The Small Biz Insider podcast is part of a digital series from the Greater Houston Partnership, where we highlight the innovative business owners, entrepreneurs and leaders of the greater Houston area making a big impact in the small business community.
On this edition of Small Biz Insider, host Maggie Martin sits down with Lauren Bauml, Campus Director for Flatiron School Houston and Austin, a coding bootcamp with tech's most effective software engineering and data science courses – online and on-campus in Houston and other major U.S. cities.
Here are 5 takeaways from our conversation with Lauren Bauml:
Technology is the special sauce of the present and future. Houston's energy and health care sectors are just a couple that rely more and more on technology. Bauml said getting up to speed on technology is an immediate need, but there's also an aspect about where we're going in the future, and there's an opportunity to have a strong economy where we can source local talent for companies of all sizes, including small businesses.
Prospective employees with tech skills are greatly beneficial to employers. Bauml said Flatiron helps create a Day 1, workforce-ready employee who goes into their new job with the hard and soft skills necessary to make an impact from the start.
Workforce development is crucial for all businesses, but especially small businesses. Regardless of the size of the organization, companies spend a lot of time onboarding and creating career pathways for employees, so retention is incredibly important. That's why upskilling the existing workforce is a key component for keeping talent.
Small businesses can take proactive steps to ensure incoming employees, such as Flatiron graduates, are successful. That includes making sure prospective employees understand the possible career pathways for them so they know what they're working towards, what additional skills they need and more. Bauml said small businesses also need to be clear about what the work culture is to prospective employees from the get-go. Also, small businesses need to create areas for collaboration, an area where small businesses can differentiate themselves from larger employers because they have an opportunity to make employees feel valued through a strong team mentality and transparency.
When it comes to recruiting and maintaining talent from Flatiron and other programs, small businesses have an edge over larger corporations. Bauml said clear career pathways, mentorship opportunities, a strong community and a stable network are things that, more often than not, a small business can continuously offer their workforce, creating a real point of distinction from Fortune 500 companies.