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TECHNOLOGY

NYC Startups Need Engineers. This Company Aims to Deliver Them

Another company launches in Manhattan solely to facilitate the hiring of programmers.
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According to research from Hired.com, there are more than 5,000 unfilled tech jobs--iOS developers, front-end programmers, and assorted roles in data-processing and programming--in New York City. Wednesday, the company is officially launching in Manhattan to help fill those needs.

Hired.com is a marketplace for tech talent that lets individuals looking for work put themselves up for auction to companies looking for their skills.

The company--formerly called DeveloperAuction, before rebranding last fall--is less than two years old, but has paired 250 skilled workers with new jobs. Hires through the site are now happening at the pace of more than one per day, on average.

Four employees from Hired have been operating in New York City, out of the SoHo co-working space WeWork, for about three months now. A bigger Hired presence in the city, however, could be good news for startups who've struggled to fill key technical roles. Andre Charoo, the head of new markets at Hired, who launched the New York presence for the company says he's found New York has the largest pool of open jobs in tech fields in the country.

That fact presents a few challenges for Hired, which has been operating in San Francisco since 2012, and pairing engineers with jobs at mostly fast-growth startups. But in New York, media companies, finance, and fashion are the anchor industries.

"Adding New York allows us to add non-technical companies that need [as many] if not more engineers. We're seeing finance-industry players like CitiBank and JPMorgan signing up," Charoo says. "We can put them on an equal playing field as Facebook."

New York's startup scene is represented on the site, though, too: In the roster of the roughly 100 companies that have already signed up are Betaworks, Etsy, Refinery29, Spotify, and Quirky. And more than 600 engineers are lined up to participate in auctions.

Why couldn't Hired.com simply scale globally from its San Francisco office?

"Part of our strategy is not just global growth, but to have a grassroots presence," says co-founder Douglas Feirstein (pictured above at right). "Hiring is definitely a regionalized type of business, and it's important to be on the ground and do events."

The company in March raised a $15 million venture-funding infusion from Crosslink Capital, Sierra Ventures, SoftTech VC, and Sherpa Ventures. The investment gives the company a boost to expand to not just New York, but also to Los Angeles (expect an office to launch this summer), and to Seattle, before the end of 2014.

While offline recruitment is something still done frequently at a small scale, competition is vast in the online job-site space, with a broad range of social networks, such as LinkedIn, joining an existing ecosystem of job boards, such as Monster.com, Indeed.com, and SimplyHired.com. But zoom into the niche of only applicants with technical skill sets, and there's even competition there: Inc. reported last year on a talent agency that's pivoted to represent almost exclusively computer programmers

Hired's New York team is looking for a new office to expand its presence, and accommodate up to 15 employees by the end of 2014. The current cramped coworking space may be getting too small, but it did have its advantages.

"What's cool about working out of a coworking space, is that it allows us to service all the companies there," says Charoo. "They all need engineers."

A recent study found that of 291,000 jobs in the New York City tech economy, more than half are in non-technical industries.

Last updated: Apr 9, 2014

CHRISTINE LAGORIO-CHAFKIN | Staff Writer | Senior Writer

Christine Lagorio-Chafkin is a writer, editor, and reporter whose work has appeared in The New York Times, The Washington Post, The San Francisco Chronicle, The Village Voice, and The Believer, among other publications. She is a senior writer at Inc.




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