Download Guides
Recruiting & Hiring

How Companies Forge A Relationship with a Bootcamp

POSTED 11/11/2015
By Nick Toscano

As coding bootcamps grow in popularity, organizations are wondering how to get involved?

Bootcamp grads undertake intense training that tests their ability to learn quickly, adapt to new virtual environments, and launch quality digital solutions. The type of people capable of succeeding and graduating from such programs have proven they have the qualities companies desire in employees. 

Here are six ways companies can access students, browse incumbent talent, and get first dibs on graduates.

Become a Partner

Bootcamps operate independently from one another and there are variations in their partnerships terms. The majority of bootcamps require no fees for involvement in their communities, attending any of their special events, or hiring graduates. Some bootcamps have an additional partnership tier for companies looking for the pick of the litter. These partners are invited to exclusive hiring events and speed interview sessions and are asked to pay a recruitment fee if and when they hire any grads.

Attend a Demo Day

One of the easiest methods of browsing the talent pool of a particular coding bootcamp is to attend their career day. Career days are also called science fairs, demo days, or reverse job fairs. These events come in all shapes and sizes. Some consist of student presentations while others are set up similar to high school science fair. At these events guests view student projects, talk to their students about their work and exchange contact information.

Hiring Days / Speed Interviewing

Hiring days and speed interviewing events can be stand alone events or tagged on to demo days. Think of speed interviewing as speed dating but instead of trying to figure out if you are sitting across from crazy, you are trying to get acquainted with a potential addition to your development team. These events can be invite only. The best way to get on the list is to express interest to a bootcamp’s business development or marketing manager ahead of time. From the events we attended the student to employer ratio averaged out at about 1:1.

“A common scenario is a company will meet a student of ours in Employer Speed Dating, and determine a fit. They will encourage the student to work within that company’s stack for their final project (for example, using MEAN), and then see that project at the Employer Showcase upon graduation. If the company is sufficiently impressed, they would hire them,” said Michael Steele, marketing manager at Lighthouse Labs.

Mentor

Becoming a thought leader for bootcamp attendees is a symbiotic relationship. Bootcamps are eager to introduce students to potential mentors who in return make themselves available for career guidance and development support. Becoming a mentor is a good way to get introduced to young talent who in turn could prove to be useful additions to your team. Mentoring is also great for company outreach and helps strengthen the local tech community.

Conduct a Guest Lecture / Host a Field Trip

Some companies choose to take a leadership role by conducting guest lectures or lunch seminars at a coding bootcamp. Organizations can use this time to introduce an API or other product, and display its implementation to develop integrated solution. Students are always eager to learn about new technologies. Graduates might even go on to recommend your company’s product to their future employer. Inviting students to visit your workplace and take part in a real working environment is another great way to get involved. Who doesn’t like a field trip? Students get the opportunity to shadow employees and observe the day to day operation of a tech company. Employers get to observe  students in a true work environment and can gauge their interest in the company’s projects.

Provide a Project

A progressive way to participate in bringing authenticity to a coding bootcamp’s curriculum while at the same time test driving potential employees is to coordinate with a school to have their students work on an actual project for your organization. This special technique teaches students how to make a polished project, work within deadlines and coordinate with a true client. Many organizations have been so impressed by students that they offered them internships and full-time employment.

“Industry projects are definitely a critical part of every Coding Campus cohort and their preparation for a career as in development. These projects can end in internships, jobs, or simply a better understanding of what kind of organization to start your career with,” said Michael Zaro CEO of Coding Camp

Companies have found a lot of success exploiting these techniques to enhance their presence in these growing communities. Whether a bootcamp is local or across the country you’ll find they are willing to work with you to form a relationship that benefits both parties. There are many unique opportunities with bootcamps besides those discussed here. Reach out today and see how they can help build your staff and strengthen your brand.

Jagged Edge Media JAcom Consultants