With demand high for EE and IT talent, recruiting continues to be hectic as companies search for new college grads and seasoned veterans alike.
"The outlook at TI is very strong," said Roger Coker, director of U.S. staffing at Texas Instruments Inc. (Dallas), which has about two-and-a-half times as many openings today as a year ago.
"We have over 100 openings for chip designers, predominantly in DSP and analog/mixed-signal," he said. "We need a couple of dozen system engineers and several dozen product engineers. We're also doing a lot of college recruiting; we'll hire over 150 new college grads this year."
It isn't only in hot areas like semiconductors that hiring continues almost unabated. Workers whose job it is to bring new employees to their companies are running at a fast pace even in more-mature technology areas like connectors.
"We're still faced with an extremely tight market a seller's market where the candidates are in the driver's seat," said George Hyland, manager of staffing at Molex Inc. (Lisle, Ill.). "We're looking for lots of EEs and we're starting to look for people with an RF background. It's basically the same as the last year or two."
The crush for skilled personnel isn't limited to the United States. In the United Kingdom, salaries that were at the top of the pay scale three years ago now represent the floor. They're lower than U.S. wages, but U.K design engineers scanning recruitment advertisements offering annual salaries equivalent to $48,000 to $72,000 feel they've have never had it so good.
Adam Walker, a director with Technical Recruitment plc (Luton, England), said the rising wages demonstrate that demand exceeds supply. That's due in part to a limited number of new electronic-engineering graduates replenishing the pool of talent and partly to a steady expansion in the number of design and development centers, he said.
"The U.K. engineer is still relatively low-cost compared with either the U.S. or the continent [of Europe]," Walker said. "That's why Siemens is opening a system-on-chip design center in Bristol [England]. And that's why Toshiba is opening a multimedia design center in Bristol and a set-top-box design center in Cambridge."