Enticing Elite Developers to Show Off Their Skills
The peer-partnering scenario assumes that the developer candidate is already engaged in the hiring and screening process, Ravisankar says. HackerRank was born to address a problem he saw all too often when hiring developers for Amazon — how to automate and accelerate the skills screening process even before the interview process begins, and to identify and attract elite developers before they even know they want to work for a company, he says.
In his role at Amazon, Ravisankar says he'd spend hours conducting phone interviews — many of them cold-calls — only to discover that approximately seven out of 10 potential candidates' skills just didn't match up with organizational needs.
What Ravisankar says he needed was a way to get talented, elite developers interested in companies voluntarily and give them a medium to showcase their skills before the hiring process began.
"I wanted to find a way to develop interest and engagement with companies and to build a meritocratic recruiting process. But the differentiator is that the choice would be theirs because they enjoy coding and want to prove they're the best of the best," Ravisankar says.
HackerRank works with hiring companies to develop and advertise coding challenges and attract developers to solve these coding problems. In return, programmers can indicate whether or not they'd be open to recruitment opportunities with the hiring companies, says Ravisankar.
While HackerRank isn't officially a candidate sourcing tool, Ravisankar says companies are effectively using the platform to attract high-caliber developers and programmers that are actively engaged with the developer community and who want to work for their company, he says.
Challenging for Developers, Effective for Hiring Manages
"There are many developer communities around that offer these kinds of challenges — like GitHub, StackOverflow, and others," Ravisankar says. "Our differentiator is that we offer the opportunity for a 'Phase 2' that could lead to these developers being hired," he says.
To that end, HackerRank offers tools for hiring companies to design and developer coding challenges specific to their domain expertise. For instance, a major online payments company might develop a challenge that could test applicants' skills and knowledge as it related to finance, security and compliance. Or, he says, a security firm might want to post a challenge relating to intrusion prevention or intrusion detection to ensure potential hires were well-versed in security.
"Every feature, every challenge that goes on the site is thoroughly vetted, too," says Ravisankar. "This ensures that programmers enjoy what they're doing and that the challenges will represent the level of skills, knowledge and expertise needed to work at the hiring company," he says.