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Tatiana Terelhina began interviewing developers in 2006. Today, she leads the entire recruitment process at Soshace, looking for tech-savvy candidates with solid experience in React, Angular, Node.js, Django, and Laravel with a focus on improving candidate experience.
“We strive to become better and better at evaluating candidates with less effort from each side. We want to make the interview process shorter and more transparent, and help more and more candidates to find remote work they’ll love.”
Tatiana has led massive changes to Soshace’s recruitment process in an effort to improve candidate experience. She’s done this by making the interview process more informative and less time-consuming for candidates.
500+ developer interviews later, she shares her advice first hand.
Putting your best foot forward
Streamlined interviews send a good signal to candidates by building positive employer branding. Since over 75% of job seekers aren’t searching for a specific employer, imprinting a strong brand during the recruitment process helps companies stand out from the pack.
In addition, accurate job descriptions are a must – studies recommend the Needs-Supplies approach, which emphasizes what companies can do for their applicants. “This minimizes any disparities between the developer’s expectations and company’s requirements, while still attracting the best candidates,” says Tatiana.
“It’s important to offer meaningful projects featuring modern technologies.”
To get the attention of strong candidates, you need to understand what matters to them most. Some devs want to work on an AI project, others want to make the backend for an online shop. It’s important to know what sort of engineers you need, and be honest about what’s on offer. Many engineering teams still need developers who will be OK doing tasks that require working with legacy code or heavy debugging.
Candidate experience drives change
Being open to change and innovation is a must. These days, candidate experience is the next frontier. In a competitive job market, bad experiences cause candidates to leave the interview process and then poison the well by leaving negative reviews on hiring sites – and the number one reason candidates leave recruitment processes early? Overly long and complex interview processes.
In the past, Tatiana would have 20-hour pre-employment screening tasks for candidates, and it would sometimes take a whole week for a candidate to complete the test. After a significant proportion of candidates refused to take the programming test, Tatiana needed to change. They reduced the test to 1-hour — a change that remains today.
Sometimes change comes in the form of totally new solutions. A recent LinkedIn report found that new tools and technologies were the number one way that most recruiting professionals agreed would improve performance over the next 5 years. Soshace embraces tools that help to schedule calls, conduct interviews online, and evaluate the technical capability of candidates.
“Let’s be honest – the experience and personality of the interviewer, let alone their current mood, can influence the outcome of the recruitment process. If we are able to get objective insights, it makes a difference. The recruitment team is not limited to only the opinion of interviewers, and the scalability of the recruitment process becomes easier.”
Hiring in 3-steps
As a best practice, the company follows a 3-step recruitment process consisting of an introductory meeting with a recruiter, an online programming test, and a technical interview. What stands out about this recruitment process is that candidates can choose whether they want to start with an online programming test or an interview with a recruiter before the technical interview.
During the interview, the candidate will be asked about their experience, and to discuss recent projects that they’ve worked on. Tatiana dedicates this time to answer all of the candidate’s questions, and to describe the role and next steps in detail. The online programming test consists of open questions to show the developer’s technology experience. The third step is the final technical interview where the developer is given two coding tasks to complete live
There will be continued emphasis on Agile and Scrum methodologies and everything they represent: openness to collaborate, to share ideas, and to maintain a mature dialogue about the tasks at hand. Developers are smart and innovative people who take pride in solving super complicated tasks, but communication skills and willingness to find mutually beneficial outcomes will continue to be must have qualities in great technical hires.
“With each coming year, more and more people are exploring remote work.”
Remote work is super appealing to many developers so they can choose where they work and avoid a costly commute. Although remote work doesn’t suit everyone, the number of companies and teams that will transition to remote work long-term will grow. The demand for freelancers who can jump in to help on vital stages of a project will continue to grow – and more companies will consider on-demand developers.
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