What is Hire-Train-Deploy?

John Akkara
What is Hire-Train-Deploy?

Learn how the HTD model works to recruit, train and retain tech talent

Tech talent isn’t just for tech companies anymore. Most companies today face the same core challenge: the demand for skilled software engineering and other digital skills consistently and relentlessly outpaces the supply.

You’ve heard about the skills shortage and talent wars. But the true problem is that most of the companies looking for tech talent are fighting for one (or dozens) of the 5.2 million tech workers everyone else is trying to hire.

But the real, sustainable solution to the digital skills gap is to generate net-new tech talent by training people on platforms that companies need now.

That’s the essence of the Hire-Train-Deploy (HTD) model.

What is Hire-Train-Deploy?

Exactly what it sounds like. In the Hire-Train-Deploy model, you hire and train workers in high-demand skills and then deploy them to work with companies that need their skills.

HTD starts with with a skills-first hiring mindset: hiring people with the right aptitude for working in software engineering or other digital skills jobs. Then they’re trained in platforms and technologies companies need right now.

HTD programs don’t simply teach the frameworks; candidates get hands-on experience developing apps or working in digital environments.

Finally, they’re deployed to companies that need day-one-ready tech talent.

How does the HTD model deliver high-performing software engineers?

HTD makes it possible for companies to custom-train and build their tech workforce with highly accomplished junior software engineers. To dig a little deeper into what’s outlined above, here’s a look at how Smoothstack delivers our HTD program.


First, we recruit highly capable, aspiring software engineers, early in their careers. But not just anyone is going to succeed in an HTD program. We measure a candidate’s aptitude with a rigorous testing and screening process.

When we see strong potential, we make an offer to join our training program.


Curricula for training takes into account in-demand skills and our customers’ tech stacks.

Then our 12-week, Department of Labor Registered (RAP) training program teaches specific digital skills and simulates a real-world app development project. This approach rapidly accelerates each engineer’s capabilities and gives them hands-on experience with the type of work they’ll be doing.

Similar to a work environment, employers have opportunities throughout the 12-week training to meet the engineers, review their skills and determine who’s right to bring onto their teams.


Coming out of the training program, engineers are skills, practiced and experienced to start working on day one. They have in-depth knowledge of their platforms and experience equivalent to 2-3 years of industry experience.

Benefits of a Hire-Train-Deploy program

Access to net-new talent

Competition is fierce — and will always be fierce — to high-performing talent with in-demand skills. As we mentioned above, companies today are all in a battle for the hires they need from the mere 5.2 million tech workers in the U.S. (For reference, there are 33.2 million American businesses right now.)

It’s not easy to go head-to-head with anyone over talent — and it can get expensive. But it’s even more challenging for businesses in industries that aren’t the “hot” places to work right now (or aren’t offering perks, like WFH).

Hire-Train-Deploy is clutch here, developing net-new talent that’s custom-trained for the skills and stacks a company needs right now.

Scale hiring to match demands

Technology projects, no matter your industry, rarely follow a straight line from start to finish. When projects go over budget, bust their timelines or need to change course, HTD empowers a company to train and develop talent for what needs to happen next.

That way, projects aren’t held at the mercy of tech hiring in a tight market or whoever is available. You’re ready to hire and train for digital skills you need to use now.

In-house talent is better for successful transformation

Research says that digital transformation projects are more likely to be successful is at least 50% of the team is in-house talent.

Hiring full-time employees isn’t always the ready option, especially if you need to replace a team member or append a specific tech skill to your team to keep your digital transformation initiative reaching its goals. (See notes above about those 5.2 million tech workers.)

Incorporating HTD into your digital transformation strategy means you can continuously build, nurture and grow your in-house IT team with early-career talent. HTD often creates stickiness, building stronger relationships with employees, increasing retention and satisfaction at work.

Alternative to IT staffing and recruiting

Skip the challenges, cost and rat race of elbowing other companies out of the way for that limited pool of tech talent. HTD can be a powerful and effective alternative to traditional IT staffing and recruiting.

When you work with an HTD partner, we’re recruiting from a pool of early career tech candidates, instead of the same old, same old. HTD recruiters look for specific aptitudes to work in your tech stack and to thrive on your team. Then they’re rigorously tested. So, they’re more likely to be a good fit.

Power to your employer brand

As we mentioned above, Hire-Train-Deploy often helps companies increase loyalty, build stronger relationships with employees and improve retention. You’re not only providing a high-quality experience for your HTD graduates, you’re giving your team the skills and productivity they need to be successful. You’ll see more satisfaction across your teams and a stronger employer brand. Then everyone will be competing with you for talent.

How to know if HTD is right for your business

Hire-Train-Deploy is a tried and true method of training qualified talent for the tech stack and digital skills your business needs. Best applied as part of a comprehensive talent strategy, HTD can be one of several approaches your business takes to recruit, train and retain tech talent.

See how Smoothstack’s HTD approach can be your new source for software engineering and digital skills. Learn about our commercial and government services.

Contact Smoothstack to talk it through and start building your team.

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