March 15, 2018
Paper does more to slow the hiring process than any other element. Managers are harried to meet deadlines and ship product, but most often serve as the gate-keeper who must approve resumes for a candidate to move ahead in the hiring process.
It doesn’t matter how you qualify IT candidates, whether it is coding exercises, technical exams or a Manager or Team Lead doing a phone screen. If this step is triggered by a manager “approving” a resume, that firm is hamstrung by a 900-degree feedback loop that will unavoidably drag out the hiring process.
Indeed.com did a study in 2014 that revealed US companies burn $160 Billion a year in lost productivity due to unfilled seats. This seems incomprehensible on the surface, but easy to understand when you dig into the details. What do we mean by a 900-degree loop? The graphic at the top of this post shows the workflow, but let’s break it down:
Recruiter sends resume to manager and waits for feedback: 180 degrees Manager rejects or selects candidates to get a phone screen or technical test: 180 degrees Recruiter books candidates for technical screen/coding exercise: 180 degrees Recruiter gets interview feedback or test result and shares with manager: 90 degrees Managers forwards feedback to recruiter to reject or book on sites: 90 degrees Recruiter schedules candidate for on-site interview: 180 degrees You might ask what the alternative would be? How do you invite someone on site with proper due diligence and do it in a shorter loop? TechScreen lets a recruiter do it in three steps, just 540 degrees.
Recruiter creates Custom Interview with TechScreen, booking the stronger candidates for a coding exercise with Team Lead: 180 degrees Team Lead does coding exercise and selects worthy candidates for on-site interviews: 180 degrees Recruiter books surviving candidates for on-site interview: 180 degrees This may seem unrealistic, but it is the reason TechScreen was invented. We let recruiters select questions based on an individual requirement – either from our library or questions provided by a manager – so worthy candidates can be identified on the first phone call. That’s the key: Technical qualification happens on the first call. The recruiter is guided through grading how well a candidate knows a language, framework or protocol; a Team Lead vets their coding skills. A candidate who does well on both deserves a shot in front of a panel.
The problem with the traditional process is that a manager reads resumes to figure who is worthy for further discovery. The process is highly inefficient and it can often take days for a manager to simply review the resume and choose which candidates should move forward. When you dig into how the process gets dragged out, you would be shocked.
The model above imagines a hiring company needs to hire 200 software engineers in a year. Let’s say that the manager gets back to the recruiter in 1.5 days on average, a wildly aggressive turnaround; most recruiters would be thrilled with a 2-day turnaround. Since phone screens and hires are not a 1-to-1 proposition, let’s say 1 out of every 4 submittals gets to an on site interview.
That means a 1.5-day turnaround on 200 hires injects 10 months of calendar days into the front of the process. Four submittals to get an on-site means that an additional 3.3 years get bolted to the front end before someone gets a detailed phone screen or code test. Given that an empty seat in a software shop costs about $1,000 a day, it is easier to see how you get to $160B.
Relying on a manager reading a resume is guaranteed to bloat the process regardless of how you handle the initial technical screen. The choice is simple: Stick to a needlessly inefficient process or get candidates technically qualified on the first call without needing a manager to pick the resumes first.
Fortunately, managers reading resumes isn’t the only way to get a candidate on site.