Traditional recruiting is broken

In building Subspace, we’ve learned a lot about what works and what doesn’t work in tech recruiting. And also a lot about bias.

The habits our brains developed to survive on the savannah do us a terrible disservice in the age of reason and the internet. We leap to conclusions, instinctually prefer people who look us like us, and spend too much time worrying about perception. These habits lead us to build dysfunctional engineering teams where, every year, 34% of people quit their new job.

If we were issuing grades, the tech industry would be failing.

What isn’t working?

Today’s hiring process is non-deterministic. That is, the hoops most companies make candidates leap through don’t determine whether they’ll be good at the job. They simply determine that they’re good at jumping through hoops.

Paper resumes weed out great developers who are bad at writing resumes.

Technical code interviews weed out great developers who are bad at code interviews.

Recruiters weed out great developers who aren’t great performers.

Hiring managers weed out great developers who are unlike them.

There’s an entire industry of companies trying to solve this problem. But most are only working to make each piece of the broken funnel less dysfunctional. Code test sites like Codility and HackerRank help recruiters be less subjective. Recruiting agencies use algorithms to try to make resumes more accurate. Language assessment services try to make job postings less biased. But they’re all still shoving people through the same funnel where, at some point, someone’s brain is going to lead them to make a poor hire.

Image credit: Jobvite

Image credit: Jobvite

So, why not remove the funnel?

Subspace matches based on skill

Subspace is a hiring site and a work platform that uses peer review to isolate a developer’s true skill. It’s both the place where companies and developers meet, and where the code is written, completely remote.

When companies post projects, our system locates the perfect developers for each piece of the project automatically. There are no resumes, no phone screens, and no interviews. There is no wondering whether to cover up your tattoo in an interview, or guessing how many golf balls it’d take to fill a school bus. There is only connecting the right people to the right projects and building it all in a peer-reviewed, code-tested work group.

It gets companies out of their own way and increases the diversity of their hires and it helps excellent developers find work, no matter what school they went to or how they present.

It’s a path to better code, but also a path to a better world.

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