How to recruit in IT – skill assessment

  • Scope:
  • Culture and People
Live programming

Skill assessment during recruitment process can be challenging. You want to gather as much information as possible so you and your candidate can both decide whether it’s a match. There are many dimensions to evaluate besides raw technical knowledge. Other important factors are communication skills, ability to learn fast, problem solving skills etc. During first interview at Tooploox we manage to get some basic info about candidates. We can filter out people with definitely insufficient skillset, as well as the ones that significantly lack soft skills, or can’t speak English. However,it’s still only a general impression and there is a need to review candidates’ expertise in detail. Therefore, we have come up with different types of test tasks which help both sides in getting all information necessary to make a good hiring decision.

Live Programming

This is the most popular method of skills assessment at Tooploox. Candidates come to our office (or dial in on Google Hangouts) to solve a task under supervision of one of our Devs. We ask them to bring their own equipment in order to reduce stress related to different hardware setup. Also one of our developers is present in the room to ask and answer questions.

Why Use It?

  • It’s a great way to verify problem solving skills because you can observe every step of the process.
  • This is also beneficial to candidates. Even if they don’t complete their task, or it doesn’t work as intended, he/she can still impress us with the approach or method.
  • It tests real knowledge. speed of work and communication skills. You can ask some questions to see if he/she can clearly explain their solution, or see if they ask questions when they get stuck on a certain stage.
  • By devoting time and effort to this type of task, you send a clear message that you really want to get to know candidates. Candidates get to spend 2 hours with their future teammate, and teams can spend some time with candidates before hiring them.
  • Candidates prefer to take 2 hours of their time for Live programming, instead of lengthy task designed for 16 hours

Task to do at home

Sometimes live programming doesn’t’ make any sense. For example when you are looking for Marketing Specialists, Office Managers, Data Scientists or Interns who simply don’t have enough experience to perform a complicated task. For this reason we also have assignments to do at home.

Why Use It?

  • It helps you filter out candidates that are not a great fit, when you have a big number of candidates.
  • It’s a great method for recruiting interns. After they are hired, they still work on their assignment during first week at Tooploox. This helps them to get fully on board.
  • When you need to hire for other position than software developers. You can still check problem solving skills and it’s a great starting point for conversation during next recruitment stage.

Trial week

There are times when candidates lack experience in a certain area but they get along well with our teams. We value talent more than knowledge so when we have any doubts regarding technical skills we can opt to hire people for a week.

Why Use It?

  • When we already know we will get along and our only concern is if candidate will catch up quickly, trial week is the best way to check that.
  • It’s also useful to check attitude and team fit.

A well designed recruitment process should be customized for every position because different types of skills require different types of assessments. That’s why it is very useful to have a variety of tasks prepared. The process should involve the evaluation of the information we have gathered as well as candidates’ experience

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