Developers involved in hiring senior software engineers now have to conduct 26 or even 29 first-round interviews with candidates when trying to find the right person to join the team.
That’s compared to just 16 interviews in the first round in 2020 – a 63% increase in interviews between the two periods which is both good and bad news for those involved in the search for top engineering talent.
On the one hand, she notes, recruiters looking for software engineers find it easier to source talent, but on the other hand, it has created a lot of work for engineers involved in hiring: Four out of five engineers to hire said it would be easier to reach them. Hiring goal if they have more qualified people available to interview candidates – and if they don’t have to offer product features all at once.
The surge in first-round interviews is one finding of research from Karat, a technology company that provides cloud-based tech interviews to clients looking for software engineers. company Commissioned by The Harris Poll to survey 556 occupations Responsible for hiring software engineers in the US technology, manufacturing, retail, healthcare, and banking sectors.
Karat highlights the double-edged sword of having a larger pool of talents to choose from.
The report notes that the rise in first round interviews was “creating more tension in balancing the time required for the interview process and the burden it places on employees and their assigned work.”
For the senior engineers involved in hiring, additional interviews affected product coding time, drained team morale, and created more costs for the company. Three-quarters of “engineering leaders” and “talent leaders” agreed that interviewing program candidates carves out productive coding time. Half of the engineer leaders despite being interviewed were a financial drain on the company, while 66% of talent leaders thought so.
Karat speculates that the slight increase in first-round interviews was due to the widespread adoption of virtual interviews during the pandemic and the broader acceptance of remote work, which has allowed charter companies to expand their search across geographies, beyond headquarters and regional offices. The survey was conducted between February 9 and February 23, when the great resignation was in full swing and technical talent was in high demand and supply in short supply.
Karat also found that compensation for software engineers was up 15% compared to 2020. Engineering leaders also spent 48% more time preparing for interviews.
Further evidence that the skill shortage was waning is that in February, only 27% of recruiting officers found it difficult to identify potential engineering candidates versus 38% in 2020.
Karat found that half of the engineers in the survey were very confident that they would meet their employment goals in the United States and other countries in 2022. But today, with macroeconomic headwinds approaching and tech stock prices falling, the focus has shifted. Google, Facebook and others are in the midst of a hiring freeze, while dozens of start-ups are cutting staff by 10% to 20%, leaving most employees working in the tech sector Concern about job security.
How this affects the availability of top talent in the software engineering field is still unknown. For example, Facebook has stopped hiring lower-level engineers but continues to hire machine learning engineers. Google has only paused hiring for two weeks, slightly lowering its 2022 hiring targets.
On the plus side, companies still see the value of hiring developers. “In fact, there is near-consensus that a strong software engineer is worth at least twice their total compensation; more than half of engineering leaders will estimate at least three times their total compensation,” the report said.