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Careerhack 2020: Ironhack’s new streamlined Career Services

Since Ironhack started, we’ve been fully committed to figuring out the best way to help our students land the best quality jobs, as fast as possible. Our vision remains to become the most outcomes-focused institution in the world, at scale.

Our premise has always been that employability is not determined exclusively by your level of hard skills: soft skills, job-hunting skills and access to opportunities play a huge role in achieving a successful outcome. 

For this reason, over the last 5 years we’ve:

  • Built a dedicated, specialized team of career coaches that support every student since they sign on until they get a job. 
  • Provided a wide range of job support services, including a whole extra week focused exclusively on soft skills and job-hunting development, and individual job-hunt support to every student throughout their journey
  • Invested heavily in growing and nurturing the largest hiring partner network of any bootcamp in Europe with over 600 Global Hiring Partners, including top players like Google, Visa, Twitter or Magic Leap. 

Our results until now speak for themselves - 89% Placement Rate after 6 months for all students that graduated in 2018 - but we know if we want to be able to deliver outcomes at scale, specially during these tough times, we need to think bigger. This is why we’re very excited to introduce...

Careerhack

Careerhack is Ironhack’s Career Services Program. It is designed to help students identify their ideal outcome, and support them throughout the process so they reach it as fast as possible. The course runs parallel to our technical training and is divided into different stages that encompass the whole student journey. 

  • Stage 0 and 1 are focused on teaching the basic skills needed required in the digital ecosystem regardless of the desired outcome. It will be useful for freelancers, entrepreneurs and job-seekers alike. 
  • Stage 2 focuses exclusively on helping job seekers navigate the job search process. 

Check it out! 👇

Stage #0 | Discovery

Ironhackers come from all walks of life.
The discovery stage is designed to ensure students from different backgrounds come into the bootcamp having reflected on their values and objectives, and have a general understanding of the digital ecosystem and the possibilities that lie ahead of them.
» Expect introspection exercises to identify your top values and skills, and some market research in order to clarify future possible outcomes.
/ To be completed during the Bootcamp

Stage #1 | Digital Foundations

All Ironhackers, regardless of their desired outcome, have one thing in common - they are looking to enter the digital market.
The Digital Foundations stage is designed to prepare students to navigate the digital ecosystem - whether they’re looking for a job, intend to freelance or start their own venture.
» Expect to work on crafting a compelling story, defining a personal brand statement and identifying channels to promote it: LinkedIn, CV, Networking events... 
/ To be completed during the Bootcamp

Stage #2 | Job Hunt

As the name suggests, this stage is designed for anybody looking for a job. Like any good athlete, first we warm-up, then we race.

• Phase #1: Career Warm-Up

In the warm-up phase, students go through a full job hunting drill, covering every stage of a process, so they can replicate it once they start looking on their own.
» Expect to learn how to generate leads, apply to jobs, master both technical and personal interviews and negotiate, accept or reject an offer.
/ To be completed during Career Week

• Phase #2: Sprint

Now we’re all warmed up. It’s game time! Throughout the job search, we provide weekly one on one guidance and support and access to our Hiring Partners through different channels.
» Expect digital and physical check-in session, Fast-track Interviews, job offers and more.
/ Offered after the Bootcamp

Want more information on Careerhack? You can check out our documentation here.

Great! So… what’s new?

A lot of stuff! 

On the coaching side, we’ve completely revamped our content and structure. Students perform introspection exercises and start building their personal brand early on. Through the bootcamp we help them translate that personal brand into their digital profiles such as CV and LinkedIn, and we devote a full week to go over a job sprint cycle, from generating leads, to applying, interviewing, negotiating and closing the offer. 

We’ve also invested in software that enables us to better track the progress of students throughout the job search process and provide specific feedback. The result is a much better student experience and level of support. The biggest change probably comes from the way we connect students and companies.

Remember Hiring Fairs?

Our main conduit to connect students and companies has always been hiring fairs. In these half-day events, we brought companies together with students in a speed-recruiting format: each student get’s 10-15 minutes with each company, and, if there’s interest, companies contact students afterwards to move onto the next stage in the selection process.

Hiring Fairs have been a great success for us until now. There are many advantages to this format: students get to meet several companies face to face in a short period of time, companies can boost their employer branding and, most importantly, they lead to hires. However, we’ve always been conscious that they presented some inherent downsides that prevent us from maximizing the quality and quantity of opportunities we can offer students. 

The need for companies to attend physically for an extended period of time has prevented us from reaching more partners. We’ve received feedback that the short nature of the interviews doesn’t appeal to everyone. And it has always required a huge lift from our team to throw these events. 

This is why we transitioned to Fast-track Interviews.

Fast-track Interviews

Throughout the past year, we started evaluating ways to improve the connection between students and companies. Our first objective was to optimize the connection: instead of every company interviewing every student, we built a matchmaking algorithm and started pairing students with companies based on affinity. The results were incredible - students had less interviews, but they led to more hires, and a better experience for students and companies alike.

Our second objective was trying to increase the pool of companies we could target by modifying our service. We started reaching out to employers and connecting them directly to students who were searching through email. Having no need to physically attend an event allowed us to appeal to a much wider audience, and pairing this together with our matchmaking algorithm led to similar, and sometimes better hiring ratios than our hiring fairs. 

And just like that the Fast-track Interview concept was born 💥 

How do Fast-track Interviews work?

Fast-track interviews are pretty straightforward. Whenever one of our partners needs to fill a job position, we collect their requirements and connect them directly via email with graduates who are actively searching and fit their needs. Companies commit to interview a minimum of 5 candidates, and we take into account factors such as technical skills, soft skills, location preferences and language to pair them. 

Some upsides:

  • We are not constrained by geographical location, which opens a whole new pool of companies we can partner with.
  • Companies don’t need to physically attend an event at a given moment in time, so we can adapt much better to their schedules. This leads to a higher number of interviews.
  • Interviews are longer, and more qualified. No more 15-minute introductory interviews!
  • Students get better qualified interviews spread out throughout their job search period.
  • It allows us to focus on providing value to our students through services such as increased coaching support vs. spending time in event and logistics management. 

For obvious reasons, this has become our standard service throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. We’ve realized it improves student and company experience, broadens our hiring partner reach and ultimately leads to more hires, which is why we’ve decided to deprecate hiring fairs and continue with this format moving forward. 

What’s next?

Keep getting better! We’re looking to roll out a mentorship program, increase our pool of hiring partners, improve our continuous technical learning content... 

In volatile times, remaining agile is key, so we will keep trying new services and approaches with one laser-focused objective in mind - improve the employability and support we offer our students so they can land their dream job as fast as possible 🚀

If you want to know more about how we've helped thousands of student land their dream job, check our Career Services

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