First, yes, you can do this. Some companies aren’t aware that you can outsource technical interviews. But, with companies worldwide struggling to quickly identify and hire quality IT talent, more and more are turning to outsourcing technical interviews to ensure that candidates have the necessary skills to succeed at a given job. After all, most technical recruiters are non-technical professionals, and do not have the qualifications to ascertain technical experience accurately.
Outsourcing Technical Interviews Advantages
Here are three, plus, the bonus, advantages you get from outsourcing your technical interviews instead of performing them internally.
1. Improve Quality of Hiring
The two primary internal approaches have shortcomings that negatively impact the quality of technical interviews, and as a result, quality of hire. Outsourced technical interviews don’t have these shortcomings.
Let’s take a look at the quality issues with the two primary internal approaches.
Pre-Submittal Tech Interviews by Third Party Staffing Suppliers
The typical approach for staffing companies is the use of an internal IT consultant or employee as a technical interviewer. The consultant is paid for a short amount of time—perhaps an hour or 30 minutes of their time. In some cases, a nominal gift card is shared instead of full compensation for the tech person’s expertise. While many firms have formalized this tech interview functionally, generally this is a “do me a favor, check out this candidate” type of situation. While the consultant generally has sufficient IT knowledge, interviewers may not be a role/stack match to the job and/or technologies required, there’s no guarantee that the interview process is legally compliant, and there’s no common scoring or reporting system.
Post-Submittal Tech Interviews by Hiring Companies
The approach most often used by direct-hire companies like financial institutions is to establish a technical interview panel for each new open IT position. Most panels are composed of three technical team members who likely will work with the person once hired. While committees usually do prep, ask questions together, and vote together, the members often aren’t trained in doing technical interviews. Even if they are, there’s another major flaw: they’re making a decision about whom they want to work with. That creates bias, as people tend to want to work with people like themselves, which isn’t conducive for increasing diversity.
When you outsource technical interviews, they are performed by an external IT professional with the technical skill set required in the role, paired with an intimate understanding of how their actions impact candidate experience and interview compliance. Meanwhile, the external IT pro is only concerned with who can best do the job, instead of who might be fun to work with. The result: a proper, extensive interview is conducted, and bias is minimized.
2. Decrease Time for All Stakeholders
It’s important to get technical interviews for candidates—especially top candidates—scheduled quickly. The best technical interview solution providers, often within 24 hours, can schedule a technical interview, conduct it and provide results in the form of a detailed candidate report.
Our research shows that it often takes a week or more for recruiters to schedule interviews with internal IT consultants, which delays getting feedback on the candidate. Combine candidate expectations for hiring decisions as if it were a buying experience not a hiring process with LinkedIn’s findings of time to hire in the IT sector at 44 days and your best candidates could very well accept another offer before you have the facts needed to make a next round decision based. Especially considering that IT professionals in high demand are more apt to receive multiple job offers simultaneously, according to Paul McDonald, Senior Executive Director at Robert Half.
In short, outsourcing technical interviews helps you minimize time to fill and time to hire while ensuring new hires have technical fit—a recipe for building and maintaining a top-caliber IT department.
3. Reduce Costs Substantially
Whether you’re looking to improve client retention by delivering high-quality candidates to the hiring manager on a consistent basis or you’re fed up with recruiting metrics outside of the norm, leveraging outsourced technical interviews makes financial sense.
Internal costs for technical interviews can add up surprisingly quickly. Assuming you have a team of three IT pros interviewing three candidates at a minimal cost of $50 per hour, you’ll absorb a minimum soft-cost of $900 Here’s how the math works:
- Two hours of prep time for three IT pros, to agree on questions and format: $300
- Three one-hour technical interviews with three IT pros: $450
- One hour of deliberation with three IT pros: $150
The more growth or turnover in your department the more interviews and the costs can quickly escalate. A technical interview partner, meanwhile, conducts interviews at around one-third of the cost while reducing your company’s exposure for mistakes made by untrained interviewers.
4. Boost Revenue per Employee (BONUS Benefit)
While technological advancements continue to grow in leaps and bounds, unfortunately, IT hiring processes have not experienced optimal modernization to keep pace with hiring demands.
The result? Declining productivity due to disruptions in project timelines related to 1) reviewing embellished resumes from talent acquisition and/or staffing partners, 2) pre-screening tech skills of unvetted potential hires by phone and/or video, and 3) running technical interview panels ranging from 2 to 7 key tech pros already feeling the heat of being understaffed.
IT teams have begun to put this necessary activity into the bucket of technical debt. This kind of debt refers to sacrificing revenue facing responsibilities, employee morale, and/or quality of hire to fill an empty seat. By outsourcing the technical interview you are saving employees at your company valuable time—no more scheduling ping pong for unqualified candidates, technical panelists stay focused on critical revenue-producing projects outside of interviewing the top 3 candidates, and open IT roles close faster. Hear our executive team speak with Future of Work Influencer, Paul Estes, on his Work on Demand podcast.
Find out how much your company invests in technical interviewing.