A few days ago, Indeed released the results of its recent survey of over 1,000 tech hiring managers and recruiters. Their findings mirror what we hear at Andela: Finding the right talent is a major challenge for tech companies, as a whopping 83% of hiring managers cite the technical talent shortage as detrimental to the success of their business. Here are the key takeaways from the survey:
It’s hard to find good tech talent. 86% of respondents say it’s challenging to find and hire the best technical talent — and 53% have hired candidates who don’t meet requirements out of the need to fill roles. With five open jobs for every U.S. programmer, it’s no surprise that hiring managers are feeling the shortage of available developer talent.
At Andela, our partner companies are overcoming this shortage by leveraging distributed teams. As a result, they’re able to scale quickly, accelerate their product roadmaps, and let their engineers focus on the most impactful tasks at hand.
Pedigree is important. 77% of respondents say work experience is the most important qualification, while 56% say a computer science degree is important. Nearly a quarter (24%) say an Ivy League degree is very important when evaluating technical talent. As Indeed notes, “Another factor hindering tech recruitment is the narrow definition of ‘high-quality candidate.'” We agree.
While it’s obviously critical to find developers who are competent with your tech stack, there’s a danger in overvaluing experience. Programming languages are changing all the time, so even developers with great backgrounds will need the ability to adapt — and the intrinsic motivation to continue learning.
Code challenges are essential. 92% say performance on a code challenge is important when evaluating technical talent. At Andela, we see the value of a live coding assessment, but we take a slightly different approach. A typical coding challenge is great at weeding out underperformers — but you also run the risk of cutting a poor test-taker who’d make a great team member. Instead of having the developer write a piece of code from scratch, we use a coding evaluation that includes identifying issues with an existing snippet of code, debugging it, and implementing new features.
It’s not just about hard skills. 58% say soft skills are an important qualification when evaluating technical talent. We agree. When recruiting Andela developers, we evaluate them not just on technical skill, but on their ability to think critically, ask the right questions, manage stakeholders and their expectations, and seek and incorporate feedback. Taking a holistic approach to tech hiring will help engineering managers build out teams of true problem-solvers — not just coders.
But taking a holistic approach means more than just considering soft skills: It also means expanding your search for developers beyond your zip code. As you’re probably already aware, the world is moving toward a distributed team model. The good news is that technology is making it easier than ever for teams to collaborate, whether they’re in the same room or scattered across the globe. By simply looking beyond your backyard, you’ll gain access to a world of top talent — and have a leg up on that 83%.