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June 14, 2018updated 23 Jun 2022 12:19pm

Are Resumes Still Relevant in Tech Recruitment?

Are recruiters trying to get tech talent the wrong way?

By CBR Staff Writer

A survey by HackerRank, the developer recruitment specialists, suggests that resumes may not be the most appropriate way to find the ideal candidate.  

What are the Findings? 

HackerRank’s extensive “2018 Tech Recruiting Report“, based on a poll of almost 1,000 technical recruiters and hiring managers found that “Tech recruiters and hiring managers are outgrowing resume-based hiring”.

The HackerRank report states: “Tech hiring managers and recruiters are… looking to indicators that demonstrate ability, such as previous work experience, years of experience, and personal projects”

“While these qualifications aren’t perfect, they’re actually closer to the heart of what makes a good programmer: skill”. 

What Does this Mean for Developers?  

The developer community is a multi-tiered one, as shown in the 2018 Stack Overflow developer survey, but also one that’s heavy on new entrants. To further illustrate this, nearly 10 percent of surveyed professional developers have 0-2 years of experience, whereas only 5.6 percent of such developers have 18-20 years of experience.  

Given that the internet is still relatively new (established in the 90’s) and that various technologies such as single-page application frameworks are only a few years old, developers with varied years of experience may actually have the same amount of experience in particular technologies.

Recruiting developers based on contextualised career experience such as personal projects and exposure to particular technologies may help firms to find more suitable candidates than primarily relying on resumes.

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As the report states: “resume-bolstering factors, like degree, prestige, and skill keywords aren’t good measurements of whether someone will be successful on the job”. 

Personal Projects more Important than a Relevant Degree 

The report also found that personal projects were more important qualifiers for candidates than having a Computer Science or other relevant degree.

This illustrates the importance of open source software, which allows developers to prove their expertise through creating their own applications and in some cases open sourcing such projects on platforms such as GitHub.

Programming and the Traditional CV: A Poor Fit

According to the report, programming is not conducive to traditional resumes: “Consider that over 70 percent of developers are at least partially self-taught, according to the 2018 Developer Skills Report. If you’re vetting candidates by CS degree, you’re missing out on millions of skilled candidates”. 

As for tech companies struggling to attract talent? Work on your branding! As the report emphasises, in the hyper competitive developer market, building a strong tech talent brand is an underrated strategy to garner more self-selected candidates into your talent funnel.

“This entails building public-facing assets, like engineering blogs, securing conference speaking opportunities, and creating a local community around the product you’re building… Strong tech talent branding is a long-term investment. The stronger the brand, the more organic applicants you get, and the easier it is to attract talent in the future.”

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