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Archive for the ‘Who’s Hiring’ Category

Tech companies are hiring, but who’s applying?

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Job opportunities in computer science have taken off in Washington State since last year. As of April 2010, computer software engineers are second only to health care professionals in number of job vacancies.

Susan Sigl, CEO of the Washington Technology Industry Association, says she’s noticed the increased demand this year. There are currently 665 positions posted at the company’s job center, and roughly 75 percent of those are in software, IT and engineering positions.

However, Sigl notes that many of these vacant positions are tough to fill.

“The telling statistics are that 87 percent of the WTIA’s Job Center listings require a college degree and 68 percent require 5-7 years of experience,” Sigl says via email. “It isn’t necessarily that the tech sector is creating significantly more jobs, even though there appears to be some of that, but rather the competition for experienced, high quality technical candidates is fierce and the best companies are not lowering their requirement standards, so these positions remain unfilled.”

In other words, what looks like an increase in hiring at first glance may in fact be a widening job gap. Demand for talent in the tech industry outweighs supply, leaving jobs unfilled. The data shows that job opportunities in Washington State are on the rise. Whether or not there are trained workers ready to fill these jobs is another matter.

More to come on this story.


Written by Steve Reno

September 15, 2010 at 10:15 am

Hirings and firings – 8/25

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Who’s hiring: Government jobs may be disappearing in Washington State, but a job plan unveiled by Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn on Tuesday promises to change that. The 25-page plan lists some 10,000 new jobs that would be created through infrastructure projects, retrofitting existing infrastructure, and investment in small businesses, according to the Puget Sound Business Journal.

Who’s firing: Seattle software company Varolli Corporation laid off an undisclosed number of employees, TechFlash reports. Varolli also cut eight percent of its workforce in January 2009. The company still employees more than 250 people.

Written by Steve Reno

August 25, 2010 at 10:51 am

Venture Capitalists Let Slip That Things Might Stay the Same

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VC Survey Results

The World's Most Boring Graph

Okay, it wasn’t a big information leak. The information came from Washington Technology Industry Association survey of Washington-based venture capitalists released about a week ago. They mostly predicted that growth would be stable or small, not surprising given the economic situation. However, this information is important for Seattle area job seekers because growth usually equals more jobs.

Unfortunately, most of the VC’s polled didn’t think that the companies they funded would be hiring in the next quarter. Susan Sigl, the CEO of the WTIA, had this to say: “Based on our recent survey, the state of the venture capital market in Washington is that of cautious optimism, and as such, most VCs are predicting moderate revenue growth, no lay-offs and very limited hiring within their portfolio companies this quarter.”

Not terribly enlightening, but everyone in the VC funded community can breathe a little easier, that is if people trust the predictions of venture capitalists. While hiring certainly would have been good news, not firing should also be considered a positive.

Sigl also mentioned that VC funded companies aren’t the only employment options in town. “If the nearly 640 jobs posted in the WTIA Job Center are any indication, there are still many non-venture backed companies seeking qualified candidates to fill available positions in our local technology industry,” she says.

A quick look through the listings made one thing clear, Amazon is always looking for new talent, and they aren’t afraid to advertise it.

Written by Wes Simons

August 19, 2010 at 4:19 am

Posted in Who's Hiring

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Job openings in computer science on the rise

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In Washington State, where the tech industry remains a driving force in the local economy, you might think all the jobs for computer software engineers would be taken. According to the Job Vacancy Survey Report published last month, however, that’s not the case.

In a list of occupations with the highest number of vacancies in the state, computer software engineers were at number 2, with 1,929 vacancies. That’s a tremendous increase from last fall, when computer software engineers and computer specialists ranked 12th and 13th respectively, accounting for only 840 job vacancies total. By contrast, registered nurses, who were at number 1 in both reports, remained steady.

Job vacancies for computer software engineers compared to registered nurses. Source: Washington State Employment Security Department

In the list of job vacancies by major occupation group, vacancies in the “computer and mathematical” category also increased from 1,542 in 2009 to 3,538 in 2010.

Is this a sign that the tech industry is helping boost the economy by creating more jobs? Or, as I contended last month, is it an indication that local companies are having a tough time finding talent in the computer science field? We’ll follow up on this story, so stay tuned.

Jump for the full report from the Washington State Employment Security Department.

Note: The graph shows the total for all computer software engineering jobs, including subcategories in software development and applications.

Written by Steve Reno

August 13, 2010 at 8:39 pm

Ascentium hires 25 from former competitor

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The Puget Sound Business Journal reported yesterday that Seattle-based marketing company HL2 officially went out of business. The story said that the company had been in business for 15 years, but was struggling after losing clients during the recession.

The good news is that 25 of the company’s 40 former employees have been hired on by local competitor Ascentium.

“We are happy to welcome HL2 to Ascentium. We respect HL2’s portfolio of work and creative approach to projects and are looking forward to merging their talent and philosophies into our experience agency model,” business manager Krystin Maddox said in an email to Seattle Job Blog.

According to TechFlash, Ascentium has about 500 employees, and according to the company’s website, they are still hiring, with over 20 openings in the Seattle/Bellevue area.

Update: Tom Stankus, director of people development at Ascentium, called and spoke with me about the company’s decision to hire on 25 people from HL2.

“One of the reasons we brought them over was not only to keep them from being unemployed, but to keep them working on some of the accounts they were working on when they were over there [at HL2],” he said.

In addition to those 25 hires, Ascentium added seven new members to its team this week and is continuing to grow.

Written by Steve Reno

August 12, 2010 at 4:27 pm

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Hirings and firings – 8/10

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Who’s Hiring:

Zulily just raised $6 billion in Series B financing and is continuing to grow, according to Xconomy. The six-month old e-commerce company is based in Seattle and offers deals on clothes and toys for children and babies. According to their website, they currently have ten job openings in marketing, programming and business analysis.

DreamBox has five positions open in web and software development. The Bellevue-based company makes online math games for K-3 students.

Who’s Firing:

Xconomy reports that Calypso Medical laid off three people last week. The Seattle-based company raised $50 million in venture capital last year. The company, which develops technology to help target radiation therapy for cancer patients, had 136 employees as of last September.

Written by Steve Reno

August 10, 2010 at 6:59 pm

Hirings and firings

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Who’s Hiring:

Seattle Business Magazine reports that Seattle-based F5 Networks made Forbes’ list of midsize companies hiring the most right now. F5, which was named one of Washington’s Best Workplaces by Puget Sound Business Journal this year, says it has added 300 positions since last October 2009. The company makes IT software and hardware for banks, universities and Internet search providers. According to their website, F5 currently has 50 job openings in Seattle and four in Spokane.

Who’s Firing:

Microsoft cut jobs from its global work force last month, with TechFlash estimating a few hundred jobs lost in the Seattle region. Today, TechFlash reports that product support and consulting jobs took the biggest hit, dropping to 15,000 people as of June 30 from 17,000 the year before. Jobs in research and development and sales and marketing also fell by 1,000 people each.

Written by Steve Reno

August 2, 2010 at 8:51 pm

Posted in Who's Firing, Who's Hiring

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