Our recruiting practice is extremely busy these days and Lynx is currently working on well over 200 active search assignments on behalf of local technology companies. Let’s take a mid-year look at what we’re seeing happening:
- We are filling positions at a wide range of experience levels. On one extreme, we are placing fresh grads with decent grades from good CS programs right now for anywhere between $60k and $90k+. At the other end of the spectrum, we’ve got several searches going for VP Engineering, and have placed a VP Engineering and a CTO in the last two months – $200k jobs. Of course, there are plenty of openings in the middle too for good developers, QA Engineers, professional services, Linux admins/infrastructure, product managers, and so on.
- At all levels, companies are really only interested in hiring the upper 20-25%. Candidates with a good track record, technical depth, current skills, energetic personality with good communication skills are having companies fight over them. Bonus points for building your own apps, being involved in open source projects, etc. On the other hand, “Average” or “below-average” candidates for whatever reason are finding it’s a very different, and extremely difficult, job market.
- There is a huge amount of entrepreneurial activity happening in Boston, Cambridge, Somerville. Lots of hiring happening in Kendall Square, the Innovation District, and the Seaport particularly. Still quite a bit of activity on the central section of 128 from Needham to Woburn, but way less hiring out on the 495 belt than there was five years ago. Good opportunities exist all the way around from Portsmouth NH to Manchester NH to Westboro MA to Providence RI, but it’s become much harder for those candidates who can’t/won’t consider 128 and inside.
- Salaries are up in general. Not in the crazy, bubble-like, across-the-board way we saw in the late 90’s, but for strong candidates, companies know they have to be competitive.
- Equity is still valued by many candidates, but not usually at the expense of a decent salary.
- Particularly for more junior- to mid-level engineers: there is a huge amount of demand from QA or Dev in Test groups to hire people that know how to code but would enjoy the challenges of creating automated tests, testing frameworks, tools, etc. If you like to write code, and are not hung-up about not working on the core product development, there are some really great opportunities for you right now and many companies would like to hire you.
- Interview process very often includes a coding exercise, a code walkthrough, a presentation, a test, etc.
In short, if your current job is less than 100% satisfactory in any way, this is an excellent time to evaluate alternatives and see whether there might be a good career move out there for you.