There is currently a war on talent across the digital world, and nowhere is that war being fought more than within the world of hiring developers. I’m afraid demand massively outstrips supply and therefore maximising your recruitment process to get the right fit matters more than ever. You won’t get many, if any, second chances at the moment.

Don’t believe us? Check out the statistics below showing just some of the trends from the past 12 months across the Technology jobs market:


  • Over the past 12 months the average number of job adverts for Technology roles have been 259% higher than the rest of Europe each month.
  • The number of Tech jobs advertised grew by 36% during the 2020 Covid pandemic.
  • Tech jobs make up 12% of all UK job vacancies advertised each month in 2021.
  • Over 100,000 Tech vacancies per week now advertised in the UK.


Digital 51 recently completed a poll with over 140 Developers on their opinion of how they like to be tested when interviewing for their next role. Tech test or real life work example?

What did our poll show, what are Developers most excited about when completing an interview process?


  • 81% of respondents in our poll stated they would prefer to complete a real-life example of work to prove their technical skills.


Does this mean you should now be looking to add an additional stage to your recruitment process? No, we think it’s time for a change in process altogether. Let us tell you about a recent example we’ve had with a business Digital 51 are currently supporting to hire developers.

Recruiting a full stack developer the hiring business was concerned about understanding the real-world integration, and capability a potential candidate would have, should they offer them a role to join the business. Upon further discussion we highlighted that their current second stage; ‘the tech test’ would not answer these questions. We instead suggested a real-life example where a live brief from an existing piece of work would be used to test the candidate’s suitability. The business put this into practise by inviting the candidate into a call with key members of their existing project and design teams to outline the brief. The candidate then responded to this live scenario. This approach gave the business a much wider sense of how capable the candidate was, but also how they would interact with other members of the existing team. This also gave the hiring business a sense of how genuinely passionate and personable the candidate was, always something that should be a key trait of a new potential hire.

Following this adventurous change of process, an offer was then made to the candidate. The candidate also felt as though having this ‘in-person’ get to know with business allowed them to truly get to know the ins of their new company, and in short, they LOVED it.

OK, so you have heard what Developers want, you have heard about a business which has changed their process, now what should you do?

Basically, accept the reality of the situation, you need to give the people what they want, what they need. This will also allow candidates to shine and be at their best.

Now we know what you are thinking. You have been using your current tech test for a while, it’s tried, it’s tested, and it allows you to look at a person’s code. However, with such a high demand for developers are you really expecting the candidate to take a full day out of work to complete a 5-6-hour tech test? What is in it for them? What does this test tell them about your business?

What we’re trying to say is, completing a tech-test in the interview process is just not appealing to candidates anymore. If something is not appealing, then compliance and completion rates will drop. In an already short market, can you afford to take that risk?

This article was written by Chloe Brown Marketing Intern for Digital 51 based on a poll conducted by Craig Fenn, JavaScript Partner for Digital 51. To find out further examples of how you can adapt your recruitment process to secure the best development talent, contact