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 can’t do a proper technical evaluation.
Here are three advantages you get from outsourcing your technical interviews instead of performing them internally.
1. Improved Quality
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.
The approach typical for staffing companies is to use an internal IT consultant. Recruiters typically pay the consultant for a short amount of time—perhaps an hour. Generally, this is a “do me a favor, could you check out this candidate” type of situation. While the consultant generally has sufficient IT knowledge, interviews likely don’t have a common structure, there’s no guarantee that the interview process is legally compliant, and there’s no common scoring or reporting system.
The approach most often used by direct-hire companies like financial institutions is to establish a technical interview committee for each new open IT position. Typically, it’s composed of three IT team members who 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 your technical interviews, they are performed by an external IT pro with technical interviewing expertise who uses best practices, so candidates’ skills are appropriately compared and compliance is ensured. 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. Less Time Used
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 in 1 week or less as documented by Robert Half with Glass door’s findings of time to hire in the IT sector ranging from 12-35 days and your best candidates very well could accept another offer before you have the facts needed to make interviewing or hiring decision based on technical skills. Especially considering that IT professionals in high demand receive four to six job offers per week, according to Paul McDonald, Senior Executive Director at Robert Half.
By outsourcing the technical interview you are saving employees at your company valuable time—the HR department no longer spends time scheduling technical interviews between two to seven stakeholders, and tech professionals peers usually engaged in technical interviews stay on critical revenue-producing projects.
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. Substantially Reduced Cost
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 losing the most qualified candidates to offers from other companies, 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 the cost of $50 per hour, you see a minimum cost of $900 (even if they are on salary, there’s the added cost of lost productivity). 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, can conduct interviews at around one-third the cost while reducing your company’s exposure for mistakes made by untrained interviewers.