How much money are you expecting out of the coders you interview?
I recently got asked to do an 8 hour project as a coding demonstration for a potential job. Against my better judgement, I took the time out to build and deploy their project, a very basic API built with Tornado and Elasticsearch deployed on Amazon using Chef and Fabric.
In deciding to take on the interview question, I realized I could potentially end up more financially invested in the interview process than the actual interviewing company. And things actually ended up worse than I’d anticipated:
8 hours @ $125 / hr (coding demo) = $1,000
2 hours @ $125 / hr (interviewing) = $250
TOTAL INVESTMENT: $1,250.00
1 hr @ $125 / hr (writing and posting job) = $125
1 Post on Stackoverflow = $350
2 hours of Interviewing @ $125 /hr = $250
TOTAL INVESTMENT: $725.00
This is why hiring is so broken. You’re asking me to invest $1,200 in proving to you that I’m actually capable of delivering code. I have no problem with you verifying that I can, in fact code, but don’t expect me to do it for free.
With multiple interviewees, the investment differential grows even worse. The cost of posting a job goes down, and the value of the code written by the interviewees goes up.
You can easily see $10,000 worth of wasted code time in a typical interview process, spread up amongst 10 people being interviewed under your code test.
This is the reason your company can’t find talent. Because talent isn’t willing to pay $1,200 worth of coding time to prove that they’re not full of shit.
Again, against my better judgement, I wrote the code anyways.
When I submitted my code, I was told I would receive further instructions within 24 hours from the lead programmer.
Instead, a full 2 days later, I was let know the coding position had been filled by someone who started the interview process two weeks ago. There was no dialogue with the lead developer, and no feedback on the code I had written.
At least I learned something.
If you want to interview me, you’re going to pay for my time.