editione1.0.8Updated August 24, 2022
You’re reading an excerpt of The Holloway Guide to Technical Recruiting and Hiring, a book by Osman (Ozzie) Osman and over 45 other contributors. It is the most authoritative resource on growing software engineering teams effectively, written by and for hiring managers, recruiters, interviewers, and candidates. Purchase the book to support the author and the ad-free Holloway reading experience. You get instant digital access, over 800 links and references, commentary and future updates, and a high-quality PDF download.
In the past decade or so, several companies have sprouted up with the goal of making the hiring process more efficient. Each of these platforms has different theses and selling points, but the basic idea is to go beyond traditional job boards by using technology to generate a two-sided marketplace of candidates and companies. As these platforms grow, they have also started to experiment with novel methods of matching and evaluating candidates and companies. Some of the more well-known platforms include:
Platforms can be straightforward to use, even for small companies. The set-up cost is low, and you can easily ramp up or down as your hiring needs change. Most of these platforms are free to try but they charge a placement fee per candidate hired (usually a little lower than agency contingency fees). Hiring desirable candidates from these platforms can get quite competitive, as they are usually placed in front of multiple companies and may end up receiving several offers.
As demand for software engineers has skyrocketed and as traditional, 4-year university computer science programs have failed to keep up, a plethora of alternative education programs and bootcamps have sprung up to meet demand.
In some ways, the bootcamp industry, in its nascent stages, is the Wild West—program quality varies wildly, as does the hireability of graduates, but one of the biggest challenges of hiring from bootcamps is how hard it is to filter students because many of them have no previous experience and have the same collection of projects they did during their studies. If you’ve ever felt a bit lost when looking at a prospective internship candidate’s resume, because they simply haven’t done much yet, you’ll find that a bootcamp grad’s resume is even more sparse in most cases.
caution Not all programs are created equal. Some are known for the stack they teach, some are known for a more in-depth theoretical CS curriculum (though, odds are, it’ll still be way less computer science than you’d see at university), and some are known for not being quite good enough at anything. One of the best things you can do to vet a bootcamp is to research their placement rates and look at the employer logos on their site—is your hiring bar on par with those employers (though watch out, as you might expect, they’ll feature the shiniest brands first).