In an effort to fill a need for mid- to upper-level positions in Austin's tech community, on May 17, the Austin Chamber of Commerce launched AustinTechSource, a website to connect job candidates with companies and provide an avenue for additional training opportunities.
AustinTechSource allows job seekers to post their resumes and search for available postings for free. Companies looking for talent can choose a 14-day, three-month or yearly contract to sift through candidates, said Ed Wagner, chief strategy officer for Experience, which created the portal.
Representatives from some local technology firms said the need for the website is great.
Chris Durand, chief technology officer at software and application development company Bridge360, said he is always looking for ways to recruit top talent, but, as for many companies in the technology industry, that process has become a challenge.
“As a growing mid-size software company, I have a lot of experience in pain from talent,” Durand said during the roundtable at which the product launch was announced. “Over the last year, it's really become a big challenge for us finding the talent we need to continue to grow.”
More than 2,000 job candidates are already signed up on the site and have posted resumes. Thirty-three companies, including Apple Inc., Microsoft Corp., Luminex Corp., Evernote Corp., Bazaarvoice and Bridge360, are registered employers.
The website allows users to log in through their LinkedIn accounts, allowing companies to view candidates' LinkedIn profiles as well, Wagner said.
If the candidate does not have a specific type of training a company is looking for, Wagner said AustinTechSource would automatically display various training opportunities available in the area.
Wagner said the site also allows the chamber to track numbers, such as the additional revenue coming in to Austin as a result of new hires.
Clarke Heidrick, chamber board president, said the chamber is proud of the growth that has occurred in the Austin area, which now has more than 100,000 technology jobs at 3,800 tech companies with more than 6,000 new job announcements, Heidrick said.
“Many technology companies that we partner with in the community tell us that while we're doing good job in the community at producing graduates from various programs in various ways for entry-level positions, folks who are experienced are in critical shortage,” he said.
Bryan Jones, founder and CEO of Collider Media Inc., which connects agencies and advertisers with advertising inventory on mobile devices and PCs, said many of the new job postings are for positions that require experience. Jones, who also is the chair of the Greater Austin Technology Partnership, said the portal would provide opportunities for qualified talent to relocate to Austin.
“We want companies here to expand locally, to stay in Austin and to have larger workforces and be successful in Austin,” he said.