How the Flatiron Health engineering team accelerated hiring by 4x

A customer story with Flatiron Health

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Case Study in Brief

Challenge

Flatiron Health needed to hire 100 software engineers in one year but was constrained by the number of existing team members available to conduct interviews.

Approach

Karat conducted first-round technical interviews on behalf of Flatiron and created visibility into their hiring funnel.

Results

Flatiron reached its hiring target six months earlier than expected, reduced time spent conducting interviews, and increased confidence that candidates brought onsite would reach the hiring bar.

Quickly scaling a structured interviewing program

“Five years ago, we had only eight engineers, and interviewing was easy,” said Catherine Miller, Sr. Director of Engineering at Flatiron Health. “We had a lot of shared context and understanding, so it was easy to make hiring decisions together. As the company and the number of interviewers grew, that process hit its limit. New interviewers introduced noise into the system, and it became harder to make decisions. It was easier to be conservative, but that wasn’t always right for the business.”

To address this, Flatiron developed an interviewer training program. This equipped the Flatiron engineering team with consistent interview questions and scorecards mapped to desired competencies. This approach successfully increased the signal quality and decreased the potential for bias in hiring decisions.

Flatiron had been hiring 20 to 30 software engineers each year. In 2018, Roche Holding AG bought the company. That acquisition came with the capital needed to accelerate product development.

"To reach product goals, Flatiron’s team would have to hire 100 software engineers before December 2019. Yet, only 50 of the engineers on the current team had the expertise and bandwidth to interview."

By June 2019, the Flatiron team has grown to over 200 software engineers. Here’s how they got there.

Introducing the Karat Solution

Flatiron needed to scale an interviewing and hiring process that they trusted. To do that, they turned to Karat to conduct technical interviews and improve the predictiveness of the current process. This partnership allowed Flatiron’s software engineers to refocus themselves on product development. “Engineers aren’t interviewing machines,” said Miller. “Yet it takes engineers to hire other engineers. Our team is still involved in every step, but Karat really maximizes our engineers’ time.”

The Flatiron recruiting team sends candidates directly to Karat, whose Interview Engineers conduct interviews calibrated to the company’s hiring bar. Karat Alignment Engineers and client success managers meet with the Flatiron team weekly to review and optimize interview questions, hiring yield, and candidate satisfaction.

To reach product goals, Flatiron’s team would have to hire 100 software engineers before December 2019. Yet, only 50 of the engineers on the current team had the expertise and bandwidth to interview.

Results

“We met our hiring target of 100 engineers in June 2019—six months earlier than we planned,” said Miller.

Introducing Karat into the hiring process has reclaimed significant developer time that the Flatiron team has been able to put back into product development. Overall, the team successfully scaled their hiring process and accelerated hiring by 4x while making each interview more predictive and delivering enjoyable candidate experiences.

91% of candidates rate their experience as positive
44% interview on nights and weekends