Quarterly Publication - Ed. 02-May6 - Flipbook - Page 9
TECH TALENT GAP
AND HELPING CAREER
HATCHWAYS IS HELPING PROVIDE ACCESS TO
PREVIOUSLY UNATTAINABLE TECH ROLES FOR SO
MANY. WHY FOCUS ON THIS CAUSE?
Shums: Being at the intersection of doing what I
love - building things - but also doing it for a purpose is
beyond compelling to me. The resources out there for
the kind of candidate we work with are historically low,
so there was a business opportunity there, but also an
opportunity to help people. Building Hatchways has
been so rewarding. I feel extremely lucky to have found
a career I love, working for a purpose I love.
Jaclyn: I strongly agree with Shums in that building your own venture allows you to do it while also
focussing on the impact you’re looking to have. We
started Hatchways by coordinating a boot camp for
aspiring tech talent in a matter of days. Neither of
us had done this before… but we did it. Coming out
of that, I really understood the problem. Half of our
group of people were immigrants to Canada, so had no
networks and some weren’t fluent in English. The other
half of candidates were low-income, often living below
the poverty line, and who were finding it hard to make
ends meet. It was a very interesting experience where
we really found a new understanding of the problem
and passion for finding the solution.
Despite the high demand for talent, It's so challenging to get a job in software if you don't come from
a traditional background and you aren’t a “cookiecutter” candidate on paper. After that bootcamp, I was
sold on doing everything possible to build a solution to
WHAT ARE YOUR MOST MEMORABLE STORIES
ABOUT HELPING PEOPLE PIVOT INTO TECH
Jaclyn: Some of my favorite stories are about helping new Canadians find amazing opportunities. We
have a lot of immigrant candidates that come to Canada
or the US. Many arrive without a network in their
desired field and while they have previous work
experience, their credentials are not recognized
by North American companies. However, these
individuals are so hardworking and are truly talented developers.
We have immigrants arriving from Russia,
Ethiopia, Ukraine and coming from completely
different backgrounds like accounting or electrical
engineering and then landing their first jobs here.
We're able to really be part of that process and see
them grow over the span of a
year or two. It’s crazy watching
how far their career trajectory
can go in the first few years
after landing their initial role.
In some cases, we’ve even seen
50% pay growth after just two
HOW CAN EMPLOYERS START TO THINK
DIFFERENTLY ABOUT TALENT - TO SEE
POTENTIAL POTENTIAL WHERE THEY
WOULDN’T HAVE LOOKED PREVIOUSLY?
Shums: Our biggest issue is that people want
senior talent instead of technical talent. For
example, a company I recently worked with hired
their first two engineers who were both Hatchways
graduates with no prior work experience. However,
when we first met with the company, they were
very clear that they only wanted senior talent. We
coach employers on getting past
certain biases by giving candidates
a trial period and seeing how they
perform on the job. Our advice is
that they test the candidates in any
way they can, preferably by making
it practical so that they can then
judge whether they excel or fall
short. As someone who has hired
talent, that approach has changed
my opinion of many candidates.
When we interview candidates or
we go through any process, we
never do a purely behavioral screen
because there are massive shortcomings; you are
actually vetting the candidate on something that
people with disabilities will fail at.
stories are about the
candidates that I didn’t
initially believe in, that
end up surprising me
Shums: To add to that, my
favourite stories are about
the candidates that I didn’t
initially believe in, that end
up surprising me by excelling.
One specific candidate developed technical skills
outside of Hatchways, couldn’t get a tech job,
ended up working at Tim Hortons for two years,
then found Hatchways.
After going through our program and honing
their skills in tech and beyond, they landed a tech
role almost immediately after our program. We
continue to watch their trajectory grow every year.
You have to factor in that people have varied
and subjective communication skills and some of
these “skills” aren’t necessarily a requirement of
the tech roles they’re after.
LISTEN TO THE FULL
INTERVIEW ON LAUNCHPOD