Case Study

BigCommerce Stayed One Step Ahead of the Remote Hiring Curve with CoderPad

How did a company with engineering offices on three continents streamline, standardize, and scale its technical hiring funnel before the age of remote work?

BigCommerce is a leading Open SaaS ecommerce platform that empowers merchants of all sizes to build, innovate, and grow their business online. Founded in 2009, their all-in-one platform provides the tools and functionalities a business needs – from design to merchandising to checkout to marketing and selling.

For BigCommerce, CoderPad was an instant fit. It’s reliable, accessible, and gives us real-time collaboration tools that save us time. With CoderPad, we found candidates can show their true skill sets without switching between unfamiliar platforms and hardware.

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With an increasingly competitive engineering hiring market, BigCommerce is always seeking to find talent from around the world to keep innovating and serve its approximately 60,000 merchants.

Scaling up brought inconsistency in hiring

Before integrating CoderPad into their interviewing system in 2016, the BigCommerce hiring process was lengthy and didn’t offer candidates much flexibility. As a result, leadership often found themselves putting hiring resources toward candidates whose skills didn’t match the company’s needs. Their old process looked like this:

  • BigCommerce conducted a basic phone call with candidates
  • Brought candidates on-site to spend several hours with engineers and leadership
  • In the last stage, they took a coding assessment using in-house hardware

More inconsistencies came when candidates found themselves navigating unfamiliar tech. This could stand in the way of showcasing their true talent.

One thing we kept seeing was that people are very specific about their machines, tools, and setup. Giving somebody an unknown laptop was really hit or miss.

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And due to the imprecise nature of phone screens, many candidates who made it through the initial interview didn’t actually possess the coding skills BigCommerce was looking for. To push forward, BigCommerce’s engineering team required a tech-centered screening process to save time and get the full picture of candidates’ coding styles.

With CoderPad, BigCommerce gets a clear view of candidates and a seamless interview experience

BigCommerce began integrating CoderPad into its hiring funnel at the Austin, Texas office six years ago. Although the age of remote work was still a ways off, they saw an immediate improvement in how they connected with quality candidates — and significantly reduced the time it took to do so. 

Today, BigCommerce conducts roughly 150 interviews a month. They’ve been able to keep up the pace and avoid obstacles using a process that includes the following:

  • A 45-minute phone screen with a hiring manager or team lead 
  • At least 90 minutes of technical interviews with engineers, including up to an hour using CoderPad
  • A 60-minute final round interview with the leadership team

Rather than relying on guesswork and hours-long meeting sessions, BigCommerce’s engineering team now learns about candidates in real-time. 

“It’s a healthy system that uses pair programming to help us understand how candidates solve problems. We also learn a great deal by seeing what questions they ask.” 

An interface that ‘just works’

So what’s been the real sign of success for BigCommerce after nearly six years of using CoderPad? 

To me, CoderPad is our ideal tool because nobody needs to take extra time to explain everything. We’ve never seen a negative review from a candidate. As Steve Jobs said about Apple, ‘It just works.’

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The other clear advantage for BigCommerce is maintaining an open, consistent playing field for hiring — even as the organization scales up. Thanks to CoderPad, they no longer need to use one-size-fits-all hiring models and can respect the unique skills of each candidate.

We’re a programming language agnostic engineering team, so the fact that CoderPad lets candidates show their skills in the language they’re comfortable with is crucial. It gives us greater confidence we’ve seen their best self.

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As longtime CoderPad users, BigCommerce plans to keep employing new features as they ramp up recruiting in new markets like Central America and Eastern Europe. Now, they’re experimenting with CodinGame’s developer-friendly technical assessments to further streamline pre-screening and evaluate coding skills early on.

See how CoderPad can move your hiring forward with our demo video.