Why Hiring is So Hard in Tech - Deepstash

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Recruiting Costs

Attracting direct referrals to save on costs:  

  • Maintain a company tech blog 
  • Encourage employees to speak at events 
  • Encourage employees to be active at meetups 
  • Set aside time every week to contribute to the open source community.

As recruiters charge 20% — 25% of the recruit’s annual salary, startups quickly hire in-house recruiters in an effort to save money.


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These don’t work:

  • Puzzles and riddles
  • Whiteboard code tests
  • Big O notation quizzes
  • Detailed quizzes about the mystery corners of the language


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How do you identify good coders?

How do you identify good coders?


  • Look at their portfolio and accomplishments
  • Look at their GitHub profile
  • Look at their StackOverflow profile
  • Glance at their resume (distant last place)


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Resume Assessment

Resume Assessment

Great candidates:

  • Show, don’t tell
  • Stress accomplishments & products over buzzwords
  • Link toGitHub profile URL for sample code
  • Link to portfolios or apps they contributed to
  • Link toStackOverflow profile URL
  • Link to Conference talks, blogs, or publications
  • Designers link to Behance or Dribbble profiles


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The Compensation Race

The Compensation Race

Due to talent shortage, tech salaries have grown quickly. Great for coders, but for startups, this cuts both ways. To attract new talent, we pay more money, but the growing trend in salary increases means that it’s easy for your competition to poach your best talent — just wait a year for the market to change enough & make an offer too good to refuse.


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What Works

  • Pair program with candidate on an actual issue from your ticket queue (let the candidate drive)
  • Code samples / OSS contributions
  • PAID Sample project assignment (err on the side of paying fairly — say $100+/hour for estimated completion time — if the problem should require 2 hours to complete, offer $200)
  • Review past work / portfolio


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The Real Problems Of Hiring

Startups are miserable at interviewing candidates. To assess skills, founders rely on their existing engineers, but most engineers are terrible at interviewing candidates.

Instead of assessing a candidate’s abilities, engineers often pick stock puzzles (puzzle performance has zero correlation with job performance), whiteboard coding demonstrations (nobody codes on a whiteboard on the job)


38 reads

Accessing The Resume

The best resumes are just a way to aggregate an overview and evidence of things the candidate actually produced.

Great candidates highlight accomplishments & products they built. Mediocre candidates list a bunch of skill buzzwords with no supporting evidence.


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You May Skip these candidates

  • Stress skill buzzwords over accomplishments and evidence
  • No portfolio URL, blog links, or links to products they contributed to
  • Don’t provide details of accomplishments and problems solved in previous jobs.


45 reads



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