How Infor Is Running an End Run Around Tech’s Talent Shortage

March 28, 2017, 4:05 PM UTC
Inforum 2016 Photo by John McGall
John McGall

Infor’s CEO Charles Phillips has taken an unusual approach to tech’s talent wars. Rather than lament a lack of candidates, Infor is sponsoring courses at 25 higher-ed institutions. Infor’s Education Alliance Program offers certifications on Infor’s software suites, opportunities for internships and other trainings that help students develop skills necessary for a career in the tech industry. They’re not traditional classes—students get certification on Infor’s software suites rather than school credit—but the payoff is real.

Since its inception in 2014, Infor and partner businesses have hired 244 interns and 25 full-timers from the program. Qualified students are placed on teams within an Infor department—such as sales, marketing, consulting, development, or support. If this program proves successful, don’t be surprised to see more and more tech company-sponsored courses that aim to cultivate employees years before they even start applying to jobs.

Related: The redemption of Charles Phillips

“We moved the company to New York in 2012, and are turning to institutions to create a talent pipeline,” Phillips says. “Our goal is to hire the top students before other businesses can. It’s in the early days, but the interest is high.”

A version of this article appears in the March 15, 2017 issue of Fortune.