In Silicon Valley, IT Hiring Gains Momentum

There seems to be some substance behind the optimism in Silicon Valley’s tech job market. Giants like Google, Intel, Twitter and Cisco Systems are all voicing plans to ramp up hiring, according to The Wall Street Journal. Google Chief Executive Eric Schmidt recently said company is taking on new recruits. It hired 786 employees in the first quarter and expects to continue hiring through the year, with a primary focus on engineering and sales.

Intel also disclosed plans to start its first substantial hiring in five years. During 2010, the company expects to bring on 1,000 to 2,000 people. In February, Cisco said it plans to add between 2,000 and 3,000, after hiring 2,100 employees in the three months ended Jan. 23, mostly through acquisitions.

No surprise, then, that recruiters interviewed by Dice News sounded upbeat, although they noted the hiring trend isn’t at the same level it was in 2007. “I would say the trend is good,” says Robert Kaleta, regional manager director of Northern California for staffing firm Technisource. “It started in Q4 2009 and Q1 2010. I’m seeing a significant increase in hiring. In the tech space, I expected the employment would be in contracting, but I’m seeing a lot of activity in permanent hiring. I didn’t see any activity and then all of sudden there was a flood.”

Requests for permanent hires began picking up in January, Kaleta says. This month, he’s filled eight full-time positions and has 10 to 15 potential openings. Skill sets in demand are across the board, from project managers to senior-level architects to developers to network and system administrators, as well as specialists in quality assurance.

“The jobs are not specifically tied to a product or technology,” Kaleta says. “That’s why I think this has some legs.”

Silicon Valley Job ListingsJob postings on Dice have increased year-over-year, with 3,978 jobs listed in March this year compared to 2,573 listed in March 2009.

 

Interestingly, Kaleta is seeing job orders for Windows 7 migration, particularly for mid-size companies with 200 to 500 desktops. The larger companies are still in the discussion phase on implementing Windows 7.

Jason Lammers, division director at Robert Half Technology’s Southern California office, agrees hiring is getting stronger, particularly since companies can’t keep projects on hold forever. He sees demand for Windows 7 migration workers as well as SharePoint. Web developers are hot, as are .NET and Java programmers. Help desk and desktop specialists also are in need. In addition, job candidates are starting to hold their ground on pay rates, Lammers says. He’s getting offers for both contractors and full-time workers. “Candidates are getting multiple offers so they don’t have to take anything that is given them, which is great,” he says.

Monica Latimore, senior IT recruiter for Manpower Professional, agrees is seeing demand for project managers, Java developers, and mobile developers (particularly in San Jose), as well as quality assurance experts. The verticals driving demand include health care, telephony, mobile applications and pharmaceuticals.

Sonia R. Lelii

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