Seeking to address the ever more acute issue of staff shortages, more and more technology companies are setting up their own Academies: internal training or upskilling programs. One such company is Kilo Health, one of the leading digital health and wellness companies globally.
Kilo Health Academy kicked off last year (February 2020). And there are more candidates than places. The prospect of being employed after training is seemingly a good motivator.
Of the 300 people who applied for the Academy since its inception, 50 were accepted and graduated – there were six batches divided into groups of 8-10 students.
From each group, the company hires about half of the people. Others stay in an internal pipeline for future opportunities. Kilo Health calls them as soon as vacancies appear, and they are offered to take courses and reach for the desired position again.
Now, Kilo Health is exploring the possibilities of expanding its training program to other countries, including Ukraine and Germany, where the company recently set up offices.
"We have plans to expand the Academy. We want to cooperate with foreign universities or other educational institutions to provide additional competencies and perhaps attract foreign specialists and Lithuanians working abroad", says Paula Zilinskaite, Head of the Kilo Health Academy.
So far, only online courses are being considered, as it's currently more convenient and much safer to form remote international groups, bringing together people, for example, from Lithuania, Belarus, and Ukraine.
A second chance for juniors
"Kilo Health Academy is an internal professional development program. It is not for retraining people; we do not prepare specialists from scratch. The purpose of these courses is to raise the qualification of the applicants in a short time," Paula explains. "It's designed for people who don't pass our job interview process or have too little experience for the position. It‘s like a second chance for juniors.“
These free courses indeed attract a lot of talent. And in Kilo Health's book, this is a win-win, because it’s easier to teach newcomers technical skills than to find ones who fit into the company's culture.
"For example, we often see that the candidate is fundamentally suitable for us, our vibe matches – which is very important to us – but they lack some experience. Instead of letting such a person go to another company to gain experience, we offer them to participate in the Academy. There, in just a few months, they reach the level we need to hire them", says Paula, adding that the Academy was set up specifically to address staff shortages.
The content of the courses is designed to comply with the principles of Kilo Health's work. Most of the Academy's teachers are Kilo Health specialists. As such, newcomers learn to write code exactly as the company does.
These courses also save a lot of time that the company otherwise would need to train and onboard newcomers.
"Kilo Health is growing at a speed of light, and it takes time for universities and other bodies to train specialists. So, as an option to fill large amounts of hires, we prepare them ourselves or collaborate with them. Time is a great luxury for us. And there is a huge gaping hole in the labor market around the world, especially in IT. There is a huge shortage of workers in all segments of the digital market. And there is tremendous competition", says Paula.
The company has just completed the Google ads course, and a week earlier, programming courses for React.js. Two new IT batches for React.js and React Native are now planned.
Paula emphasizes that with React.js and React Native groups, the company wants to reach a higher level.
"This time, we will seek to attract not juniors, but rather mid-to-higher-level programmers who are likely to be already working, but also seeking opportunities to learn new frameworks and improve their skill set. We will offer them this opportunity and ask them to come work with us", – says the Head of the Academy.
Also on the agenda are Conversion rate optimization (CRO) courses. Kilo Health will be one of the first in Lithuania to develop these courses. According to Paula, there are virtually no CRO specialists in Lithuania, although companies are already looking for them.
The success of this academy shows that professionals are by no means lacking the motivation to learn and advance their careers. On the contrary, they are competing against each other where the most ambitious students stand out and enter the academy's shortlist.
About Kilo Health
Kilo Health is one of the leading digital health and wellness companies globally, not only attracting talents to join its fast-growing team but also co-founding and accelerating start-ups in a rapidly growing digital health industry.
With 4+ million paying users worldwide (the majority in the United States), strong technology, and a digital marketing platform, Kilo Health provides unparalleled opportunities for entrepreneurial talents and visionaries to build the digital health products of the future.
Kilo Health was founded to design the most engaging and effective digital lifestyle interventions that lead to a healthier life by preventing, managing, or treating various health conditions.
Continuously seeking new opportunities, co-founding, and accelerating prospective next-gen products, Kilo Health has grown from 7 to 500 bright talents in three years and aims to become the most-loved digital health and wellness product suite globally.