How to fix tech hiring
July 25, 2013  

Tech titans and their lackeys like to complain about the difficulty of hiring in the tech industry, but a few simple changes could make the problem go away:

  1. Stop gender discrimination. Few women work in tech; the industry is ignoring half the pool of potential employees.

  2. Stop age discrimination. In tech, careers for people over 40 seem to dry up. The median age of employees in the US is 42, so, once again, the industry is cutting the pool of potential employees by 50%.

  3. Replace H-1B with immigration. Whatever you think of H-1B visas and immigration, H-1B is not immigration. H-1B is a temporary work visa, which means that H-1B workers are eventually going home. And H-1B workers are tied to their employer; it’s very hard to change employers if you are on an H-1B. Employers should abandon support for H-1B and support immigration instead. If every H-1B visa were converted to a green card, then employers could hire from one another, greatly expanding the pool of potential employees.

  4. Hire remote workers. The US has 4% of the world’s population. Obviously most of the smartest people in the world live outside of the US (also most of the world’s dumbest people). Similarly most of the smart people in the US don’t live in San Francisco. You don’t need legislation to hire these people, you just need technology (fast neworks, video, telepresence, distributed version control, …). Perhaps someone out there in the tech industry knows something about this technology?

  5. Pay more. These companies have a mountain of surplus cash. Why not pay more to the employees who built the products and services that created those mountains?

On the other hand, if tech companies only want to hire young men who live in San Francisco or are willing to relocate there at their own expense to work as wage slaves, perhaps they do have a hiring problem.