SDEII, Amazon Web Services
By The Team at MAXX
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
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.”
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.
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.
Looking to upgrade your talent strategy? Contact us to learn how MAXX Potential can work for you.