December 19, 2023

AI in Software Engineer Vetting: Is It Worth Your Trust?

Rodion Salnik

CTO and Co-founder, Brocoders

9 min

Uber, Pepsi, Disney, Microsoft, Slack, PayPal, and LinkedIn – what do they have in common? Apart from being multi-million companies, they all use AI for finding and vetting top talent.

Fast and efficient, AI-based vetting engines have proved their efficiency – not only in the world-leading companies! Sounds like hiring will never be a problem again. But… is there actually any but? Unfortunately, yes, as no solution is perfect.

As a CTO of Brocoders, a software development company that provides dedicated teams and has over 10K pre-vetted candidates in our database, I’ve dealt with plenty of AI-powered tools. If you are thinking of adopting one of them, here are my personal findings on whether it’s reasonable to rely on them or not. In this article, I’ll tell you how AI-powered engines work, how world-leading companies use them, and, finally, how you can adopt them to find the best matching candidates.

Let's start with the Turing case and its innovative AI-based vetting system.

The Case of Turing AI-Powered Matching Engine

You have probably heard of Turing, a unicorn startup that provides an AI-powered vetting platform that is used by companies like Johnson & Johnson, Redbull, and Reddit.

So what makes Turing so special? At the core of their approach lies an AI-powered engine, which efficiently matches companies with top developers from all over the world, offering them to take rigorous technical and communication tests.

The engine assesses a range of factors such as language proficiency, technical expertise, and project-specific requirements, and then matches those who passed the test with employers requiring particular expertise.

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Turing creates an “Amazon-like” experience for employers, vetting candidates and matching them with suitable roles. Image credits: Turing

The Turing test isn’t a walk in the park even for experienced developers, so those who pass it with a high score can surely be called top experts. Powered by ML and data analysis, Turing's AI engine fine-tunes the matching process over time, predicting the chances of a developer passing the client interview. The results seem magical: 97% engagement rate and it takes Turing on average no more than 4 days to fill in a role.

And yet, this is just a single example in the variety of AI-powered hiring platforms. Let’s see what tools technology giants such as Microsoft, Slack, and others choose to hire developers.

AI-Powered Platforms Used by Microsoft, Slack, PayPal, and LinkedIn

Apart from Turing with its multi-step vetting process and AI matching engine, there are more AI-powered platforms on the market. Let’s take a look at the most prominent examples.

Duckly: Where real-time pair programming meets AI

Duckly (a.k.a GitDuck) is a real-time pair programming platform that integrates with popular code repositories like GitHub and GitLab. Its goal is to help developers collaborate on coding projects remotely through live coding sessions and code reviews. The cherry on top is its AI-driven analysis that helps developers refine their coding skills.

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Duckly is not your ordinary pair programming tool. It's a real-time coding platform with a twist – AI-driven analysis. Image credits: Duckly

Duckly records coding sessions and, through AI analysis, offers personalized feedback and insights to help you level up your coding skills. Microsoft is one of its avid users, relying on Duckly to upskill its development teams. While Duckly doesn't directly assist in finding external talent, it is a great solution for building strong internal teams and refining the hard skills of your team members.

Codility: Tech recruitment, powered by AI assessment

Finding the right coder can be as elusive as the legendary Grail. Slack knows this well and leverages Codility to simplify the quest.

Codility is a tech hiring platform with a set of coding challenges that leverages AI to evaluate developers. With AI-driven algorithms, the platform offers candidates coding tasks and then assesses their performance based on several criteria such as time spent, code uniqueness, and possible frauds committed. Right after the evaluation is done, the employee sees the total score with all the points explained and summed up.

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Codility is a tech recruiting platform that uses AI algorithms to assess coding skills. Image credits: Codility

Codility may not be a one-size-fits-all solution for hiring, but it makes it much easier for companies to identify top talent during the hiring process. A great fit for those who are not developers themselves but need to evaluate the candidate’s expertise, it’s perfect for coding assessment.

HackerRank: Tech interview platform

The third tool on my list is HackerRank, an ultimate training academy and interview platform. With HackerRank, you can screen candidates and swiftly evaluate their coding skills. No more relying on gut feelings – only real-world abilities. Companies like LinkedIn and PayPal have already embraced HackerRank to refine their hiring strategy.

One of HackerRank's key features is customization. You can create coding challenges that align with your specific needs and tech stack, ensuring candidates are tested on technologies and practices that are relevant to your project. What’s more, HackerRank provides data insights and performance analytics, empowering you to make decisions backed by hard data.

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HackerRank accelerates your hiring process, saving you time and helping you find the perfect match more quickly. Image credits: HackerRank

In a nutshell, HackerRank is your go-to for supercharging tech hiring processes or refining the skills of your developers.

Overall, there are many tech companies that love and endorse AI vetting. And for some companies like Turing, AI became a secret sauce that made them known on the global market. But does it mean that AI-powered platforms are here to replace humans? I wouldn't be so sure, and here’s why.

When AI Hiring Tools Fail Employers

It is true that ML and AI-powered tech make the lives of both job seekers and employers easier. But here is the reality check: AI is not almighty, and you can’t get the right talent on board without human intervention.

AI still poses a number of disadvantages, and the hiring process is not an exception. Here are the main limitations of AI vetting platforms that were witnessed by numerous users:

  1. AI hiring filter. While AI can process thousands of CVs in seconds, it’s not a human being. It only follows a specific algorithm. So, for example, if a candidate has a 'creative' CV, that doesn't correspond to the expected format, the algorithm will discard a promising candidate just because it was unable to detect the info in the CV.
  2. No context understanding. An algorithm is unable to get the context and just calculates the number of keywords mentioned in the CV, but such an approach doesn’t always work. When it comes to listing skills, developers may not always include all the basic skills they have. For instance, a developer can omit in the CV the experience with JavaScript since in the context it’s quite evident, but AI will automatically sort him out as a not-matching candidate.
  3. Limited or no soft skills assessment. If coding skills and expertise in various tech can be evaluated with tests, with soft skills it’s more complicated. Of course, there are tests designed to assess problem-solving capabilities and communication skills but they are not always serving their goal. AI lacks critical thinking and can’t efficiently assess the way a candidate solves non-technical issues.
  4. Biased screening process. AI systems are known to make biased decisions which leads to unfair selective processes. This may happen because of a biased historical dataset, which was used to train an AI model, and also because of unfair attributes such as location or sex that AI connects to the candidate’s capacities. While there are some strategies to eliminate biases from AI, the problem is too global to be removed easily, which means the human job still can’t be done by a machine.

So, while AI can offer significant advantages in terms of efficiency and time-saving, it's crucial to remember that it's not a perfect solution and requires ongoing human oversight to maintain fairness and equality in hiring.

Bottom Line

In the quest to find top software engineers, AI can be of great help but it's not enough. Human minds remain irreplaceable, offering a deeper understanding of soft skills and guarding you against bias. AI can be employed for technical tests and evaluating coding skills, but it can’t replace humans when it comes to choosing people who share your company's values and are team players.

So if you look for battle-tested experts who are willing to commit to your project in the long run, at least for the following few years, you'd better vote for human-centered companies that can help you find and onboard vetted developers in mere days while the process remains under your full control.

We have 87 software engineers, already trained and experienced to take on even the most challenging projects. 60% of our talent pool are senior developers who have the right skills and experience for any complex project. With 10K pre-vetted candidates in our database, we’ll pick up the most suitable experts in just 7 days so that you can interview them and see whether it’s a match. Contact us, and we’ll help you build your perfect go-to team.

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