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Silicon Valley Rebound Pressures Tech Hiring

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SailPoint Technologies Inc. in Austin, TX, is looking to hire about 20 people, about double last year's total.

Credit: SailPoint Technologies

The rebound in tech hiring is spreading beyond Silicon Valley, forcing companies in other high-tech hubs to rethink their recruiting tactics. Companies in cities such as Austin and Raleigh-Durham had an easier time recruiting talented employees during the slump. But now that Silicon Valley firms have started aggressively hiring, and the general economy is improving, competition is stiffening. In many cases, companies are no longer able to recruit the types of incredible people that they could during the recession. In order to recruit top talent, companies are experimenting with expanded employee referral programs, increased hiring of interns, and more aggressive recruiting on social networking sites like Facebook.

IT job candidates now often have at least one offer in hand, sometimes two, when they show up for interviews. As a result, firms outside of California are emphasizing short commute times, cheap real estate and quality of life to potential employees. As hiring improves in Silicon Valley, firms located in regional hubs might have to start using bonuses, salaries, or options again to attract workers. In North Carolina, tech firms are making their pitch more personal. Hiring managers are trained to talk about their career histories, emphasizing the variety of projects they work on and ideas they have been able to execute in an entrepreneurial environment.

Firms in regional technology hubs are also shifting tactics to make sure they retain employees as they increase hiring. In addition, human-resource executives are advising hiring managers to make more aggressive use of social media sites like LinkedIn and Facebook to find candidates with local roots, rather than compete against California for employees who would really rather be in Silicon Valley. In essence, these firms are looking for someone who's not looking to make a lifestyle change but to return home.

From The Wall Street Journal
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