The Atlanta Journal and Constitution – June 14, 2000
By Tammy Joyner
Atlanta Journal-Constitution Staff Writer
CATHY SEITH / Staff
|At iXL Enterprises, Administrative Assistant Jennifer Altman gets a massage from Pat Murphy of Stress Recess Inc.|
What does ping-pong have to do with technology? Not much. But it could mean the difference in getting and keeping high-tech workers in metro Atlanta. Just ask Stuart Emanuel.
“We lost a person in our Atlanta office because the company they went to work for has a game room with a ping-pong table,” said Emanuel, president of staffing giant Spherion Technology Business Solutions, formerly Interim Services.
In metro Atlanta, where one in five new jobs is a high-tech job, every little detail counts. Companies are going to great lengths to get high-tech workers: BMWs, $5,000 employee-referral bonuses, rock concerts, on-site masseuses. That’s especially true because estimates say some 20,000 new technical jobs are being created here each year.
“It’s so hard to find technical talent, in general, so we’re really going to extremes to get them for our clients,” said Paul Syiek, president of Think Resources, a Norcross-based company that uses the Internet to find workers for clients. Think Resources is giving away a red BMW convertible in July to recruit workers.
Getting and keeping high-tech workers was once solely the concern of high-tech firms. Now it’s on the top of every company’s “to do” list. Everyone, it seems, needs people to install, run and maintain computer systems, e-commerce or Internet business.
“We get openings from Delta Air Lines to Fortune 500 companies to mom-and-pop businesses. All kinds of companies are out there fighting for the limited talent that’s available,” said Barry Mills, national recruiting director for Matrix Resources, which finds high-tech workers for a variety of industries.
The latest Atlanta Journal-Constitution Leaders Poll, in fact, found that eight out of 10 leaders surveyed said their companies or agencies employ high-tech or information technology workers. The organizations included law firms, civic groups, government agencies, public relations firms, utilities, real estate firms, banks and more. A similar nationwide study by the Information Technology Association of America found that 90 percent of all jobs and 70 percent of the demand for IT workers comes from outside IT companies.