Set an incredibly high bar for talent and quality, and never EVER compromise. It’s also important to be objective and make an unbiased hiring decision. - Laszlo Bock, Senior VP People Operations, Google.

Very true, isn’t it? It is imperative that your hiring decision is based on clearly defined data. Many hiring managers bring their gut feeling a factor while making a hiring decision. While I wouldn’t point it as something incorrect, but, when it comes to technical hiring, there should be clearly defined datasets which should be seriously referred to while making a call.

We have conducted over 1000+ interviews at AirCTO in the last one year. I often wondered, how does one compare between two candidates. Given the same experience and domain, how would you consider one candidate as “good fit” while the other as a “bad fit”? How do you decide?

So, I decided to dig deeper into our database and study the interview reports for two iOS developers, while one of them was fit for hiring, the other was not. I have compared these two candidates based on the skillsets they were evaluated on and have presented their knowledge/expertise in the form of measurable data.

Object Oriented Programming and Data Structures

This was one of the skills mentioned in the “must have” category by the company. For your reference, we ask companies to provide us with two sets of skill sets, “must have” and “good to have”. The “must have” skills are the focal point of the entire interview.

Here is the individual evaluation of both the candidates on OOPs and Data Structures. Let’s name them Candidate A(Good-fit) and Candidate B(Bad-fit).

OOPS and Data Structures

iOS (Xcode 6 and iOS SDK), Swift, and Objective-C

Xcode is an integrated development environment for Mac OS containing a suite of software development tools developed by Apple for developing software for iOS. So, it is imperative that one has strong fundamental knowledge about it. Swift is a new programming language introduced for iOS and OS X mobile app development by the Apple. Some people call it the future of iOS app development. Let’s see the relative performance of the two candidates in this domain.

A point to note, If you know swift you won't be asked to learn Objective-C in ninety percent cases. But vice-versa is not true. Therefore, Swift knowledge is definitely a plus point.

Web Services, SOAP, and JSON

A web service is similar to a function call to a remote server and offers very specific functionality. JSON is an implementation of web services which are extremely common these days and recruiters should expect the candidate to be familiar with it. Let’s see the performance of both the candidates on these technologies.

Note that the knowledge of both the candidates is almost similar in these technologies.

User experience, Design, and AutoLayout

The AutoLayout approach to design allows a developer to build user interfaces that dynamically respond to both internal and external changes. Therefore, a candidate needs to have a decent knowledge of the constraint-based approach and how it influences user experience. He also needs to have a key eye for design. We evaluated both the candidates on this and following were the results:

Communication skills

Though communication skills are not mentioned by our clients, nonetheless we vet the candidates on this criteria. One cannot ignore the importance of good communication power while dealing with internal teams or while understanding client requirements. Sometimes, it can be a dealbreaker as well.

So, here were the scores of A & B :

Finally, I have put together all the skills and have merged it for a better comparison. The comparative graph amazed us. It became clearer that the candidate A stands at a far better position compared to candidate B in terms of employability. A comparison between their overall scores is shown below:

Decisions, decisions, and decisions! Recruiters and hiring managers have to make several decisions every day.There are less impactful decisions like job posting in multiple channels. There are difficult one’s –deciding on the job description keeping all the stakeholders together. And then there are the tough decisions, that could leave a permanent mark both on the candidate and the company, such as deciding between two candidates whose abilities are almost the same when viewed apparently.

Actually, we tend to get confused when all the data is floating in our head, and that’s why graphs were made! Once we note them down in the form of visual representation giving relevant weight to every skill set, the tasks become much easier and precise. Let’s hire from data and not from our gut!

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