Over the past decade, we’ve witnessed a revolution in how information is accessed and consumed. From massive open online courses (MOOCs) to lectures published on YouTube.com, learning has been officially democratized.
As a result, talented individuals from across the globe are acquiring skills previously accessible only to those at expensive universities and learning institutions. Unfortunately, some firms have been slow to adapt their recruiting style to this reality, causing them to overlook an entire generation of coders.
On the other hand, a growing number of technical recruiters are embracing the skills-based movement. Unlike traditional resume-based recruiting, which is often riddled with biases and inaccurate assumptions, a skills-based approach can equalize the playing field for everyone.
Let’s take a closer look at why skills-based recruiting can be a win-win for any company hiring software engineers.
Skills vs. Fluff
Let’s face it — it’s not easy to measure an applicant’s technical competency for a skill. Sure, you have the candidate’s resume to go by, but how objective is that? To provide additional insight into the decision-making process, many companies will attempt to create their own assessments. Best intentions aside, such assessments can be difficult to administer and even more complicated to score fairly.
The ability to code is one of the areas where skill can be measured which is why skills-based recruiting is rising in popularity. Skills-based recruiting can help technical recruiters overcome resume fluff and hone in on candidates who possess the right mix of qualifications. Within the CodeFights community alone, there are more than 1 million pre-screened engineers who are actively engaged in building their skill profiles. Some skills-based platforms also offer integrated technical assessment capabilities, seeking to go beyond basic whiteboarding or algorithmic work.
Tapping into Hidden Talent
Another downside to traditional recruiting is its tendency to overlook those with nontraditional work histories. Take, for example, the stay-at-home mother who temporarily pauses her career to raise children. Although she continues to practice her skills every chance she gets, there’s little she can really do to impact her current work situation.
A skills-based model makes it possible for engineers with nontraditional work histories to knock down common employment barriers. From the employer’s standpoint, this can represent an exciting opportunity to tap into an underutilized source of talent.
“Elite” Shouldn’t Overshadow Skills
Most software engineers did not attend an elite technical university. In fact, some haven’t even earned formal degrees. Does this mean they’re unqualified by default? The sad truth is that many developers are ignored simply because they did not attend (or graduate from) an elite institution.
Skills-based recruiting overcomes this bias by starting with the developer’s technical know-how. Although educational experience may be relevant to the hiring decision, it should never overshadow a coder’s true abilities.
Empower Developers (& Your Company) with a Skills-Based Option
If you feel like you’re missing out on too many good developers, consider incorporating a skills-based option into your recruiting funnel. In doing so, you’ll add value to your company and further empower the new generation of developers.