DICE NEWS UPDATE: Oracle’s hiring… The use of credit checks in hiring comes under pressure… and, users of other smartphones are jumping to the iPhone.
Oracle says it’s “hiring Aggressively”: There’s a lot going on there: The company says it’s continuing its big push into hardware despite concerns about the current economic climate. Oracle saw 14 percent growth in adjusted earnings per share in its last quarter. At last week’s Oracle OpenWorld, CEO Larry Ellison showed off the company’s new Public Cloud platform, which will offer applications including financial programs, human capital management, and customer relations management.
Something else from the job world: Engineering salaries are on the rise. They’re increasing, again despite the weak economy, and a higher-than-normal unemployment rate in the sector. The IEEE-USA says the median income for all engineers went up from $113,500 in 2009 to $118,000 in 2010. That’s about a 4 percent increase. For software engineers, the median salary grew from $104,000 in 2009 to $109,000 last year, a 4.8 percent increase.
A number of companies check job candidates’ credit histories before formalizing an offer. That seems particularly troubling when the economy’s running on one cylinder. But now there’s some pushback. A coalition of civil rights and advocacy groups have petitioned TransUnion, one of the Big Three consumer credit services, to stop selling information to employers. They say using credit histories to screen applicants can trap the jobless and disproportionately burden black and Latino candidates. So they want TransUnion and the other members of the Big Three — Equifax and Experian — to stop making credit reports available. They’re focusing on TransUnion because it’s privately held, and thus won’t have to face stockholders with its decision. Of course that cuts both ways, but the coalition figures it could lean the company in its direction. The Society for Human Resource Management, which by the way likes the idea of conducting credit checks, says 60 percent of employers use credit histories when making hiring decisions. Those businesses say they’re most likely to check candidates whose work will involve financials. Meantime, seven states, most recently California, have restricted the practice.
Though the iPhone 4S has been racking up all kinds of sales records since it hit stores last week, other smartphone makers may want to keep an eye on this nugget: A lot of buyers are walking away from their Androids, BlackBerries in favor of the iPhone. Reuters conducted an informal poll – and a small one – which found just shy of a quarter of customers are moving to Apple. It isn’t definitive by any means, but it’s certainly worth paying attention to. The numbers should be especially worrisome to RIM. Its outage last week couldn’t have been more perfectly times to push users considering making a switch over the edge. As for Nokia, one customer thought the company had “lost their way in terms of interface and everything.” Besides, most of his friends use iPhones. RIM can take some comfort, though: In another informal and small poll, the Guardian says a third of the people who bought the 4S in one of London’s Apple Stores would have bought a BlackBerry — if the iPhone didn’t exist. Unfortunately for RIM: Under the same circumstances, more than half would have bought an Android.