San Francisco: No Slowdown to Tech-Hiring Boom


No, the San Francisco tech market isn’t cooling down anytime soon.

New data from IT staffing firm Robert Half Technology suggests that tech employment in Fog City is up 17 percent year-over-year, outpacing the city’s overall employment growth rate of 4.6 percent during the same period.

“It’s going to continue, and it’s going to be more and more difficult to hire very skilled IT professionals because at this point you’re hiring them away from your competitors,” firm Director Dakin Gunn told the San Francisco Business Times.

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In addition to a host of new startups, well-established tech firms such as Salesforce, Google and Twitter are major employment drivers within San Francisco’s municipal limits. Just outside the city, in enclaves such as Silicon Valley, tech-employment demand is likewise high, with startups reportedly willing to shell out as much as $20,000 for employee referrals.

While this rising tide has indeed floated a lot of boats, there’s rising concern among many in San Francisco that a wave of highly monetized workers is driving up housing prices, making the city unaffordable to those not involved in the technology sector. Anti-gentrification protests have erupted in front of luxury condos and the massive houses of tech executives. The tech industry’s long-timers also remember when the dot-com bubble burst in 2001, leaving thousands of people unemployed and hundreds of startups shuttered; for all the euphoria attached to today’s wave of IPOs and high valuations, they’ll tell you, there lurks a nasty downside that could flip the market virtually overnight.

But for many of those with the right skills who live in San Francisco, it’s hard to argue that the good times aren’t rolling merrily right along. For those who want to get into the industry, especially on the software and Web side of things, check out Dice’s list of the most desired developer skills.

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3 Responses to “San Francisco: No Slowdown to Tech-Hiring Boom”

  1. Fred Bosick

    What does “very skilled” mean? The ability to wear Google Glasses without looking like you need your ass kicked? It’s rather illuminating to read about the kind of employees early computer companies hired. They hired all sorts of people because no one knew what made the best computer company workers. They *started* what we enjoy today!

    Now you have to be vetted by wannabe hipsters with those annoying vertically narrow plastic framed eyeglasses who own the latest amorphous plastic products pushed by Wired magazine. And what do all these people “create”? Carefully bevelled and patented dialogue boxes for programs with nonintuitive workflows. And multitudes of little plastic boxes with two syllable names, missing a vowel.

    The mayor of Silicon Valley(Bob Noyce) was the son of an Iowa preacher. Gordon Moore has a degree in physical chemistry. Instead of looking for heroin chic, scruffy faced, cookie cutter, Elvis Costello scrunched around a camera dweebs, who are UI, UX, ITIL3, ITSM, dot blah memorizing morons. Hire real people who don’t have all the right “skills”. That will take care of the diversity problem too. And, maybe, they’ll make something people want to buy who don’t live in Genius Bars!

  2. Alan Leberknight

    Its interesting that tech talent is so highly valued in 2014. In 2000, techies were not so fashionable, and the fad was to outsource. The literature from programmers back then scathed big companies basically predicting that this would happen because of a lack of incentives to enter the workforce with an engineering degree. So why the surprise? But nuff said… if you want to fix the problem, the HR departments should look to hire talent w/o filtering on engineering degrees from top tier schools. This country has an intelligent workforce and some of the startup CEO’s don’t have an IT/Engineering background. After all Steve Jobs studied physics and literature at Reed College and dropped out. I’d say JPMorgan, IBM, and all big company HR recruiters would pass on his resume back then. You can train people to succeed, people that want to work. You never know what you might find, maybe the next Steve Jobs. In the end, there’s isn’t a brain drain in the US and that’s the problem with saying there’s an IT shortage, you basically make it sound like there is a brain drain and this country doesn’t have an IT savvy workforce because why? We aren’t intelligent? You have to be a genius to be in IT? Malarky! who says malarky these days:) Figure out how to solve it w/o saying you need to have an engineering degree from Columbia. If there’s such a need then try on the job training. I’m sure with all the money available to hire the elite techies there’s enough for incentive programs to take chances on hiring non-techies.

  3. When they say tech hiring boom, they don’t mean entry level IT positions. supply and demand, too many applicants for too few help desk or tech support job. too few people with big data experience with high demand. i’m sure my student loan company will understand