VMware Case Study | Technical Recruiting | Hiring the Best Engineers

VMware Saves 75% Screening Time By Optimizing Technical Recruiting With HackerRank

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By the Numbers



Phone Screen Time



More Candidates



Hours Saved for
Every 10-15 Hires

Leading virtualization software company, VMware, partners with innovative startup HackerRank to streamline the company’s recruiting process. By reducing the time needed for phone screen interviews, HackerRank makes the entire organization more effective, so engineers can focus on building great product and recruiters can recruit strategically.

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"HackerRank has actually allowed us to look for diamonds in the rough that our old process didn’t give us the time or resources to look for."
- VMware’s senior staffing manager, Mathias Connot.

Founded in 1998 and based in Palo Alto, California, VMware is an industry-leading virtualization software company that helps companies streamline IT operations. By virtualizing infrastructure—from the data center to the cloud to mobile devices—VMware helps IT deliver services from any device. A pioneer in the field, VMware was the first company to successfully virtualize the x86 architecture and has an ongoing and urgent need to attract cutting-edge engineering talent.

The Talent Challenge

VMware’s event-driven recruiting team consists of nine recruiters who manage targeted, global recruiting campaigns to identify talent with solid computer science fundamentals. The group manages around 20 events per year, soliciting potential candidates through a variety of channels including email, mail, and phone campaigns.

Successful and well-received, the events net a total of about 10,000 applicants per year and account for approximately 13 percent of VMware’s hiring today. The event-driven recruiting model was already more efficient and faster than the standard recruiting model. However, the team thought they could do optimize more. The recruiters typically reviewed roughly 2000 resumes from each event, narrowing those down to an applicant pool of 400 to 500 candidates. The bump in the process was the next step-a phone screen. This time consuming process required 20 senior engineers as phone screeners to narrow the applicant pool down to 50 over five weeks.

After trying a number of different solutions to optimize phone screening time, the company decided to evaluate HackerRank based on peer recommendations.

A Single Solution that Streamlines Technical Recruiting

Launched in Summer 2012, HackerRank’s mission is to help companies hire talented programmers. With a rapidly growing active community of about a million programmers, the company’s goal is to replace time-consuming and expensive outreach efforts with a forum within which technology companies can connect with a diverse population of talent around coding challenges.

In October 2013, VMware’s event recruiting team adopted the solution to replace the bulk of the phone screens with coding assessments posted on the company’s career site. Candidates take the challenges earlier in the hiring process and test results are automatically evaluated and scored by the HackerRank platform. The recruiters get automated stack ranked profiles and are now able to get a better idea of the skills and qualifications of applicants earlier in the process, increasing the chances of finding top programming talent.

The Resulting Innovative Recruiting Process

Democratized hiring process: Before they had access to the coding test, the team was able to conduct roughly 250 phone screens per event. Now, 400 to 600 candidates or 100% more candiates take HackerRank screening tests, opening up the candidate pool considerably. “HackerRank has actually allowed us to look for diamonds in the rough that our old process didn’t give us the time or resources to look for.” said VMware’s senior staffing manager, Mathias Connot.

Enhanced candidate experience: Applicants appreciate assessment via programming challenges over phone screens and thus VMware offers candidates better experience. Additionally, using the product’s CodePair function, the recruiting team can conduct real-time coding interviews over video conference that allow them to better understand an individual’s programming skill level, greatly reducing the need for follow-up phone screens with the candidates.

Reduced screening time: In addition to increasing their chances of finding top talent, a significant win for VMware has been freeing up creative time for the company’s top software engineers. “Before, we needed 20 software engineers to conduct an average of four phone screens per week,”—a task that pulled each engineer away for roughly three hours a week. Now, VMware’s engineers need only 45 minutes per week to screening candidates. “By going from three hours to 45 minutes a week we are giving the business back 75% of screening time. Annually we are saving ~2250 hrs or 1 engineer’s time for every 10 - 15 hires we make.”

The Ultimate Goal: 18,000 Hours Saved

By 2015, the team expects that HackerRank will be adopted by the wider recruiting team of 25 recruiters to have an even more efficient recruiting process company-wide. Ultimately, the team believes the HackerRank platform can return roughly 18,000 hours a year to the company to devote to creative and business endeavors.

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