"We have to start thinking differently about talent development," says 4A's President and CEO Marla Kaplowitz. "We need to start changing the dynamic within the agencies to shift the overall composition of the talent that's there… and train them in a very different way." To achieve that goal, the 4A's has entered into an apprentice development partnership with Catalyte, an AI-based enterprise that is "redefining hiring in America" by implementing an unbiased approach to sourcing talent using 500+ data points to identify high-potential apprentice candidates. In my Legends & Leadership conversation with Kaplowitz and Catalyte CEO Matt Derella, they explain how the apprenticeship program is delivering for participating agencies by "democratizing opportunities" and leading the industry to identify and attract thousands of candidates who have little exposure to the industry and otherwise no path to job opportunities.
Catalyte sources potential apprentices through AI, advertising, job boards, veterans' communities, Indeed, LinkedIn and several non-profit groups. "There's so much talent," says Derella, who has had senior leadership roles with Google and Twitter. "One of the bittersweet things about our program right now for me is that so many people have an interest in getting into our industry. We typically get tens of thousands of people who take our assessment for these types of roles. and we have only so many spots to actually provide them. We also have a lot of work to do to help these people continue their journey," he acknowledges.
Experience and college degrees are not required to apply and complete a two-hour assessment before entering Catalyte's 12-week apprentice development program, for which they're paid state minimum wages. "The things we're looking for," Derella explains, "are learning agility. grit, tenacity and the ability to problem solve. [Our assessment] provides a very powerful predictive ability to determine someone's likelihood of being really successful. It ensures incredible quality that leads to a 90 percent conversion rate."
The program assures the apprentices are "day one ready" when they begin full-time work at participating agencies. "We identify the exact skills the agencies are looking for and have partnerships to assure each apprentice has all the tools they'll require," Derella shares. For a full explanation and examples of 4A's partnership with Catalyte, plus insights on the 4A's commitment to diverse talent development, view my full Legends & Leadership conversation with Kaplowitz and Derella above and at www.LegendsLeaders.org.