Wednesday, February 1, 2012

More interns and younger ones fuel the war for talent in Silicon Valley

Silicon Valley's talent wars are going younger

"Bay Area tech companies, already in a fierce fight for full-time hires, are now also battling to woo summer interns. Technology giants like Google Inc. have been expanding their summer-intern programs, while smaller tech companies are ramping up theirs in response—sometimes even luring candidates away from college.

"Dropbox Inc. plans to hire 30 engineering interns for next summer, up from nine this year, says engineering manager Rian Hunter, who adds the company wants interns to comprise one-third of its engineering team.

"More interns means more opportunities to bring people to the company," Mr. Hunter says, noting Dropbox is seeking people as young as college freshman.

"Interns allow you to "try before you buy," says Bump Technologies Inc. Chief Executive Dave Lieb, who plans to hire as many as 10 for next summer. He says the 30-person company pays intern engineers about $10,000 for a roughly 12-week stint, similar to what other tech start-ups say they pay.
"Ninety-three percent of early-stage Silicon Valley start-ups have hired or are hiring interns, according to InternMatch Inc., a website that helps college students find internships. The group surveyed companies that recently raised money from two Bay Area incubators, Y Combinator or 500 Startups.
""Competition for talent is so fierce," says Kleiner partner Juliet de Baubigny. She says the firm may expand the program, which is currently for juniors in college, to others, including possibly high-school students.

"Meanwhile, Facebook Inc. plans to hire 625 interns for next summer, up from 550 this year. Google hired 1,000 engineering interns this past summer, up 20% from the previous year. Yolanda Mangolini, Google's director of talent and outreach programs, says the company is still figuring out its target for 2012, based on its overall staffing plan.

"Google generally extends offers to the majority of its intern class, Ms. Mangolini says. "It is one of the primary ways we find full-time hires."

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