Hiring Developers Virtually Is Hard; HackerRank Uses Zoom’s Video SDK for Web to Make It Easier

HackerRank used the Zoom Video SDK to help technology companies provide reliable, high-quality experiences for recruiters and candidates.

Founded: 2012

Location: Mountain View, California 

Challenges: Companies across the globe use HackerRank to hire developers with the right skill sets, using virtual skill assessments and interviews to validate a candidate’s technical chops. Customers started to experience fluctuating audio and video quality, so HackerRank knew it was time to evaluate its tech stack. 

Solution: Zoom Video SDK for Web

Benefits: The ability to help technology companies provide reliable, high-quality experiences for recruiters and candidates. 

“We have to be able to scale and stay reliable as usage grows. We currently host 5,000 interviews daily but expect that to double next year. As usage increases, the tolerance and patience for low quality will continue to decrease. Virtual skill assessments and interviews need to feel like in-person. Zoom’s Video SDK for Web is the right solution for quality, reliable audio and video.”

Oded Shekel

Chief Product Officer at HackerRank

Founded: 2012

Location: Mountain View, California 

Challenges: Companies across the globe use HackerRank to hire developers with the right skill sets, using virtual skill assessments and interviews to validate a candidate’s technical chops. Customers started to experience fluctuating audio and video quality, so HackerRank knew it was time to evaluate its tech stack. 

Solution: Zoom Video SDK for Web

Benefits: The ability to help technology companies provide reliable, high-quality experiences for recruiters and candidates. 

“We have to be able to scale and stay reliable as usage grows. We currently host 5,000 interviews daily but expect that to double next year. As usage increases, the tolerance and patience for low quality will continue to decrease. Virtual skill assessments and interviews need to feel like in-person. Zoom’s Video SDK for Web is the right solution for quality, reliable audio and video.”

Oded Shekel

Chief Product Officer at HackerRank

The virtual interview experience is tough. The pandemic driving remote work, coupled with the tech industry experiencing rapid growth and a talent deficit, didn’t help. And when it comes to hiring developers, it’s even harder given the real-time skills assessments required of most candidates. 

In today’s candidate-first market, companies need to impress candidates at every touchpoint – from initial outreach to a skill assessment to the final interview. When it comes to remote skills assessments or interviews, any audio or visual quality issues could force it to be rescheduled, which may result in a candidate dropping out of the interview or accepting a different offer. 

“As the usage of remote interviewing increases, the tolerance and patience for a low quality video and audio experience will continue to decrease. Virtual skill assessments and interviews need to feel like in-person,” explained Oded Shekel, Chief Product Officer at HackerRank.

HackerRank helps companies identify the right developers based on virtual skill assessments and remote interviews. Ten years into its business, the company is the authority on all things developer skills — and how to best assess them. 

By enabling tech recruiters and hiring managers to objectively evaluate talent at every stage of the recruiting process, HackerRank helps more than 3,000 companies around the world, including over 25% of the Fortune 100, hire skilled developers. The company’s technology can remotely assess more than 100 skills required for roles ranging from data scientists with 10 years of experience to a recent college graduate. 

Transforming the way developers are hired, HackerRank has: 

  • More than 21 million developers in its community 
  • Over 188 million data points on technical skill assessments 

With two remote-first products, Screen, which helps recruiters spend less time reviewing resumes, and Interview, a single, fully-functioning integrated development environment (IDE) that allows candidates to showcase their skills while keeping administrative tasks embedded in the platform, the reliability and quality of audio and video are crucial. 

Product usage increased at the same time end users shared feedback that the audio and video experience integrated into the Interview product were negatively impacting an interview or a technical assessment. So, HackerRank knew it was time to re-evaluate its tech stack and implement a long-term solution that could provide high-quality audio and video, which are foundational to HackerRank’s solutions. 

Testing proofs of concept 

In 2021, HackerRank identified that 40% of its net promoter score comments were about audio and video quality. Many of the support calls they received were about the same issue. The team tried to fix the problem with its existing tool and found two main concerns: 

  1. Continuous audio quality: End users were experiencing fluctuating audio quality during interview sessions.
  2. Network fluctuation: Network fluctuation, such as wi-fi signals increasing and decreasing, was causing interviewers to have to restart sessions.

“We decided we had to evaluate other options in the market to replace our current tech stack,” explained Oded. “We identified six vendors who could provide us with an SDK and built a proof of concept (POC) with each one. We tested each POC internally for one week during our daily scrum meetings. As the end of the week approached, we manipulated the network connection to assess how the POC performed against our two main problem areas. We needed to see if the POC could gracefully recover.”

Throughout this process, HackerRank also gathered qualitative feedback from the team. If a POC was not meeting the team members’ expectations, they had no reason to move forward.  

“There were instances where we stopped testing some of the POCs before the week was over because our team wasn’t satisfied,” shared Oded. 

Providing the required reliability with the Zoom Video SDK for Web

HackerRank decided to move forward with the Zoom Video SDK for Web due to its reliable audio and video and ability to scale. 

“We have to be able to scale and stay reliable as usage grows. We hosted 500,000 interviews in 2021, and those users are under a lot of pressure to provide a strong virtual interview experience for their candidates,” said Oded. “If a customer is hosting an interview with a candidate, it cannot go down. It reflects poorly on the company and our brand.”

Zoom’s Video SDK for Web is the right solution for quality, reliable audio and video.

While incorporating the Zoom Video SDK for Web, the HackerRank and Zoom teams worked closely together. 

“Working with Zoom is one of the best experiences the team has had,” shared Oded. “The level and quality of responsiveness made it feel like we were working with an internal team. Zoom is widely used so it sets a benchmark for the quality of video users expect. With Zoom’s Video SDK for Web, we can provide our customers with the same quality they experience during a Zoom Meeting,” said Oded. 

Oded estimates that its number of daily interviews will double next year and is confident that Zoom’s developer solutions can support that growth in HackerRank’s business, both in the short term and long term.

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