Launch Pad Blog


Engineer Survey - Slides & Takeaways

by Jane Buescher | Wednesday, December 5th, 2012

On December 5, RockIT held an event centered around the interviewing and hiring processes at startups. We kicked things off by sharing some results and insights of a recent survey we conducted of more than 100 engineers (primarily in the Bay Area). We asked engineers a variety of questions regarding:

- Number of interviews, types of interviews (such as coding challenges), and length of the process

- Who engineers want to meet, why they would drop out of a process, and what info they wish they had more of after the interviews

- Questions around feedback and offers

The below slides and takeaways give a synopsis of the survey and results. 




Key takeaways from the survey:

1. Only 2% say the resume is the tool that best demonstrates their skills; 11% would drop out if they had to create a resume

-Online presence such as Linkedin, Github, etc. is the new "resume"

2. 23% believe the take-home coding challenge best demonstrates their skills, but you could lose a quarter of your potential candidates by having this step in your process

 -Be flexible with your process! If an engineer has a great profile, move straight to an onsite interview

-Poorly designed coding challenges and rigid processes stop a significant % of engineers from applying

3. 91% of engineers want to meet their peers during the interview process; only 37% want to meet the CEO

-In line with a common request we hear from candidates: they want to work with smart teammates!

-Lower than expected % asked to meet CEO, but the CEO can convey your company culture and can sell your company brand - this is key

4. 79% of respondents expect the interview process to take 1-3 weeks from resume submission to offer accepted

-47% would drop out of an interview process they had started if it took too long

-65% would drop out if they received another offer (which often happens if your process takes too long...)

5. 78% want feedback within 48 hours at each stage of the interview process

-RockIT's successful placements average a 3-step process, as pictured in the slides, and  have averaged 22 days from submission to hire (19 days excluding 1 outlier)

-Breaking down the interview process into typical stages we see, you have the following:

Resume --> Phone Interview --> Coding Challenge (take-home/onsite) --> Onsite Interview --> Offer --> Hire

-You MUST get feedback out in less than 48 hours to complete these 6 steps in under 3 weeks, or lose a majority of candidates mid-process. Bottom line, get feedback out quickly to eliminate dropouts

6. In addition to the candidates who would drop out due to length of process or other offers, 81% would drop out if they were uninterested in the company/product

-Market effectively from the beginning to the end of the process, from job description to close

7. We asked which would give respondents a bad impression of a company: rescheduling interviews? vague or no feedback? being asked the same questions by multiple interviewers? HR interviews? exploding offers?

-Each of these choices give a bad impression to 1/3 of candidates, but...

-76% said vague or no feedback would give a bad impression; give feedback, even if it is a no, or your brand suffers

8. After completing the interview process, 53% of respondents said they typically wish they had more info on company culture, 44% said they wish they had more info about the role, and 36% about salary and benefits

-Taking a new job offer is a big decision - speed is important, but don't gloss over the details!

9. Making the offer more attractive:

-More money - if an engineer tells you his or her "bottom line", and you give exactly that, it doesn't make them feel special; if that is the most you can give, acknowledge that and make up for it in other ways

-Personalize it - get creative! Some suggestions were 1 week of paid transition time and taking the candidate's existing bonus structure, vacations, and stocks into account so he or she doesn't have to start over at your company

-Culture - introduce candidates to peers, present exciting engineering problems to solve, trips to industry conferences