How to Increase Your Onsite to Hire Ratio

Learn How One Fortune 100 Engineering Team Increased its Hire Ratio by 16%

Last year, Amazon’s CTO Werner Vogels declared that the company’s developers spend an average of 30 to 40 percent of their time on evaluating talent - time that could be better spent on building and optimizing products.

Here at HackerRank, this is precisely the problem we’re solving. HackerRank is a platform that helps companies find the right developers based on skills. After screening millions of developers for over 1,000 companies thus far, we’ve found there’s a huge opportunity for companies to hire qualified developers more predictably, at a lower cost, and in less time.

In this piece, we take you through three core steps that one Fortune 100 company (whose name we had to mask) took to help its technical recruiters and hiring managers free up time and hire more predictably.

Step 1: Clarify What You Need in This Role

The most successful recruiting teams spend most of their effort well before even posting the job req online. If there’s even a slightest hesitation or confusion as to what’s required of this role, it’s next to impossible to boost your onsite-to-offer conversions.
The interview questions don’t really matter.
What matters is what you’re looking for.
— Soham Mehta, founder of Interview Kickstart
Invest in some time with your engineering manager in your first step of the process to learn the exact technical and soft skillset that’s required. It’s not enough to say that we need “3 new software engineers with strong Java skills.” Open the discussion about what’s the most important criteria? Are you looking for someone who can start solving technical problems on day one, or someone who’s intelligent and can quickly adapt to the changing nature of your team? Is your priority seniority, technical knowledge or problem solving skills?


Step 2: Work with Your Top Engineers to Set a Bar for Onsite Candidates  

After getting an understanding of what’s required for the role, most recruiters start sifting through resumes to spot keywords and screen resumes manually. The problem with this method is this creates a relatively low bar for candidates because words on a resume aren’t always the best predictor of true skill. A better way to boost the quality of your onsite interviews is to create a pre-hire skill assessment for your candidates. For instance, one engineering team at a Fortune 100 company needed to hire two data engineers who were experienced in their skillset.

The recruiting team accountable for these hires sat down with the highest performing engineers within the team to map out coding challenges (or pre-hire assessments) that they felt would be a strong indicator of the skills they need. Candidates would have to meet a pre-set threshold when taking the coding challenge to be considered for the onsite interview.

Step 3: Send Pre-Hire Coding Assessments Instead of Manual Phone Screens

Sending role-specific coding challenges to candidates is the most efficient way to predict successful talent at the first step of the screening process. It’s easy to prove with a simple test.

For example, the engineering team conducted a hiring event initiative to test the results of manual phone screens vs automatic coding assessments. It turns out, HackerRank’s coding assessments not only helped recruiters skip technical phone interviews altogether but also increased the group’s offer ratio from 9 to 25 percent:
The onsite to offer ratio jumped from 9% to 25% by switching from manual technical phone interviews to pre-hire coding challenges sent automatically. By eliminating technical phone interviews, the engineering and recruiting team freed up many hours of manual work:




HackerRank can now calibrate all future coding challenges, and ensure that candidates who pass the cutoff are automatically moved onto the onsite interview phase. This Fortune 100 company will ultimately sped up the time it takes from assessing a candidate to hiring a candidate. In addition to saving time, the team objectively determined each candidate’s skill level. The team assessed two candidates who received offers after proving that their skills were fit for roles higher than the original requirement. For instance, Level 5 Data Engineer instead of Level 4 Data Engineer.

After seeing the ROI and increase of onsite-to-offer conversions in a few engineering groups at the company using these three steps, HackerRank’s credentialing system organically spread into a total of 10 different groups within the enterprise. The company’s recruiters and hiring managers have been consistently increasing their use of HackerRank coding challenges to measure candidate skillsets. Coding challenges test for a variety of technical skills, including algorithms, data structures, problem solving, multi-threading, system administration, and system design.

To date, the HackerRank team calculates that this company has saved over 21,000 hours (and an estimated $2.16 million) in two years of partnership. The following line graph depicts the quarterly growth of the company using HackerRank: