Onshore America

What that means for smaller companies in Raleigh seeking Technology Talent

Today Microsoft announced they will be adding 500 new technology jobs (paying an average of $125,000 per year) into the Raleigh suburb of Morrisville, NC. In exchange, the state of NC is offering Microsoft an incentive package valued at $14.8 million.

It’s definitely great news for the Raleigh, NC area overall, but what does it mean for smaller companies trying to compete for technology talent?

The reality is that a concentrated influx of these types of high-paying jobs, especially when they are coming from such a high-profile employer like Microsoft will wind up raising a business’ costs for employees, increases the demand and decreases the supply of talent. Certainly, some market forces will play a role in increasing the talent supply through relocation and new training/education opportunities as supply tries again to catch up with demand in the technology industry.

And though the market undoubtedly will go to work on this balance, inevitably there is a significant lag as the talent supply tries to catch up with the demand for technology talent. Keep in mind, we are speaking about an understaffed industry that is constantly struggling to add more people to the mix. Even huge technology markets like Raleigh struggle to get supply to keep up with demand.

For PS Solutions, we see this as both an opportunity to help technology customers in need of talent and also a potential threat.

The opportunity: we supply software solutions to help companies deal with the talent gap in technology. Our developers are all US based and we keep costs down by keeping our development centers in lower cost areas away from immediate economic pressures caused by a big influx of demand by some huge conglomerate. Our software development centers are located and designed on the premise that your zip code does not equate with your intelligence. In other words, the software developer sitting in Altoona or Wilmington is just as capable as the higher-priced person sitting in more expensive office space in a major metropolis.

The threat: unfortunately, sometimes companies facing a talent shortage and increased costs react by shipping projects off-shore to some company (or somebody sitting in a basement office) halfway across the globe promising software development at a lower cost. Why take the risk? Why worry about where your code is going, if it’s coming back or if it is being sent somewhere else? Why wonder about quality, reliability, time zone issues, cultural diffences? Sure, you have a “low” bill rate, but what’s the quality of the work and who is keeping track of the hours?

We deal with the threat of off-shoring by pointing out that our work is done in America, at competitive rates with talented, experienced developers who understand the culture in which your business is running. We will constantly work to get the word out that when things are getting tough (even as a result of good news like a major employer moving into a market), there are smart affordable options to solve your software development problems. It just takes a little bit of creative thought and the solutions become pretty obvious.

Wayne Hippo is an owner and managing partner of PS Solutions, a custom software development and consulting business with development centers in Wilmington, NC, Altoona, PA and Forest Hills (Pittsburgh), PA.

Wayne can be reached at whippo@pssolutions.net.

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