Best Developer Assessment Tools - June 2019
The best tech assessment tools, pricing guidelines, benefits, pitfalls, and more
If you’re looking to hire more quality software engineers faster, then you are probably researching the various coding interview platforms.
These tools allow recruiting and engineering teams to effectively screen more applicants in an unbiased way that allows for the right candidates with the right skills to get the job.
Below is our research into this space - everything you need to know before deciding on whether or not to move forward with buying a coding interview solution, along with suggested partners that we’ve personally vetted. Good luck and let us know if we’re missing anything!
We spend hundreds of hours researching the best B2B software so you don’t have to. We never take money from vendors during our research phase and rely heavily on practitioners and experts to help us recommend the right software. More than 90% of the vendors featured on our site have no commercial relationship with us. Read more
Codility is laser focused on helping the right people get the right jobs based on skills, not background. One of the things we like the most about this platform is the positive feedback around the accuracy of assessment from developers who’ve taken the tests.
Their team is very candidate focused, and even runs several initiatives to help candidates navigate their job search. Additionally, they’ve been very thoughtful about how the bias of the test creators changes the outcomes for diversity candidates.
Some of their marquee customers include Amazon, PayPal and Zalando.
Worth Checking Out: Codility has put together a comprehensive developer demographic report full of data to help you recruit engineers.
CodeSignal’s developer vetting process aspires to be as close to the real world job as possible to get to the heart of a person’s skills and aptitude. The reality is that many qualified applicants have unhelpful resumes, and aren’t good at interviewing. But, these people may be great for the job. If you want to get nerdy, CodeSignal has published several in depth papers on how their vetting algorithms work.
Worth Checking Out: CodeSignal has an automated proctoring feature that allows for scaled supervision during interviews.
Qualified was developed by the creators of CodeWars, a community where over 1 million engineers sharpen their skills. They’re focused on unit-testing and test driven development to design assessments that mirror actual programming work as much as possible. Their customers include Apple, GE and UC Berkeley.
Worth Checking Out: They’ve calculated the cost of getting a new developer into your company at $22k, an interesting analysis for any recruiter to understand.
HackerRank is definitely a leader in this market with customers like AirBnB, Dropbox, and Cisco. They have a free trial so you can get a feel for how their platform works with your hiring workflows.
Benefits of Tech Recruiting Software
There are several key advantages that talent acquisition teams can reap from using software to vet engineering candidates.
Engineer Time: First off, your engineering teams don’t have to spend nearly as much time in the earliest parts of the recruiting cycle. This means they can spend more time coding. In many cases, this increase in productivity is similar to a company hiring 10% more engineers.
Better Hires: Your engineering team is no doubt brilliant, but are they the best interviewers? How many job applicants do they unfairly disqualify in the early days simply because their specialty isn’t hiring. Unbiased coding tests allow you to better asses your top job applicants.
Candidate Experience: Because your engineering screens are now automated, you can evaluate a larger number of applicants. This allows you to give more people the opportunity to go through the screen a show their skills beyond what is on their resume.
Diversity Hiring: An engineering assessment tool evaluates skills objectively and isn’t biased by gender, ethnicity, age, nor educational pedigree. This means the people who have the skills to do the job will make it to the next phase.
More Signal: Generally speaking a resume is a poor proxy for how strong a developer is. Coding tests allow employers to expand their pipeline beyond people who simply look good on paper.
Easy to Get Started: Most of these vendors offer free trials to get started. This means you can quickly understand the workflow for a given tool, and how it can impact your overall hiring process. Our advice is to have someone from recruiting and engineering involved during any pilot or trial phase as both organizations need to buy into this initiative.
Common Pitfalls and Misconceptions about Online Coding Interviews
We strongly believe that online coding tests are a great way to streamline your engineering hiring while producing a meaningful return on investment. That said, there are several misconceptions and pitfalls that we see from the talent acquisition community that we want you to be aware of.
Screening, not interviewing: Engineer interview tools are great at screening candidates. However, they are not a replacement for the actual interview. You still need to understand how someone deals with conflict, compromise, communication, etc before hiring them. Coding tools are merely the first step.
Diversity: Make sure you understand how diversity candidates are scoring on the tests you are administering. One vendor in this space found their tests were biased against female engineers simply because no females were originally involved in writing the tests. Getting women involved in building the question set fixed this problem.
Engineer buy in: Your engineering team needs to trust in these assessments. If they don’t, this solution provides very little value as they’ll still need to spend time doing their own screens. Educating the engineering team typically happens from a leader on the recruiting side. Of course, there are hiring managers spearheading this change as well. To ensure a successful buying and implementation of the product, get engineering involved when you are demo’ing/trialing the product.
Fraud: Understand how the screening tool you’re using ensures that candidates are taking the tests themselves and not posting fraudulent scores.
Tool, not marketplace: These tools enable your recruiting to team to vet candidates more effectively. But, they are not sources of candidates like a job board would be.
Coding Interview Software Pricing
Tech recruiting platform pricing is typically based on the number of interviews you’ll be conducting on a monthly basis. We like this because the more interviews you conduct, the more value you’re going to get.
Pricing starts in the $50/mo range for companies who are just getting started with one req, and can grow into the 6 figure range pretty easily. Here is a chart to give you a general sense for coding test platform pricing:
|Company Size||Annual Cost|
|1-50||$1,000 - $4,500|
|200 - 1,000||$8,000 - $30,000||1,000 - 5,000||$30,000 - $100,000|
Please note that these are ranges and are meant to give you a general idea of how much you might pay for your organization. However, prices will vary depending on a number of factors including: the features you need, support levels, vendor you partner with, HRTech integrations, etc.