Want a job? These 10 tech firms are hiring

Companies explain strategies for filling hundreds of U.S. openings for highly skilled tech workers

This month's U.S. Labor Department report showing zero U.S. employment growth in August makes it appear that hiring has fallen flat.

However, a lot of technology companies say they are in the midst of hiring sprees -- in some cases looking for hundreds of new workers.

Computerworld contacted 10 tech firms that are hiring, and officials at each explained what skills they are seeking and what they are doing to find candidates that can meet their needs. The officials also explained what it takes to get a job at their companies.

The openings at the firms contacted ranged from a couple of dozen to as many as 2,000.

The job openings come as President Barack Obama tries to draw new attention to the need to create jobs, and to convince Congress to spend money to hasten the process.

Many of the IT companies that are hiring are being creative about it.

Some are sending employees to conferences to recruit top workers, and/or are offering bonuses for referrals. Some are searching for so-called passive candidates -- people who may have posted a resume on sites like LinkedIn but aren't applying for jobs -- that have the skills they are seeking.

Companies are also advertising job openings widely and broadly.

Foote Partners, which analyzes labor trends, has found there is a demand for atypical, difficult-to-find people who have specific subject matter expertise and technical skills, said CEO David Foote. "The moment IT got ingrained into the business or product, that's where you get to a very narrow group of possible candidates that you can choose from."

The list that follows represents just a sampling of the firms that are expanding technical staffs.

Kontagent

San Francisco-based Kontagent makes what it describes as "new school" user analytics tools that incorporate social and mobile data, as well as tools that help companies acquire customers and then engage and monetized them.

Kontagent has 55 employees today and expects to hire 50 more in the next two quarters.

The company says it is looking for experienced software engineers with skills in big data and "DevOps," as well as data visualization engineers and data scientists. Kontagent is also looking to hire account managers and sales executives.

"We tend to be extremely selective," said Dan Kimball, Kontagent's chief marketing officer.

To work at this company "you have to be very open in terms of wanting to learn from others, and wanting to share your knowledge with others," said Kimball. "We try to avoid people with big egos, people who don't feel there isn't more learning to do, and people who are very protective of their domain expertise."

The hiring process includes behavioral testing with several hundred questions with no right or wrong answers. There's also an intelligence test to gauge an applicant's ability to think on his feet.

For those that are hired, there are catered lunches every day, staff parties and the ability to pick your own equipment.

Kontagent's careers page is here.

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