Interview with Frédéric Marcoul, R&D Back Office Director at Spotter

In an earlier post, we introduced you to Dimitri, who was newly hired at Spotter, a software publisher company. Today, we’re putting the spotlight on Frédéric Marcoul, R&D Back Office Director at Spotter, who explains to us what interested them in the contest and how he looks back at meeting Dimitri.

"Consider candidates without making assumptions, and evaluate them on the approach that they take as developers"

Hi Frédéric, can you introduce yourself and Spotter? 

Spotter is a software company. We develop and sell solutions and applications for Communications, Marketing, and Risk Assessment. Our area of expertise is text mining and opinion measurement in online media, and especially in social media. The company employs 40 professionals, some of whom are abroad. Innovation is at the heart of our work, and we have an ambitious program of R&D. As the R&D Back Office Director, I am regularly looking for new talents to strengthen our team.

What made you pick CodinGame challenges as a recruitment tool?

Unsavory experiences with recruitment agencies led us to stop outsourcing our recruitment efforts. We were managing the hiring of our developers ourselves, using traditional methods. In that context, the challenge was to identify the most passionate applicants, given that the qualities we were looking for in candidates were curiosity and an enthusiasm for technology. When we discovered the CodinGame contests, the fun aspect of the competition, combined with the idea of picking someone based on the quality of his thought, his problem-solving, was a real value-added and we decided to try it.

What kinds of applicants are you looking for?

For our R&D group, we’re normally looking for experienced Java / J2EE developers. But after the contest, we recruited Dimitri, who is a real counter-example. The fact that he had just two years of active professional experience really contrasted with the quality of his code, which stood out in his contest entries. Dimitri also knows how to be proactive and demonstrates curiosity in his work. Without CodinGame, we would never have spotted a candidate like this, who is exactly what we wanted.

What are the principal advantages of the CodinGame challenges?

The words that come to mind are effectiveness, accuracy, and speed. On paper, developers have trouble selling themselves, and at presenting their real skills. That’s exactly what happened for Dimitri. Although his CV would not have naturally attracted us to him, the contest let us consider his candidacy without making any assumptions. We were able to see how he structured his thinking, and what solutions he implemented as a developer. And that convinced us that he would be an excellent team member.

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