PayPal’s Job Recruiting Secret: Hackathons

On the Cash 2020 Hackathon in Las Vegas, there’s extra than simply the $one hundred twenty five,000 in prize cash at stake. Winners right here may additionally land a job with one of many hackathon’s sponsors: PayPal.

"They get to study our merchandise and our firm," stated PayPal’s Chief Know-how Officer James Barrese. "We get to see what they’re able to produce."

Tech expertise is in excessive demand today, so to fill the couple of hundred jobs it has open, PayPal makes use of hackathons as a method of discovering new staff, together with extra conventional routes like recruiting on school campuses and bringing individuals into the workplace for tech meet ups.

"Each business is being disrupted by software program, and so demand for software program expertise, engineering expertise, has simply been rising up," stated Barrese. "So it is getting extra aggressive."

A working example, San Jose, California-based mostly PayPal might discover itself vying with funds processor Visa for the wanted staff. On Visa’s final earnings name, CEO Charlie Scharf stated the San Francisco-based mostly firm "plans so as to add 1,000 technologists and engineers within the U.S."

How robust is demand for IT staff? Within the third quarter, Burning Glass Applied sciences Labor Insights reported that a few tenth of the 6 million job openings within the U.S. have been IT associated, and demand for these expertise is just anticipated to develop. The Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates seven hundred,000 new IT jobs shall be created from 2012 to 2022.

Alongside the multi-business demand being created by disruptive software program, different elements are at play in creating this scarcity of IT staff. Older staff are getting older out, too few school graduates main in pc science or engineering, and new applied sciences just like the cloud require a unique talent set than what some corporations had seemed for a number of years in the past.

"What you have been taught in school 5 years in the past has now shifted to one thing new and totally different as a result of know-how is all the time altering and we’re discovering new, environment friendly methods to do programming and language, " stated Aimie Aronica, Paypal’s senior director of know-how engagement.

Aronica stated her problem at PayPal is to ensure staff, who could possibly be poached by different companies, know that the corporate is investing of their profession, and that they’re all the time challenged.

The issue just isn’t all technologists need to work for an enormous agency like PayPal.

Thirty-yr-previous Peter Ma is already a veteran of 5 begin-ups. He has no want to work for a big company. Ma believes that staff’ expertise can shortly develop stale working in that type of setting, so he prefers his present position as an unbiased marketing consultant.

"I’m merely not as productive as a full-time worker versus a contractor," he stated. "As a contractor I might be fired at any time if I do not present worth."

Whether or not they’re unbiased or employed at an organization, technologists of varied stripes can earn good cash. The BLS stated common annual salaries for IT-associated jobs can vary from $forty eight,900 for a pc help specialist to $one hundred twenty,950 for a pc and knowledge techniques supervisor.

What industries want these staff probably the most? The Burning Glass report stated the industries with probably the most IT job ads this yr are skilled, scientific and technical providers, insurance coverage and academic providers.

Nonetheless, most of the corporations that want to rent these staff might discover they’re priced out of the market. Giant companies like PayPal can afford to pay aggressive salaries, whereas small and medium-sized corporations might discover it more durable to compete on pay. This in flip might make it more durable for them to compete usually.

"It interprets on to their clients and the way competitively they are often with these clients," stated Elizabeth Hyman, government vice chairman for public advocacy on the tech business commerce group CompTIA.

For the employees with the correct expertise although, the demand for his or her expertise offers them with one thing most individuals dream of of their skilled careers, selection.

Regardless of different alternatives, 32-yr-previous Justin Woo selected to signal on with PayPay after profitable a hackathon it sponsored in his hometown of Seattle.

"I used to be blown away—the competitors was superb," he stated. "And I stated, hey, how can I assist? How can I become involved?"

Woo was interested in PayPal, as a result of as a software program developer he might work at what he beloved, for a corporation he believes is working for social good by making funds simpler and extra accessible for a large swath of the inhabitants.

"These applied sciences have not modified in like 30 to forty years," he stated. "And PayPal itself is on the cusp of adjusting the world utilizing funds."

A world that proper now wants extra individuals with expertise like Woo’s.

First revealed November 7 2014, 9:03 AM

Mary Thompson

Mary Thompson joined CNBC in 2000 as a common task reporter. She has coated a variety of tales for CNBC, together with the 2008 monetary disaster, Hurricane Katrina from alongside the Gulf Coast and the mutual fund business’s market-timing scandal in 2003.

Thompson has reported extensively on the banking and insurance coverage industries, government pay and the inventory market from the New York Inventory Change and the NASDAQ MarketSite. She additionally seems on NBC’s “As we speak” and “Weekend Nightly Information.”

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