Take-Home Interviews: The Secret Weapon Behind Technical Skills Screening

June 23, 2022
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Technical skills screening is due for an upgrade given the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics' projection of a healthy 13% growth rate for technology jobs from 2020 to 2030. Employers need to screen, test, and hire quickly to secure top talent in a tight job market. Take-home interviews do just that. Let's take a look. 

Technical Skills Screening

Before the COVID-19 pandemic, lengthy technical interviews were accepted and even expected. But when shelter-in-place orders forced workers into their homes, online interviews became a permanent bridge to connect employers and talent. It became the norm to meet, screen, and assess candidates online who would’ve otherwise undergone a segmented hiring process. 

Take-home interviews offer interviewers the possibility of asynchronous assessment. How can this change the game for technical skills screening? By speeding up time-to-fill, reducing cost-per-hire, and improving the overall talent quality of your organization. 

#1 Accelerate Time-To-Fill

Take-home tests shorten the hiring timeline by concentrating much of the interview on the technical challenge. Instead of the candidate going through a lengthy process, the interview is condensed into one fluid flow of assessment. 

Traditional Interview: Initial call ➡ Scheduling ➡ Confirmation ➡ Technical screening call ➡ Coding Assessment ➡ Evaluation ➡ Follow-up call ➡ Final Interview

Take-Home Interview: 1 Screening Call ➡ 1 Take-Home Test ➡ 1 Final Interview

Traditional interviews for technical skills screening can extend to months as HR moves individual candidates along the hiring funnel. On the other hand, a condensed take-home interview process can be completed in less than a week, depending on the role's requirements. 

Take-home interviews facilitated through an online hiring platform can quickly narrow down a large pool of applicants thanks to automated scoring and leaderboard ranking. A shortlist of exceptional candidates with the best performances can then be moved to the final interview. With a precise technical skills screening process, interviewers can fill a job role in days with confidence. 

#2 Reduce Cost-Per-Hire

Take home interviews to reduce cost-per-hire in several ways: 

  • Less advertising costs

  • Lower recruiting agency expenses

  • Less HR time spent on assessing unfit applicants

  • Less time spent by senior tech employees on interviewing numerous applicants

  • With shorter time-to-fill, zero expenses on contracting temporary replacement

  • Less productivity loss due to a vacant job role

  • Less impact on overall company productivity as employees compensate for the vacant role

Take-home interviews also liberate HR, engineers, and senior tech staff to review candidates’ output on their own time and in more detail. This asynchronous approach to technical skills training ensures the maximum attention given to both the test and its evaluation, clarifying the hiring process from first to last. 

#3 Improve Overall Talent Profile 

Because take-home interviews emphasize performance over the academic background or a preferred personality, companies can use technical skills screening to level up their workforce’s talent profile. Senior engineers and tech personnel are also empowered to take a lead role in assessing expertise and culture fit.

Take-home interviews work best as an assessment tool when tests mimic real-world challenges instead of generic multiple choice exams. 

Interviewers can ask candidates to build job-related projects such as:

  • Front End Developer: Build a sample website to process mortgage claims
  • Software Engineer: Build an app to track system bugs
  • Data Scientist: Predict eCommerce sales using historical sales data

Interviewers can use best-in-class technical hiring platforms which offer video recording of the challenge and candidates’ explanation of their output. Senior team members can also hop into a pair programming exercise to interact with shortlisted candidates firsthand. All these capabilities give interviewers plenty of information for decision-making after only one test — making take-home interviews an attractive option for digital hiring in the tech job market today. 

In summary, take-home interviews are technical skills screening's secret weapon in the competitive tech job market. Take-home interviews speed up time-to-fill through a fluid assessment flow. It also reduces cost-per-hire by quickly identifying the right person for the job. Lastly, companies can use take-home interviews to improve their workforce's overall talent profile through consistent quality hires. 

Upgrade Your Technical Skills Screening With Filtered

Filtered takes technical skills screening to the next level with job-specific tests. Align the technical interview experience with the position you're hiring for using our comprehensive test library, including:

  • AWS
  • Angular
  • C
  • Cloud
  • HTML
  • Javascript
  • PHP
  • Python-3
  • ReactJS
  • SAS
  • VB.NET
  • and much more

Filtered enables live rooms, video recording, IDE terminals, digital whiteboard, and other features for an in-depth assessment of candidate skill and culture fit. We have helped companies hire 3x faster, spend half the time on interviews, and double their interview-to-hire ratio. 

Filtered is a leader in skill-based, data-driven recruiting technology. Our end-to-end technical hiring platform enables you to spend time reviewing only the most qualified candidates, putting skills and aptitude at the forefront of your decisions. We’ll help you automate hiring while also applying objective, data-driven techniques to consistently and confidently select the right candidates. To get started, contact our team today or register for a FREE demo.