This week Paul and I went to Virginia Tech for our first ever job fair. Well, first time being on that side of the table, anyway. We have been spending a tremendous amount of time recruiting for the company to fill specific needs, but now we’re starting to try and look toward the future and grow some more junior talent.
What we found is that recruiting for more junior talent isn’t going to be any easier than it has been for the great team we’ve managed to snag so far. IEEE.org said in October that “The Association for Computing Machinery is forecasting that about 150,000 computing jobs in the United States will be opening up each year through 2020, but last year fewer than 14,000 American students received undergraduate degrees in computing science.” Doing the math, we’re short about a million CS people. Some of those roles will be filled by those that come from other related fields, my degree is in Civil Engineering and Paul majored in Computer Engineering; but those are some staggering odds.
So, we talked with the Career Services folks and did some brain picking. We figured out that we need to play up the fact that we’re small. Honestly, Paul and I had planned on “business casual” dress and after talking it over, we both ended up wearing our e84 tees. Some students loved the fact that we weren’t one of the fortune 500 companies we were standing next to. Another ray of hope, most students say that the deciding factor in choosing a job is the relationship they develop with the recruiters on campus. Good news there is being the recruiter and the one they are going to work with should help! We’re also going to need to hustle - there are consulting companies that actually have staff living and running small branch offices in Blacksburg to work with the students year round.
I do have to say I was really happy with the students we spoke with. For the most part, they were really professional and polite, some really bright kids. Made me proud to be a Hokie. Although answering the “what year did you graduate” question is getting less fun…I’m looking forward to getting some more junior talent in and getting our program up and running.