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Talent Management

How to Hire Top Software Engineers 40% Faster: Our Findings

Vasile Putina
Vasile Putina
Chief Technology Officer

When it comes to hiring top engineers, fast decision-making is critical to staff teams efficiently and to access top engineering talent, according to a recent Pentalog analysis.

On average, by analyzing 12 months of global IT services staffing data covering hundreds open positions, we found that companies using Pentalog’s proprietary assessment methodology were able to staff open positions 40% faster than those who chose to augment recruitment with their own assessment.

In time savings, that translates into securing talent in an average of 3.5 weeks, compared to 5.5 weeks when the supplemental assessment was required. The cycle time for hiring is not only reduced, but access to top-level talent is increased via a simpler, Pentalog-driven process.

The bottom line is that clients who depend on Pentalog’s assessment tools save critical time when finding the right people to fill open positions. Even where clients add specific expectations for roles, avoiding redundancy has a dramatic effect on efficiency.

What’s more, ultimate client satisfaction remains more than 80% for Pentalog all clients, suggesting that efficient hiring and onboarding by itself may justify the decision for companies to avoid adding an extra layer to technical recruitment.

The ability to gain as much as two weeks of focus time, essentially one full sprint of activity, means that staffing shortages are solved faster, speeding onboarding and time to market.

Access to Top Talent

Beyond an overall increase in staffing efficiency, we found that the best developers typically choose a new assignment within 10 days.

In terms of availability to hire, on average, we found that the best developers, those in the Top 5% will stay on the market no more than 2 weeks at most, which can exceed the time needed to arrange multiple levels of client review.

In other words, when it comes to hiring the best, there’s no time to waste.

For companies seeking to work with the best developers, the reality is that the most attractive candidates will field multiple opportunities and make their decisions in part by weighing the level of effort needed to be hired.

This phenomenon is by no means limited to the open market. At Pentalog, when developers are between projects, top profiles are onboarded up to 50% faster than select profiles (an already highly competent rating) and don’t exhibit an eagerness to engage in lengthy back-and-forth discussions with clients.

Considering these findings, we advise companies seeking to work with elite talent to position themselves to make more rapid decisions. We ensure proper validation by integrating client requests for specific requirements and assessments into our process.

How Pentalog Assessment Works

SkillValue Insight is a proprietary talent management algorithm created by Pentalog to identify top talent and match skills to client projects.

Our data-driven methodology looks deeper, covering technical expertise, collaboration skills, English language, and experience to rank profiles according to their true capabilities, including Top 3%, Top 5% and Select levels.

SVI levels
SVI levels

The algorithm was born from decades of Pentalog’s hiring data: We analyzed data from around 125,000 engineers and tech experts (representing every country around the world) plus more than 1 million completed assessments to create a tool that measures talent objectively, looking well beyond screening interviews used by other assessment systems.

Our 360-Degree Assessment Covers:

  • Hard Skills: We cover 1,000+ engineering skills, with new ones added constantly, allowing us to configure customized assessments based on current and emerging technologies and roles.
  • Soft Skills: We use a Dreyfus skills assessment containing 45 templates and 373 skills – and growing. Assessments include human interviews using standardized questionnaires.
  • English: We assess candidates for medium and advanced written and spoken English levels using SKillValue and Dreyfus assessments plus feedback from Pentalog English teachers.
  • Experience: We look for evidence of a growth mindset, professionals who have progressively gained expertise and responsibility and those who have contributed code or knowledge to their communities.

While different projects have requirements for skills, we use assessments to develop learning recommendations that help individuals and teams become the best versions of themselves. Our aim is to provide every team member a customized learning path that matches their roles and their interests.


Need help finding talent for your team? Talk to a Pentalog Solutions Specialist today. Trust our assessment know-how to onboard the best candidates, faster than ever.

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