Qualified + Your Recruitment Process

Determining Where Qualified Fits In Your Process

Qualified's coding assessments are used by companies to test candidates in a variety of ways. They’re flexible enough to test skills across the development spectrum, including their real-world programming, computer science fundamentals, and even framework experience (with pre-made assessments available for Rails, AngularJS, React and Node.js). They can also be easily used at different stages the interview process including pre-screens and in-depth assessments.

While you can administer code assessments, you can also use Interact Sessions to hold pair-programming phone screens. On these phone screens interviewers code with the candidate and talk through the candidate’s thought process. These code paring sessions can be structured off an existing code assessment, or held in a flexible white-boarded format.

Each of these approaches can go a long way in making your hiring more efficient and effective. We know that when code assessments are done right, you can maximize the impact of your hiring process at identifying the best engineering talent.

Let’s dig deeper into the variety of ways Qualified can fit into a technical hiring process and improve efficiency. We will cover:

  • Optimize your hiring flow by using pre-screens to quickly filter out poor performers.
  • Get real world examples from your candidates by using in-depth code assessments.
  • Give your development team tools for a highly effective phone screen with our remote pair-programming tool, Interact.
  • Reviewing results with candidates and using them as talking points for further follow-up

Pre-Screen Code Assessments

A pre-screen is a quick coding test you can ask candidates to take before they talk to engineers on your team. If your company is fielding a lot of inbound job applications then this is likely a bottleneck for you. Your first step towards better efficiency is filtering out candidates who can’t handle fundamental coding tasks. Ideally you want to do this without involving your technical team, as it is crucial that they stay focused on their work. You will want to involve them later only after you have found candidates who show promise.

This is a key area where Qualified’s automated coding assessments can make a huge impact. Automation allows you to qualify candidates in a consistent and reproducible manner. An assessment can test defined coding tasks in a familiar coding environment and auto-score the candidate’s solutions. It does all of this for your recruiting team without needing to include your engineers to do the scoring. This should be a key take away for improving your pre-screens. You want the process to be efficient and you don’t want to have to include your engineers, who need to stay focused on more important things.

These pre-screens can cover a variety of programming and computer-science fundamentals and often only take 20–30 minutes, a very low time investment on the candidate’s side. Though with this filter you can save your team hours of valuable product and engineering time.

In-Depth Code Assessments

Implementing pre-screens to filter out poor performing candidates will make a large impact on streamlining your hiring flow. At this point the candidate has gotten through your low-pass filter and it’s time to step it up a notch. This is where in-depth code assessments really improve your insight into a candidates technical abilities.

The assessments are designed to be taken on the candidates own time and to provide you with in-depth coverage of their skill sets. Since each candidate will be completing the same assignment, this will give you a consistent set of results to compare. Then as the candidates are programming on their own time, code playback lets you get many of the insights you would have gotten in a one-on-one session, but without requiring your team to sit through the entire interview. Furthermore, the system scores the candidates so you won’t need to worry about testing the code yourself. This allows you to filter candidates effortlessly and focus your time on how the assignment was solved. Taking it further, Qualified.io actually utilizes unit tests for automated scoring — the same tests development teams use for testing their own software. This provides a familiar process to candidates and also enables you to test TDD skills. Imagine, you can not only use tests to ensure your development team is producing quality software, you can also use it to ensure you are producing quality technical assessments.

These assessments can test a wide-range of skills and levels of experience, without being to heavy of a time burden on the candidate, and almost no time requirement from the team. These assessments typically take anywhere from 45 minutes to 2 hours, depending on depth and length the team decides upon. With the pre-made Assessments Qualified offers, we tend to keep ours in the range of 60–90 minutes, and provide 2–4 challenges to cover a range of testing.

In this way you can quickly see talent, and well before you invest your engineers time in a phone-screen, pair-programming session, or on-site interview.

Pair-Programming Interviews

Once you have pre-screened out all of the poor candidates, and honed in on the high quality candidates using an in-depth assessment, its a good time to have one of your own developers work with them. At this point you have done a great job minimizing the amount of time you need to take from your development team. Its now time to get them more hands-on with the interview process.

The process of interviewing can be incredibly time consuming, but it’s an important phase that you don’t want to shortcut on. Many companies hold technical phone screens before an on-site interview in a conversational format. These phone screens provide shallow skill insight, while a full on-site can often be very costly — costing your team precious time as well as possible travel expenses. Pair-programming during a phone screen is a great way to allow your interviewers full insight into a candidate’s coding skills without increased overhead. They are often so effective they can even replace an on-site interview when necessary.

A pair-programming interview involves one or more of your engineers meeting with a candidate in a real-time collaborative coding environment. This is where our Interact feature comes in. It allows you to remotely collaborate with candidates in real time.

This real-time collaboration offers direct insight into a candidate’s thought-process and problem-solving approach. Qualified will even record the playback of the pair-programming session so the rest of your team can review the session later. This collaborative coding also helps to test for culture-fit and soft-skills like collaborative abilities, communication and conflict. Pair-programming will provide you with a great preview of how well the candidate will integrate into your team.

The Interact feature is built on top of our normal assessments. You can simply send a candidate a new assessment, or have them open a previous one. This gives you the flexibility of introducing new code to be pair-programmed on within the hiring process, or you can instead review previous work already done within an assessment and expand upon it collaboratively.

Follow-up Interviews

Pair programming interviews are great for working through a new problem with a candidate, but another approach for maximizing Qualified within your process is to simply review an assessment with a candidate as a follow up interview. This allows you to dig deeper into their thought process and uncover additional insights and signals that tell you about the candidate.

Let's say the candidate submitted their assessment and you notice that the code is mostly quality, but there are a few minor concerns with their approach. Maybe the failed to utilize a better algorithm, or to cleanup their code so that it wasn't so verbose. By reviewing the assessment result within a follow-up interview, you can go over the code with a candidate and ask them what they might change about it. You can give them hints and see if they pick up on their mistakes, allowing you to see if they know better but missed the opportunity to do so on the original assessment, or if they really don't know a better way.

Learn more about reviewing results with candidates.

Integrating with your ATS System

Applicant Tracking Systems

Qualified has pre-built connectors for the following ATS systems:

Custom ATS Integration Options

If you are not using one of the above ATS systems, we have the following features which may allow you to integrate with your system:

Zapier ATS Connectors

While not all ATS systems have Zapier integration, some do. The following ATS systems can be supported via Zapier:

  • BreezyHR
  • BrightMove
  • Recruitee
  • Crelate
  • Smartjoboard
  • ATS Anywhere
  • Zoho Recruit
  • BrightMove

In addition, if your ATS system supports webhooks, you can utilize Zapier's webhook integration feature to further integrate with Qualified, without needing to do any actual coding.

Using multi-stage assessments to be considerate of candidate's time

Many organizations that deal with a large number of candidates will often use Qualified as a pre-screen solution, by giving out assessments at the very top of their hiring funnel. This means that candidates would be given an assessment before talking to a person on the phone. This can be an incredibly effective solution for cutting down the time and effort typically necessary for filtering out unqualified candidates. Many organizations may be tempted to even include this pre-screen as part of the application process, or automatically send it directly after receiving a job application before manually reviewing and screening resumes. Not only does this save time, but it allows you to give candidates a chance to showcase their skills, instead of just relying on their resumes.

Though this can be a massive cost and time saver for your organization's recruiting process, this approach also has the potential downside of upsetting candidates who were never a good fit. This is due to them being asked up-front to spend time taking an assessment even though they were a bad fit for the role to begin with. While you may not be hiring these candidates, upsetting them could eventually affect the reputation of your recruiting process, causing other candidates who are a good fit to avoid applying.

For this reason, we recommend that you put into place a way for candidates to self select themselves out of your hiring process, so that neither a lengthy coding assessment or a phone screen need to be performed—saving both you and the candidate a lot of time, and also protecting your company's reputation.

Fortunately, Qualified provides native workflow features to keep your hiring process candidate friendly.

Workflow Overview

Qualified offers a number of features for setting up this type of process. Here is a quick overview of how a typical workflow would work:

  1. Create an assessment to be used as a questionnaire, which will be sent to the candidate first, before the skill assessment.
  2. Create one or more Q&A challenges to be added to this assessment, which will be used for asking the candidate questions about their skills, experience, location, and other factors that would help determine if they can be ruled out as a suitable fit for the role.
  3. Setup the scoring on the assessment so that each question that is a deal breaker takes up a large amount of the score, then add up all of your deal breaker questions and determine what your minimum score should be.
  4. Setup an automated workflow based off of the score of the assessment. Anyone who scores below the minimum threshold will be given a message letting them know they don't meet the role's requirements. Anyone who scores above the threshold will be automatically invited to the actual coding assessment.

By using Qualified's powerful Q&A correctness scoring features, you will be able to score candidates in-depth, and by using automated workflows, you can prevent candidates from having to spend an hour or more taking an assessment for a job they were never going to get anyway. All the while, the whole process is automated and requires no manual work from you or your team to manually review candidates. You give candidates a way to prove their skills in a fair and unbiased format, and can give immediate feedback to candidates who are a poor fit for the role.

Additional Benefits

There are a number of benefits of using this approach, beyond just saving your candidates some time:

  • Get a better feel for which candidate sources are providing the best initial "job fit".
  • Get a better picture of how much job fit is a bottleneck, as opposed to skills.
  • Prevent staff from having to manually review resumes before sending out an assessment.

Being respectful to candidates and making your recruiting process far more efficient with your organization's time and resources... It is a win-win.

Tracking which candidate sources are the most effective

If you are looking to track the performance of candidates across different recruiting sources, you can utilize Qualified's labels feature to help achieve this.

Labels allow you to tag candidates in any way you see fit. In this case, you could add candidates to labels based off of hiring source. To achieve this, you can set the label on the invitation screen when sending out one or more invitations. You can also manually update candidates via the candidate profile screen.

Once you have your candidates assigned to different labels, you can utilize the filters within the candidates sidebar to quickly switch between different label views. Combined with the ability to sort candidates by score, you can toggle between different sources and determine which sources are resulting in the highest scoring candidates.

If you have access to our premium reporting feature, you can also utilize labels within reports to quickly determine which candidates sources are performing the best.