Square’s New York State of Mind for Hiring

Square, the hot mobile payments company founded by Twitter Co-Founder Jack Dorsey, is on a hiring binge, according to USA Today. The company, which employed 300 a year ago, now employs 600 and is building a San Francisco headquarters for 1,000, with room for more.

And Square is looking east for new hires, too.

Square_Logo_LandscapeThe newspaper shadowed Dorsey around New York City earlier this week, including a recruiting trip to Columbia University, where he pitched Square to several hundred students. Dorsey said Square wants to expand its NYC presence in SOHO and even considered setting up there, instead of San Francisco.

“This city has something different than Silicon Valley,” Dorsey told the newspaper minutes before he took to the stage. “San Francisco is great. But New York has people, dynamics, intensity.”

The reason NYC was not chosen as Square’s headquarters four years ago was a lack of engineering and design talent, Dorsey said.

Dorsey’s visit highlights a drive by Mayor Michael Bloomberg and others to make New York more competitive with Silicon Valley as a base for tech entrepreneurs. Bloomberg hopes to convince engineers and designers to relocate from San Francisco to Gotham. Square’s planned expansion might help.

No details were offered on how many workers Square might hire in New York, nor whether Dorsey was looking for business types in addition to technical workers.

Square’s growth has caught the attention of mobile payments competitors, including Intuit and PayPal, both of which have Square-like offerings and methods for small businesses to accept credit card payments using smartphones.

In the past year, Square has expanded to Canada and Japan, while adding millions of small-business owners as customers, USA Today reported. The company’s payment devices and services are used for transactions, which generated a $15 billion annual rate in May, compared with $10 billion last November.