Two weeks ago president Obama had dinner with the titans of Silicon Valley. One of the topics was employment. Since then I have heard from many recruiters and companies looking for talent. I am hearing of companies wanting to hire thousands of workers. Of course, this is after three years of letting thousands of people go and creating 12 percent unemployment, so a lot more people will have to be hired to signal a sustained recovery. Below are a few of the job events I have covered so far.
On Wednesday February 23, 2011 in Mountain View at Fenwick and West, Tanya Okmyansky of the Jewish High Tech Community, hosted Scott Gilfoil of Apple and Brian Curtin of ICG who talked about the kind of talent they were looking for with current skills. On that same night at the Computer History Museum, I met with Christen Kent of HP. Their Par3 division held a job fair looking for data storage experts.
On Feb. 25, 2011, in Atherton at the Silicon Valley STC meeting, Andrew Davis of Content Rules spoke at about how the brakes have come off hiring. You should demonstrate current skills in an online portfolio that quickly explains your role in solving a client’s problems. Writers demonstrating a strong software development document can get more money. Volunteering with a professional organization is a great way to show how you have kept your skills and helped your community. Build a standalone website that can show your portfolio. Join social media sites like LinkedIn.
I also talked with ACM chair Greg Weinstein, a experienced Silicon Valley hand who confirmed this pent-up hiring trend. Employers now regularly attend ACM meetings looking for talent.
Mobile technology and social media are driving this, but it is not a free for all like the dotcom boom. Companies are looking for recent experience and advanced degrees. They want people who are already here. They do not want to pay relocation so don’t pack your bags. Candidates should be US citizens or have the right to work in the US.
If this is a sustained recovery, I would hope that smart companies would see the potential in all sorts of people and not stick to a strict shopping list or stereotype. Anyone who has been looking for work over the past three years and is still living in Silicon Valley has got to be pretty clever at surviving and that might be useful for your company. I’ve already run into one clueless (and nameless) recruiter who wanted someone with ten years experience with Hadoop. I told them that since Hadoop was not that old, the only qualified candidate would drive a DeLorean to work.
Copyright 2011 DJ Cline All rights reserved.