Talent Poaching in Silicon Valley

Tech companies fight to retain brainiacs

Silicon Valley has always been home to innovation. It should then be no surprise that the tech companies based there are innovating new ways to fight against aggressive bids by rivals to poach employees. An infographic from online education and training platform Udemy lays out some of the statistics on tech talent and poaching.

According to some statistics, talent hunting is only expected to become fiercer in the years to come. Udemy says 12 percent of Facebook’s employees used to work for Google. Community-based aggregator digg reportedly lost out when they fired 25 employees last year, only for them to be quickly snatched up by other trending companies in the Valley, such as Groupon and Twitter. They’ve now posted a slew of new vacancies.

Employers are taking note. Big names like Google, Facebook and social gaming company Zynga are all fighting hard to keep their brainy employees from drifting away. To this end, Facebook pays its software engineers the most in the business at around $116,200 annually, followed closely by Twitter and Google. Beyond the financials some companies, like Google, fold in fringe benefits to the employment experience, making it even harder to walk away when you’re leaving behind catered meals, free haircuts and laundry services.

The poaching that has cast a fog over Silicon Valley is not because there is a special class of engineers that hover above the rest. Instead, poaching is becoming increasingly aggressive because there is no "rest" to choose from. According to the American Society for Training and Development, by 2015, 60 percent of U.S. jobs will require special skills. However, the number of people graduating with information technology and computer science degrees is steadily declining. Amid a national employment slump, a dearth in tech talent gives the skilled employee an unusual advantage.