Software Development
Ecommerce / Hiring

Amazon’s coming to town to poach talent. Here’s how Comcast is responding

Amazon is hosting an invite-only recruiting event in Philly. Comcast is taking note, and hosting an event of its own at the same time.

Seattle, anyone? (Photo by Flickr user @lempelziv, used under a Creative Commons license)
Full disclosure: Comcast was the title sponsor of Philly Tech Week 2015, which was organized by Technical.ly's events team.

Secret’s out.
Philadelphia, thanks to its emerging tech scene and many universities, is a stellar place to find talent. The folks at Amazon caught on and they’ve planned a three-day, invite-only recruiting event at the end of the month at the Loews Hotel. Amazon hopes to hire away software developers for jobs in the company’s Seattle headquarters.
“A comprehensive relocation package and immigration assistance will be provided for new hires to make the transition into Amazon a smooth process,” reads the notice, obtained by Technical.ly Philly.
Amazon did not respond to a request for comment.

Are we annoyed when people come into our backyard to do this? Yes.

A tech giant coming to Philadelphia to poach talent? Perhaps not that surprising. But what’s more interesting is how a hometown tech giant is responding. (A hometown tech giant that has plans to hire 2,800 local technologists for its new tower.)
Get this: Comcast is hosting its own invite-only tech happy hour in the same Center City hotel on one of the days that Amazon is running their job fair. Comcast recruiting lead Matt Taylor sent the email invite earlier this week for a “Toast to Tech in Philadelphia.”
“We’re making great strides in growing Philadelphia’s Tech economy,” the invite reads. “And it’s time to celebrate that success.”
Did Comcast organize the event in response to Amazon’s recruiting play? Yes and no, Taylor said. It’s part of Comcast’s ongoing effort to engage the local tech scene, he said, but it’s also a way to send the message that, we see you, Bezos. We know we’re competing for the same talent. We’re paying attention.
“We thought that having this Toast to Tech in the same venue as Amazon’s recruiting event show the wealth of Philly pride amongst these key groups attending and certainly send a message that the region is aware and recruitment from our backyard will become much more difficult over time,” Taylor wrote in an email.
When we spoke later on the phone, he said: “Are we annoyed when people come into our backyard to do this? Yes.”
But he said he’s not surprised. Philadelphia is a “hidden gem” for tech talent and people are noticing.
We’ll also note that Taylor said Comcast has employed this technique — hosting job fairs in other cities — to recruit talent.
Philly has been working to slow brain drain, so it’s interesting to see a company come to the city with the direct mission of poaching talent. (Hey, it’s flattering, too, right?) Even without a concerted push, at least two Philly devs have headed west to work for Amazon in recent years.
Will we see more tech companies hungry for talent drop in on Philadelphia? Will it work? We’ll keep you posted. Are you being courted by out-of-towners?

Companies: Amazon / Comcast

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