Developer recruiting report finds that diversity goals often take a back seat to filling open roles quickly


Annual Hackerearth survey finds that Glassdoor reviews and a company’s culture page are the most influential for attracting new candidates.


The 2021 State of Developer Recruitment Report asked about diversity in hiring. Among HR leaders, 30% agreed they would prioritize skill over diversity and 18% strongly agreed. Among engineering managers, 37% agreed they would make this tradeoff and 24% strongly agreed.

Image: Hackerearth

Both HR leaders and hiring managers are quick to drop diversity goals in exchange for filling an engineering job quickly, according to a new survey from HackerEarth. The annual survey found that 48% of HR respondents and 61% of tech leads agree they would “rather hire a skilled non-diverse person than a moderately skilled person from a diverse background.”

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The 2021 State of Developer Recruitment Report surveyed 2,500 HR and engineering leaders across various industries and locations. The survey also asked about compromising on candidate quality to fill a position quickly. Forty-nine percent of engineering respondents agreed with this statement and 36% of HR leaders did. 

Forty percent of respondents said that they are hiring up to 100 employees while 31% said they will hire more than 100 new people. Back-end engineers are in the most demand with front-end, artificial intelligence and machine learning, DevOps and data science coming in close behind. 

Despite this push to fill so many positions, companies have not dramatically updated the hiring process. About a third of respondents said they don’t use an assessment tool during interviews, relying instead on resume filtering and phone interviews. Respondents who don’t use interview tools also said they use a video interview to ask candidates to explain take home assignments. Another common approach is to use a video interview and an integrated development environment.

The survey found that 40% developers would prefer to use a dedicated interview platform, an increase over the previous year’s survey.

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Among respondents who so use coding interview tools, a smoother candidate experience and standardized evaluation were the top benefits. In terms of new options from these tools, users are looking for automated full stack tests, features that use artificial intelligence and natural language processing and semi-automated interviews.

Both HR and engineering respondents list problem-solving abilities as the most important element for candidates with less than two years of professional experience, while systems architecture design is the top priority for people with more than six years of experience.

Survey respondents listed social media, Glassdoor reviews and company culture pages as culture measures with the highest impact on sourcing new candidates. Both HR leaders and hiring managers agreed that employers need to improve their branding efforts to improve hiring. Engineering managers said they needed to improve developer sourcing and tear down the silos between the tech and HR teams.

Finally, the survey found that hackathons are becoming more important to building the internal culture of a company as opposed to serving as a hiring tool. Survey respondents found these events helpful for interdepartmental collaboration, idea generation, solving business problems and improving morale.


The Hackerearth survey also asked about how likely HR and engineering leaders are to compromise on candidate quality. Among HR leaders, 24% strongly agreed with that idea and 12% strongly agreed.

Among engineering leaders, 35% agreed they would trade quality for speed in hiring and 14% strongly agreed.

Image: Hackerearth

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