Skip to content
Join the AI Skills Survey and share your thoughts Take the survey
HackerRank Launches Two New Products: SkillUp and Engage Read now
The 2024 Developer Skills Report is here! Read now
Customer Stories

Partners in Innovation: How IBM Uses HackerRank to Hire Skill-fit Candidates at Scale

Written By Sanskruti Joshi | April 17, 2024

In an insightful discussion about the evolving landscape of recruitment, Abhishek Bhardwaj, a seasoned leader with over two decades of experience in hiring, offers a deep dive into how technology is reshaping talent acquisition at IBM Consulting in India. Currently at the helm of hiring operations, Bhardwaj brings a wealth of knowledge from his previous role at Genpact and his extensive experience in the field. His passion for talent acquisition, which he describes as the epicenter of organizational action, perfectly positions him to spearhead innovative recruitment strategies.

In this discussion, Bhardwaj explores the significant technological shifts that have influenced hiring processes, particularly emphasizing the pivotal role of AI in enhancing both the efficacy and fairness of IBM’s recruitment practices. 

How IBM uses HackerRank to hire skill-fit candidates at scale

Transition to Virtual Processes

Abhishek Bhardwaj opened the session by addressing the significant shifts in recruitment methodologies following the COVID-19 pandemic. With a move towards virtual engagements, IBM Consulting has adopted new strategies to minimize human intervention early in the hiring process. This shift was crucial as it helped to eliminate inherent biases and paved the way for more structured and fair assessments.

Leveraging AI for Non-Biased Assessments

Bhardwaj emphasized how traditional methods, such as voice assessments, have been replaced by AI-driven tools. These tools, based on sophisticated algorithms, not only standardize the evaluation process but also help in reducing human biases, ensuring that talent is assessed purely on merit and relevant skills.

The Integral Role of HackerRank

Abhishek also talked about the strategic deployment of HackerRank within IBM’s hiring processes. He details how HackerRank has been instrumental in revolutionizing IBM’s technical assessments. By customizing HackerRank’s platform, IBM has been able to tailor their evaluations to better meet the specific needs of their roles and projects. This customization aids in handling volume hiring by facilitating quicker and more efficient screening of candidates, thereby enhancing both the scale and speed of recruitment operations. Furthermore, the quality of hires has improved as the platform allows for more targeted questions that accurately gauge a candidate’s capabilities and fit for the role.


Enhancing Engagement and Onboarding with AI

Beyond initial assessments, Bhardwaj also highlighted how AI tools contribute to engaging and onboarding new hires. These tools enable IBM to maintain frequent and personalized communication with candidates, an approach that is crucial in high-volume hiring environments like BPM (Business Process Management). The AI’s ability to understand and adapt to the unique personas of candidates ensures that all communication is relevant and engaging, thereby keeping candidates warm and interested throughout the hiring process.

Future Prospects with Advanced AI Technologies

As IBM looks to the horizon, Abhishek Bhardwaj conveyed excitement about the possibilities that Artificial General Intelligence (AGI) and generative AI hold for the field of talent acquisition. These sophisticated technologies are set to deepen and refine the recruitment processes by facilitating a more nuanced understanding of candidates and potentially transforming every phase of hiring.

The promise of these technologies in recruitment lies in their ability to simulate complex human cognitive functions, allowing for assessments that can evaluate a candidate’s creative problem-solving skills and adaptability in real-time scenarios. This could lead to more dynamic interactions during the hiring process, where AI-driven systems dynamically adapt interview questions based on the candidate’s previous responses, ensuring a thorough evaluation that is both comprehensive and deeply personalized.

Bhardwaj also touched upon the role of these technologies in improving the candidate experience. By automating and personalizing communication, AGI and generative AI could offer each candidate tailored guidance and feedback, making the hiring process more engaging and transparent.

Importance of Candidate Experience

Finally, Bhardwaj discussed the critical role of candidate experience in the recruitment process, as reflected by metrics such as the Candidate Net Promoter Score (NPS). For IBM, ensuring a positive candidate experience is paramount, as it directly influences the employer brand and its perception in the job market.


From the enlightening discourse on the integration of technology in recruitment at IBM Consulting, it is clear that the future of hiring is being dramatically transformed. By embracing HackerRank, IBM is not only streamlining its recruitment process but also setting new standards for efficiency, fairness, and engagement in talent acquisition. These technologies allow IBM to address the nuances of each candidate’s experience and capabilities, ensuring that the hiring process is both comprehensive and candidate-friendly.

How to Conduct a Good Technical Interview