Nowadays computer skills are increasingly in demand and thanks to technology, a lot of sourcing and recruiting is done remotely.
While this has enabled recruiters to reach entire new pools of candidates, how do you know if the person you are hiring really has the skills he or she features in their resume? In this post, we put ourselves in the shoes of a tech recruiter and how they overcome these types of challenges – enlightening any organisation today on how you can use technology and job tests to ensure a candidate’s resume matches their skills.

Technology and Recruiting

  • Video Interviews – Interviewing through video alleviates much of the time spent scheduling and meeting a candidate face to face.
  • SEO – Companies like IBM use micro websites to target keywords to reach very specific job seekers. Applying SEO to job pages and career sites will allow recruiters to target specific qualifications. In most high-tech industries, tech recruiters are looking for quality over quantity.
  • Social Sourcing – LinkedIn is the biggest professional network for this. LinkedIn allows for recruiters to not only find candidates via profiles, but in targeted groups, discussions and more. Actively connect with technical talent via knowledge-sharing websites and industry-specific message boards. Other than LinkedIn, you can use various social media avenues like Facebook, Graph Search, GitHub and Google+ to reach out to the greater technical community.

Applicant Testing

Testing candidates on the skills they say they have is one way of testing the validity of their resume. It’s also important to know that they have the desired skills of the job they are applying for.

  • Psychometric testing: the process of putting numbers to psychological data to measure aptitudes, abilities and personalities. This test is widely used in the corporate world, from graduate level to management. It is more effective when used as one part of a selection process, backed up by other tools such as interviews and role plays.
  • Test-based credentials/Completion of certificates: great for programming and highly technical skills. If your candidate already has certificate of proof of skills in certain areas e.g Perl, PHP, SQL, etc. Freelance sites such as oDesk, offer users Expert Ratings this for free or at nominal fee, as a means to benchmark their skills. Some resumes already include these, but you can also use them to test your candidate’s skills.
  • Smarterer: Relatively new to the field of online testing and credentialing, it uses crowdsourced questions that are then reviewed by the Smarterer team. Adaptive testing techniques allow them to accurate assess one’s abilities in 10 questions or less than a few minutes. As one of the co-founders explained, “we’re out to fix the ‘skills’ box on everyone’s resume…it’s the most important resume element, but what does it mean when you say you’re ‘proficient’ at Excel?”. Tests take no longer than a couple of minutes and cheating is difficult as there is a 20-second timer on each question. Employers can create their own tests – perfect for trying to test specific skills and knowledge.
  • Set your own testing challenge: especially for recruiting programmers, set a challenge using a common problem or recurring issue to test how your candidate would handle it.

What would we do?

Head of Tech recruitment at Curran Daly & Associates, Carla Batan shares some of her experiences validating what tech candidates have put in their resumes:

  • Utilise websites to relevant certifications – “I check online to validate if a candidate’s certification is still active or expired or if they are due for renewal. Some are visible online, some are not, so in case they’re not, I make sure to document their responses”
  • Document everything – “This is to make sure everything aligns…what one person may have said to me or another person in the recruiting process…to make sure facts and comments are consistent. In saying this, I also make sure to make candidates aware that their responses have to be accurate and factual.”

Once screening is complete and all ‘connects’, candidates are then able to get recommendation from Carla to process.

Other things one can do

As a technical recruiter, it doesn’t mean all candidates will be sourced from online – like any recruiter you should also:

  • Network – Both on and off-line. Meet up with various local community leaders and attend local technology meet-ups.
  • University – Work directly with professors to develop partnerships with departments, student organisations and alumni networks.

How do you screen resumes for technical positions?

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