The expansion of large tech companies in the Boston area is pressuring small businesses when it comes to hiring tech talent. Candidates attracted to the likes of Google and Facebook effectively remove themselves from what’s already a tight market, leaving lesser-known firms to scramble.
“In the short run it hurts other companies to make it that much harder to hire these skilled coders,” Tim Rowe, CEO of the Cambridge Innovation Center, told the Boston Herald. “The reason they’re coming is to hire here.”
The competition for technology skills is already fierce in Massachusetts, with employers offering signing bonuses and perks to lure and retain staff. Many are setting up shop in Boston and Cambridge to attract new college graduates who want to work and live in an urban environment. “There’s a lot of competition for smart graduates,” Matt Revis, vice president of mobile devices at Nuance Communications, said recently. The suburban company opened an “Innovation Center” in Cambridge because it “wanted to make sure that we had one of the coolest offices for people coming into tech.”
Local boosters think the issue is a short-term one. The presence of brand-name tech players will keep more graduates in the area, they say, thus expanding the local talent pool. “The fact that those guys are part of our innovation community is encouraging more of our students to stay here and to think they can make a great career in tech here,” said Massachusetts Secretary of Housing and Economic Development Greg Bialecki.
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