How to Identify, Hire, and Mentor Top Bootcamp Grads

Shelley SmithBlog

Guest post by Artur Meyster is the CTO of Career Karma (YC W19)

Hiring managers looking for top tech talent have it easier today than ever before. Thanks to the proliferation of coding bootcamps around the country, there’s always a steady stream of qualified techs coming onto the market. These folks have the skills your business needs, but it’s essential to know what to look for in a bootcamp grad and how to ensure that they continue to develop as a valuable team member.

This article shows you how to identify, hire, and mentor top bootcamp grads. In this guide, we look at the key telltales you can spot to identify the most motivated and promising graduates. You also learn how to attract the best new techs to your team, as well as how to develop their careers. With our help, your next hiring wave will net you quality employees who have abilities you can nurture and help to grow.


Partner Up with Local Schools

If your business is located in a large city, odds are high that you have multiple coding bootcamps nearby. Those schools produce new graduates at a good clip, and it’s crucial to snag them early to get the most promising new tech workers. There are ways you can connect with bootcamps in your area and become a favored employer. Once you have an in at a few of the top bootcamps in your city, you will wind up with the first pick of the best pupils the schools have to offer.

Contact the administrators of local bootcamps. There are plenty of schools dedicated solely to training tech workers, but a recent trend has seen many universities get in on the act and develop bootcamp programs of their own. So, include local colleges in your search. Offer to partner up and provide the school’s students with practical experience, and you will likely become a preferred destination for job placement.


Know What to Look for, and Offer Top Salaries and Amenities

It’s easier than you think to identify the graduates who may be a good fit for your company. When you look over a bootcamp grad’s CV, keep an eye out for a solid portfolio and independent projects. A motivated coder spends time outside of school burnishing their skills through development of solo endeavors and pet projects. If you encounter an applicant with a resumé full of independent work, odds are good they have what it takes to succeed at your company.

Salaries are important to any worker, but bootcamp grads pay special attention to their wages. Many recent graduates of the top coding bootcamps have hefty tuition bills to meet, so they look for tech gigs that give them the sort of salaries they need to pay their school costs and maintain a comfortable lifestyle. Take a look at the local and national wage averages for the position, and browse local job sites to ensure that your salary range is competitive and attracts the top talent.

Communicate with Your Workers

We often fall into the trap of acquiring the workers we want to have on our team and then stepping back to let them work without interruption. There’s value to this approach, but if you want to retain and develop the talent you have on staff, take a more proactive and nurturing approach. Stay in contact with recent bootcamp grads you’ve hired, and make sure to give them continued opportunities for growth.

Put together custom training programs that allow them to work on skills they don’t use every day but want to develop. Check in with the grads to see if there’s any area in which they want to improve, and try to cover costs for training. Doing so enhances employee loyalty and produces more valuable workers. And, don’t neglect regular evaluations and meetings to keep your workers’ careers on track and on an upward trajectory.

Pull Talent from the Local Contractor Pool

Bootcamps produce outstanding graduates, but you often hope to fill positions quickly and with experienced workers. In those situations, consider widening your search to include contract workers. Contract companies vet their employees and provide coders and other techs who have a consistent and reliable level of expertise in computer science and other vital tech fields. They’re a fantastic resource for industry veterans.

Check out the available contractors in your area. Right Balance and other contractors work with you to supply as many workers as you need for as long as you require their services. In addition to being a quick and ready resource for techs, contractors often partner up with companies to provide additional support and services.

And there you go, tech managers. There are tons of bootcamp graduates who would be perfect fits in your business, but you need to know how to attract, evaluate, and retain those techies. Our look at bringing in and keeping bootcamp grads gives you the tools to help you grow your business.

For more information please contact Artur Meyster is the CTO of Career Karma (YC W19), an online marketplace that matches career switchers with coding bootcamps. He is also the host of the Breaking Into Startups podcast, which features people with non-traditional backgrounds who broke into tech.