Stuck in a talent strategy rut? Refresh your recruitment toolbelt with these tips.

Author: Kate Kershaw, Managing Director, Company Relations – LaunchCode Kansas City

The tech talent market was competitive before COVID hit. With big tech companies like Facebook scooping up large amounts of talent and remote work opportunities widening the job pool for local candidates, small tech companies and non-tech companies in need of programmers are experiencing more recruitment roadblocks than ever. 

The good news? Although only around 1,000 computer science graduates enter the Kansas City market each year, there are more ways than ever to learn tech skills for students seeking alternative pathways. The past year has caused significant disruption in the job training and higher education space, causing more aspiring technologists to turn to coding bootcamps or other skilling programs or hone tech skills on their own. At LaunchCode, we’ve shifted our mass-training programs to online delivery and haven’t stopped adding fresh talent to the market. We’re seeing an influx of program applicants who’ve been affected by the pandemic economy – all eager to learn digital skills and jump feet-first into a new career. 

Along with a recruitment refresh, the pandemic has led many companies to consider reskilling or retraining strategies – a project that can, at first, seem daunting. Thanks to stay-at-home orders & restrictions on gatherings, tech leaders were forced to discover innovative ways to digitzlie tasks and job duties once done in-person by humans. As we move into a post-COVID economy, it’s predicted that we’ll see more job displacement from automation happen across industries. Thinking ahead and creating or tapping into an existing reskilling program is crucial, not only to retain employees but to ensure you’re equipping them with the skills you need today and tomorrow. 

Still scratching your head over your company’s next big talent strategy plan? Start here: 

  1. Diversify your recruitment efforts. Companies are starting to ramp up their hiring efforts post-COVID and when they do, they’ll all be scooping up talent from the same sources. Instead of just sourcing recent college grads, look for graduates from coding bootcamps or other alternative skilling programs or target self-taught learners. Not only will you be able to beat the rush to hire new college grads, you’ll also tap into a pool of people who have life and work experience in other sectors and can bring lots of soft skills to the table. Companies like VMLY&R and Topbox hire LaunchCode graduates and find their range of backgrounds and experiences beneficial to their entire teams’ success. 
  1. Utilize apprenticeship models. Using an apprenticeship model can help you bring on less-experienced, entry-level technologists onto your team in a low-risk format. Plus, apprentices are learning on the job, so you can mold them to fit the exact skill set you’re looking for. There are many organizations and programs, like LaunchCode, that offer apprenticeship models, so instead of recreating the wheel on an internal process, you can implement one that’s already been perfected. 
  1. Identify opportunities to upskill existing employees. Trust us, you already have a great pool of candidates in your existing workforce. Instead of attracting new talent, look for ways to upskill employees who are interested in a more technical career path and have demonstrated an aptitude for learning new skills. For example – someone in an administrative role who had to quickly learn how to work remotely may be a good candidate to upskill into a scrum master or project management role.

With great economic shift comes innovation. Some of the most forward-thinking companies find success through their human capital strategy, but it takes outside-the-box thinking and a complete refresh of your hiring practices! 

Want to talk more about refreshing your hiring strategy and tap into our talent pool? I’d love to chat! Email me at