Improving candidate hit rates

Improving candidate hit rates

At Pragna, we took upon the challenge of improving the candidate hit rates for Full-time (FTE) hiring. Improving the hit rates obviously provides significant advantage to Organizations – They can spend more time with project work and employee training than interviewing loads and loads of candidates for each position.
Here is a snapshot of the process that enabled us to achieve 100% or better improvement with candidate hit rates:
1. Sourcing:
  • Working with hiring managers, we prepared a very detailed profile of the position
  • We employed targeted headhunting through social sites to identify pool of passive candidates
  • We used a team that worked round-the-clock (from Seattle & Bangalore) to cover all timezones and international candidates
2. Technical Screening – Written
  • We prepared a technical screening questionnaire tailored to each position and the job level
  • The written answers are throughly evaluated by competent technical people (not recruiters but sr. engineers)
  • We shortlisted candidates based on written test and examination of resume (spend 20 mins on reviewing/understanding resume vs. 2 mins
3. Technical Screening – In-depth Pragna Interview
  • This interview is done by senior engineers of the same job level
  • We did live meeting interview to visually see the coding abilities
4. Prepare a Candidate Scorecard
  • We prepared a detailed analysis report that Pragna sent to hiring managers with details from our interview
  • We identified strengths & weaknesses along with detailed descriptions of the problem we worked with the candidate
  • Then we submitted the candidate with all the above documentation (saved managers precious time to weed out 90% of the candidates)
5. Optimization
  • We reviewed feedback on candidates after each client interview
  • Based on each candidate (successful or not), we optimized and updated our process to improve it
This resulted in significant gains to the organization in terms of both saving their precious time as well as getting better candidates and hires for the organization.
Contract or Full Time Which is the Best Method for Hiring

Contract or Full Time Which is the Best Method for Hiring

Many folks have asked me – How does one determine if a resume is suited for Full-time (FTE) vs. Contract positions? The fundamental difference is in the intent for the Contract position is a specific short-term skill need whereas FTE is a hire for company for a specific skill with long term horizon where the employee could perform different roles/jobs in the company over time.  There is no fool proof method, but below are certain characteristics that hold good most of the times, if not always:

Full-time or FTE hiring:

  • Average tenure in previous jobs (atleast 3 yrs or more in US; so candidates have longer term horizon)
  • More emphasis on academic qualifications
  • Look for professional growth (has the candidate grown in skill/level of performance over time)
  • Focus on overall candidate strengths especially in core fundamentals / concepts and Analytical skills vs. only specified skills (this is an important aspect since specific skills can be learnt over time and may become less important once a specific project is completed)
  • Check if candidate has experience in a similar type of company (size, functional area etc.)
  • Emphasis on soft skills like team management, program management etc.

Contract hiring

  • Focus on good matching of required skills and experience wrt to job requirements
  • Look for breadth of project experience and types of projects and compare against current project they are going to work on; match the two as much as possible
  • # of years of experience as a contract or consultant
  • Ability to adapt quickly (e.g., flexible with process; deliverables etc. vs. having own strong views on them)
  • Look for special attributes identified by hiring manager (for example, Analytical skills maybe important for a particular manager but generally less important for contract positions)
Why the name Pragna?

Why the name Pragna?

Well.. In the past 18 months since we started this company. Many people have asked me why the name Pragna. Well there is not a great scientific explanation to this. What I tell people is we loved the name and decided to go with it in a heartbeat.

Part explanation is that Pragna in sanskrit means Knowledge. And we are in the business of delivering knowledge/expertise/skillsets to our customers and also to enhance their knowledge and productivity. And so the name starts to make some sense.

Finally if there can be a Apple Technologies, Perot Systems and a Saturn Technologies… So can there be a Pragna Technologies!