MAXX Potential

Building vs. Buying Talent: Which is right for you?

By The Team at MAXX

Many IT executives are routinely faced with decisions on whether to build vs. buy when it comes to critical business applications (There’s a great post on that topic here), but how can you apply this framework to your talent strategy? Should you build or buy the necessary talent to grow your team? Our take: as with enterprise software, a winning approach involves applying a strategic framework and the capacity to do both.

Is there anything more strategic than your culture and talent strategy?

It makes sense to buy talent, and by that, we mean paying market premiums for experienced professionals, when the role requires advanced skills such as prior leadership experience, industry knowledge, and a deep technical track record. When a candidate has amassed a resume of skills and experience, your investment decision is based on how they can integrate into your organization, and the immediate value they can add in terms of increased revenue or implementing cost-savings strategies.

For entry-level positions, however, turnover should be higher if you are finding capable and driven employees, and the selection process is less straightforward. You are looking for motivated individuals with the ability to become that senior professional one day. Integrating a build approach into your talent strategy is a long-term investment that will set your organization up for success and pay off well into the future.

The Unique Challenges of Entry-level Roles

Buying talent for entry-level roles can seem like a faster option initially, but it becomes more costly when you have to do it over and over again (as you should). On the surface these roles may seem less strategic, and can also consume a disproportionate amount of training time and recruiting expense to keep them staffed. Downtime for even the most junior roles is costly and presents an operational risk.

  1. Hiring
    Entry-level candidates are lacking the years of experience that are sought after for more senior roles. This makes a traditional resumé the least valuable tool in making a selection. At this stage you are looking for two things: value-alignment and aptitude. These are hard to measure, and the cost of a mistake at this stage is high.
  2. Developing
    Mentoring entry-level talent takes time and attention away from experienced employees who are already at capacity. Many organizations also lack the capacity and budget to build a custom training program that includes dedicated full-time staff who are skilled, not only in their technical craft, but in the art of mentoring.
  3. Retaining
    High-potential employees are seekers of continuous growth and learning opportunities. Building a structured process for upskilling requires far more than purchasing a library of self-study training material (Don’t we have the Internet for that?). Most savvy leaders know that investing in their team creates a culture of continuous learning and growth that people will stick around for.

MAXX Potential was built by industry leaders who experienced these challenges first-hand and created a solution. Organizations have a need to invest in entry-level recruiting in order to grow their teams without taking away from other strategic imperatives. MAXX has cultivated a strong pipeline along with a supporting infrastructure specific to entry-level enterprise technology roles. We seek out people who have the potential and desire to break into the technology industry, and work with them to develop the skills needed to thrive in your organization. Our goal is to fill entry-level technology roles with people who are worth investing in and have the capability to contribute to your organization in a way that is meaningful starting day one.

Let Us Take these Entry-level Challenges Off Your Plate

While we aren’t a fit for ALL of your talent needs, what we do at MAXX Potential, we do really well. As a partner, we offer effective solutions for filling entry-level technology roles with the least amount of risk and disruption.

With guaranteed backfill of vacated roles, customized on-the-job training, ongoing mentor support and zero conversion fees to hire at any time, MAXX Potential would be an impactful addition to your overall talent strategy. Contact us today.

Building a Diverse Tech Talent Pipeline

By The Team at MAXX

The Importance of Building A Diverse and Sustainable Tech Talent Pipeline

For many tech employers, attracting and retaining talent is one of the biggest challenges they face today. It has become clear that the traditional way of recruiting — an evaluation based on verifiable resumé experience alone — isn’t producing the results to meet the demand. Attracting talented individuals from non-traditional sources has gone from being a competitive advantage to a strategic imperative.

Compounding the problem is pure supply and demand economics. Employee expectations for remote work options, and the fact that prospective candidates have more opportunities globally has taken the “war for talent” to a whole new level. With the largest multinational corporations now having the capacity and resources to be a force at every virtual career fair and therefore having the first picks from the talent pool, how is a mid-size firm to compete? To address the shortage, there are also a growing number of alternative pathways such as bootcamps and specialty programs, but with varying degrees of caliber and success rates. The “tech talent creation” landscape has become difficult to navigate and could easily consume an entire team just to evaluate the effectiveness of all these programs

The unique challenges with entry-level roles

Beyond the complexities in finding experienced talent, filling entry-level IT roles presents additional challenges for both IT and HR leaders. The first issue is that most high-potential learners will not want to stay in an entry-level position for long. Once they’ve picked up the skills a junior role has to offer, they will (and should) be looking for a next challenge to keep advancing their skills. This leads to a recurring problem of having to find and retrain new hires in less-strategic, but critical front-line positions. Those positions are often the best place for a high-potential future technologist to start.

The other challenge with entry level roles is that, already at capacity and understaffed, most IT leaders can’t afford to allocate their most capable staff to mentoring inexperienced hires who will have a lot of questions and require more coaching than an experienced hire.

To tackle these challenges, most leaders are looking for innovative solutions. A common quote we hear from customers is, “in order to survive and compete in the future, we have to get creative and it’s time for us to build our own pipeline.”

Diversity matters now more than ever.

Struggling to find the best people? Cast a wider net! Diversity is often used to describe gender, race, and other observable characteristics. Many forward-thinkers are recognizing that this definition is no longer sufficient. At MAXX Potential, we have a much broader definition of diversity that also includes aspects that make individuals unique, such as skillsets, personality types, and individual life experiences. We attract a diverse spectrum of people from all walks of life who are creative thinkers, problem-solvers, and share a passion for technology. 

MAXX Potential recognized all of these shifting dynamics long ago and has spent the last decade building a successful and sustainable solution.

What makes MAXX Potential apprenticeship approach effective?

By working with MAXX Potential, our partners have access to a continuous supply of capable talent. We always have a motivated Apprentice on-deck, which eliminates downtime. Our results-driven approach incentivizes successful outcomes and was designed to remove the unintentional bias that is often prevalent in traditional recruiting. No candidate is ruled out based on their resume or past experience. We welcome new grads as equally as career-changers who love technology and are looking for a career trajectory-changing opportunity.

How we spot talent

At the foundation of our approach is the MAXX Potential Career Lab, which was designed to give aspiring technology professionals a taste of what the industry is like. In this immersive learning opportunity, we present candidates with hands-on individual and group activities as we evaluate their desire and aptitude. Many people are working in jobs where they are not able to realize their full potential, and when they are presented with an opportunity to show what they can do, they seize it! As people move through Career Lab, we use behavior-based methodologies to determine whether they would be a good fit for a paid apprenticeship. Whether or not they move forward, candidates learn valuable life skills and develop a better understanding of the tech industry. Those selected as Apprentices are hired as full-time employees at MAXX Potential where they work directly with industry professionals on real projects to acquire the experience they need to move into higher paying industry roles.To reach folks who might otherwise be overlooked, we are continuously cultivating relationships with community colleges, workforce development programs, bootcamps and other alternative training providers. This extends our customers’ reach while saving them time and they can rest assured that our selection process is thorough and our standards are high. prevalent in traditional recruiting. No candidate is ruled out based on their resume or past experience. We welcome new grads as equally as career-changers who love technology and are looking for a career trajectory-changing opportunity.

Finding the Win-Win-Win

We think hard about incentives and believe means matter. We meet our Apprentices where they are and provide the individualized mentorship and experience they need to be successful in a tech career. Apprentices progress at their own pace and our customers are able to hire at any time, removing progress-limiting obstacles such as income share agreements, time-bound employment contracts and expensive hiring fees. 

Having successfully mentored thousands of aspiring technologists, we know that still today, checklists and personality tests are not enough to discover the audience of talented people who are well-suited to enter a tech career. Even Myers Briggs agrees that personality tests are valuable for their intended use, but not for hiring and selection processes. In their most recent Trends Report, they note that “organizations need to recognize that individuals can contribute at any age or life stage and focusing on the individual, rather than the mass, is going to make the difference.” We get to know both our apprentices and customers well, and adapt to their unique needs. This leads to long-term relationships built on trust and confidence that we will be there when they need us.

We can help you

Looking to upgrade your talent strategy? Contact us to learn how MAXX Potential can work for you.

High Peaks Partnership 

High Peaks Solutions Launches Innovative Technology Apprenticeship Program in Partnership with MAXX Potential

By Elizabeth Papile

High Peaks Solutions provides clients with innovative approaches to meeting their security objectives through the delivery of consulting services and a unique Software-as-a-Service product offering. Their SaaS product is a purpose-built, innovative, automated platform that redefines and simplifies the management of complex security programs. 

“Hiring and retaining key talent is critical to the success of any business and this is especially true of High Peaks Solutions as we manage our growth and ensure best-in-class service to our clients.  The partnership with MAXX Potential and the Apprenticeship program plays a crucial role in our ability to expand and grow the business by allowing us to find and develop talented resources in this challenging recruiting environment.” Rob Rice – Chief Technology Officer

Early Career Professionals Experience Cybersecurity Careers

Individuals who show a passion for problem solving and are interested in a career in information technology are hired by MAXX Potential where mentorship through an Apprenticeship model is provided. The Apprenticeship phase allows individuals to gain hands-on experience by working directly with customers, while also receiving coaching from experienced professionals.

Apprentices receive a valuable career opportunity in a high-growth field, and High Peaks Solutions can grow their team and build upon their culture of continuous learning. This more effective hiring process allows High Peaks Solutions to increase their profile as a compelling option for early career talent in the IT industry. Included in the partnership is the joint commitment to guide Apprentices while their role is customized to suit the specific needs of High Peaks Solutions and serve their customers in a more efficient and effective manner.

About High Peaks Solutions

High Peaks Solutions is committed to inspiring clients through the development of enhanced security programs so they are better prepared to handle the cybersecurity risks faced by all companies today. They offer management and technical consulting in areas such as security policy development, third-party cybersecurity risk, vulnerability, and business continuity management. The SummIT Security SaaS Platform provides a solution to an automated security program.

About MAXX Potential

MAXX Potential helps businesses transform their talent strategy and individuals kickstart their careers in technology. Their proven Apprenticeship approach delivers high-quality managed services and staff augmentation, while also helping customers build a stronger, more effective entry-level talent pipeline.

Reach out to MAXX Potential to inquire about their Businesses Solutions today.