Do you speak English? A deep dive into our tech candidate shortlisting process

Assess English of software engineer candidates - Inspius

Tired of rejecting CVs and interviewing software engineers whose skills do not match your JD?

Nothing a company does contribute more to its long-term success than hiring the right talent. Any experienced HR person knows that more time spent shortlisting and assessing candidates far outweighs the cost, time, and frustration of dealing with a wrong hire. According to a recent CareerBuilder survey, almost three-quarters of companies who made a bad hire reported an average of $14,900 in wasted money.

Assessing software engineers can be a real pain when your average headhunters cannot read the technical mumbo jumbo. No exception, here at Inspius, candidate assessment is still one of our FAQs.

Therefore, this week’s post covers the first episode of our candidate shortlisting process – a single-elimination tournament of 3 rounds – Do you speak English?

Why English test is our first round

Since Inspius’ focus is hiring remote software engineers in Vietnam for Singapore-based companies, candidate English skill is a must-have.

But why this test first? There is no use if a software engineer is technically sound but cannot communicate well with his folks, we believe. For that reason, English is our first litmus test.

What we do to assess candidate’s English skills

We use a 1-1 interview to evaluate the English abilities of Vietnam software engineer candidates:

  • The test is entirely conducted in English. Candidates are couraged to ask/interrupt the interviewer anytime if they have any questions.
  • We require candidates to keep their cameras on during the interview.
  • We measure their English levels using a question list covering:
    • General questions: Candidates introduce themselves, share their hobbies, etc.
    • Technical questions: Candidates describe in detail their working experience.
    • Problem-solving questions: Candidates explain how they approach, analyze and tackle a specific technical problem at work.
  • Our interviewers determine the English communication skills of candidates based on the English level descriptors file to ensure the objective judgment toward candidates’ performances.
English level descriptors file we’ve used in our tech candidate shortlisting process

What we have changed, for the better

  • 20 – 30min is our usual test length. It used to be longer, and we also tried the shorter time (10min to be exact). It turned out between 20min and 30min is the best option to determine candidates’ English levels without overwhelming them.
A moment of our English assessment
  • We’ve decided to spend more time on CV sourcing and screening calls (twice than last three months). In return, our pass rate of this round improves from less than a half to 75%.
  • As a result, 100% of our clients feedback that candidates are good team players and have positive attitudes.

You shouldn’t just buy all we said

There’s no better way to examine whether what we said is true than to see it for yourself. How to do so?

Share your hiring requirements with us, and let us search, assess and send shortlisted candidates to you. You only pay once you get the right hires. Sounds good? Request a meeting with our technical recruiters now!

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