In Part One of our series, we compared the painful process of traditional tech recruiting to a game of craps. Even when a company finds a somewhat reliable recruiter, identifies a good prospect, works through the background check and paperwork, finalizes negotiations and three months later is ready for onboarding, there is still a major unanswered question. After all that time, corporate disruption and expense, there is still no guarantee the prospect will be suitable for the job. One might think this new employee would be an easy slam-dunk, but in real life, this is when HR and everyone else with skin in the game holds their collective breath. Will the newbie fit into the culture, are the skills as sharp as advertised, but even more importantly, does the new hire have the right mix of skills and expertise? We have some ideas on how to dramatically improve your odds of tech recruitment success.
The Problem with Training
In 2020, employers across the globe spent nearly $71 billion on IT-related training. That’s up 60% in just six years, And it’s not just a domestic phenomenon – worldwide, average training spend per employee has risen steadily for the past ten years. But much of employee training is seen at best as tolerable, and at worst, destructive. Why does something that in theory should be extremely beneficial often result in employee disinterest and contempt? We talked to a few clients and these are their top three reasons:
- Irrelevant topics – if no one understands the reason for taking a specific action or doesn’t see any value in it, interest will quickly wane. Training has to be sold and presented as essential to the success of the receiving employees and the organization. Current, cutting edge topics are particularly important in technology, as the pace of change can quickly render last month’s must-have as yesterday’s news.
- Dull is dull – the fastest way to totally lose a smart, skilled audience is to bore them, either with irrelevant material, unqualified instructors or buggy presentation software. Even a poor choice of start time can be a problem.
- Information overload – employees often feel stretched by their ongoing responsibilities and have a hard time setting aside a portion of their brain space for something new, even if interesting. Most will want to learn the new material but there are often obstacles (see bullets one and two). Even if it is the best, most engaging and timely training ever, followup is required to be sure actual learning has occurred. If the training isn’t reinforced, the new knowledge will be lost due to lack of use.
So is IT Training a Lost Art?
CTOs bemoan the idea that thousands of collective hours and dollars can be sunk into developing software developers with little or no return. This is what sparked Techtonic to reimagine technical training. Let’s look at the top three problems Techtonic tackled when we reimagined how software developers should be taught.
Selling the training – The Techtonic Apprentice Program has viral word-of mouth and is registered with the US Department of Labor for added credibility. This results in hundreds of applicants jockeying for the 20 or so slots in every cohort. For companies, this means every graduating class is super-talented, motivated and hungry for success. There are no slackers – all have been trained in the latest languages and dev processes, all bring unique skill sets to the table, and all are ready to work in our growing and dynamic industry.
The Antidote for Dull – How about live instructors who code for a living? How about software developers who can walk the walk and know the language? How about ex-apprentices who not only remember how adrift they felt prior to the program, but also can speak to the curriculum and relay recent software challenges they have solved for actual clients? Also, everything is scheduled far in advance so students know exactly what they are signing up to do.
Lose the Overload – One of the biggest issues with traditional tech training is cost. Not just the cost of the training, but the cost of living. Bootcamps can cost thousands, and chances are, attendees will not be able to work any meaningful job while they learn their new trade. Techtonic classroom training (all 12 weeks) is free, and once students join our engineers on the dev floor, they are paid an hourly rate. This is quite a switch from the normal. The ability to focus solely on the training reduces information overload dramatically, and also reduces family budgetary stress.
The Pain to Train No Longer Remains
Techtonic Apprentice Program graduates are highly skilled and fluent in today’s most desired programming languages and tools. Because of our unique (i.e. free) approach to classroom training, we attract a widely diverse set of applicants from often surprising backgrounds. They are able to focus and excel in the classroom, and once they graduate to our dev floor and are put to work solving real client problems. And because of our pledge of satisfaction, there is no risk to companies hiring from Techtonic. If for any reason you are not satisfied with our work or software developers during the first two weeks of any project, we will replace the team or refund your money – no questions asked.
Give us a ring – you will wonder how anyone ever solved any IT training and recruitment issues before we came along.