HackerRank launches tool to measure tech talent during the hiring process

Landing a job as a software developer at a tech company can be extremely competitive. Hiring managers often have to weed through hundreds of resumes packed with technology jargon to find someone with the appropriate programming and coding skills — and even then, they may lose that candidate to a more competitive job offer at another company.

Technology company HackerRank thinks they can help employers better understand how good they are at recruiting and retaining top developers. The company recently released Tech Talent Matrix, a new addition to its developer assessment platform that uses data from multiple companies to determine how their candidates’ skills stack up against competitors.

“Coding is art [and] you want to showcase your art,” says Nicolas Draca, chief marketing officer at HackerRank.

The HackerRank platform tests a candidate’s capabilities by allowing an employer to create a series of questions on subjects like coding with programming languages SQL and Python, and other mathematical concepts. Employers use it during the interview process to examine a candidate’s skills, Draca says. Users can create their own questions or use HackerRank’s pre-loaded questions.

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To measure each company’s capabilities at recruiting software developers, HackerRank analyzes 150 million data points aggregated from the responses from each user’s test that are gathered by HackerRank’s clients. Then the Tech Talent Matrix compares the client companies to one another, says Sofus Macskassy, HackerRank’s vice president of data science.

“We power about one assessment every 8 seconds,” he says. “It puts us in a position to have a large data set.”

Then HackerRank scores each company based on the quality of the assessment and the candidate’s responses. From there, HR executives and other senior executives can see how they stack up against peers that are also using the platform. But they aren’t able to see exactly who those competitors are, HackerRank says, so users are only able to obtain a general sense of where they fall.

HackerRank currently has more than 1,000 employer clients, including Adobe, Dell, Goldman Sachs and indoor cycling company Peloton. Uber previously used the platform to assess its IT candidates but a spokesperson for HackerRank indicated that they are no longer a client. Uber did not return phone calls for this story.

HackerRank’s platform, including the Tech Talent Matrix, varies in cost depending on the number of hiring managers and recruiters that are using it. On average, the platform costs about $7,000 a year to use.

Draca and Macskassy say that the platform can be used to help companies continuously track their developer’s progress. Employers can also use the platform to assess and train current employee’s overtime as they get promoted within the company. The goal, they say, is to help companies retain top developers by recognizing their skills.

“It’s not like you use it once and you never go back to it,” Draca says. “You will know if you’ve been able to source the right people, and if you have qualified candidates coming onsite. It’s an ongoing process.”

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