Paving the Way for a More Diverse & Dynamic Tech Talent Pipeline

Photograph of Damien Howard with Per Scholas Perspectives Logo

Paving the Way for a More Diverse & Dynamic Tech Talent Pipeline

by Damien Howard
Chief Enterprise Solutions Officer, Per Scholas

As organizations continue to operate in the now too familiar landscapes of remote and hybrid workplaces, one thing is certain. Finding and retaining talent has never been more challenging, nor more mission critical.

Companies of all sizes are struggling to hire and hold on to skilled and committed employees, especially in the non-stop tech sector. Identifying individuals who can contribute and create momentum to meet the evolving demands of a growing enterprise is job one. 

Keeping pace with the dynamic needs of today’s technology teams requires creativity, actively seeking and supporting non-traditional candidates, and a profound commitment to fortifying tomorrow’s tech leaders with access to meaningful skills training, mentorship, and career pathing.

As leaders search and hire for today’s demands in order to achieve tomorrow’s vision, here are three ways the most dynamic organizations are playing the tech talent game to win.

Rethink Recruiting – Create A Job Invitation, Not a Job Posting

Incredible tech talent can be readily found by rethinking the traditional requirements and by welcoming candidates to gain new skills and then, once qualified, secure and grow a lasting career in technology. 

Working closely with HR partners, technology hiring managers are flipping the script, crafting job descriptions that depart from templated thinking or a traditional “requirements” checklist, and instead inviting potential associates to come learn how to do the work they’re hiring for. 

Creating opportunities for prospective team members to participate in bespoke training programs specific to the roles they are seeking is a revolutionary way to treat entry level candidates as future leaders. A traditional job posting and interview process instead becomes a true gateway to professional growth and possibility. 

We believe improving access and equity in the tech industry will take a more intentional approach to hiring—intention around finding people with the skills and the drive to succeed. The outcomes speak for themselves, when you help candidates acquire and build skills, they excel, and they stay and grow careers. — Alice Zients, Corporate Social Responsibility, TEKsystems

Those who have participated in a “train to hire” model report a strong sense of loyalty to their respective organizations and are infinitely more likely to stay, lowering turnover and increasing employee retention and engagement across the board.

Build from Within – Train and Develop Diverse Talent Where & When You Need it Most

In that same vein, many of today’s tech leaders are smartly developing their talent pools from the inside out, offering compelling upskilling and customized training programs designed to create representation and on-ramps for those who may have otherwise been overlooked.

Expertly training an existing associate or group of associates in new and needed tech curricula fosters a true sense of pride and enduring loyalty for the larger organization. Individuals and teams increase their confidence, experience, and skill set and, with it, their earning potential.  This indelible investment in potential encourages individuals, fortifies teams, and sends a clear signal of enterprise-level commitment to people and their futures.

Customized training offers a fast track to filling high-demand roles with uniquely qualified, committed, and diverse talent. — Jasmine Miller, Chief Training Officer, Per Scholas

In turn, an employer who offers this kind of growth through training benefits through its ability to be uniquely responsive to market and organizational demands, all while decreasing recruitment costs and search time and shaping a workplace culture that builds trust by actively clearing the runway for success for employees of all backgrounds and skill levels.

Future Proof Your Tech Team

Beyond training and hiring, savvy leaders can continue to support burgeoning tech talent in their growth and development through communication, fostering connection, and meaningful planning to help associates get to the next level(s)!

By thoughtfully pairing early talent with a more seasoned mentor who can help them build relationships, develop management skills, and guide them through the steps of articulating a plan with specific goals to get to the next phase of their career journey, leaders can future proof their teams with confidence.

In addition to the sense of organizational belonging and visibility an internal champion can create for tomorrow’s tech trailblazers, consistent and structured mentorship is known to increase profits and productivity, all while boosting minority representation and inclusion across all parts of the shop.

The Takeaway

The rosters that today’s tech hiring managers have to fill are, arguably, as ambitious as the untapped talent in the market. The work at hand is to proactively pave defined pathways for non-traditional candidates to access, learn and grow in tech careers that move them beyond  “just a job” to a thriving career. Taking care to recruit outside the box, invest in training to grow and nurture new techies from the start will result in stronger teams and careers built to last.

How does your organization seek and secure the best in tech talent? We’d love to hear from you.

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