CodeSignal x Manara: Elevating Women Tech Talent in the Middle East

CodeSignal and Manara teamed up to open new doors for tech talent in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA). This story shares how their partnership has made hiring better and brought more diversity to the tech scene, especially for women.

The Problem

“Companies are more successful when they're diverse. And women possess powerful soft skills that will shape the world alongside their tech skills” - Iliana Montauk, CEO of Manara

When Manara first set out on its mission to discover and nurture top tech talent in the Middle East and North Africa - especially women - co-founders Iliana Montauk and Laila Abudahi were eager to make an impact.

They received over 300 applications for their first training program, which was a clear sign of the enthusiasm and drive among talent in the region, ready to take their careers to the next level.

But with it came a significant challenge - how to efficiently and effectively choose the most promising candidates from such a large and talented group?

That's when they turned to CodeSignal.

The Solution

Two smiling people in an office
“Talent is everywhere; you've just got to be able to look for it directly by measuring skill set.” - Tigran Sloyan, CEO of CodeSignal

CodeSignal came as a perfectly-timed solution for Manara.

The platform not only helped in efficiently managing a large number of applications at a time but also made the assessment process smarter and more secure.

  • Diverse and Randomized Questions: CodeSignal’s way of creating calibrated question variations for each applicant was great. This meant that everyone got a different set so that Manara could get a good look at all the unique skills and talents of all applicants.
  • Fairness and Individual Focus: Because the assessments were calibrated, it kept things fair and made sure that Manara could see the individual strengths of each applicant. From implementation to speed and even code cleanliness.
  • Hands-off Test Monitoring: CodeSignal had it covered when it came to keeping an eye on the tests. Which meant Manara could focus on the more important parts of the talent pipeline.
  • Finding the Best Matches: With CodeSignal’s smart tools, Manara could easily compare how everyone did on the tests. To find the talent whose way of solving problems was just the right fit for what they were looking for.

With these powerful features, CodeSignal was able to give Manara the freedom to focus on what really mattered to them - unlocking the true potential of tech talent and supporting women engineers in achieving their career aspirations.

The Results

Working with CodeSignal had an immediate positive effect!

With the help of mentor Zubair Khan, Manara was able to easily compare the results from the CodeSignal assessments, and get a clearer picture of each applicant's skills and potential.

"CodeSignal allows us to automate the whole [assessment] process, letting us select a few good questions to quickly creating and sending coding assessments to the students. The assessments are given a comprehensive coding score and we can sort the results and pick the top students to continue the admissions process with. CodeSignal has been a big help throughout this process." - Zubair Khan, Manara mentor

One of the standout applicants found through this process even landed a job at Google!

And that was just the start: 90% of the first batch of applicants received job offers after going through the Manara program.

The benefits didn't stop there.

“What we did with CodeSignal’s support was to demystify these tests for women,” Iliana explained. “We ran extensive workshops exclusively for them and managed to remove the intimidating aura around the tests: we turned them into 'practice' rather than actual ‘assessments’, with the added bonus of being able to retake them.”

Thanks to this approach, many more women engineers started applying. In fact, the number of women applicants increased by about 54%, with 7,000 out of 13,000 applications for the last cohort being women.

Before this, only 200 women took the CodeSignal test, but this surged to 600 women in the most recent cohort, proving that Manara's goal to bring more diversity to the global tech scene was working.

A woman wearing a hijab working on a laptop computer.

Manara also experienced exponential growth in the overall number of applicants taking the coding test, with 7,727 applicants participating in total.

Using CodeSignal significantly streamlined the screening process!

Previously, screening all candidates would have taken Manara around 400 hours, but with CodeSignal, they only needed to evaluate the candidates who met the coding criteria. This resulted in saving a significant amount of initial screening time, allowing Manara to focus on nurturing and training the candidates, and effectively scaling their operations.

What's Next

“We help the world go beyond the noise of traditional hiring practices.” - Tigran Sloyan, CEO of CodeSignal

Manara's partnership with CodeSignal didn't stop there.

They found creative ways to use the platform. Including tracking how applicants improve, making tests that meet the needs of their hiring partners, and recording interviews to give helpful feedback.

Many applicants shared that they found this feedback helpful and that they were able to improve their skills during the Manara program.

In the words of Tigran Sloyan, “There are lots of incredible people out there whose résumés just aren’t telling the full story.” This partnership shows how technology can solve hiring challenges and bring more diversity to the tech scene.

By combining CodeSignal’s innovative assessment tools with Manara’s dedication to nurturing talent, especially among women, this partnership is not just transforming the hiring process; it’s changing lives.

Let’s look forward to a future where tech is for everyone, and the only limit to what you can achieve is how big you can dream.

Join hundreds of companies hiring from Manara’s community of top Middle East engineers

Photo of Tigran Sloyan
Tigran Sloyan

Co-Founder & CEO

Tigran Sloyan is the Co-Founder and CEO of CodeSignal, a leading technical interview and assessment platform that helps companies go Beyond the Noise™️ with early-stage assessments, technical screens, and live coding interviews. As an active member of the Forbes Technology Council, Tigran regularly contributes to Forbes, Morning Brew, Fast Company, Recruiting Daily, and other major publications. Tigran is a frequent industry keynote, a TED speaker, and a thought leader in the technical hiring industry, commenting on trends in talent acquisition, diversity, and innovation. Prior to his role at CodeSignal, Tigran worked in technology management at Google where he led projects such as Google Hangouts in the Education sector as well as Google Login for the Travel and Publishing industry. Tigran received BS degrees in both Mathematics and Computer Science with a minor in Economics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).

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