-making. As a company like Loft scales, there’s ever-increasing demand to gather more data about a candidate before a decision is made.

Above all, André highlights the need for candidates to “be honest” and “to ask a lot of questions and focus on adapting to new demands.” Hiring processes that can uncover candidates who offer these traits will help tech companies win in the long run.

Wrap up

Tech hiring is no longer necessarily about language specialization. Rather, rapidly scaling companies like Loft need better ways of finding candidates with strong coding foundations who are also capable of learning new skills and adapting as product roadmaps evolve. Remote-first hiring tools and processes can give your team what it needs to discover these engineers.

Gina Bradley is Customer Success Manager at Codility.

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