Silicon Valley Leadership Group, a trade association that represents 375 of
Silicon Valley's top companies. Last week, Guardino led a dozen valley CEOs on
an immigration reform lobbying trip to Washington, D.C., focusing on 31 key
The group assured wary GOP legislators that if they support comprehensive reform -- including a pathway to citizenship for immigrants in the U.S. illegally -- "we will have your back" if you are challenged in a primary, Guardino said. For the past year, the trade group has been partnering with unlikely allies -- including religious and labor groups -- to lobby Congress.
5,000 jobs going unfilled
If there isn't a shortage of tech talent, Guardino asked, then why does Microsoft have 5,000 open jobs in the U.S. "that they can't fill? Do you not think they'd be just clamoring if there were people born in the U.S. or even otherwise to fill those slots?"
"Don't these folks doing these studies realize that we would leap for joy if we could hire everybody we need in the United States? The hassle and the expense of going through the H-1B and green card process is not something that employers want to pay for," Guardino said.
In a recent analysis of companies intending to hire foreign workers through H-1B visas, Bright.com, a San Francisco employment site, found that there were four qualified domestic electric engineers per H-1B visa request and 12 qualified domestic financial analysts. Overall, it found more qualified applicants than jobs available.
But local and regional demands can differ. In San Francisco, Bright.com found that there is a high demand for application developers but that "only 0.54 qualified candidates per position can be found locally for this role."
The numbers faced by those looking for tech jobs in Silicon Valley are even more stark.
Every week, ProMatch, a Silicon Valley job resource center that's sponsored in part by the California Employment Development Department, convenes a meeting for job seekers in Sunnyvale City Hall.
Job competition fierce
Last week, it was packed with nearly 150 job seekers, many saying employers are flooded with so many resumes that they can afford to be picky. One told of having to undergo 14 interviews over 14 weeks with the same company before being hired.
"We never had a problem finding enough qualified people here," said Wayne Hall, a San Jose resident who has worked in -- and hired in -- the valley for two decades at semiconductor companies. Now, he's looking for work after being laid off three weeks ago.
"I remember going to a job fair at San Jose State and coming home with a stack of resumes an inch thick," Hall said.
Leila Dibble, a Campbell teacher who is trying to break into the tech field, hears that "employers are getting 400 and 500 applicants for a job. Even if they scale that down to 10 percent, that's a lot of people."
Dan Ruth, an IT expert who has been looking for work for seven months, said the competition is so stiff, it's a challenge to get a face-to-face interview in some fields.
"It's a buyer's market right now," said Ruth, a San Jose resident who has worked in the valley for 18 years. "Hiring managers are being really choosy. I don't think that there's a talent shortage. I'm skeptical. I'd like to see the numbers on that."
Joe Garofoli is a San Francisco Chronicle staff writer. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Twitter: @joegarofoli
(c)2013 the San Francisco Chronicle
Visit the San Francisco Chronicle at www.sfgate.com
Distributed by MCT Information Services
Most Popular Stories
- Twitter Names Woman to Board
- Obamacare Doing Just Fine, Ky. Governor Says
- Rand Paul Signs up for Obamacare
- Hispanic Employment Improves in November
- Aspen Contracting Adding 300 Jobs
- Thalia Gets Star on Hollywood Walk of Fame
- Trapped Florida Whales Head for Deeper Waters
- How to Arm Yourself Against CryptoLocker Virus
- U.S. Chamber to Run Ads in Idaho, W.Va.
- Dow Jumps 200 Points on Jobs Data