Tapping into Homegrown Talent—A Win for Everybody
Sometimes the best place to look for technology professionals is right in your own back yard.
We’ve talked before about how the ethos of SSCS is tied into the surrounding area; how it aligns with and is a reflection of the Salinas Valley and Monterey Bay, and vice-versa.
One of the ways our symbiotic relationship with the area plays out is the use of our local university, Cal State Monterey Bay (CSUMB), as a source of recruiting talent.
CSUMB is a residential campus of more than 6,500 students that’s a short drive away from SSCS headquarters in Salinas. It offers degrees in Programming and Software Engineering, creating a pipeline of talent that runs through our back yard. Through an arrangement with the university, representatives from our development department make themselves available to describe what our company does, our plans for the future, and potential employment and paid internship opportunities.
It’s been an eye opener for students. As SSCS evolves, we’re moving in some pretty exciting directions and exploring new, nimble technologies. Many undergraduates have no idea this kind of opportunity is right under their nose, having resigned themselves to looking for high-tech employment in the Silicon Valley and the San Francisco Bay Area. That’s okay, but after spending a few years living in and around the beauty of the Monterey Bay, moving to a dense, hectic metropolis two hours away requires quite a lifestyle adjustment. Imagine their surprise when they find out they can work as a software engineer with a solid, stable software company and, on top of it, live in paradise! Who knew?
Local recruitment works for us, too. Recent graduates tend to be exposed to the latest technologies we use and because they already live locally, we don’t have to worry that they’ll find themselves exhausted by difficult travel logistics. In the case of our paid intern program, which targets juniors, not only do we get to see potential recruits in action, they get an introduction the real world of software development. It’s our way of giving back to our community, by providing opportunities and gainful employment to locals, sowing the seeds of economic development in the process. Everybody wins.
The Salinas Valley may not hold the same cachet as Silicon Valley, unless you’re a CSUMB student, in which case we may end up being the preferred choice.