TechHire Playbook

TechHire is a market-based collective impact model, in which employers work together on a regional basis, along with training providers, civic institutions, and other partners to source and place nontraditional candidates.

This is a playbook for building a TechHire ecosystem. There are specific actions in here for civic institutions or other local leaders of TechHire, employers, training providers, and intermediaries that match job seekers with jobs or individuals with employers. This playbook is “open source,” and we look forward to TechHire stakeholders improving and adding materials to this playbook over time. Suggestions for improving the playbook can be made by clicking ‘Suggest an improvement’ (next to each action) and submitting your suggestion in GitHub. You will need a GitHub account to contribute.

PLAY 1 Suggest an improvement

TechHire Ecosystem Planning

Checklist:

Shared goals: The main goal of TechHire is to create opportunities for individuals both to master and be recognized for the skills needed to be hired into good jobs in information technology.

This is accomplished through two primary activities: 1) training job seekers for IT jobs and 2) enabling large numbers of employers commit to hire based on abilities rather than traditional credentials. TechHire partners in your community - including employers and industry groups, educators and training providers, and other civic organizations - should provide input on a shared set of targets as well as additional goals that may be important for your local TechHire. See plays 2 and 3 for information on engaging these stakeholders in goal setting and in action.

  • Hiring: How many TechHire job placements will the TechHire initiative in your community aim to reach across all employers and partners this year?
  • Training: Working backwards from your placements goals, how many job seekers will you aim to identify as having the right (unrecognized) skills and match them with employers? How many will be trained this year through TechHire training providers, existing and new?
  • Job Seeker Outreach: In order to meet your hiring and training goals, how many total potential job seekers do you aim to make aware of the TechHire opportunity this year?
  • Specific segments of job seekers: Do TechHire partners in your community have goals related to reaching or training specific segments of job seekers? If important segments are not served by existing partners, which new community partners should join TechHire?

Alignment on roles

Resources: The work of TechHire cannot be accomplished without dedicated resources to facilitate the overall effort for busy employers, and to identify untapped talent with relevant skills and expand access to accelerated training for motivated individuals who would not otherwise have the opportunity to gain the IT job skills they need to be hired. There are two primary categories of TechHire work that require dedicated resources:

Potential Sources of Funding Checklist

PLAY 2 Suggest an improvement

Gathering the Data

To effectively align IT training and workforce systems to the needs of employers, it is important to send job seekers and training providers accurate signals about what skillsets are required, in what quantity, and on what timeframe. In order to accomplish this, develop a shared language to describe hiring requirements so employers can more clearly communicate to providers and candidates what people should know or be able to do to perform a critical job. And ensure that training providers understand this language. In addition to building a shared language and collecting information directly from employers, it can be helpful to obtain regular real-time demand analysis from a labor market information firm (LMI). And the best available analysis of the existing supply of talent and tech training landscape is a valuable resource as well.

Checklist:

Employers: Engage in workforce planning activities to better understand demand for key strategic initiatives.

The leadership team should assess key skill gaps at individual contributor and manager levels to build a functional workforce plan of gaps within the organization.

  • Key to the workforce planning process is to think beyond immediate skills shortages to focus on the skills required to execute strategic goals for the organization across the next year, 2 year and 5 year horizon. Included are developing responses to what the key challenges are, how these challenges will affect the skills and competencies required by the organization, and finally, what actions are required to address these specific gaps.

Employers: Share competency expectations with other employers to determine which skills and competencies are most in demand amongst employers in the region

Community: Develop a short- and long-term industry projection that estimate future job openings, and add to these projections with labor market information from ESMI and Burning Glass, for instance.

Community: Locate the best available analysis of the local incumbent tech workforce as well as the existing tech training landscape.

If possible, rely on an aggregate supply analysis conducted by a third party as well as information on quality of training obtained directly from employers or training providers.

  • A decent aggregate supply analysis for the region may already exist, and this should be something to ask about when reaching out to potential planning partners. A supply analysis should include:
    • What is the size and composition of the incumbent tech workforce?
    • Inventory of existing training programs that provides information on each program including: annual enrollment, annual completion, admissions criteria, whether the program is real-time or self-paced, length of program, part-time vs. full-time, tuition, and availability of public and/or scholarship funding.

  • Information on job placement rates and success of those placements should be obtained for each training program where possible. Many training programs do not collect or will not share this information. In this case anecdotal information – including the number of hires and success of those hires, in addition to a possible marketing testimonial - from employers about their experience can be helpful.

Community: Using tools of TechHire partners, work with employers to confirm which capabilities and positions are most critical across employers in the region – and are forecasted in high demand – and focus on efforts to build those capabilities in the marketplace.

Community: Share information on employer needs and on existing supply with all partners. If possible, rely on the aggregate analyses conducted by third parties as well as information collected directly from employers.

PLAY 3 Suggest an improvement

Enlisting Employers

Employers are experiencing difficulty hiring skilled IT workers: compared to 2010, time to fill IT roles takes five additional weeks. By 2020, there is an expectation that there will be 1 million more IT jobs than computer science students in the United States. And these open jobs cut across industries, with two of three open IT jobs in industries outside of tech, including health, financial services, retail, and manufacturing. Working together with other employers in the local community, TechHire allows employers to signal to job seekers and training providers which skills are required for in-demand local jobs and provide feedback on which programs are producing quality candidates. By aligning with other employers, the collective group can build an ecosystem with a larger supply of quality IT talent, and do so more efficiently and cost-effectively than most individual employers could accomplish on their own.

Checklist:

Community: Build your use case for employers to participate in TechHire

Community: Organize employers

Communities: Identify employer advocates

Employers: Expand the network

Community: Build relationships with a handful of employers committed to the mission of TechHire whom you can consult with on communications, strategy, outreach and success.

Key Questions

PLAY 4 Suggest an improvement

Enlisting Training Providers and Other Integrated Job Seeker Resources

Checklist:

Community: Build your use case for training providers and other job seeker resource partners to participate in TechHire

Community: Share information on employer needs and on existing supply with all partners. If possible, rely on the aggregate analyses conducted by third parties as well as information collected directly from employers.

Community: Work with supply-side partners to set shared goals, building on the hiring and training goals for the overall initiative.

Sidebar: Partner Roles for Integration of Job Seeker Resources

PLAY 5 Suggest an improvement

Infrastructure for Validation and Matching

As described at the start of this playbook, the main goal of TechHire is to create opportunity for individuals. This is accomplished through two primary activities: 1) training job seekers for IT jobs and 2) enabling employers to hire based on abilities rather than traditional credentials. In order for this to be achieved at scale, there is a need for a trusted, low-cost method for validating the skills of job seekers and “matching” them to job opportunities. In the absence of such a solution, employers will continue to depend on college credentials, employment history, and other traditional screens to filter and select among the large number of applications they receive.

Validation and matching can be accomplished through a combination of offline and online job marketplaces, assessments, training provider validation, and analytical tools. Alternatively, or in addition, a community can facilitate the development of hiring onramps. Hiring onramps are organizations that centralize some of the above activities within a single organization: they conduct assessments, validate skills, understand employer needs, and match talent to job openings.

The TechHire.org web platform will provide functionality for many of the components of validation and matching, described below. We recommend leveraging the platform if you have not already built out these components in your ecosystem. And if you you have already built out components and they are working well, we would like to learn from you.

Checklist:

Job marketplaces

Assessments for job seekers to demonstrate their skills and fit

Training provider "hiring channels" – a list of training providers and intermediaries from which employers can hire quality candidates

A hiring onramp is an intermediary that combines many of the above components within one organization. An effective onramp can validate skills on one end, understand employer needs on the other end, and then perform the crucial activity of matching job seekers to the best opportunity. An onramp may have their own job seekers and employer networks or can take advantage of the networks being created on the TechHire.org platform.

PLAY 6 Suggest an improvement

System Feedback

Checklist:

Define and collect metrics to monitor progress on shared goals and to learn and make improvements to the system over time

Share this data with TechHire.org through APIs so that TechHire.org can aggregate this information to provide better market signals and insights

On an ongoing basis, collect information from employers about their changing skill needs and share with partners.

PLAY 7 Suggest an improvement

Implementation and Scaled Sign Up

Employer Sign Up

Signal to job seekers and training providers that employers are behind this initiative: they are willing to interview candidates from nontraditional sources for open positions within their company.

Training Provider and Other Integrated Job Seeker Resource Sign Up

Ensure that training provider partners understand criteria to participate