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Around 65% of tech recruiters say there’s bias in the hiring process

Those responsible for recruiting developers worldwide have admitted that bias during the hiring process is an issue

A larger number of tech recruiters say there is bias involved in the recruitment of technical candidates, according to joint research by CodinGame and CoderPad.

The study found that around 65% of global professionals responsible for recruiting developers – including people such as human resources (HR) managers, IT leaders, executives and third-party recruitment specialists – believe recruitment for technical roles has issues with bias.

Frederic Desmoulins, co-founder and CEO of CodinGame, said: “Out of the developers we polled, 40% didn’t learn to code at school or university. It’s likely that if they were considered using the traditional CV, they might be overlooked, when in fact they might be the most qualified person for the role.

“Too much emphasis has been placed on the resume, and companies are slowly waking up to the limitations of basing hiring decisions around it.”

During the recruitment process, there may be several reasons companies do not see or end up hiring diverse candidates, including consistently recruiting through the same limited channels, using biased language in job adverts, failing to address cultural issues in firms, or – according to CodinGame and CoderPad – only looking at candidates with certain qualifications.

As part of CodinGame’s developer recruitment platform, it provides game-based assessment tests, while CoderPad’s software allows people to assess candidates through a digital interview, which lets people demonstrate their coding skills in real time.

The joint research looked into whether the job market is ready to move away from more traditional interviewing, and whether this might help to increase the diversity of the tech talent pool.

Around a third of those recruiting said they plan to hire more than 50 developers this year, with many also putting an emphasis on hiring outside of their normal recruitment pool to fill roles.

But there are a lot of challenges cited by those looking for tech talent, with 46.59% of recruiters listing finding qualified candidates as their biggest concern. Recruiters also claimed to struggle with choosing candidates who might be right for a job even if they have a slightly different skillset to what was asked.

To widen the scope for hiring, almost 60% of those recruiting said they were open to considering people’s skillsets rather than solely focusing on things usually found on people’s CVs, such as their academic qualifications and previous experience.

Around 40% of those asked said they already hire developers with no formal qualifications in coding, an increase on 23% in 2021.

But when it comes to entirely eliminating CVs from the recruitment process, some regions were more resistant than others, with around 40% of those asked in Europe against the idea, as opposed to 54% in South America who were keen to do so.

When it comes to attempting to increase the diversity of potential candidates, companies are implementing a number of different strategies – 42% said implementing more skills-based assessments during the interview process to assess candidates based on performance rather than their CVs could help to improve diversity in tech recruitment.

Around a third said addressing gaps in equal pay could increase diversity in the candidate pool, and measures such as making sure to source diverse candidates for interviews, implementing strict anti-harassment policies and increasing awareness about bias were also cited as steps recruiters are taking to make tech talent more diverse.

Desmoulins claimed thats a focus on skills rather than academic background is likely to be something we see more of in the future, adding: “We’re already seeing more tech recruiters widening their talent pools, hiring developers who don’t have the traditional academic background.”

Experts have claimed the need for tech talent outweighing the supply of skilled workers means employees have more power to choose what company they work for based on how well that company or role matches their own criteria.

Flexibility has become an important focus for tech employees over the past few years, as many have proven they can perform their job remotely during the pandemic, with around 37% of developers saying they now prefer to work at home a majority of the working week, 33% saying they want to work remotely full time, and only 4% claiming they would be happy to return to the office full time.

When looking for new roles, only 20% of developers asked said they would look for work in the city they currently live in, making remote working another way for companies to widen their possible recruitment pool – many of those hiring said they already offer full-time remote work, and 40% are looking globally for skilled talent.

Desmoulins said: “Recruiters are more aware than ever that they need to adapt if they are going to find and attract the most talented tech candidates. In a candidate-driven market, recruiters need to find an edge over the competition or be left behind.”

Read more about IT jobs and recruitment

  • Young people across the globe have an interest in technology careers, but a lack of training and the industry’s poor reputation for diversity are acting as deterrents.
  • IT specialists who are from under-represented groups in the UK’s technology sector are less likely to hold higher-up roles, or to be in permanent positions.

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