Coding Assessment Tools: How to Find Best-Fit Coding Talent

The pace of digital transformation isn’t slowing down, and that means coding skills are in increasingly high demand. You need the best programmers and software engineers to round out your engineering team. But identifying that talent can be challenging, and that’s where coding skills assessment tests can help.

Coding assessment tools make it easy for recruiters at your company to spot high-caliber coding talent. Using a variety of code screening and programming tests, you can see the candidates for your technical team in action before extending a job offer, allowing you to move quickly to hire the right candidates for your needs.

Here’s how you can use coding assessments to find the best candidates for coding positions in your company.

What Are Coding Assessment Tools?

Coding assessment tools are a series of customizable assessments that reveal insights into a candidate’s programming skills and abilities. Employers can incorporate coding tests across the hiring process to identify top performers for programming roles.

Coding tests range from asynchronous take-home projects that candidates can fulfill on their own time to real-time tests embedded in the technical interview process.

Why Are Coding Skills Assessments Important When Hiring Tech Talent?

Resumes and diplomas aren’t the only indicators of coding talent. In fact, they may not even be the best indicators of tech talent. Programming languages are evolving every day, but resumes and certifications are static. For the best results, you need a more dynamic predictor of performance.

To really understand what a candidate is capable of, you need to see them in action. Watching a candidate at work provides a more nuanced understanding of what they can do and the value they might bring to your team.

What Do Coding Assessments Measure?

Coding tests assess candidates for the skills they’ll need to excel on the job. These assessments can be customized to measure skills specific to roles in software programming and development, database programming, data science and more.

Here’s how coding assessment software can help you find the talent you need.

Pinpoint Your Programming Talent Needs

Before evaluating candidates, your recruiters, hiring managers and other process stakeholders need to be aligned on what you’re assessing candidates for. What qualities are most important for the specific role you’re looking to fill?

Rank differentiating factors, such as the ability to write logically correct code or algorithmic efficiency, by their order of importance. Beyond technical skills, you need candidates with the right competencies and personality traits to navigate the specific complexities of each role. If you’re hiring someone for a pair programming role, for example, you need to assess their ability to work in a collaborative environment.

Your coding assessment software should help you prioritize your needs and suggest the best tests for assessing those factors. A coding interview, for example, requires candidates to solve problems in real time, offering a glimpse into both their technical skills and work habits.

Adopt AI to Interpret Test Results

Coding assessments produce a lot of data on each candidate, which can become overwhelming if you’re evaluating several candidates. Use your assessment software to organize the data in a way that makes sense to hiring managers and other stakeholders.

Your coding assessment tools should include a results report and a dashboard where you can analyze the data. Apply artificial intelligence to compare candidates based on set parameters. Rank candidates at each stage to find the best contenders to move further down the hiring funnel.

When to Use a Coding Skills Assessment Test

To get a complete picture of a candidate’s technical abilities, you need to administer a variety of coding tests across the hiring process — and even into the employee life cycle.

Attract and Engage Candidates With Coding Contests

Use coding contests at the beginning of the recruitment process to attract top candidates to join your talent pool. Candidates enjoy the challenge of coding contests and the opportunity to showcase their skills and abilities. Your organization benefits by building a list of pre-screened candidates to nurture.

Many companies rely on externally hosted “hackathons,” or competitive coding events, to identify high-potential candidates. However, finding talent at events hosted by other organizations is extremely competitive. By hosting your own coding contests, you can attract talent to your specific brand.

You can customize coding contests using different criteria. Because coding contests are typically deployed to engage candidates at the attraction stage, you gain more value from setting broader criteria to appeal to a larger talent pool. Visually, you can tailor your coding contest landing page to keep your company branding front and center.

Evaluate Skills In Real Time During Coding Interviews

At the interview stage, hiring managers can use coding assessments to see candidates at work. Live coding assessments embedded in a digital interview will provide a snapshot of each candidate’s abilities.
Real-time code sharing allows interviewers to see what the candidate is doing and how they react to specific challenges. If you’re hiring for a position that’s routinely under a time crunch, then you need to learn how candidates work under pressure.

Coding interviews also offer candidates a glimpse into the type of projects they might be working on in the role. At this point, interview candidates may self-select out of the process if the work doesn’t seem like a good match for their interests and skills, saving you from making the wrong hiring decision.

With Aon’s coding interview software, you can trigger custom coding questions during the interview, which provides an interactive experience for the candidate.

Interviewers can rate candidates and share their ratings with fellow decision makers. Each stakeholder can receive a report following the interview to help them make the most objective decision.

Assess Final-Stage Candidates Through Coding Simulations

Coding simulations replicate real conditions candidates will face as employees. These assessments are more intense than coding contests or interviews. This time spent coding will emphasize skills that candidates would need to use to accomplish daily tasks.

Set up coding simulations that are customized to mimic scenarios actually occurring in your business. Select from a variety of coding languages and complexity levels, depending on how advanced the role is. Aon’s coding simulations support 30-plus programming languages and five complexity levels so you can gather comprehensive data for any role.

Identify Opportunities for Upskilling Post-Hire

The benefits of coding assessment tests aren’t limited to the recruitment process. Aon’s coding assessment software provides training-impact analysis and talent-gap reports so you can keep tabs on the programming skills present in your workforce.

Implementing periodic coding assessments for existing employees allows you to identify opportunities for upskilling and measure the effectiveness of training programs.

Improve Processes for Hiring Tech Talent

Your need for coding and programming talent will only grow. You need to develop and refine hiring processes to help you make the best decisions — every time.

Attract More Diverse Tech Talent

Open coding contests can expand your talent pool, and they can also help identify candidates you might otherwise have screened out. A self-taught candidate may not have a degree, for example, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t qualified to fill the role. But if you screen those candidates out for not having a degree, you won’t get the chance to see their skills in action.

Coding contests allow you to engage with a larger, more diverse talent pool. Take steps to nurture the relationships you build with candidates through coding activities.

Enhance the Candidate Experience

Implementing coding tests in the hiring process supports a better candidate experience.

When you embed coding skills assessment tests into your hiring process, you can clearly see that you’re basing your decision on job-related criteria. When assessments are clearly job-relevant, candidates are more likely to perceive your decision as fair, improving their overall perception of the process.

That’s good for your brand: Candidates who have a positive experience are more likely to reapply in the future and to pass their good impressions on to friends and family. In a tight talent market, organic brand promotion can have a significant effect on your ability to attract top talent.

Improve Hiring Metrics

Coding skills tests provide several tangible benefits to support your talent strategy.

Coding assessment tools reduce time to hire by quickly and clearly demonstrating which candidates have the most potential. Because a reduction in time to hire minimizes the resources spent on hiring, coding assessments can save your business money.

In addition to cutting costs, coding assessment also improves talent pipelines. Coding challenges and other assessments differentiate your employer brand and increase the odds that candidates will share their experiences, thus improving your reach.

Coding Assessment Tools Lead to Better Hiring Decisions

You need the best programming talent to improve your products and deliver enhanced services to clients. Coding skills assessment tests make it easy to see which candidates are the best fit for your programming team.

Take your company's programming capabilities to the next level, and let our coding assessments tools support better talent decisions.

Aon | Assessment Solutions

Aon's assessment solutions provides clients with powerful tools and insights to help them make better talent decisions at every stage of the employee lifecycle. This includes pre-hire assessments, identifying future leaders, screening for digital skills and agility, and AI-enabled solutions.

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