Screening Candidates

How We Killed the CV as a Hiring Tool and Why We’re Never Going Back

Illustration of a man with the Hundred5 logo

This is a simple story of how we made hiring easy using Hundred5.

Recruitment solutions have not kept pace with the developments in the rest of the modern working culture, and the way companies approach talent search and hiring processes is too inefficient.

We know, because we’ve been there.

If you’ve ever done hiring, this might sound familar – you spend countless hours browsing job board, reading hundreds of resumes. It’s exhausting. We did this for years. And this is just a part of the problem.

What troubled us the most, was the fact that CVs are not at all comparable documents, as people use different formats, content and style. So after spending a ridiculous amount of time gathering information on prospective employees, we ended up with a lot of uncontrollable facts, and no good way to make a rational decision that would be based on the candidate’s actual skills.

We finally hit an all time low in 2013.

After an intense 6-month hiring period, we managed to hire only one developer. Once we did, we soon had to let him go, because it turned out he lacked the skills needed for the job.

You can imagine this resulted in a lot of unnecessary frustration. It was just too overwhelming for a growing company such as ours. It was our “f*** this” moment. 

Luckily, desperation is a great motivator.

The turnaround

We dug up some sort of a WordPress plugin that was originally intended for doing web surveys, but was good enough to create our first hiring test. Our main goal was to spot needed skills in a more adequate way and thereby save our precious time. Despite our quite ordinary landing page and lack of promotional effort, we managed to hire Serge in a week.

Today, Serge is one of our most highly valued technical leads.

It felt nice that the playing field was leveled with more senior developers. Being junior in age does not always mean subpar programming skills.

Serge from Teamweek

This was our “WOW” moment.

From “WOW” to “OH YEAH BABY!”

That “WOW” moment gave us all the spirit and motivation to carry on and set up a much bigger, better and stronger hiring campaign.

The results surprised us all – 100 tests taken in just a week, and before long we had three new developers on board.

That was our “OH YEAH BABY!” moment. Feeling quite confident, we soon built our own hiring toolHundred5 – that we have used internally for years. And you know what? We are not looking back.

Why testing works and CVs don’t

In traditional hiring, you won’t really know the candidate’s real skills until it’s too late.

With Hundred5, we start the recruiting process by checking the candidates’ skills right away with simple tests. The system then evaluates each and every answer, sums up the score and picks out the best performers. And from there on, we focus our energy only on that shortlist, while everyone else is handled and contacted automatically by the system.  

This method has mainly given us back the valuable time spent on manually separating skilled applicants from adventure seekers who just try their luck.

Also, getting people’s attention with a simple but catchy test has lowered the application barriers and helped engage a greater number of candidates to pick from. As a surprise even for us, the whole process has proven to be so enthralling that our team has been joined by people who were not really looking for a new job.

All I had to do was fill out the test. Hard to say for sure, but there’s a chance I wouldn’t have applied if sending in a cover letter and CV was necessary.

Vedran from Toggl

I literally submitted the test within 4-5 minutes without giving it much thought. Then people reached out and I kind of liked Margus’ attitude (doh!), so here I am.

Radim from Toggl

Speaking of numbers, today we have a team of 80 people. Thanks to the new recruitment process, we’ve doubled our team size in the past couple of years.

In total, we’ve had over 45,000 test takers for multiple positions and out of them we have hired over 60 talented people. We keep some of our campaigns running constantly, but we only need one person to oversee them – and even then it’s a half-time job. (You can see how we do it here).

And now, as we are getting closer to releasing the 4th version of the tool, we have decided to share it with the rest of the world.

So sign up for Hundred5 and overcome your hiring challenges!

March 2, 2017