Case Study:

Company Overview

Softwire is a software development and digital services agency. Its core business areas are software development, software consultancy, UX/Design and software development training.

The company has a turnover of around £18 million and over 150 staff across its headquarters in London and offices in Manchester, Cambridge, and Bucharest.

The majority of Softwire’s recruits are graduate developers so they hire at volume and are competing for the best junior talent in the graduate tech talent pool.

We’ve worked together, using a mix of our questions and Softwire’s own code challenges to create a range of bespoke tech assessments that can be matched to a candidates’ level of experience. This ensures that every candidate that comes in for an interview has achieved a good level of coding proficiency given how much time they have put into learning.




150 employees

Positions Hired

Junior developers, Graduates and Summer Interns, Experienced developers

ShowTech has meant we’ve been able to widen our talent pool by assessing more candidates in less time and at lower cost. And, because we’ve saved time, we’ve then been able to invite more candidates to interview.

Dan Shavick, Co-Owner & HR Director at Softwire
The Challenge

The Challenge

Every year, Dan Shavick Co-Owner and HR Director at Softwire needs to hire dozens of talented engineers in four separate locations. Because these engineers are often working directly with clients, it’s crucial that they’re strategically-minded as well as technically skilled.

Finding the very best graduates and summer interns is particularly important to Softwire. But as they have grown, so has the number of applicants. For 2019 roles, Softwire received over 3,000 applications for 28 graduate and 30 summer intern positions.

Before we started working together, they would first do a thorough CV sift; then validate a candidate’s skills with a 45-minute telephone interview with one of their engineers; and finally bring the candidate in for a face-to-face interview. With the ever-increasing volume of candidates this was becoming more of burden to the engineers as it diverted them away from their priority: client projects. And, since Softwire engineers are charged out to clients at approximately £100 an hour, this made it a costly task as well as one lacking scalability.

Dan knew he needed a way of quickly and reliably identifying the very best of the candidates, in a way that was scalable. He needed to screen applicants efficiently, so they minimised valuable engineering hours spent with unsuitable candidates.

How we helped

Softwire replaced the telephone interview with ShowTech coding challenge assessments. According to Dan, in 2019 this has saved Softwire around 1k engineering hours, and with hourly engineers charging out at an average of around £100 an hour, approximately £100k.

It has also reduced the time it takes to sift CVs as they’ve been able to take a lighter touch approach. The cost of putting a candidate through to the next stage has been reduced significantly.

This more streamlined recruitment process means that Softwire can afford to invite more candidates to face-to-face interviews.

Since they began using ShowTech, Softwire’s intake of female graduate developers increased from an average of around 25% to over 40%. According to STEM Women, just 15% of Computer Graduates in 2016/17 were women, suggesting that this approach is working very well for diversity in Softwire.

Overall Softwire have been able to assess more candidates in less time and at lower cost than with its previous recruitment process.

We chose ShowTech because of its flexibility, as it allows us to upload our own coding challenges and create assessments based around our own criteria. It also integrates well with our ATS which is crucial for us as it means we can see assessment results inline in each application and get a quick overall view of each candidate.

Dan Shavick, Owner & HR Director at Softwire
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