Like many leading organisations today, Teladoc Health was looking to increase the diversity of its workforce, particularly within the software engineering team. For Teladoc Health’s Talent Acquisition team, this created a unique but relatable challenge. This case study shares how Teladoc Health met this challenge head-on by building a profoundly successful apprenticeship program that leveraged Criteria’s assessments while recruiting from coding bootcamps.
Teladoc Health took an innovative approach to hiring more diverse candidates. The approach involved three main components:
- Developing a robust apprenticeship program for the software engineering team
- Partnering with coding bootcamps to source candidates
- Using Criteria’s assessments to predict which candidates would ultimately be successful
The Apprenticeship Program
Teladoc Health pioneered a new apprenticeship program to recruit talent from nontraditional backgrounds into their engineering teams. The pilot program for the apprenticeship included 18 apprentices who joined the software engineering, DevOps, or Quality Assurance (QA) teams. Each apprentice was assigned two mentors, one on the engineering team and one on the HR team.
The apprenticeship program ran for 4-5 months, with the goal to hire the strongest performers at the end of the program. Managers evaluated the performance of the apprentices across a range of qualities, including: effective communication, organisational skills, reliability, initiative and engagement, quality of work, collaboration, adaptability, and overall contribution.
To tap into a diverse pool of candidates, Teladoc Health partnered with several coding bootcamps, which typically provide students with 4-6 months of in-depth training in web development, software engineering, data science, and more. Coding bootcamps represent a unique source for candidates because these programs often cater to students with nontraditional backgrounds. This can include people who are pursuing an alternative to a 4-year degree, people who are making a mid-career switch, or people who are returning to refresh or update their skills.
To get the program going, Teladoc Health first selected the coding bootcamps to partner with and worked with reps at each bootcamp to provide them with the job descriptions for each role. The reps would then post the roles internally for students to access, and then send resumes back to the Talent Acquisition team to review.
After the resume review, candidates took two Criteria assessments:
- Universal Cognitive Aptitude Test (UCAT): a cognitive ability assessment that measures critical thinking, problem-solving, and the ability to learn and apply new information. This assessment is especially useful for determining how easily someone will be able to pick up on training.
- Employee Personality Profile (EPP): a general personality assessment that measures a wide range of behavioural traits associated with particular roles, such as software development. This assessment helps to predict someone’s comfort in a particular type of role, which can contribute to long-term satisfaction and retention.
These assessments were layered into the process to give hiring managers additional confidence that the candidates had the potential to succeed, despite their limited experience in this field.
After the assessments, the candidates received a phone screen, followed by a specialised coding assessment. Lastly, the candidates were interviewed by the hiring managers before receiving an offer.
A Highly Diverse Group of Apprentices
By sourcing through coding bootcamps, Teladoc Health was able to recruit a highly diverse group of candidates. Of the 18 apprentices that were selected for the program, all of them were career-switchers from a wide range of backgrounds. Some had bachelor’s degrees, some didn’t, some worked in the restaurant industry, or were previously musicians. All 18 apprentices identified across a variety of diverse dimensions, including:
100% Success Rate
Bringing in a diverse group of apprentices was one half of the victory. The other half was the performance outcomes. At the end of the apprenticeship program, every single apprentice received high performance ratings from their hiring managers, and every single one was offered a full-time role. Seventeen of the eighteen apprentices ultimately accepted.
This was an enormous win for the apprenticeship pilot program, and a validation of its efficacy as a recruitment strategy moving forward.
Assessments Drive Confidence in Hiring
Teladoc Health’s Talent Acquisition team knew that hiring software engineers fresh out of coding bootcamp could be risky. Traditionally, hiring managers on the engineering team would request candidates with at least two years of experience. It was unheard of to look for candidates with minimal experience.
But the apprenticeship program introduced the idea of hiring mid-career switchers whose only coding experience was from a bootcamp. According to Teladoc Health, this represented “a paradigm shift for all hiring managers.”
Criteria’s assessments played a role in easing that transition and de-risking the process. The science-backed assessments added a predictive layer to indicate the likelihood that a candidate would succeed in that role, regardless of past experience in engineering.
Ultimately, the assessments helped the hiring managers take the leap away from requiring years of experience, removing a key impediment to building a more diverse team. The data-driven approach was especially appealing to the data-minded engineering team because it gave the hiring managers more confidence to take the leap and make the hire.
Sourcing from Coding Bootcamps
The coding bootcamps provided a richly diverse group of candidates to choose from. Teladoc Health researched bootcamps and chose to partner with several, including one that focused specifically on veterans. Because the bootcamps welcome candidates from nontraditional backgrounds, they were able to attract a richly diverse candidate pool organically.
One of the engineers at Teladoc Health even remarked that in his 20 years of experience in software engineering, he had never had the opportunity to work with a military veteran, for example, let alone such a diverse group of individuals.
“That’s the beauty of working with bootcamps,” the Teladoc Health team told Criteria. “We could have just posted our roles externally and probably would have had hundreds of applicants to sort through, and they would probably be the same type of candidate.” The coding bootcamps enabled Teladoc Health to expand beyond the traditional pool of candidates with high-demand coding skills.
A Recipe for Continued Success
The success of the apprenticeship program didn’t go unnoticed. The hiring managers in the engineering team were blown away by the diverse set of candidates that were brought in, and they were able to buy into the idea of hiring based on candidate potential rather than years of experience. By combining innovative sourcing techniques and evidence-based assessments, Teladoc Health was able to mine a rich vein of highly diverse, untapped talent. Other departments are planning to adopt similar apprenticeship programs, and the future looks bright for Teladoc Health.
Teladoc Health is a leading, multinational telemedicine and virtual healthcare company.