We ran the numbers, and there really is a pipeline problem in eng hiring. [interviewing.io]

Dated Dec 3, 2019; last modified on Sun, 14 Mar 2021

We ran the numbers, and there really is a pipeline problem in eng hiring. Aline Lerner. http://blog.interviewing.io/we-ran-the-numbers-and-there-really-is-a-pipeline-problem-in-eng-hiring/ . https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=21694348 . Dec 3, 2019.

Wait, but research shows:

  • STEM in early education is unfriendly to children from underrepresented backgrounds
  • Lack of a level playing field and unequal access to quality STEM education
  • Hostile university culture in male-dominated CS programs
  • Biased hiring practices
  • Non-inclusive work environments cause higher churn of underrepresented folk.

Systemic issues can be hard to fix. The argument against the pipeline problem becomes, “No, the candidates are there. We just need to fix the bias in our process.”

Companies have been pumping $$$ into unconscious bias training, anonymizing resumes, etc. But the numbers have barely moved.

The percentage of women engineers is low and likely worse than reported:

  • FAAMNG’s numbers are global. Other countries tend to raise the numbers, e.g. India - 35% vs. US - 16% of devs.
  • Reported numbers are based on broadly defined ‘technical roles’, e.g. product management and UX design.

~20% of CS graduates have been women for the past 15 years. The hiring rate at tech for women is ~20% too. We can’t get to parity, even if we’re unbiased.

Let’s include strong engineers who don’t hail from top schools or top companies (which are poor proxies anyway). interviewing.io gives free mock interviews to engineers, identifies top performers and allows them to interview anonymously with employers.

  • Conversion rates are 3x the industry standard (70% ace phone screen)
  • 40% of the hires made by top companies come from non-traditional backgrounds.