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Hire a Software Engineer-The Smart Way Part II

Updated: Apr 28, 2019

In this series, we are exploring creative, unorthodox, and revolutionary ways of hiring tech. As we all know, the tech skills shortage is real, and is an international issue. As we grapple in the U.S. on how to meet the existing, and future demand for tech, especially Software Engineers, and Web Developers, countries in other parts of the world are also becoming more creative with their hiring strategy.

Consider Ampersand, which proactively reaches out to marginalized populations in Israel, and provide "kosher" co-working spaces.

Companies such as KamaTech in Bnei Brak and Bizmax are hi-tech companies that due to religious practices would not normally be integrated with the secular booming Israeli tech industry. The co-working spaces provide access to other companies that share the same belief system in the space. Mentorship, collaboration, and intellectual exchange are all benefits of the arrangement. On-going training is facilitated at a larger scale on-site, which employees from the companies sharing the space can take advantage of.

Furthermore, recent data shows that 73% of ultra-orthodox workers are women. Sadly, it also confirms that 49% of the ultra-orthodox population live in poverty.

This is a population that can benefit from more income generating opportunities. Additionally, the Ampersand co-working space is in an impoverished area of Tel Aviv, providing easy access to employees that are members of the local religious community.

According to the Central Bureau of Statistics, there are roughly 15K positions in tech that are not filled. Consequently, Israel, like many other countries find themselves off-shoring, and/or hiring talent from abroad. The ultra orthodox Jewish, and Israeli-Arab community could potentially fill those open positions, which in-turn would strengthen the economy, and provide much needed fiscal resources for their respective neighborhoods.

How does this relate to hiring tech? There are three directions we can take leveraging the Israeli example.

1) Does your company have a learning infrastructure? How about sponsoring or hosting a coding camp? In South Carolina, Coding Camps are an efficient way to train the tech workers of the future. "Coding Camp's is an effort to help train up-and-coming tech workers to meet labor demands. The industry is growing quickly, adding about 4,000 jobs in South Carolina in 2018, compared to 2,500 the year before, according to Cyberstate.."

Amazon has also partnered with educational institutions in NY, in an effort to expand their tech talent pipeline. Through their Amazon Future Engineer program they provide a certificate program which is part of Amazon’s AWS Educate program.

Providing free training on the weekend, and guaranteeing a job to those that finish at the top of their class might be a good way to fill certain roles at your organization. Certainly, entry-level is what comes to ind, but that should not be the case. Someone who already has a Cpmpt-Tia or other starter certs can benefit from upgrading their coding skills in the same area or in a completely different coding language. Think about what the need is at your organization. What skills do you really need more of? Does it make sense to train in-house?

Why would a potential hire choose this alternative? Free training, the promise of a career track, career stagnation, displaced worker, lack of opportunities at current company, new to the area, new skill, increase market value.

2)The "essence" of the Israeli example is reaching out to marginalized segments of the population, and providing training in order to meet the high tech demand.

Can you think of areas in the United States that could use new job opportunities, and retraining? I can, how about the Rust Belt? Many areas in the northeast that were manufacturing meccas have suffered from companies off-shoring their factories, and generally speaking scaling back, if not completely closing down. It is estimated that 5M factory jobs have been lost since 2000, if not more. New Collar roles are outpacing other roles, and require on-the-job training, and on-going skills upgrade for some.

This solution can be maximized by opening a site in an area that has been hit hard by the shift away from manufacturing. Here is a starter list.

3) Let's say opening an office in a high unemployment area is out of the question, and providing free training is not practical, what are the alternatives that tie in with the Isreali example? The key is education, many talented professionals would love the opportunity to upgrade their skills. Hiring someone that may be more junior or has experience in a vertical might be worth the investment. You can pay for the training/skill upgrade with a work committment from the new hire of 24 months. Sometimes, the best training is learning from the professionals already at your organization doing the job. Hiring Managers usually have an expert level understanding of the role as well. The above referenced parties can help your organization bring up-to-snuff promising candidates that are just not quite there yet.

In our next installment, we will be looking at an amusing way of attracting, and hiring tech talent.

Happy Hiring!


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