The debate about available engineering talent, particularly in the US, ebbs and flows depending on a number of factors: the job market, engineering grads, and, of course, competition in the marketplace. Now it appears there's a new source of concern for companies that are trying to recruit innovative engineers: venture capital firms.
An article that appeared in the July edition of the Dow Jones Private Equity Analyst newsletter (and re-published in The Wall Street Journal) reports that venture capital firms are the latest organizations recruiting tech talent. This is a major shift from the typical involvement of a VC firm.
Usually, when a VC invests in a startup, the firm, or some of the investors, negotiates positions on the company's board of directors and/or in the management ranks. The company has already been founded by some innovative entrepreneurs. Now, it seems, VCs are moving up the food chain and are hiring would-be founders themselves.
Here's how the Dow Jones newsletter describes the situation:
- While venture firms have always helped start-ups fill executive and board member positions, they haven’t typically sourced engineers to build product. This more specialized recruiting skill, at least historically, has been the role of founders and their first few hires. But thanks to increasing access to early-stage capital and the decreasing costs of starting a company, many would-be engineering hires are now newly minted founders. They’re competing with other founders for engineering talent and creating one of the tightest start-up job markets in recent history. Compounding the situation, large tech companies like Google Inc. and Facebook Inc. are tossing big salaries at the engineering talent pool.
I haven't looked at engineering graduate and hiring statistics in a while, and I'd like to hear from readers: Is your company trying to recruit engineers? Even in the purchasing and distribution communities, engineering is taking on an increasingly important role because of the lifecycle management challenges of designing and purchasing components. It sounds like it's a really good time to have that EE.