The Software Guild


1. Executive Summary

Companies are facing an environment where it is difficult to attract new talent, retain existing talent and ensure that talent has the skills it needs for achieve future business objectives.

Enter the talent system. This system, developed by The Software Guild, enables companies to attract qualified candidates from the external market as well as create their own qualified candidates from their incumbent workforce.

The Software Guild’s talent system has been proven to provide tangible benefits to our partners by:

Providing a pipeline of qualified external candidates pre-assessed for the qualifications our partners require.
Transitioning incumbent workers with legacy skills into new roles with up-to-date, in demand skills.
Identifying incumbent workers currently in non-technical roles and providing them a pathway to transition to higher value, technical roles.
Lowering the cost of talent acquisition.
Increasing retention.
Making the company more attractive to external candidates.
Increasing diversity by offering professional development opportunities to nontraditional incumbent workers.

2. Understanding the Skills Gap

Understanding the IT Skills GapThere are two significant forces in information technology that are contributing to the difficulties with hiring, skills and retention. The first is the rapid pace of change. Many aspects of technology are evolving so rapidly that traditional education sources such as universities cannot create and deliver courseware quickly enough.

Second is that IT is continuing to embed itself into all core functions of the modern business. This has increased demand across all industries, including those that were historically non-technical in nature, which makes hiring and retention a key concern for businesses as they compete for talent with competitors across the entire marketplace.

The talent system allows for up-to-date training in a variety of technologies for student skill levels from beginner to senior. Common business needs include:

3. The Cost of Hiring

There currently is only one qualified candidate for every three open software developer positions in the job market, and the Department of Labor projects a 1 million job shortfall for in-demand IT positions through 2020. Talent acquisition in a market shortage is exceptionally difficult, and the industry is seeing increased lag times between posting a position and identifying a qualified candidate. Globally, IT staff jumped seven places to the second position in the top 10 roles employers struggled to fill in 2016. This in turn drives up the cost of talent acquisition. According to Devskiller, direct costs associated with outside hiring can reach $34,000. When you factor in indirect costs such as productivity loss, ramp-up time and others, the direct and indirect costs associated with a $60,000 salary can reach $100K. Worse yet, when you experience a bad hire, as more than 66 percent of U.S. employers have, you can add another $50,000 in missed opportunities, productivity losses, employee morale dips and potential legal issues. This is a driving force behind replacement costs for IT professionals reaching 150 percent of salary in some studies.

4. The Talent System

Recognizing a partner’s needs to attract, retain and develop technology workers, the Guild has proposed and implemented a talent system that not only attracts talent from the marketplace but also helps transition incumbent workers both in IT and from other business units into in-demand technical positions within the organization.

IT Skills Gap, Software Guild


The talent system allows for up-to-date training in a variety of technologies for student skill levels from beginner to senior. Common business needs include:

Expertise Level

As a trusted partner, The Software Guild assists in identifying technology needs of the organization and developing a system to fill those roles from incumbent and external candidates and then creates a pathway for professional development to keep employees engaged, keep their skills current and ultimately increase retention

Participants in our system can continue in or assimilate to roles such as:

  • Software Developer
  • Software Tester
  • Cyber Security Professional
  • Penetration Tester
  • Business Analyst
  • Software Quality Assurance Professional
  • Technical Project Manager
  • Database Administrator

5. Benefits of the Talent System

The Software Guild talent system is a flexible, relevant and affordable way to attract, reskill and upskill talent into in-demand roles that require technical skills. The system is customized to a partner’s needs and allows the organization the freedom and flexibility to create a longterm plan for the professional development that appeals to technology workers.

  • Multiple Modalities: The Guild offers both in-person and online modalities that range from full-time to part-time in delivery schedule. The in-person modality can be executed at a regional Guild facility or at the employer partner’s facilities so long as minimum enrollment threshold is met. Program length varies based on the materials covered and the amount of dedicated time. A few examples of applicable modalities and course schedules include:
    • In-person full-time: This fully immersive program runs Monday to Friday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
    • In-person part-time: This combines the benefits of face-to-face learning with a schedule that is less disruptive to work schedules. Classes are typically held two weeknights and all day Saturday.
    • Online: Some partners choose to do full-time and part-time options in a virtual classroom style format with dedicated times for training.
    • Online self-paced: Students with variable obligations are serviced virtually using screen sharing and video conferencing tools during weekly open office hours sessions.
  • Degree-Pathing: The Software Guild has cultivated and maintained relationships with various higher education partners that have allowed some of our programs to be articulated by regionally accredited institutions for college credit at both the BS and AAS level. For employees looking to leverage their new skills into an associate or bachelor’s degree, this credit articulation reduces the cost and length of a technical degree program.
  • Talent Identification: The Guild has been successfully identifying and training nontraditional students since 2013 with high rates of job placement. These processes are available to our business partners for identifying and evaluating technical aptitude for both incumbent workers and potential employees from the marketplace.
  • Onboarding Cost Reduction: In cases where an incumbent worker is transitioned to a technical role, onboarding costs and risks are greatly reduced as incumbent workers are already familiar with company culture and business processes and have already received regular performance evaluations. Additionally, with the time to hire externally continuing to increase, it is often the case where incumbent worker reskilling is faster than searching for, hiring and onboarding an external candidate.
  • Increasing Diversity: A side effect of our talent system program has been the attraction of nontraditional candidates. For example, a much higher percentage of women and minority candidates have entered our talent system than is typical in a college degree program. Some studies have shown that more diversity increases the productivity and innovation of teams.
  • Increasing Retention: Frequent participation in professional development programs has been shown to dramatically increase job satisfaction and the employee’s bond to the company. A formal talent system that allows entry to previously non-technical candidates turns a career ladder into a career lattice where employees can move sideways into more in-demand roles instead of focusing only on upward mobility within the same role.

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