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Looking to recruit the best talent? Most companies are, and many of them have customized their hiring process to help them secure quality talent. These companies still evaluate candidates on the essentials – including academic qualifications, skill set, and the right attitude – but they’ve gotten more creative about assessing applicants.
In this article, we’ll look at 20 companies with somewhat unique hiring processes. Most of them still follow standard procedures, but they’ve introduced nuances to help them meet their specific recruitment needs.
Before we get to the unique aspects, let’s review the typical steps.
The standard hiring process typically includes some, or all, of the following steps:
So, where does recruitment become unique?
Many companies are customizing the hiring process to better meet their talent acquisition goals – some are prioritizing diversity more, others place a strong emphasis on skills assessments, etc. Your hiring process is influenced by the type of talent you’re looking to attract, your company culture, and additional factors such as how competitive your compensation packages are.
Let’s take a look at 20 companies that have introduced uniqueness in their hiring to attract their ideal talent.
DELL describes itself as searching for people who are interested in “driving human progress forward”, a phrase that reflects the mindset DELL values in its talent.
The tech giant boldly declares its mission to recruit ‘superstars,’ which sets the bar very high for potential applicants. They’re searching for candidates who not only accelerate at working in a team but also possess leadership qualities and are action-oriented.
DELL has divided its hiring process into two rounds – first is the initial technical one, which consists mainly of tests to assess knowledge and skills. The second round is the Human Resources one, which is more interactive and focused on evaluating the applicant’s personality.
IBM has a diverse and inclusive workplace, courtesy of its inclusive hiring process that is designed to be accessible to all.
IBM’s hiring process puts candidates through a series of assessment tests, all of which have been scientifically validated. The tests are tailored to each position, designed to prioritize merit and skill-based hiring. This makes IBM’s testing process fair and reduces hiring bias in the recruitment process.
IBM’s assessments cover coding, cognitive ability, and IPAT tests. Successful candidates then move on to the next stage, where they can be invited for an online interview; and then to visit a company assessment center, where they engage in a range of group exercises.
IBM reserves face-to-face interviews for candidates who pass the initial evaluation. The interview questions vary and focus on learning about the candidates’ prior experiences and grasping their potential.
IBM is also committed to delivering a positive candidate experience – they provide status updates and application feedback to their candidates.
Microsoft has recently analyzed its hiring process and made changes to refine its talent acquisition strategy. The megacorp is searching for people who exhibit traits like adaptability, creativity, and action-orientedness.
Recruiters prioritize evaluating applicants for the five aspects of the company’s culture, including a growth mindset, diversity and inclusion, and specific manager expectations.
Microsoft has instigated certain changes to improve the hiring process, including:
Also, to prevent bias, the first interviewer will not discuss the candidate with the next interviewer until after the second one meets the candidate. Discussion is delayed until the interview process has been completed, to reduce bias.
Facebook’s hiring process is structured and divided into 4 main stages; the resume, a phone call, interviews on-site, and the final review by the hiring committee.
The Big Tech company is looking for candidates who express traits such as curiosity and a desire to create something new.
For technical roles, Facebook’s interviews focus on evaluating the candidates’ technical knowledge and skills. The process also includes ‘take home’ assessments to evaluate the candidate’s concepts and practical skills.
This might include tests that take a maximum of 30 mins, such as a whiteboard coding test or a take-home coding challenge. These assessments usually last no more than 30 minutes, and candidates are required to elucidate their solutions.
Facebook recruiters also take feedback from the rest of the team to help finalize their hiring decision.
The specifics of Apple’s hiring process are private, and the company does not openly disclose specifics about its interview methods. However, it’s well-known to be a multi-stage hiring process – which is common to Big Tech. The process includes the initial application, a telephone interview, assessment tests, and a final interview.
Apple’s interviewing process is also known to be longer and more demanding than that of other tech giants. Apple’s recruiters are said to prioritize technical questions, and candidates may also be asked to work with existing teams on group projects related to the role they are applying for. They may also be given a role-play exercise and will need to complete a case study assessment.
Amazon’s hiring process has multiple steps, which include online assessment tests, virtual interviews, and on-site tests. The final decision comes from the hiring committee, which consists of a panel of personnel that were involved in the evaluation process (e.g., the interviewers and test conductors).
The interview questions reportedly vary in type and difficulty, making the process challenging.
Amazon’s interview process is influenced by its Leadership Principles, including Customer Obsession – and candidates are also given a test on the principles themselves.
The applicants for engineering roles are given rigorous coding challenges, which include pre-interview tests and coding and design challenges.
This megacorp is focused on implementing a hiring process that reflects the company’s culture of inclusion and diversity. Google prioritizes evaluating applicants for their skills, aptitude, thinking skills, and cultural fit.
Like all FAANG entities, Google has a multi-stage hiring process that includes reviewing the application, rounds of interviews, and hands-on assessment. Their interviews are typically structured or semi-structured interview to reduce bias and ensure a fair evaluation.
▶️Read more: Big Tech Hiring Practices: How FAANG Hires Engineers
Google tailors the exact process depending on the role to meet the job’s specific demands. The tech giant’s core emphasis is on assessing applicants’ practical skills – so Google relies on a combination of coding quizzes and other tests. They might also assign project work to evaluate an applicant’s skillset more deeply.
The hiring decision is not left to a single recruiter – a team of them makes the final call.
Netflix provides applicants with a transcript of the company’s core values and culture at the start of the hiring process. The recruiter first contacts the applicant by phone, and they attempt to evaluate how good a potential fit for the company is. If the recruiter feels there is potential, the candidate receives a phone call from the hiring manager, whose evaluation can lead to on-site interviews.
▶️Read more: Engineering Culture and Hiring at Netflix
Netflix usually targets engineers with at least three years of experience as opposed to fresh graduates – hiring experienced personnel forms the core of their strategy. Their interview process involves face-to-face discussion with different team members, where applicants are asked detailed questions about their knowledge of programming and technology.
Candidates may also have to solve problems and challenges on-site, and Netflix may also give them a timed take-home test. Applicants who progress from this stage face three further evaluation sessions with human resources, the hiring manager, and the engineering team manager, respectively. The interviewers ask questions to assess and evaluate technical knowledge and the candidates’ cultural fit.
True to its name, Menlo Innovations transformed the hiring process. From its inception, Menlo took a very different approach from traditional hiring.
Menlo hosts ‘mass auditions’ several times a year – applicants are paired up at the auditions and assigned a task to complete, which mimics the company’s working style.
What makes this exercise stand out is that each candidate must ensure their ‘partner’ progresses to the next stage of the hiring process, promoting collaboration and a strong team spirit.
The pairings are shuffled during the audition, and the process is repeated, with each pair being observed by a different member of the company.
Once the audition is over and the candidates have left, the whole team assesses and evaluates each candidate based on the observations of their team members, and the decision to hire or fire is taken by polling the team.
Dyson’s talent acquisition process is focused on acquiring talented students from high school, and their hiring process is tailored accordingly. They have a program that gives students practical experience through work and study to train them for engineering positions. The study leads to graduation with a Bachelor’s degree in Engineering.
By graduation, students have their academic qualifications and practical work experience. This commitment from Dyson allows the company to ‘feed’ top talent into its recruitment funnel. The company’s focus is on students who show drive and curiosity and have a passion for creating something new. They value these qualities more than experience.
Additionally, Dyson sends its engineers to top universities to view end-of-year engineering project design shows and to speak with the students. This also allows them to identify and recruit quality talent.
DigitalOcean believes in transparency in the hiring process – their goal is to make their recruitment as accessible as possible, and one of their innovations is the creation of a central hub of resources that all candidates can access.
DigitalOcean prioritizes the relationship that develops between recruiters and candidates; their approach is to establish trust and a rapport that will enable them to effectively find the right person for the job and their firm.
Slack is well-known as a revolutionary collaboration tool – but the company is also well-known for its diverse and inclusive hiring policy, which supports candidates from all backgrounds.
In their commitment to inclusivity, Slack has eliminated hiring practices that could exclude certain people, such as whiteboard interviews. Moreover, they also give applicants the option to complete any assessment on-site as opposed to at home, to avoid distractions at home.
Slack’s structured interview process includes questions focused on assessing a candidate’s skills.
They also train the company’s interviewers by conducting role-plays to train them. The objective is to ensure they treat all candidates equally and with consideration.
DocuSign is another company that prioritizes the relationship between recruiters and candidates in the hiring process. They are interested in judging the candidate’s experience of their journey at each stage. The aim is to improve the process, reducing friction and helping DocuSign acquire the best talent.
As part of DocuSign’s commitment to improving its hiring process, the company gives candidates surveys to collect their feedback. The feedback mainly addresses the candidate’s experience with the recruiter, as recruiters are vital to the hiring process. Collecting the feedback allows recruiters to identify areas to improve.
DocuSign’s hiring process yielded positive results after just one year of implementation.
Similar to Dyson, Informatic prioritizes hiring the best young talent. The company conducts a series of rounds to recruit from the pool of fresh graduates. There are usually 5 to 6 rounds of evaluation, beginning with an online MCQ-based test and ending with an interview with HR.
The majority of the hiring process consists of four technical rounds, which include a series of design problems, coding assessments, and possibly puzzle-solving. Applicants are also questioned regarding any projects they have previously worked on.
The Human Resources round is based on questions about candidates, their strengths and weaknesses, family, and resume. Informatica’s recruiters have been described as friendly, but the questions they ask are challenging to ensure merit-based hiring.
Nvidia also conducts a series of recruiting rounds, but they have adapted each round to suit their own needs. There are usually five to six rounds, beginning with a written test and ending with an interview with HR.
The written round has two main sections; a General Aptitude test and a technical test. Next up is a coding round to evaluate applicants’ problem-solving skills. The next two rounds are conducted by holding interviews with the candidates that have qualified in the previous rounds.
The interview includes questions about the applicant’s resume and more coding and puzzle-based problems. The questions are mentally challenging to evaluate each applicant’s critical thinking skills.
The final HR round focuses on getting to know the candidate by asking questions about their personal life and their personality. Sometimes, the round also includes a discussion of the applicant’s previous experience. Interviewers use more challenging, scenario-based questions to evaluate the candidates’ responses and determine their cultural fit.
After Citrix Systems receives and accepts an application, the recruiter contacts the candidate and guides them through the whole hiring process. It’s almost like a buddy system. This process benefits the company by helping the recruiter learn more about the candidate, and it also improves the candidate’s experience.
Citrix Systems has an inclusive and diverse recruitment policy and offers help to candidates who may face challenges in the recruitment process. The Citrix hiring process also combines assessments with interviews – the exact blend depends on the role the candidate is applying for, and some parts may take place online while others are on-site.
The hiring process typically consists of five rounds, starting with an online test, which is followed by three technical rounds. Finally, there is the HR round to assess for cultural fit. The exact nature of each round can vary, but the technical round contains coding assessments and puzzles.
Sapient visits campuses to recruit fresh graduates by conducting a series of evaluation rounds. This includes:
The final round by HR is focused on getting to know the candidate and their personality in more depth to assess for cultural fit. The questions also assess the candidate’s values and principles, and scenario-based questions are also combined with more knowledge-based ones.
Vistaprint commits to a transparent and easy hiring process. This includes constant communication between the company and the candidate, and Vistaprint sends applicants actionable feedback to help them improve.
The hiring process itself is quite straightforward – after submitting an application, there is an initial phone call with the applicant, where the recruiter discusses the candidate’s interest in the company, their previous experience, and current status and availability.
Successful candidates will be invited for an interview – either on-site or, if this is not possible, for an online video call. The goals of the meeting are to:
Vistaprint also conducts additional technical interviews for engineering jobs to vet the candidates’ technical knowledge and expertise.
Thoughtworks has a very thorough hiring process, divided into three stages consisting of 6-10 rounds. Like Dyson and Informatica, they focus on hiring fresh graduates and young talent. Thoughtworks’ process stands out because it’s conducted entirely online; its goal is to make the recruitment process convenient and flexible for applicants.
The company has created a collaborative and interactive hiring process that analyses candidates’ attributes, skills, and personalities.
The hiring begins with coding rounds, followed by technical interviews, then a technical round, a leadership round, and finally, an HR round. The applicant’s knowledge, skills, and thinking skills are evaluated using coding assessments and puzzles.
Interviewers also use social issue scenarios to assess a candidate’s values and empathy – to determine their cultural fit. The leadership round is conducted by senior management, who discuss scenarios to grasp the applicant’s leadership potential. The final HR round follows the traditional method of using personal questions to vet the candidate’s cultural fit.
Infosys is a leading global IT solutions & consulting company known for its top talent and unique hiring practices. The tech giant has mastered balancing internal hiring with external to acquire the best talent for specialized roles.
While many companies look to hire externally to fill new, specialized roles, Infosys looked within. In 2016, the company introduced Compass, an internal digital platform that redefined Infosys’ approach to hiring. Compass helped employees at Infosys grow their careers by upskilling and taking up more advanced roles within the company.
As for Infosys’ recruitment process itself, the company follows a similar pattern to most tech giants, including:
Infosys is committed to fair, merit-based hiring and diversity.
When a process already works, why should you? From our list of 20 companies with unique hiring processes, you might have noticed that the overlying processes are quite similar. The differences come in specific nuances that help the companies meet their specific talent acquisition goals.
So, stick with what works, but innovate when necessary. Your ideal talent differs from another company’s, so ensure your hiring process is tailored to your audience.
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