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Recruiting tips for a learn-to-code program

Published: June 2, 2022

“Begin with a clear goal for the number of candidates you want to recruit, as well as minimum qualifications,” advises Allison Freedman, Implementation Program Manager with DevelopIntelligence. “Also, track the application source, so you can focus your efforts on sources that are driving the best results.”

What groups do you want to target for your Learn-To-Code bootcamp? If you’re recruiting from the outside, are you looking for people from a particular background, such as musicians? Are you aiming to increase diversity in your tech workforce? Is there a geographic requirement?

Where will you find these candidates? Through workforce development centers? University alumni offices? Recruiting websites?

If you plan to reskill internal candidates, who can apply? Some organizations ask managers to recommend potential participants. Other companies invite applications from anyone who is interested.

Most important, how will you screen for applicants’ motivations, aptitude and commitment? Asking for mini-essays can help you understand why a candidate is interested in the program. What do they hope to get out of it? Recruiters: Is the candidate’s reasoning realistic, authentic and compelling?

These applicants do not have coding experience, but you need to assess basic computer literacy. Additionally, cognitive assessments can reveal how candidates approach challenges and solve problems. Do they have the right aptitude for coding and the rigor of a Learn-To-Code program?

In this initial screening, some candidates will stand out, and you’ll want to take a more in-depth look. Others will wash out, because of low assessment scores. Or, they didn’t complete the requested steps by the assigned deadlines. If candidates don’t have the drive to meet commitments during the recruitment phase, they are not the right fit.

“If you find you’re not getting the right kind of applicant, go back to the drawing board and revise your recruiting strategy,” says Freedman.