Lahore Hiring Tournament Adds Stars to the Crossover Team

By: Kelly Meissner on April 1st, 2017

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Lahore Hiring Tournament Adds Stars to the Crossover Team

Tech  |  Pakistan  |  Software Development  |  Crossover News  |  Remote Work  |  Increase Productivity

Our international hiring tour makes a stop in Pakistan

This week, Crossover held its fifth international hiring tournament in Lahore, Pakistan to recruit Java and Ruby chief architects for full-time remote jobs. This tournament built on the success of the first round of events held in February across Eastern Europe, which resulted in 73 new hires for chief and software architect roles. Under typical hiring processes, it would have taken about seven months to identify the same number of qualified candidates for these roles — using our gamified hiring tournaments, it happened in two weekends.

The Lahore event was organized by Sinan Ata, Crossover’s country general manager (CGM) for Turkey, with the help of Atif Mumtaz, a former CGM and current brand ambassador for Pakistan, along with other Crossover team members. The one-day competition was held at the Arfa Software Technology Park in Lahore and coincided with the National Freelancing Convention 2017 taking place in the same venue.

Lahore Tournament by the Numbers

  • Applicants: 480
  • Shortlisted Applicants: 110
  • Participants: 61
  • Winners: 6 (5 chief software architects, 1 software architect)
  • Combined potential salaries awarded: $560,000 USD *

* Hiring tournament winners usually receive job offers within 48–72 hours

Crossover Recognized by Pakistani Tech Leaders and Media Outlets

Sinan Ata explained how the event generated interest in the local IT community:

“Because it was the first time Crossover physically ran a hiring tournament in Pakistan, local organizations such as the Punjab Information Technology Board (PITB) and the media showed great interest in our tournament. PITB chairman Dr. Umar Saif praised our event publicly. I have always believed in the potential of Pakistani talent, and Crossover CEO Andy Tryba supported my idea of experimenting with a remote hiring tournament.”

Dr. Saif is also the vice-chancellor of the Information Technology University, Punjab, and was the first Pakistani to be named one of the top 35 young innovators in the world by MIT Technology Review. He pointed out that innovative startups like Crossover are playing a pivotal role in global job growth in the technology industry.

Winner’s Circle: Inside the Competition

Mehdi Rizvi and Haseeb Khan, two of the winning Java chief architects at the Lahore tournament, gave us an insider’s perspective on what it was like to compete:

What made you decide to participate in the hiring tournament?

Rizvi: The one-day evaluation concluding with final results was the biggest factor. I liked that live programming exercises were part of the evaluation process, along with technical evaluations — both of these are essential and often missing from other hiring procedures.

Khan: Crossover invited me to participate in the tournament. . . . I decided to give it a shot, as I wanted to take up the challenge and evaluate my skills by competing with some of the most competent architects in the country.

The hiring exercise was very rigorous. I have participated in numerous programming competitions before, but those were managed by student bodies. In comparison, this event was organized by professionals and tested the participants in different aspects, ranging from technical and analytical abilities to communication skills. I have worked with remote teams for more than 10 years, and most of those didn’t employ similar tools for evaluation.

What did you think of the competitive nature of the event? In your view, how is this kind of process beneficial for job-seekers in the tech / IT industry?

Rizvi: The event was a good way for individuals with hands-on experience [to demonstrate their skills], since it included both programming exercises and technical evaluations.

Khan: It was pretty cool and a way to build self-confidence in the participants, as it was very goal-oriented. The pressure to deliver within a certain amount of time and staying in the safe zone [to avoid elimination] was very motivating. This type of event is very results-oriented, and one knows there and then if he/she is going to make it or not. Also, it’s helpful to evaluate the candidates on various aspects to see if they are a good fit.

What was the most challenging portion of the tournament? What parts did you enjoy the most?

Rizvi: It was challenging throughout. You have to perform well in each of the rounds to have an impact, and no round was just easy. Considering it was an all-day event, I really liked the way it was planned and executed. Short breaks, and the way organizers go through each round, didn’t really exhaust anyone, making it enjoyable throughout.

Khan: Sustaining the pressure to deliver within a short period of time and staying out of the danger zone [for being eliminated] all the time was the most fun and challenging part. Also, for the analytical and technical portion, usage of Google was not allowed, which was a solid challenge, as computer scientists are accustomed to using online help for the topics they are stuck on.

Based on your experience at the tournament, what are you most looking forward to about working with Crossover?

Rizvi: Working in a team of top industry individuals will be exciting. I believe it will help me improve my skills.

Khan: I am looking forward to getting introduced to the Crossover team, learning about the next steps, and evaluating if there is a fit. I am also eager to play my part in hosting similar events [in Pakistan] to encourage candidates to work at Crossover.

Future Hiring Events in Pakistan

Crossover plans to hold more hiring tournaments in Pakistan, offering remote job opportunities at top software companies to the high-level technical talent in the region. Crossover CEO Andy Tryba told Pakistani media outlets that the company’s goal is to hire 200 senior-level developers in Pakistan in 2017, which has the potential to bring an additional $20 million annually to Pakistan’s economy.