While the pool of developers and computer programmers has overflowed with options in the last 5 years, the ubiquity of the trade has resulted in an overwhelming and somewhat chaotic range of backgrounds, education systems and competence levels. This range has arguably made it even more difficult to pick out the good ones; sure you’re a developer, but are you a fundamentally good one? Ideally, as part of your hiring process, you can answer that question with some reasonably quantifiable confidence before you burn the time and money required of live interviews.
As more and more companies do away with ambiguous, archaic preliminary probes like cover letters, more and more leaders in the recruitment space are leaning towards the practical and the applicable. In his book, Work Rules!, Laszlo Bock, SVP of People Operations at Google, describes his company’s endorsement and reliance on “Work Sample Tests” rather than unstructured dialogue and embellished résumé bullet points.
While Google implements work sample tests during live structured interviews, when it comes to mid-to-high level programmers, there is no reason why you shouldn’t explore a process that applies practical, quantifiable testing to help you decide who you want to even invite for an interview. Tests4Geeks is a dead-simple but highly effective platform that allows you to do just that.
Tests4Geeks is a platform that facilitates easy administration of online tests to programming job applicants, ultimately determining their skill and knowledge levels early on in the recruitment process. The tests are entirely designed to uncover fundamental, fingers-on-keyboards skills. In short, you sign up for an account, you pick a test, you send the interview candidate a link to the online test, they complete the test, and then you get a report summarizing their results, their score out of 100, and a recommendation as to whether or not you should consider them for a development position.
As determined by research performed by the Tests4Geeks team, the tests for each individual topic range between about 20 and 30 questions–like the Java Programming Test or the C++ Programming Test—while some tests combine multiple areas. Depending on the number of areas covered, tests can require between 15 minutes and 2 hours to complete.
From the administrator’s perspective, sending out, managing and reviewing the tests couldn’t be easier.
First, you just select a test that you’d like to send out to one or more individuals:
You’ll note (in the red box above) that you also have the option to set a permanent link for any test so that it can be automatically incorporated as a fixed/required step in any or every online and offline application process you already have.
Once the test link has been generated, you simply copy and paste it into your preferred communication channel, send it along to the applicant and wait for the results. Once an applicant completes a test, the system immediately generates a summary report. The results could be good…
Or they could be not so good…
You also have the option to have the results emailed to you with a PDF version of the report included as an attachment:
At any time, you can go into your My Tests interface to review statuses, download reports, and kick off new tests:
Could someone cheat? Ya, they could try—after all, it is a remotely administered examination. That being said, there are safeguards. First, the default URLs generated for the candidates are totally anonymous and straight-up jibberish (e.g., http://dfb34.com/start/dfgdf4df). So even if they wanted to “prep” for the test, they wouldn’t know where to look.
On top of that, the system is actually designed to catch people if they try to snap a screenshot. If they’re nabbed three times, they’re kicked out of the test and the administrator is provided a note of which candidates committed “Fraud”:
As far as branding goes, as we mentioned above, Tests4Geeks always generates an “anonymous” URL for the tests. But if you bump up to their Unlimited Tests package, you have the option to apply your own custom URL and company branding:
Almost as easy as the UX is the pricing model; you can purchase 3 tests at a time for about $10 per test, 10 tests at a time for a discounted rate of about $6 per test, or an unlimited number of tests (along with access to the permanent link and custom branding) for $99 for one month. If you purchase the Unlimited Testing package for 3, 6 or 12 months, you get a 40%, 50% or 58% discount respectively.
So if you’re serious about not only hiring sound developers, but optimizing your processes to save money and time—a goal rather defining of today’s dominant tech culture—you should seriously check out Tests4Geeks. Less than $100/month invested in practical screening practices could save you thousands in unnecessary interviews and botched hires. Who knows; you might even get your lunch breaks back.
This post has been sponsored by Tests4Geeks. Thank you for supporting the partners that support SnapMunk.