LinkedIn revealed earlier this year that a person is nine times more likely to get a job through a referral. The obvious question is if someone doesn’t have a big professional network, how can they break into getting a middle class job?

A lack of social capital becomes a burden for job applicants who feel they have done everything “right” in their journey, yet struggle to secure a career opportunity. Thankfully there are programs whose purpose is to help people build professional networks, and learn technical and soft skills to get a great job. Climb Hire — founded by Nitzan Pelman in 2019 — is one of them.

The Bay Area-based non-for-profit startup — funded by Eric Schmidt, a former CEO of Google — creates economic opportunity for hidden talent. They train people to become Salesforce administrators. Salesforce is a massive $16 billion company and according to the IDC, they are projecting over 3.3 million new jobs will be created by the end of 2022. Gaining technical skills is an opportunity to break into the tech industry without having to learn how to code.

They generally serve people who are between 24-33 and are working in customer facing roles. Those admitted into the program commit 225 hours of training (100 hours online and 125 hours in-person). If they finish the program successfully, they will be prepared to pass the Salesforce Administrator certification exam. The program also helps alumni access great jobs that pay nearly $50k and could grow to $90k with experience. 

At Climb Hire, they value community and emphasize building relationships within the cohort.

“If you didn’t get to attend an elite college, how do you get access to networks of professionals who will help be your advocates and break into a new industry? This is what [Climb Hire] is, it’s an alternative. And it’s playing out in all the ways we have hoped,” Pelman said. “Members support each other and are invested in paying it forward.”

Climb Hire

This is one of the ways they tackle the social capital gap. Once someone in the cohort experiences success in landing a job, they can refer other Climbers into jobs. 

If accepted into the program, all upfront training and testing is free. Once an alum secures a job, there is a monthly payback fee ($150/month) for four years to cover the price of training and testing. The next cohort begins in February, and the deadline is the first week of January. If the trajectory of this role and industry sounds like the right move to capitulate your career forward, apply now.