http://www.bostinnovation.com is running a series of articles this week about “Hiring In the Hub” and I was pleased to be asked to write, along with several other tech entrepreneurs, CEOs and Venture Capitalists, about the state of the market.
I was even more pleased to hear that my article was the Featured Story today – http://bostinnovation.com/2011/04/11/state-of-tech-hiring-in-the-hub-the-talent-war-is-on/
Due to space constraints (hey maybe I can make this Part 2) — I didn’t quite have room to expand on a few other trends in the Boston Talent war for :
5. This is a “Show-Me” Market
Managers are still running lean & mean when it comes to engineering departments – and even with the tight supply and demand issues out there — candidates are being asked to do virtual online-whiteboarding sessions before interviewing, walk through code samples once at the interview, and be subjected to intense Computer Science questioning – to test horsepower, agility, and problem-solving skills. So, preparation of candidates is key.
6. Salaries are just getting un-stickied, and have not kept up with inflation/cost of living in Boston
It’s hard to believe, other than for the rockstar/ninjas junior-mid-level candidates, but otherwise, for strong Senior Software Engineer or Principal Software Engineer and above, salaries have not kept track with inflation over the past decade — not helping are the two recessions either.
7. “No Jerks” Policy, other interesting benefits, and hiring-by-committee are trendy right now
Certainly none of us ever want to work with a “jerk”, but how many of us want to work with a Dog/Cat or Baby in the cube next to us? It’s all a matter of perspective. The nicest B-player will never produce as much as the “jerkiest” A+ so, companies and recruiting teams are starting to employ hiring by committee to make group-think decisions. In general, they work well, but as a candidate, you’ve got to be “ON” from the moment you walk in the door to the moment you walk out.
8. With salaries mostly flat, other benefits are critical – vacation, healthcare, flex-time, holidays etc
Since salaries have been flat for the past decade, the other fringe benefits have improved – pretty standard now are 3 weeks vacation (some offering as much as 5 weeks to start) , 10+ companies holidays, and with the skyrocketing cost of healthcare, most firms have kept a lid on the portion that tech employees are paying to 20% (or less) – in fact many have moved to 100% paid medical as an outlier to help in recruiting.
So, the talent war in Boston rages on — with Q2 underway, and even more busy than Q1!