Taking the Mystery out of Hiring Programmers


Find the best programmer you can.
Find the best programmer you can.

PHP, MySQL, HTML, CSS, JavaScript, C#, Python. If you make any sense of this then you are more aware than I am. I am not totally unaware, I realize these are computer languages, programming tools or databases, but I cannot really tell you anything beyond that. Most HR people are in the same situation me. Yet we get charged in many of our organizations with recruiting for the IT department. Due to our lack of knowledge we peruse resumes looking for acronyms given to us by the people in IT. Once we find them we run to the IT department and say “We have someone for you when can you interview?”
I don’t know about you but that scenario has not always ended well for me. The candidate comes in for an interview and what you discover is they don’t really know the things they put on their resumes. They loaded their resumes with the proper key words but don’t really have the experience needed to effectively perform the work. The hiring manager was none too happy with me for producing candidates without the relevant experience needed. I am certain this has happened to more than one of you. It is even worse if you are a recruiter for an agency. That sort of mistake can cost you an account.
A more effective way
I always figured there had to be a more effective and efficient way. I could always learn to be a programmer. Or I could hire a programmer to screen resumes and perform initial interviews. Or I could just abdicate the whole process and tell the IT department they were on their own. None of these solutions are really good ones.
One good solution I recently became aware of is offered by Tests for Geeks, an online testing service that allows you to truly test for knowledge of a particular language or proficiency before you spend anytime interviewing the candidate. It is not an abstract screening tool. It measures real, job-related, knowledge.
Their online tests measure a candidate’s skill in a wide variety of areas. You can select the tests appropriate to the requirements you need for the position for which you are recruiting. Here is a sample of the type of test that is available.
Easy and reasonable
The process is about as easy as it gets. You select a test and send the link to the candidate by email. They log-in and complete the test and when it is completed results are sent to you by email. I used to use a similar process when I used other psychometric profiles.
This process does not require the candidate to come in for an interview resulting in a time and cost savings. You don’t have to spend your time and energy finding out that the candidate is not well versed in the skills needed.
The pricing model seems to be a bargain, including the ability to try it twice for free. The biggest package allows you to customize with your logo and gives you unlimited use for less than $100 per month. It doesn’t take a lot of calculation to realize the ROI on this is nice.

This post was sponsored by Test for Geeks, but reflects my opinion of the service.


1 thought on “Taking the Mystery out of Hiring Programmers”

  1. Well-said!
    Testing–be it for a skill, psychometrics, etc.–takes on the “heavy lifting” of the interview process . . . especially in a scenario like this one! What happens when you don’t understand the skills or traits of a particular position? There’s a myriad of tools that help the hiring staff understand what they’re looking for–even if they don’t understand the language.

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