Why an Apprenticeship is Part of a Recession-Proof Talent Strategy

Onramp is excited to announce our acquisition of Edlyft’s Intern Development Program to strengthen our mission and extend our impact.

The headlines are full of news of an economic slowdown. Companies that rushed to hire during the height of the pandemic and its aftermath are now cutting employees. Peloton, Google, and even supposedly “recession-proof” companies like Microsoft have all announced layoffs. These economic fluctuations have raised a flurry of questions for talent acquisition teams and managers. How should they be planning for the year ahead? How must they pivot, or continue to revise, their talent strategy to stay nimble while still meeting their companies needs? 

These headlines can incite fear in hiring managers and talent acquisition teams. Talent leaders may be asking themselves if they even need to stop hiring all together and shy away from launching new programs. 

However, the cooling economy actually offers hiring teams an important opportunity. Instead of slamming on the breaks out of fear, talent leaders can slow down, carefully consider where they are investing their time and budget, and implement programs that can have a long-term impact on their company. Now is the ideal time to step back and invest in innovative, sustainable initiatives that bolster diversity, equity, and inclusion, and support employee retention. Taking a thoughtful approach to an economic slowdown can be an overlooked business advantage. 

Time to rethink your talent strategy

Many of the tech layoffs that are currently tearing through the headlines may also be a sign of something else: an unsustainable hiring strategy. Because talent acquisition teams were under pressure to hire rapidly on such a large scale they may have prioritized speed over finding candidates that could grow with the company. A fast-paced hiring approach may also not have been fully in line with their company’s goals around diversity, equity, and inclusion. 

Now, as the pace of hiring is slowing down, is a chance to step back and reassess your talent acquisition and retention strategy. Look at: 

  • Your budget: How much were you spending on recruiting and hiring. 
  • Candidate sourcing: Where were you spending money to find candidates and did these sources bring in candidates who were a good fit for your company and supported your diversity, equity, and inclusion hiring goals? 
  • Your onboarding process: Do new hires feel that they received enough mentorship and support to settle into your company and their role? 
  • Retention rates: Are employees getting the learning, growth, and support opportunities they need to stay at your company and continue to advance their career? Survey employees to find out what is, and is not, working for them.

A slower hiring pace is also a chance to check in with your talent team. With all the ups and downs of the past few years they may be feeling stressed and burned out. Find out how they are feeling about their jobs and your talent strategy over all. Discuss as a team: 

  • What’s working?
  • What’s not serving you or your company?
  • What are new ideas that you have been considering trying and may not have had time to explore during the days of recruiting and hiring at breakneck speed? 
  • How can you further bring your hiring strategies inline with your diversity, equity, and inclusion goals?


Even during uncertain economic times, the process of hiring and nurturing talent can’t afford to stop completely. If hiring ground to a halt, companies could face a loss of momentum on important projects and initiatives and have a harder time scaling up again when the economy recovers. Now is the time to explore new initiatives that increase hiring efficiency and invest in innovative approaches to recruiting and nurturing talent. 

Apprenticeships are a cost-effective strategy to hire and retain talent

A professional apprenticeship program is an innovative, and proven, approach to recruiting, hiring, training, and retaining tech talent from underrepresented and “nontraditional” backgrounds. Because apprenticeship programs incorporate mentorship, on-the-job, and in-classroom training they provide a path for those who might be a great fit for your company but lack knowledge or experience in a particular area to stand out in a “traditional” hiring process.

Apprenticeships enable you to be strategic about who you hire and build retention into the training process. It introduces participants to your tech stack, work processes, and company culture. Because it is a structured program, apprentices build both skills and confidence, enabling them to contribute to your company faster and feel more connected to your work. Because they are specifically trained for your company, apprentices are printed to grow with you. For companies that hired candidates through Onramp, 94% of them were promoted within one year. 

If time has been your biggest challenge in considering launching an apprenticeship program, now is a great time to take a proactive approach and explore how it could work at your company. Discuss your ideas with leadership, who may be more open to new initiatives to increase efficiency and update existing systems during times of economic uncertainty.


Working with a company like Onramp makes starting an apprentice program even more cost and time efficient. We take the work of designing the program, sourcing, and interviewing talent off of your hands. Because Onramp has connections with hundreds of bootcamps, community colleges, and tech communities, we save you time, money, and effort and find candidates specifically tailored to your needs. 


As hiring slows and a recession looms, now is the time to go deeper in your investment in talent to build scalable, efficient, and effective approaches to hiring and retention that strengthen your company overall.

Gain an advantage for the future  

The key word in the economy right now is uncertainty. No one knows how long the pending recession will last or what else will impact the market. However, companies can adapt and prepare by developing a nimble hiring strategy. Adding holistic programs like an apprenticeship enable them to be efficient now and well positioned to hire and train new employees effectively when a recovery arrives. 

While other companies are hunkering down and reacting out of fear to a volatile market, you can differentiate your company by taking a proactive approach that increases diversity, strengthens company culture, and boosts employee retention. Continuing to invest in innovation, diversity, equity, inclusion, and strong candidates during uncertain times will give you an advantage in the future when the path forward looks more clear. 

If you’re interested in exploring how an apprenticeship program can help you efficiently hire, train, and retain top-candidates, reach out to us at Onramp.

Written by
Odette Nemes

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