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How UBS Standardized Their Remote Hiring Process to Globally Scale Their Tech Team with HackerRank

Written By Aditi Chandrasekar | November 24, 2020

UBS Interview blog header image

Last month, we hosted our largest HackerRank.main() event ever and announced the launch of our end-to-end remote hiring solution: the Developer Skills Platform.

But we didn’t do it alone. We spoke with thought leaders from across the globe about how they’re addressing the evolving challenges of hiring the right developers and scaling their engineering teams remotely. 

One of the sessions included an insightful interview with David O’Brien, Group Technology Workforce Management at UBS. 

Click here for the full interview or scroll down for key highlights.

UBS Tick Tock Talk

Our CMO, Jennifer Stagnaro, led the discussion as David shared how his team used HackerRank to standardize their remote hiring process as well as improve the candidate experience. 

Here are a few key takeaways from this talk:

1. Understand what technology can offer you, and rebuild and redefine the recruitment process from there 

David’s recruitment challenge was the high volume of candidates made it discern if they were bringing the right talent into the organization. He wanted to equip his team with the right tech tools to assess skills with screening, process, assessment, and evaluation.

“Once we piloted HackerRank, there was lots of excitement around having the virtual Whiteboarding to code,” says David. “It resonated with the hiring managers because they can sit together with their candidates over an interview and actually get down to the nuts and bolts and get into the culture of what we do.”

David also mentioned the Scorecard functionality made life easy for the hiring managers to give feedback on the spot instead of waiting an hour or so later to provide that information.

2. Standardize skills globally 

It’s no secret the COVID era has presented its own wealth of challenges for organizations. According to Gartner, 88% of the organizations, worldwide, made it mandatory or encouraged their employees to work from home after COVID-19 was declared a pandemic.

While it’s forced companies to fast-track remote collaboration, it has also provided an opportunity for organizations to widen their talent reach. Being remote means hiring is no longer limited to the talent available in your geographical area.   

According to David, this “leads to greater flexibility, higher quality, and a more diverse talent pool.” However, this only strengthens the argument for a standardized assessment of candidates. 

David wanted to define a standardized set of skills to vet their contingent workforce as well. “That’s why we brought in HackerRank,” says David. “we wanted to have a global standard of engineering talent coming into group technology. We have a huge contingent workforce. So, we wanted to make sure that we have the same measurement for our contingent workforce. And we actually use exactly the same tests for internal and contingency hiring.”

3. Invest in a tech council

You can source the highest quality candidates from across the globe but if they don’t fit within the needs of your team, consider them useless. 

That’s why David recommends establishing a tech council that can identify the specific skills and qualifications needed for the role.  

“We wanted to make sure that the candidates and the feedback that they’re getting were tied to the skill sets that the hiring managers wanted to see,” says David.

David also says having a tech council establishes more of an invested relationship between the hiring manager and candidate. 

“It’s critical for the content to be driven by technologists,” says David. “That way, the hiring managers have more of an appreciation for the candidates they’re getting out of the process.”

4. Learn how to attract candidates to your organization

Hiring should be a two-way street—the process should be insightful for both the hiring manager and the candidate.

David and his team recommend keeping the candidate experience top of mind when reevaluating your recruitment process. HackerRank helps this do this by allowing hiring managers to be communicative and transparent with the candidates. 

“We had an ‘a-ha’ moment once the initial tests were built,” says David. “We really shifted the mindset and improved the candidate experience as well as the overall quality of what our hiring managers could do with candidates, especially in the CodeScreen* aspect.”

But improving the candidate experience doesn’t end there. David hopes to not only seek out high-quality candidates but draw them to UBS as well. 

“We’re discovering new ways of not processing candidates, but attracting candidates also to the organization,” says David. “And by using HackerRank, we’re actually improving the tech image of UBS.”

remote hiring solution blog banner

*Disclaimer: This blog post contains messaging around the “CodePair” and “CodeScreen” features which are now called “Interview” within the HackerRank product as of 10/06/20.


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