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Recruiters Prioritize Developer Skills over Pedigree, Embrace Remote Hiring Tools, and Foresee High Demand for AI Specialists, According to HackerEarth Survey

New report provides recruiters and hiring managers with actionable insights for attracting and assessing developers in an economy transformed by COVID-19

HackerEarth, a leading solutions provider for developer assessments, interviews, and upskilling, today released its first-ever tech recruiter survey report titled “The State of Developer Recruitment 2020.” The report spotlights how conversations around attracting and hiring developer talent have transformed throughout this tumultuous year, and what lies ahead for the industry.

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The survey results include responses from more than 2,500 recruiters and hiring managers globally, spanning various industries such as Technology, Pharmaceutical, Retail, Automobile, Construction, Banking, Media, Finance & Insurance. The report distills these survey results and is designed to provide recruiters and hiring managers with crucial actionable insights from their peers, as well as a solid strategic overview of the swiftly-changing field of developer recruiting. 

According to the US Labor Department, about 58 million people sought unemployment benefits between April and October 2020. Before COVID-19, the record weekly claims on a non-seasonally adjusted basis was about 1 million during the 1982 recession. With mass layoffs, one would expect the talent pool to increase significantly. HackerEarth’s survey shows that while this was indeed the case for 30.7% of the respondents, the majority claimed that there had been no significant change in their talent pool. A vast number of respondents said they were not hiring. 

For tech recruiters, LinkedIn and internal referrals were the preferred talent sourcing channels. For most recruiters, regardless of company size, hackathons were a popular way to engage with developers. Interestingly, according to the survey, Diversity & Inclusion hiring was important for most recruiters.

“To say the entire field of human resources and hiring was turned upside down in 2020 due to the pandemic and issues around racial equality is an understatement,” said Sachin Gupta, CEO of HackerEarth. “In developer recruitment and hiring, we’ve seen a massive abandonment of outdated practices, the elimination of geographic boundaries when sourcing talent, and the acceleration of an ethos that prioritizes developer skills, as well as the adoption of technology that enables the most positive experience and outcomes for both hiring managers and candidates.”

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Key findings from the report include:

COVID has expedited the shift towards remote hiring tools.

  • 42% of the respondents who were not using an assessment tool before COVID have graduated to using one.
  • In India, this figure increases to 47%.
  • About 15% of the managers who do not use a tool said they would consider using a tool in the future to eliminate bias, and 9.4% said they would use one in order to customize their tech hiring.

Hiring managers have vastly different requirements when it comes to evaluating technical assessments.

  • Problem solving, and code quality are the most in-demand skills across all experience levels. 
  • Accuracy in evaluation is the most important criteria for both managers who use an assessment tool and managers who do not.
  • Saving time, eliminating bias, and improving candidate experience are the other features that managers appreciate.

Hiring managers have specific preferences for the remote interview process.

  • Most hiring managers used video conferencing tools for conducting interviews with developers in 2020. Of course, that means that they had no way to assess a candidate’s coding capabilities in real time.
  • Hiring managers also look for good communication skills, a nice temperament, and culture fit during interviews with candidates. Interestingly, despite COVID, culture fit remains a priority while hiring.
  • Managers who use a code editor believe that it enhances candidate experience, and the real-time collaboration is an added benefit in the interview.

A look ahead and just for fun…

  • When asked about the future, hiring managers said that AI (Artificial Intelligence) and ML (Machine Learning) would be the most in-demand skills.
  • When asked the ideal place to work from, people in tech hiring selected Amsterdam, with Venice and Paris coming in close. 
  • When asked the ideal ‘superhero’ coding colleague, respondents chose Iron Man over Batman, Professor Hulk, and even Forge!

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