At LinkedIn, we believe that top talent can come from anywhere. We're most interested in finding candidates who are passionate about their work and have a strong interest in continuing to learn and grow. Therefore, we're taking a new approach to finding engineering talent. Our hypothesis is that the mismatch between talent supply and demand in our industry can be addressed in a sustainable manner by changing the way we identify, recruit and train talent.

One early test of this hypothesis was the launch of REACH’s pilot program in early 2017. This program brought 29 engineering apprentices into the company for a six-month program. While embedded with internal engineering teams at the company, these apprentices put their coding experience to work as they gained on-the-job training to prepare them for a career in engineering. At the end of the program, 83% of the 29 participants successfully landed an engineering role at LinkedIn or at another company.

Considering the success of the REACH pilot, we began to think about how we could scale the program both internally at the company as well as for the number of exceptional applicants we could accept. We learned a lot from the pilot program, most importantly that we need to accommodate even more learning styles as well as the number of technical “entry points” based on the apprentices’ technical level. With the changes made to our updated REACH program, we look forward to creating opportunity for every individual with the drive, passion for coding, and ability to learn to become an engineer.