New research from Karat and Howard University reveals “The Interview Access Gap for Black Engineers.” Read it here.
How Karat supports leading technical recruiting processes.
Technical interviewing and the technology to make it predictive, fair, and enjoyable.
Our mission is to make interviews fair, predictive, and enjoyable.
What developer candidates need to know about the Karat interview.
The Interview Gap manifests in different ways for different stakeholders.
The Interview Gap makes it harder for organizations to reach their software engineering hiring targets. The Interview Gap places artificial constraints on the number of candidates that a company can interview, and limits the quality of those interviews. When interviewing isn’t given the time, structure, and focus it deserves, bias and inconsistencies degrade the hiring signal.
For candidates, the Interview Gap limits access to interviews, which serve as the bridge between people and jobs. On average, just 5% of direct applicants to engineering jobs in the tech industry are invited to interview. The candidates who lack robust professional networks are often excluded, and this disproportionately impacts underrepresented minority candidates, and at its worst, it can lead to significant, persistent discrimination against Black and Brown candidates throughout the hiring process.
In January, we partnered with Harris Poll to conduct a survey of 253 engineering leaders and hiring decision-makers. We used those results as benchmarks to compare to a second survey of 100 additional leaders last month to gauge the impact of COVID-19 on hiring trends.
You can read the full 2020 Interview Gap report here (no signup required).
Engineers are more valuable than ever, but traditional hiring processes fail to achieve hiring goals or accurately predict on-the-job-performance.
90% of engineering leaders agree that “software engineers are more valuable than capital.” Almost half (47%) agree that a strong software engineer is worth at least 3x their total compensation, and a quarter (25%) agree that they are worth at least 4x total compensation. Yet, despite that premium price tag, just 50% of engineering leaders are “very satisfied” with the performance of their engineering teams.
The Interview Gap exists as an organizational tradeoff that prioritizes product goals over hiring goals.
But at a time when the strongest organizations are accelerating software engineer hiring to capitalize on a favorable job market, it’s a short term-tradeoff that many organizations cannot afford.
For years, organizations experienced a shortage of software engineering talent, but the sudden economic downturn has shifted the dynamic. As more software engineers look for work and there is less competition from companies that have paused or frozen hiring, the most resilient organizations are adapting and hiring software engineers aggressively. They are also feeling the strain of a growing Interview Gap.
Dedicating valuable engineering time to interviewing candidates is a significant investment.
Engineering leaders who are very satisfied with their team’s performance and very confident in reaching hiring targets are more likely to increase interview capacity, emphasize consistency, and measure results more intentionally.
Engineering leaders are feeling the impact of the Interview Gap — both financially and personally. It’s harder to hire and ship new product features, plus team morale is suffering, but the organizations that are aggressively hiring and taking advantage of the current situation will accelerate growth.
This will create a long-term competitive advantage and increase the divide between the software engineering haves and have-nots. Catching up will be a steep hill to climb for companies looking to hire the right engineering talent to complete digital transformations and reignite growth.
Sadly, it’s not just businesses that will face an uneven playing field, because the Interview Gap hurts candidates by constraining access.
Access to interviews is essential for economic empowerment. In a world where the most vulnerable among us are frequently the last ones in and first ones out, underrepresented minorities are too often the first victims of the Interview Gap. Resume screens, referrals, and automated code tests perpetuate biases that filter out potential candidates from non-traditional backgrounds, and we’ll be diving deeper into these issues in future reports.
At Karat, we believe in filtering in. Interviews shouldn’t be obstacles, they should be opportunities. Closing the Interview Gap means more interviews and more access to great jobs. And it’s our mission to make every interview fair, predictive, and enjoyable.
For more about Karat’s commitment to providing interview access to more Black software engineers, see our company statement: https://karat.com/karats-commitment-to-the-black-community/
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