Welcome to CodeSignal Pre-Screen, the solution that can help you identify qualified technical candidates at the top of your hiring funnel! CodeSignal Pre-Screen lets you screen candidates at scale with certified evaluations backed by validated, pre-built Skills Evaluation Frameworks.
In this guide, we’ll start by answering common questions about how Pre-Screen fits into your hiring process. You’ll also learn how to do the following:
How does Pre-Screen fit into my hiring process?
What are certified assessments?
Certified assessments are built, proctored, and maintained by CodeSignal’s internal team of experts. Each certified assessment produces a Coding Score as an objective measure of a candidate’s technical skills, which we’ll discuss more later in this guide.
These evaluations are backed by Skills Evaluation Frameworks, which are created by subject matter experts and validated by Industrial-Organizational (IO) Psychologists. All frameworks are built from a research-backed set of requirements and guidelines that enable CodeSignal customers to consistently identify qualified candidates for their roles.
CodeSignal’s General Coding Framework (formerly known as the General Coding Assessment) is one such framework that includes over half a million variations to minimize cheating. The General Coding Framework is programming-language-agnostic and tests core technical concepts. Other frameworks such as Machine Learning, Data Analytics, and System Design assess more targeted skills. Click here to see the full list of available frameworks and read in depth about certified assessments.
What is the candidate's experience?
Certified assessments improve candidate experience, too, since candidates can share their assessment results more widely without always having to take a new evaluation. When a candidate receives an email invitation to take a specific certified assessment, they also have the option of submitting an existing score, if available, moving them through the pipeline faster. In the next section on inviting candidates, we’ll go over how you can set a limit for how recent their score needs to be.
Assuming a candidate opts to take the assessment, what follows is an automated process that happens entirely in their browser. The candidate begins by verifying their identity and enabling their camera and microphone for proctoring, described in detail in the next section. Then, they continue to the actual evaluation, which starts a timer and grants access to the CodeSignal IDE.
The IDE has everything a candidate needs to complete the assessment, including the question description, code editor, customizable settings (including preferred programming language for language-agnostic assessments), and an environment to run test cases. After a candidate submits the assessment, they immediately get their results, making it easier to self-identify areas for improvement. Our Knowledge Base has a step-by-step guide and video about the candidate experience.
What does proctoring entail?
You have the option of enabling proctoring for your Pre-Screen evaluations. With proctoring, you can be confident that the candidate isn’t getting outside help or having someone take the assessment in their place.
To verify their identity, a candidate needs to upload a photo of a valid, government-issued photo ID such as a driver’s license or passport and also take a photo of themselves with their webcam. After the evaluation, CodeSignal reviews this information to confirm the ID’s authenticity and that it matches the candidate’s name and photo.
The candidate also needs to share recording access to their screen, camera, and microphone for the duration of the evaluation. CodeSignal’s team of proctoring specialists review this recording to ensure the candidate followed the rules for the evaluation.
If the review doesn’t flag any issues, CodeSignal verifies the assessment result after one to three business days. Both your company and the candidate have access to view the verification decision. In the event of a failed verification, the candidate can retake the assessment after a cooldown period that varies by evaluation type.
Invite candidates to take a Pre-Screen assessment
The Pre-Screen tab within the CodeSignal dashboard has everything you need to manage assessments for your company. This section on this page has links to each of CodeSignal’s Skills Evaluation Frameworks. This is where you can choose the specific type of evaluation you intend on sending to candidates.
Customize assessment configuration before inviting candidates
CodeSignal Pre-Screen provides a few options you may want to use to tailor certified assessments to your company’s needs. On the assessment page for your preferred framework, you can customize the following:
- Personalized email invitations to insert your company’s voice into communications with the candidate (email reminders can also be customized)
- Assessment invitation expiration date
- Age limit for certification results, for candidates who have already taken this assessment
Send certification requests
On the page for a given framework, you have two options for sending certification requests:
- The Link button lets you generate a shareable link that can be sent to multiple candidates at once.
- The Invite button lets you email individual candidates from directly within CodeSignal. Its benefit is that, unlike the Link button, you can track pending assessment invitations and choose to remind candidates about a test.
Pending requests are listed in the Pending section of the dashboard for a given assessment.
You can revoke a pending request from this screen. If you used the link sharing option to invite candidates, you can click again on the Link button to toggle link sharing off. For more details on this or anything else about inviting candidates to take certified assessments, see our collection of support articles.
You can also use supported integrations to invite candidates directly from your ATS. You can learn more about supported integrations here.
What happens after a candidate gets invited?
A candidate has until the expiration date of the assessment, which is two weeks by default, to either submit an existing result or take the evaluation. If the request expires without a submission, the invitation will appear under the Not Shared tab instead of Pending.
On the Pending section of the dashboard, you can check the status of any assessment invitation. CodeSignal will update the request when the candidate starts the assessment and again when they submit. In the next one to three business days after submission, the result should be verified as part of CodeSignal’s proctoring process and moved from Pending to Certified on the dashboard. If for some reason CodeSignal rejects the result, the status will update accordingly and provide a reason for not verifying the certification.
View, interpret, and share assessment results
After a candidate submits an assessment, you’ll likely want to make a decision on whether to continue moving them through the hiring process. CodeSignal makes it easy to interpret results through objective scores, while also giving full visibility into a candidate’s code should you want to dig deeper. If you need to share results with others on your team, all you need to do is send them a link.
See coding reports and replays
Click on a candidate’s name in the CodeSignal Pre-Screen dashboard to open their coding report. The report contains all past assessments the candidate submitted, along with their scores for each. The CodeSignal Coding Score is a composite measure of a candidate’s overall coding performance in the assessment. This objective result synthesizes several key factors, including correctness and speed. You’ll also see core skill scores that let you drill down into the individual components that go into the overall Coding Score. See more details on how to interpret certified assessment scores.
From the coding report, you can click on a specific assessment to open it. Within an assessment result, you will see the individual questions a candidate answered, as well as their score for each. Next to each question is a circular replay button that opens an IDE where you can playback a candidate’s keystrokes in real-time or sped up. This can be helpful to inspect a candidate’s problem solving process instead of just looking at their final solution.
Share results by link
On both the candidate’s overall coding report as well as a specific assessment result, you will find a Link button for sharing the candidate’s full report. You can either share a public link, available to anyone, or a restricted link, which requires the viewer to be logged into CodeSignal. Our Knowledge Base has complete walkthroughs for both accessing and sharing assessment results.
With that, you should be ready to start using CodeSignal Pre-Screen to validate your candidates’ skills! Pre-Screen evaluations are just the top of your hiring funnel though, so check out Interview to fill out the rest of your recruiting process.