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Skills or diversity? Managers, recruiters confused over new hiring trend: HackerEarth report

Skills or diversity? Managers, recruiters confused over new hiring trend: HackerEarth report

Around 29.8 percent of the HR professionals and 37.3 percent of engineering managers surveyed said they would rather hire a skilled person from a non-diverse background than someone moderately skilled but belonging to a diverse background.

Some of them even look at ensuring diversity as an “added burden” in the recruitment process Some of them even look at ensuring diversity as an “added burden” in the recruitment process

Managers and recruiters are confused as to what would make the cut with regards to hiring -- skills or diversity. HR professionals and engineering managers were split between wanting to hire diverse candidates and filling roles early, as per the HackerEarth State of Developer Recruitment Report 2021.

Some of them even look at ensuring diversity as an “added burden” in the recruitment process. Around 29.8 percent of the HR professionals and 37.3 percent of engineering managers surveyed said they would rather hire a skilled person from a non-diverse background than someone moderately skilled but belonging to a diverse background. “An overwhelming number of engineering managers, though, care more about shipping code than building diverse teams,” the report noted.

Illustration: Pragati Srivastava

Traditional channels like LinkedIn, job portals, referrals, careers page and university hiring are still the main sources for HR professionals and engineering managers to onboard candidates. Developer communities and hackathons are good for sourcing according to engineers more than it is for recruiters.

Illustration: Pragati Srivastava

The HackerEarth State of Developer Recruitment Report 2021, which aims to give recruiters and engineering managers a perspective in a post-pandemic world, has been collated with inputs from 2,500 engineering managers and HR professionals from 79 countries. They surveyed HR and engineering professionals from technology, pharmaceuticals, retail, automobile, banking, insurance and construction.

Some measures that companies can take to improve diversity in their teams are opening up opportunities for underrepresented groups (25.7 percent); running outreach programs (25.2 percent); hiring ambassadors from underrepresented groups (16.3 percent); partnering with NGOs (15.7 percent); blind-hiring practices (12.4 percent); and others (4.6 percent).

Some of the most accepted methods to improve representation are anti-discriminatory policies (26.4 percent); diverse executive team (25.6 percent); bias-free evaluation and promotion (25.1 percent); multi-generational workforce (21.7 percent); and others (1.2 percent).

“Our survey shows us that D&I may have to take a backseat at times so that open roles can be filled faster. However, companies are still working hard to ensure they have the right policies in place to fend off biases. About 25.6 percent of our HR respondents believe having a diverse executive team, and improving connections with grassroots student communities can improve their diversity pipeline,” it noted.

HackerEarth Co-founder and CEO Sachin Gupta believes that work-from-home and remote work policies adopted across companies also played an important role in making tech hiring a lot more collaborative than what it was before. “Remote work has mandated that tech hiring become a more collaborative process, and expedited the adoption of tech hiring platforms. What was a forced necessity last year, has now proven its worth. As the war for talent heats up, we expect to see more tech companies move away from their over-reliance on manual recruiting methods,” the report read.

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