“But seriously, there is a war for talent, particularly developer talent, going on. Not just in Silicon Valley but also in NYC and many other places around the country.” Fred Wilson, The War for Tech Talent
All of the anecdotal and empirical evidence I have seen concurs, our static ten percent unemployment rates notwithstanding.
The question is what impact that has had on the ability of individual technology industry vendors to grow. To explore that, we’ve compiled the employee headcounts for an arbitrary collection of technology entities, and we’re again using the Motion Charts to visually display that information.
The challenge with the selection is that the large company headcounts of HP and IBM act to obscure the smaller entity growth rates. If you use the charts to examine the players individually, however, you’ll discover that even the smallest company on this list – Red Hat – has grown its headcount substantially; roughly 240% over the five year period.
The individual trendlines, as might be expected, reflect the various corporate narratives. HP’s dramatic growth from 2007 to 2008 displays the massive impact of the EDS transaction. Microsoft’s late decade malaise, meanwhile, is documented in its 4.3% downsizing from 2009 to 2010. Even high growth Google was off the year prior, shedding a few hundred jobs.
But in general, the slope documenting growth for all of the above entities – their financial performances aside – is high. We’ll look at industry growth in more detail in a subsequent post, but this quick and dirty look suggests two things. While the individual prospects for growth may vary – Google’s outlook is likely distinct from Yahoo’s, for example – the sector as a whole remains high growth, in spite of a recessionary economic context.
Which in turn means that the war for talent is unlikely to abate in the near future.
Sources: All headcounts are from annual reports except Cisco. Cisco doesn’t include headcounts in their annual reports and so their CSR reports were used as a subsitute from 2010-2006. Their employee diversity report was used for 2005. Credit goes to our own Marcia Chappell for compiling these numbers.
Disclosure: Cisco, HP, IBM, Microsoft, and Red Hat are RedMonk customers; Google and Yahoo are not.