Competition for skilled technical telecoms staff is heating up as companies are being forced to pay higher salaries.
Although the whole high-tech sector is finding it harder to recruit certain types of staff, even at graduate level, telecoms is experiencing the worst shortages. Electrical and electronic engineers, and programmers skilled in developing computer-telephony software are particularly in demand.
Rick Gangemi, vice president of human resources for Finnish phone maker Noki, said: ?Competition for talented technical people is getting super-heated.? He said one problem is that personnel departments waste so much time and effort on candidates who are just window shopping or who get a better offer elsewhere.
Much of the blame is being laid on the explosive growth of the internet, and the accelerated development of networking and telecoms standards. Companies need to hire engineers to cope with these changes.
The situation is most acute in the US, but is now affecting Europe. In the US, companies such as Intel are hiring software and hardware engineers by the hundreds and one company in Texas is offering staff $1,700 for introducing a new employee to the company.
Traver Kennedy, an analyst at the Aberdeen Group, said: ?It?s not unheard of for engineers to ask for six figures.? US starting salaries for graduate engineers have risen from $33,000 to over $40,000 in four years. UK firms are paying about #4,000 more than they did in 1993 to new recruits in software and engineering.
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