Closing the gap between employers and qualified IT graduates
Right now, 3.2 million information technology desks sit empty, waiting for qualified workers to fill them. For many companies in Minnesota, hiring IT personnel who are both competent and adaptable is a constant struggle. Enter Maverick Software Consulting, a Lakeville company on a quest to train the next generation of employable IT workers in the technology, culture, and vision of the companies who need them.
To accomplish this, Maverick operates as a staff augmentation and college recruiting service, employing students from 58 colleges and universities across the Midwest. These students work directly with companies to learn job skills directly applicable to their prospective work places, all while earning $20 to $25 an hour. Upon completion of a two-year trial, companies are able to decide whether they wish to hire the student. If these clients do decide to take on their student full-time, Maverick offers to streamline the process by handling all the basic HR and training functions, including interviewing, background checks, and employment elegibility verification.
Universities, including Minnesota State Colleges and Universities (MnSCU), the state's system of 31 universities and community colleges, seems to think this innovative approach could be the future of employee recruitment for their students. Maverick recently received the MnSCU Innovative Partnering and Collaboration Award for their cutting-edge approach that smoothly and efficiently places skilled IT talent into the work force.
Maverick's system seems to be working. It boasts a 100 percent post-college job placement rate, and new graduates that are hired through Maverick Software Consulting's program are productive three to six months earlier than their peers, the company says.
Marty Hebig, founder and President of Maverick Software Consulting, credits this success to "a little bit of luck and a lot of hard work." He says that everyone involved believes that Maverick is making a big impact in the lives of students, companies, and the local economy.
As for the future, Maverick is continuing their expansion by working with more clients and universities. "At the end of the day," Hebig says, "this is one of those rare opportunities where everyone wins." Companies are offered a cost-effective pipeline to trained entry-level employees, and students get a great paying, part-time job that gives them real-world experience and a foot into the door of the IT world. -Ali Lacey