Want a job? These 10 tech firms are hiring

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

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Kareo Inc.

Irvine, Calif.-based Kareo is a software-as-a-service (SaaS) firm that hosts practice management, medical billing, insurance and records storage systems for physicians. The company has 60 employees and is hiring at least 10 software engineers, three product managers, a project manager and two user interface designers, said CEO Dan Rodrigues.

"Our experience has been, even throughout the broader economic problems in the U.S., that it's still difficult to find really good technical talent," said Rodrigues.

To help separate Kareo from other companies advertising for employees, Rodrigues takes a different approach to his job ads.

And as part of the application process, candidates are asked to answer a number of questions -- such as: What are three websites whose design you most admire? What makes them remarkable? -- that "filter out candidates that either don't have the skills or aren't serious about the opportunity," said Rodrigues.

In filling the initial application, candidates can "demonstrate their skills, and their creativity and critical thinking really early in the process," said Rodrigues. "The ones that tend to be real rock stars really bubble up to the top really quickly. It allows us to prioritize our recruiting activity toward those individuals."

This approach also means fewer resumes are sent to the company because there's more preliminary work for the applicants, said Rodrigues. Those applicants that go through the full process but aren't hired are sent emails or called on the telephone to let them know that their work was given a thorough review.

Kareo's careers page is here

Black Duck Software

Waltham, Mass.-based Black Duck Software has over a dozen openings for technical positions in California and Massachusetts. It has filled 32 positions so far this year and has more than 125 employees.

Black Duck helps its customers use free and open source software as part of a standard development process. It also provides a merger and acquisition services by conducting audits of software assets.

Black Duck is seeking both multiple senior level software engineers as well as recent college graduates.

The company also has an opening for what it calls a "spider," Black Duck's term for an open source data collector who helps the company maintain a comprehensive open source database. Among the skills sought for the "spider" position is familiarity with Perl, PHP scripting, Linux, and Java.

The software developers should be experienced in Java, and in some cases in Spring, Hibernate and Ruby.

"We need people who are highly technical and know how to program in an application environment with these types of skills," said Tammi Pirri, vice president of human resources. He added that the applicants should also have customer service skills.

The biggest hiring challenge for Black Duck is competition for top people from large firms like Google and Microsoft.

To compete, it relies heavily on employee referrals, which account for about 30% of new hires. Of the 100 or so resumes the company gets each day, less than five are likely to include the skills it seeks, Pirri said.

Candidates are given a coding test and whiteboard exercise to "show us how they can trouble shoot and problem solve in a technical environment," said Pirri

"We're fortunate to be an in a business that has cool technology, a cool market space, great customers and growth - that's a good combination to help attract people," said Peter Vescuso, executive vice president and marketing and business development.

Black Duck's careers page is here.

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