A report from Indeed, a jobs website, finds that the percentage of open tech positions has declined over the past few years.
Companies in the region’s expanding tech economy often say the top barrier to further growth is hiring. They constantly need more software engineers, the companies say, and it’s difficult to find enough qualified candidates, especially as more Silicon Valley firms open offices in the Northwest.
But a new report suggests the gap between open tech positions and people to fill them may be shrinking in Seattle. The report, from Austin, Texas-based job website Indeed, said the percentage of open jobs in computer and math fields has dropped to 16.3 percent this year from 23.7 percent in 2012.
“It means that (tech companies) are finding people to fill jobs,” Indeed’s chief economist Tara Sinclair said. “People within Seattle are getting tech skills and filling roles, but also Seattle is becoming more attractive to people coming from the Bay Area.”
Sinclair was quick to note that though it may be getting easier to fill roles, it’s still a huge challenge for tech companies.
Startups in the Seattle area are employing unusual and unique recruiting methods to bring in candidates and compete with the tech giants that can afford to offer higher salaries.
Still, local companies say that increased competition from companies moving into the area does have an upside. Candidates are more likely to settle in Seattle if they feel they have a lot of options for future places to work.
Though it may be hard to fathom for Seattleites, Sinclair said one of the most common things Indeed hears from job hunters is that the city’s lower cost of living, relative to the Bay Area, is a major factor in deciding where to search for jobs.
The median cost for a home in Seattle is $533,000, compared with $1.1 million in San Francisco, according to Zillow.
Many companies are setting up offices here just for that reason — the city has a large talent pool, and it’s easy to attract candidates to the area.
San Francisco startup Boatbound, a sort of Airbnb for boats, relocated its headquarters to Seattle late last year because competition for talent in the Bay Area was getting too expensive.
“The talent has been just as good in Seattle,” founder Aaron Hall said. “The cost (of employees) is significantly less.”
The Indeed study found overall that three of the top five most in-demand jobs in Seattle are tech positions.
Registered nurses are the most in-demand job, followed by systems-software engineers, quality-assurance software engineers, application software engineers and sales managers.