I doubt there is a single person anywhere who will not cheer the arrival of 2010, and kick 2009 firmly you know where, hoping never to see the likes of a year like it again. I for one, wish I had steel tipped boots, as 2009 is one butt I want to kick into obscurity. I know as a recruiter, I worked my butt off for less compensation than anytime since becoming an EDA recruiter, even less than my very first year: YIKES. But I hung in and worked my tail off all year, making sure I would be in a position to take full advantage of what would hopefully happen in 2010. I for one, can emphatically say “I am ready”, and I think the same can be said for most EDA start-ups I work with.
It was just a little over a year ago that the world embarked on what can only be called a financial calamity. Even though many thought/ hoped that this catastrophic financial situation would be over in way less than a year, most realistically knew it would take longer. We hung on to every good report hoping that this was the one that would be the real start of the turn around, not just on paper, but a turnaround that would help small business and all those struggling to find employment. But the only real “turn-around” in jobs came from the “round and round” of trying to find the so few jobs. Good riddance 2009, HELLO 2010. After a lot of reading, after talking to so many EDA seasoned principals and veterans, and after listening to a heck of a lot of economic mumble jumble, I honestly think 2010 is going to be a strong year for hiring in EDA. I know I have more open reqs than anytime I can remember in recent history.
The fact is, (at least in EDA), things really improved as 2009 piddled along. Interest in products increased, which in turn led to sporadic hiring, even though each hire was an exercise in patience, and all too often, futility. As fast as a new job requisition came out, that’s how fast the req was cancelled, and all too often, right in the middle of the process. Candidates did their best in the interviews only to be told “we changed our mind; we are going to wait a little while.” For people like me, this was even more frustrating, as it can take weeks, even months, to find one good candidate. And after you do, all that searching, then all that preparing, the proverbial plug gets pulled. As a recruiter, I share the same hopes and expectations as my prospective candidates. We hope together, work hard to prepare together, get excited together, and then BOOM, the process is halted: all that work for nothing. It is analogous to the groom changing his mind at the altar: hopes for all are shattered, our hopes diminished together. So while I do not want to make this into a soap opera story, just know, that we as recruiters are fighting the same battle as many of you looking for employment. A lot of time and work for no compensation, a lot of disappointment for those we care about, a lot of frustrations for the companies that really wanted to hire. Yes my friends, that was the story for 2009. But if it were a soap opera, it would be one worthy of tears; thank goodness we are cancelling it for 2010.
Fact is most of us that plowed ahead and worked our butts off are still here, more determined than ever to take advantage of a strong year. Reality is, 2009 actually ended very strong for us, which is why I am so optimistic. We had more requisitions in Q4 (and hires), than anytime in the past almost 2 years. Perhaps that’s what happens when you never give up and stay full steam ahead.
So here is what the experts in EDA say you can expect in 2010…
I read an interesting story in New York magazine by Hugo Lindgren recently. In his column when discussing what good things might lie ahead, he cited a very human summation when he quoted an epigram from the late British economist Arthur C. Pigou: “The error of optimism dies in the crisis, but in dying it gives birth to an error of pessimism. This new error is born not an infant, but a giant.” He points out quite poignantly I might add that we quite simply freak out and then we get over it. How True! And this has never been truer than in the era of 24/7, ad-nauseam press coverage, and opinion after OPINION on what will happen next and when. Most of them really don’t know a damn thing, they are all guessing, albeit, an educated guess (in some cases), nevertheless, still a guess. They all serve to excite and frighten. The fact is, we freak, and then we go on with our daily lives. I know that for some, going on as usual is not an option because of the effects of job loss and the monetary affiliations to such. Yet, even then, we still go on.
So for the many start-ups that survived 2009, most tell me they will be hiring Q1, Q2, although I have several open reqs already. (Fact is, like I said earlier, I have more open reqs now, than anytime in the past 2 years). Expansion is taking place on many fronts because as geometries change, so do the tools. This means a continuation of R&D hiring. I believe that this hiring’s will be almost immediate, and as monies flow, hiring for AE’s to support them. The companies that have mature tools are already adding AE’s. I am even getting several reqs for Sales folks as well. I do not see anything on the marketing front, as that is still the last priority for most companies. What is also important to mention is that I am not just talking state side; I am talking Globally. We are getting more international reqs than ever before forcing us to dramatically expand that part of our business.
Since most recruiters could not hold out through this downturn, that has seemed to fare well for us. Companies respect those that walk the walk and talk the talk even in the worst of times, and from what I am told, few recruiters have been walking and talking. Now lets all throw away the pessimistic hats and send some needed positive energy into our beloved EDA, and hope for a strong 2010.