Selecting the perfect candidate for a technology job is like steering a boat—you need the right crew and process for smooth sailing or you’ll likely end up in a shipwreck.
The high stakes of hiring mean increasingly rigorous standards for job seekers. Tech professionals can no longer rely on knowing one language or tool, or one way to solve a problem. Now, employers expect a vast set of technical and soft skills that demonstrate the ability to think logically, be flexible, and execute. Professionals that succeed must be well-versed in the constantly changing landscape of the industry, and have learned principles that will allow them to solve any challenge or business obstacle placed in front of them.
Who’s doing great work in helping job seekers meet these enormous expectations? According to companies like Carfax, we are.
When two Thinkful hires just isn’t enough
One of the top review sites to shop and sell used cars, Carfax knew the challenge of finding great talent when it hired two Thinkful grads in mid-2018. Attracted by the caliber of those graduates’ work, Carfax approached Thinkful about building a more robust talent pipeline through an apprenticeship program. “We were so impressed, we thought, ‘Hey, could we work with Thinkful directly and create an apprenticeship program so that more Thinkful graduates can work with us?’” said Tae Oh, Head of Consumer Experience Development/Hiring Manager.
During the apprenticeship program, Thinkful grads get three to six months to prove themselves before being hired full-time. The tech team at Carfax uses that time to see how grads fit in culturally, evaluate their technical skills, and test their ability to work collaboratively. Oh shares, “work behavior qualities, culture fit, in addition to tech skills… are the most important thing. As a hiring manager, I personally don’t put too much stock into pedigree–the school they came from or what they studied–I look at the summation of all their work.”
Not only does Carfax want to hire more Thinkful graduates, they are intent on keeping them. Carfax’s Recruiting Director, Tara Winesett explains that benefits like “having professional development time [at Carfax], and time to explore things that [employees] are interested in helps with retention. As part of their job, [employees] get an opportunity to do things they might be excited about and want to learn.”
While its headquarters may be in Centerville, VA, Carfax has other offices in Columbia, Manhattan, Dallas, and Ontario, giving employees the opportunity to build a vast network and take professional training development programs in cities around the world.
What a top tech company looks for when hiring
According to Carfax, Thinkful hires are passionate, self-motivated and able to foster a culture of hard-work and success. One Engineering Immersion hire, JP, joined the team as a front-end developer, but when Carfax needed help migrating applications to Amazon Web Services (AWS), he was able to quickly pivot, jump in and contribute. It might not have been in his original job description, but JP is now considered an AWS infrastructure expert.
Since the launch of the apprenticeship, Carfax has hired 5 Thinkful grads, and expects to bring on more soon. The support team our students receive and the relationships we’ve built with employers mean they’re set up for success, from day one.
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