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Where to Source Tech Talent and How to Keep Them Onboard

5 min read | Last updated on

As a company in the 21st century, the next few years are set to be pivotal in determining which industries are going to survive the coming disruptions. We’ve seen one of those disruptions in the form of Covid-19, but technology is poised to cause a bigger disruption than ever before that could leave millions of workers displaced. Traditional industries will fall in favor of tech industries, and this may result in an entirely new workforce that is extremely skilled with technology.

Getting ahead of this change and onboarding those talented workers at your company, as well as adapting your company for the digital age, is the best course of action for any company today. Finding tech talent is all about opening your mind and looking into every possible area for talented graduates who can bring something new to the table. On that note, below are a few of the best places to source the top tech talent, along with some tips for how to retain them.

Campus Outreach Programs

Colleges and universities have been trusted by recruiters for decades and for good reason. The graduates of these institutions are often skilled employees who are eager to advance their careers given their statistically lower ages. On that note, it’s important to mention that graduates from this source will typically require more guidance than those from some other sources on this list.

A piece of advice when looking for graduates from colleges or universities is to consider hiring those who have career goals. They don’t necessarily need to have their entire life mapped out but ensure the person you’re hiring actually wants to be in the career that they are pursuing, otherwise they may not stick with your company for long.

Additionally, don’t forget that graduates from online degree programs via accredited universities are just as skilled and knowledgeable as their in-person counterparts. Finding the best talent means never discrediting a source as a bad one, and understanding that talent can come from virtually anywhere.

Work With Trade Schools

Trade schools are a form of education that is often overlooked in favor of colleges or universities, but this simply means that there may be untapped talent that you can bring to your company. In fact, The Atlantic reported in the past that trade school attendance was even beginning to rival that of colleges and universities.

With that in mind, trade school sourcing works best when you know what type of person you want to fill the job opening with. If a little more industry experience and less training is your ideal candidate, then trade schools are a fantastic place to discover this talent. This is due to the fact that the majority of people enrolled in trade schools are those who want to change careers later in their life.

What makes trade schools a good source to recruit from is the fact that they offer a wide variety of classes. Despite this, their classes are far more specific than universities, which means their graduates could potentially have more in-depth knowledge. Schools such as Thinkful even have courses ranging from data science to full-stack development, which means graduates have a wide array of skills.

Partner With a Tech Bootcamp

Similar to trade schools, tech bootcamps offer courses that are accelerated compared to a university course. However, this acceleration allows for a graduation turnaround of just a few months. Therefore, tech bootcamps are a great source if you are looking for talent quickly. For example, popular coding bootcamps result in graduates earning comparable salaries to university counterparts, yet completing their courses in a fraction of the time. If you’re looking to fill a specific job opening, a tech bootcamp may be the best place to find a specialist, and relying on this source will let the candidate know their worth.


As a whole, identifying and retaining tech talent is best done by considering out of the box sources. However, it’s also important to know exactly what type of employee you are looking for in a specific job opening. If training is acceptable to you, then continuing to source from colleges and universities is never a bad idea. Should your company wish to spend less time training employees, consider accepting workers from trade schools or bootcamps as they bring a unique experience to the table. Regardless, your overarching goal should be to retain your employees using competitive benefits.

Author bio

Artur Meyster is the CTO of Career Karma

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.