In this series, we will focus on sharpening your skills so that you can become a better technical recruiter. It was going to be a 4 part. but we are just going to write until we have given you enough. You’ll learn tactics and strategies to apply before, during and post search to improve your results. Seriously, if you have not read part one,  part two and part three of this series, stop now and do that. This is serious, y’all. 


Evaluating Technical CandidatesThere are two reasons we don’t trust people.

  1. We don’t know them.
  2. We know them.

In tech recruiting, this plays out even more. We’ve all been there before. You know – when you’re recruiting this tech candidate you really like, only to find out they don’t actually know all those coding languages they swore they did. If you’ve been burned before, as I have, you know you can’t blindly trust candidates. You only know for sure if they can code after you see it.

Now, I get it. No one has ever said, “I love taking tech assessments.”  I hated having to ask candidates to jump through these hoops. In reality, it’s really not that big of a deal and the timider you are about asking, the less likely the candidate is to do what you need. Another reason you’re getting pushback from candidates? Trust. Before moving to this step and asking a candidate to take one of these tests, remember they have to trust you and like you.

Think about it, it is not like tech jobs are the only ones checked before starting. Pharmacy techs, data entry professionals, surgery schedulers, even executive administrators all have to take skill tests. It isn’t that anyone is accusing them of lying, we just want to showcase their skills to hiring managers proof that the candidate we select is the best candidate for our environment from a personality and skill perspective.

Once you’ve built the trust, it’s time to test – and here are five new tools I’d recommend.

1. Lytmus:

To see if a pilot knows what they are doing, they take simulation tests, right? Lytmus is a flight simulator for tech. It allows your candidates to test their code in a staging environment that mirrors your tech stack. What I like best about Lytmus is the fact that there are different levels of tests for all stages of the recruiting process.

2. CodeVue (by HireVue):

Of course, I had heard of HireVue, but CodeVue is new to me. I have not tried it myself, but apparently you can create challenges based on problems your team is actively solving and share them with potential candidates using video. The difference between this and say GitHub or StackOverflow is that you can then integrate that with HireVue’s interview platform then forward all of this to the hiring managers. Kill three birds with one stone.

3. Potknox:

The thing that stands out about Potknox is its anti-cheating capabilities. The Potknox “proctoring” mode allows you to see what is on the potential candidate’s screen while taking the test and what applications the candidate may have going on in the background. You can create your own tests, or access their robust test library.

4. HackerEarth:

HackerEarth is the best of both worlds. At first glance, I thought it was another StackOverflow wannabe. Ok, to be honest, it looked like that at second glance too. But upon further research, I realized HackerEarth does, in fact, offer something special. HackerEarth can step in and be your sourcer and actually find candidates for you.  (Say What?!?) If you hire one of these candidates, you pay a recruiting fee, it’s that simple.  The other way to utilize HackerEarth is to pay for their assessment tools from the cloud. They also have this really cool, but kinda creepy “Developer Profile” feature where they search any and all online coding the candidate may have done on GitHub or StackOverflow then mix that information with job history and education to provide a proficiency rating.

5. TrueAbility:

I almost didn’t add this one because I thought it was too similar to Lytmus, but I was wrong. After I had spoken with Marcus Robertson, the CTO, and Co-Founder of TrueAbility, I learned that the real value of TrueAbility is it’s focus on infrastructure candidates rather than developers. In other words, they test the Network Admins, DBAs, System Admins type of candidate.

Now I love HackerRank too, but I wanted to offer some new tools we have never written about before. What are you using to evaluate tech candidates?

By Jackye Clayton

Jackye is an acclaimed thought leader and inspirational speaker on recruiting and DEIB topics. She brings years of experience recruiting across a variety of industries including tech, HR, legal, and finance. In her role as VP of Talent Acquisition and DEIB, she leads all related work at Textio, provides critical expertise to customers, and serves as a leading voice in the products Textio creates for the broader ecosystem. Jackye has been named one of the 9 Powerful Women in Business You Should Know by SDHR Consulting, one of the 15 Women in HR Tech to Follow by VidCruiter, and is on the Top 100 list of Human Resources Influencers by Human Resource Executive Magazine.