Software engineering leaders accelerate hiring and drive innovation by shifting technical interviewing workloads to the cloud
For most software engineering leaders, interviewing has historically been thought of as a time trade-off. It’s a zero-sum game. Hire or ship. Scale or deliver. This is the dilemma facing the engineering hiring manager today. However, it represents an antiquated way of thinking. By shifting technical interviewing and hiring to the Interviewing Cloud, it’s possible to transcend the trade-off. To hire and meet delivery commitments. To interview and innovate.
With engineering time more valuable than ever, many companies invest 80 hours or more of engineering time per hire. At an industry level, this translates to $60 billion a year in time spent interviewing and screening candidates, which comes at the expense of critical coding time and limits companies’ ability to innovate and create future value.
Yet, despite that investment, hiring managers are still struggling to provide enough capacity to screen and interview candidates at the scale required to meet hiring targets. The lack of interview availability slows hiring, and the time being invested is not effective. Do-it-yourself interviews are often unstructured and inconsistent. Most organisations aren’t able to conduct enough first-round technical interviews with the quality and consistency needed to meet hiring targets. We call this the Interview Gap.
The Interview Gap exists because interviewing is not anyone’s primary job. Software engineers are not evaluated or rewarded for how they interview. Furthermore, very few organisations have the ability to build the platform and content required to provide the tooling required to interview efficiently, consistently and with equity.
At Karat, we built the world’s first human and tech Interviewing Cloud to help organisations maximise their interviewing investment to win the race for technical talent in a world that faces a multi-decade shortage of software engineers. Today, Karat conducts more first-round technical interviews than any company on the planet.
What is the Interviewing Cloud?
Put simply, the Interviewing Cloud is the on-demand delivery of first-round technical interviews, 24/7, independent of location, for engineering candidates anywhere in the world.
The Interviewing Cloud combines a global network of Interview Engineers and purpose-built interviewing infrastructure to deliver predictive, fair and enjoyable interviews at scale. Interview Engineers are experienced developers who conduct technical interviews. They use a structured approach, a consistent process and proven content that produces the strongest hiring signal for clients and an enjoyable, flexible interview experience for candidates.
The Interviewing Cloud unlocks valuable engineering time and delivers unique analytics and insights. These insights can help identify market benchmarks on candidates, examine every step in the hiring processes and optimise the pipeline to accelerate hiring velocity, improve the quality of hires and inform strategic hiring decisions.
The advantages of cloud interviewing
1. Increased engineering productivity
The Interviewing Cloud increases interview capacity without the engineering productivity trade-off. Shifting technical interviewing from your organisation to the cloud immediately unlocks engineering time, which is redeployed to innovation on an ongoing basis.
On average, organisations get back two hours of productive engineering time for every first-round technical interview – not to mention further efficiency gains in the final interview round when multiple engineers are interviewing one candidate. Most companies invest at least five hours of engineering time in every final round interview, with some up to eight hours per final round candidate, so this ability to optimise the hiring signal is critical in reclaiming productive engineering time.
Finally, there are even longer-term gains in engineering productivity that result from the incremental hires made when final round interviews become more efficient and hiring accelerates. By hiring more engineers sooner than they would have otherwise, engineering organisations increase productivity that is entirely invested in innovation. The net impact for engineering organisations is that they unlock up to five hours of productive engineering time spent innovating for every first-round technical interview Karat conducts on their behalf.
2. Improved hiring signal
The Interviewing Cloud produces a stronger hiring signal than traditional interviewing because of the consistency of the interview process and content. Every first-round technical interview for a given role is executed consistently, measuring the same competencies, aligned and calibrated to your specific hiring bar. The presence of a human conducting the interview reduces both false positives and false negatives and therefore increases hiring efficiency and yield. By optimising the hiring signal in these ways, Karat has helped organisations achieve onsite interview efficiency and yield that is up to three times higher than the status quo.
3. Competitiveness for engineering talent
The Interviewing Cloud accelerates hiring velocity and improves hiring efficiency for organisations. It also delivers interviews more quickly for candidates, moving at the speed the candidate prefers to go at. Given the increasing shortage of engineers, this is crucial in competing for talent. By offering on-demand interviewing capacity 24/7, Karat moves candidates from technical interview invitation to completion up to four times faster than traditional DIY interviewing.
|Time in Karat process
|Per cent scoring in top two tiers
|Onsite to offer rate
|Closed offer %
|Candidates per hire
|3 days or less
|3 to 7 days
|7 to 14 days
In a candidate-first world, creating an enjoyable and equitable hiring process is paramount, and the Interviewing Cloud creates opportunities for more enjoyable and equitable hiring. Elastic interviewing capacity means that candidates can schedule interviews on their terms wherever they’re located in the world. Furthermore, half of all candidates interviewing on Karat’s cloud elect to interview on evenings and weekends.
It also means that recruiting teams can send as many candidates as possible to do first-round technical interviews, reducing the bias that often comes with traditional screening processes – whether human or machine-driven. This opens up opportunities for more candidates and often leads to hires you wouldn’t have made otherwise. It also unlocks opportunities for innovations like a redo interview, which especially benefits candidates from underrepresented and non-traditional backgrounds who often have less exposure to technical interviews than their overrepresented counterparts, and reduces false negatives.
4. Fair and equitable hiring
Having a structured interview process, consistency and content also neutralise the systemic bias inherent in DIY interviewing. Structurally, CV-blind interviews remove a pervasive source of screening and interviewing pedigree bias. Consistency ensures that an interviewer’s style won’t impact a candidate’s performance. And when content is designed specifically for the competencies required for a job, the subsequent recommendations are based on a more predictive measurement system.
The presence of a human in the interview reduces false negatives compared to automated tech-only code tests or AI screening tools by introducing the ability to provide guidance to the candidate when needed. Not only does this more closely mirror real-world working and collaborating within engineering teams, but it also disproportionately benefits non-traditional candidates. By reducing these false negatives, hiring yield increases and a wider range of candidates can demonstrate their highest levels of ability.
Hiring in a talent-first world
As the race for technical talent continues to intensify, every hiring and talent decision is of critical importance. By offering on-demand interviews and flexible scheduling, your company can show up on your candidates’ terms and at the speed they’re demanding in today’s talent-first world. Make sure you’re saying yes to the right people and doing it in a way that enhances your engineering organisation’s delivery goals.
To learn more about how the largest independent residential real estate brokerage in the US is using the Interviewing Cloud to disrupt the real estate tech sector, check out Karat’s case study
By Shannon Hogue, Head of Solutions Engineering, Karat