One Hack We Used To Hire The Best Tech Talent

one hack to hire the best talent

It’s no secret that if you’re advertising for IT and technical roles on job boards like Seek and Indeed, you’ll receive plenty of unsuitable applications. Not only does an effective filtering process allow you to filter out the bad applications, it allows you to focus on the best applications, faster. There are all sorts of tools to help with this filtering such as psychometric testing, but it doesn’t always have to be expensive. When we recently made a technical hire, we didn’t want to, nor did we have the time to scan through huge piles of applications. So we ran our own experiment to try and remove unsuitable candidates.

So Here’s What We Did…

We were looking to hire a Junior Front-End Developer (obviously we would’ve used our own platform for anything senior) but instead of making it dead simple for any applicant to respond, we decided to take it one step further and put a small challenge into the application to. This is what we sent out:

Please send your resume, portfolio, and favourite flavour of ice cream, with the subject line “Parkour” to the email(s) output by this javascript:
(function(){a=’aceijlmnostuvx.@ ‘,b=”;[10,2,13,15,10,0,5,2,7,10,12,3,7,2,14,1,8,6,14,0,11,16,4,11,9,10,3,7,15,10,0,5,2,7,10,12,3,7,2,14,1,8,6,14,0,11].map(function(i){b+=a[i]})

The purpose of the small things like the ice-cream flavour and the subject line were purely to see if the applicant could follow instructions. By making the applicants complete a relatively basic task related to the skillset that was required, we knew that any candidates that we received applications from, would be technically literate. This helped us cut down massively on applicant numbers so we could focus right away on the cream of the crop.

And The Result?

Well, rather than having to screen 100’s of applications and go through the time-consuming interview process, we received 7 applications that followed the instructions. One of which was from a great guy called Darren, who’s now redesigned our dashboards, he’s awesome and you’ll get to see his work soon. But the most important part is, by spending 10 minutes on the job ad, it took us a fraction of the time to find and hire Darren.

IT Intern
This is Darren, He’s our awesome Front-End Dev and he enjoys Green Tea flavoured Ice Cream

If you would like to try the same for when you’re hiring any technical roles then we would love to help you run this experiment too by turning your email address into code for you. Just email us at and tell us what code your candidate will need to be proficient in, and include the email address you’d like us to convert for you.

8 Interesting Interview QuestionsEmployee Perks