Red Hat Case Study | Technical Recruiting | Hiring the Best Engineers

Red Hat meets hiring demands with HackerRank’s tech recruiting platform

As the world’s leading provider of open source enterprise IT, and most well-known for bringing Linux to the masses, Red Hat focuses on accelerating open source innovation with a portfolio of cloud, mobile, middleware, storage, virtualization and management solutions. To deliver on these innovations and remain a leader in open source, Red Hat depends on a global team of technical talent.

Recognizing that a non-traditional tech recruiting strategy might yield creative ways to qualify the world’s best technical talent, Red Hat partnered with HackerRank to implement their assessment platform for screening and interviewing technical candidates. Now, after just six months, Red Hat has already built custom assessments for the Linux Platform, Middleware, PaaS and Cloud roles and reduced live technical interviews by over 60%.

About Red Hat

Red Hat is the world’s leading provider of open source, enterprise IT software whose mission is to be the catalyst in communities of customers, contributors and partners creating better technology the open source way. Red Hat made its name by bringing Linux into the mainstream, and their portfolio has grown to include a full stack of reliable and high-performing cloud, virtualization, storage, and middleware technologies.

The Challenge: Screen Faster and Better in Parallel

As Red Hat develops its business, the company must constantly evaluate its hiring practices and strategy. But, hiring top tech talent with unique and rare skill sets is easier said than done. So Red Hat’s tech recruiting team identified some components of their overall process they wanted to improve:

  1. Improve the objectivity and standardization of the technical interview process
  2. Reduce the time technical interviewers spent interviewing candidates
  3. Reduce the number of tasks that required manual intervention
  4. Decrease time-to-hire, cost-per-hire and time-to-productivity

“To meet our hiring needs across the globe, we needed to automate our technical screening processes for two primary reasons” said, Jonathan Edwards, Global Talent Management at Red Hat. “First, to more objectively confirm that we are hiring the best talent in the industry at scale and second, to give back the time our technical interviewers spent conducting live interviews so that they can do the jobs they came here to do: developing products, contributing code, supporting customers and designing next-gen architectures.”

"The results were impressive and gave us increased confidence that HackerRank would be a success, but if you had asked us to estimate the results when we started the pilot, well, these numbers surpassed our expectations."
- Vinny Valdez, Sr. Principal Cloud Architect at Red Hat

The Solution: Innovation Begets Innovation

There were a number of potential solutions to these challenges that Red Hat considered, including building their own tech recruiting platform from the ground up. In the end, Red Hat wanted to find a partner that also valued innovation and technological disruption that would help them reinvent their tech recruiting. After researching a few potential partners, Red Hat narrowed it down to HackerRank.

In March of 2015, Red Hat and HackerRank embarked on their pilot together where Red Hat focused on two of their consulting services teams in North America and EMEA. The goal for this initial pilot was to decrease screening time of candidates through automation while still accurately qualifying them and also speeding up the overall hiring process.

To meet these goals, Red Hat relied on HackerRank’s CodeChallenges, which allow them to design custom programming assessments - including Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7 based assessments - which candidates are asked to take during the course of the interview process. When completed, the recruiter receives an automatically scored report of how that candidate performed, as well as access to their entire solution. This allows recruiters to quickly sort who did well (and who did not) and then perform a more detailed code review of the top candidate’s solutions with hiring managers and technical interviewing community.

The Results: Data-Driven Tech Recruiting

Once the pilot officially ended, Red Hat saw that HackerRank had a positive impact on their tech hiring. The hiring data revealed that:

  • HackerRank was able to disqualify 63% of phase one candidates, which greatly reduced the number of overall candidates who needed phase two review.
  • Time-to-fill was significantly shortened, which meant that they could qualify talent faster.
In addition, richer insights into a new hire’s technical capabilities could inform both their individual development plans and organization-wide capabilities. “The results were impressive and gave us increased confidence that HackerRank would be a success, but if you had asked us to estimate the results when we started the pilot, well, these numbers surpassed our expectations,” said Vinny Valdez, Sr. Principal Cloud Architect at Red Hat, who was involved in test creation and technical screenings before HackerRank and now with HackerRank. This gave him first-hand exposure to the increased efficiency by using HackerRank.

The Future: Onwards and Upwards

With the success of the pilot, Red Hat has already begun expanding HackerRank across other teams and geographies within their organization. They have seen the tool's impact on their hiring process through lower costs, hours saved, and quality of hires. Based on the successes to date, Red Hat has decided to expand usage of HackerRank.

Red Hat is going to begin using HackerRank for internal assessments. By testing existing skillsets, they identify places where current employees may benefit from additional training or learning based on their HackerRank scores. This empowers Red Hat to always be developing their employee’s skill sets to help the company deliver in the market, particularly on emerging products.

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