Monthly Archives: June 2018

Focus Group Discussion – Technically vetting candidates – June 2018

Hiring a new employee is not a walk in the park and making a good hire is crucial.  Training a new employee is time consuming and can be costly if your new team member doesn’t work out.  How do you make sure you’re hiring the right candidate?

I am a Technical Recruiter, BUT I can only dig so deep because I’m not an Engineer in any way, shape or form.  What I will do is ask my candidates where their proficiencies lie and also ask them to rate themselves on a scale from 1-10 (10 being they can write a book) in terms of languages, technologies and tools.  Many professionals in the tech sector will not oversell themselves and are quite honest in their self-rating.  Of course, there is the rare occasion when a candidate will rate themselves a 10 in everything.  Woah.. Hold the phone!  If that’s the case I’m definitely checking references before representing them.  That’s a bit of a red flag.

Because I can only penetrate the surface, it is up to our clients to do the heavier vetting.  Here are some methods my clients have used for technically vetting candidates:

Technical questionnaire – Pretty straight forward.  This questionnaire is sent to a candidate prior to scheduling an interview to verify candidate skill levels.

Code challenge – To complete at home.  The objective of this exercise is to see how one approaches problems and then to understand their thought process (how’s, what’s, why’s to the solution) when asked to walk through the code

Whiteboarding (Skype) – A shared page for notes and drawing.  It allows the interviewer to deliver a technical problem to someone during the meeting and the candidate is asked to solve the problem at that time in front of the “audience”.  Impromptu.  This exercise allows the employer to get a better idea of someone’s thought process while on the fly.  Yes, they’re definitely being put on the spot with this one!

Mock calls / role playing – For an end user support type of position, a role playing scenario may be used to dig deeper into a candidate’s technical skillset and shows the steps they may take prior to escalating a call or how they come to a resolution.

Job shadow – Spending a half day with a potential candidate is a good way to measure how they think about problems (questions they ask), engage with peers and suggest solutions (if asked).

Whatever method you choose (or not), cheers to continued success in finding the best fit for your team!