There’s Only One Austin
Austin, Texas is unlike any other city in the U.S. With a motto of “Keep Austin Weird”, Austin prides itself on being unique. From an impressive restaurant and cultural scene to some of the best live music and outdoor living in the world, Austin is a mecca for those searching for jobs, a judgment-free lifestyle, or simply a cool town with lots to do. This makes IT staffing in Austin interesting and somewhat uncommon as well.
The IT market in Austin is hotter than ever and some of the most well-known brands in the world now have offices and even headquarters in the city. Google, 3M, HP, Samsung, Intel, Cisco Systems and many more enterprises now call Austin home. So do a host of the most promising startups. But why? Is it simply because Austin is so eclectic and beautiful? Partly, but Austin has something many cities of its size do not: a continuous flow of highly-educated talent eager to work and live in Austin.
Education and Innovation
Within 120 miles of Austin, there are more than 220,000 students enrolled at The University of Texas, Austin Community College, St. Edwards University and surrounding schools, such as Texas A&M University, Baylor University, Southwestern University, and Texas State University. There’s always a massive pool of educated talent from which to pull.
Of course, not all new hires are recent college grads. Dell may be credited for putting the Austin area on the high tech map in the 1980s, growing from Michael Dell’s dorm room to a multi-billion dollar, publicly-traded, global company with more than 100,000 employees. Not too bad for a University of Texas dropout. Before Dell, many considered Austin a college town. Today, college is only part of the story.
As Dell’s success became more widely-known, many other companies began to look at Austin. “If you build it, they will come” could easily be Austin’s new motto. The more companies that moved or started up in Austin, the more companies from outside of Austin took notice. As Austin’s landscape changed to accommodate the influx of new buildings and people, the city took on a new vibe: the high-tech headquarters. Some even call Austin the Silicon Valley of the South or Silicon Hills since Austin is known for its beautiful hill country.
The Role of IT Staffing in Austin
It’s hard to tell whether the onslaught of companies brought the talent to Austin or the other way around. It’s likely right to assume both contribute. The incredible new talent coming out of area schools make it easier for IT staffers in Austin to fill positions, for certain. But the respected brands and oodles of opportunities make it easier for IT staffers to pull executive talent from all over the globe.
Then there’s the pay. Austin may have a relatively high cost of living compared with other Texas cities, but for those from other high-tech hubs, such as Silicon Valley, Austin is manageable. So many of the companies in Austin are massive, global companies who can afford to pay higher salaries to attract and retain the best talent. According to Payscale, the average salary in Austin is $58,886, up 2.7 percent as of Q4 2018 while the cost of living is 2.7 percent lower than the national average. Austin’s unemployment rate is only 2.7 percent, compared with the national average of 4.0 percent.
With such a low unemployment rate, many companies use IT staffing agencies to help them find the right talent to fill those coveted positions. Approximately 150 people move to Austin every day, many of whom are looking for a job. That’s a lot of resumes filling job boards. IT positions are highly specific, requiring the right blend of experience and skills. Discovering talent can end up being a shot in the dark without an IT recruiter working to bring only the most qualified to the table.
Using an IT Staffing Agency as a Competitive Advantage
IT staffing in Austin isn’t easy, but companies who specialize in IT recruiting know the drill. They understand the ebb and flow of hiring and how summer months in Austin often open up an entirely new pool of candidates. They have years of experience working with both candidates and client companies to know what they want most. Even more importantly, locally-based IT staffing companies recognize the uniqueness of Austin. It’s not just filling a position; it’s filling the position with the right team member who will flourish there.
Similarly, many skilled candidates in Austin seek the assistance of IT staffing companies to work on their behalf as well. No matter from which city they come, leveraging the relationships and knowledge of an Austin-based recruiter can give them a competitive advantage. Instead of submitting a resume along with hundreds of other candidates, they get their foot in the door at the companies that most fit their criteria and need their specific skill set.
Using an IT staffing agency, candidates save time in applying and interviewing for jobs and hiring companies save time and costs recruiting the right people and getting them onboarded. The IT staffing company carries the burden of making the right fit. This can be particularly beneficial for candidates who are already working in a full-time position with little time to job search.
The end goal for candidates, hiring companies and IT staffing agencies is all the same: filling positions with the right people who stay. The Society for Human Resource Management reported the cost of a bad hire could be as high as $240,000. Most of these costs are associated with hiring, onboarding and training, but additional costs are incurred “when the person turns out to be a poor fit.” A poor fit means the hiring process begins all over again with the replacement.
For many companies in Austin, it simply makes more sense to hire a staffing agency to minimize the risk of hiring a “poor fit.” And let’s face it, it’s hard to hire someone based on what’s on paper, particularly when 85 percent of applicants lie on their resumes. IT staffing companies, on the other hand, have a knack for vetting candidates. They get to know them (if they’re good), their work and their potential before they send their resumes to their client companies.
Whether you’re a hiring company in Austin or looking for a job in Austin, working with an IT staffing company in Austin could be the best decision you make all day. The city is full of opportunities. Just be sure you take advantage of the right one.