Article by Samantha Epstein, Practice Manager for Workbridge New York
Anyone who has been at the fore-front of the tech industry over the last 3-5 years has seen what’s been coming. It started out in Silicon Valley many years ago and has been trending east ever since. As the public markets started to tank in 2008, putting a damper on the finance industry in New York’s boroughs, Silicon Alley really started to take on a new shape as public investment capital was funneled into private VC investments in tech companies. What we’ve been experiencing since is nothing short of an all-out land grab that continues to push the limits of financing, real-estate, and manpower in our already over-extended city.
Money is not new to NYC, and neither is venture capital. But between 2007 and 2011, the New York region experienced a 32% growth in VC deals. Not only does that figure speak for itself, but when you look at that same number nationally, it’s quite simply insane:
That’s on top of the hundreds of already funded start-ups in NYC, the existing enterprise companies that are investing their own capital back into technology, and the thousands that are making the rounds to VCs pitching their idea every single day. So what does that mean? That means money. Lots of it. Money to hire developers; money to buy licenses; and money to buy hardware, software, and office space (not to mention the beer and pizza).
So what is going on with all this money? Well, most of it is going into tech. So much so that there is an entire industry dedicated to getting these new tech companies off the ground faster; meet the “accelerator.” The number of start-up accelerators in NYC went from 0 in 2008, to 12 in 2012*. Essentially a start-up boot camp, these organizations help start-ups grow rapidly by providing resources things like: business plans, organizational development, and product development, and they do it fast.
So now we have hundreds of funded start-ups who not only have cash but teams of advisors working to get these companies up and running. However, part of building out a company is being able to get everyone together in the same room to share ideas and do the legwork. And for tech companies the space must typically include at least minimal technology infrastructure.
NYC has always been a real-estate bubble. It’s no shock that rent is more expensive here. It is, after all, an island. In previous years, that was a determining factor in a company’s interest and willingness to move their operations to the Big Apple. However, the recent influx of financing coupled with good old fashioned collective bargaining power has begun to change this. In 2010, the media/information and computer/tech industries footprint in NYC real estate grew from 3.8M SQ FT to 6M SQ Ft:
Those same VCs and Accelerators that I mentioned previously played a big part in this. All these start-ups need places to work; places with desks, computers, coffee, and other techies to share ideas (and costs) with. Though the Bloomberg administration has made their life easier with tax-breaks and other incentives, when you’re working with a very small budget and already taking a huge risk at a startup, you need something a tad bit more temporary than the $1.8B office Google purchased in 2010*. Enter: the co-working space.
A co-working space is a shared working space that allows start-ups to share resources and collaborate with one another. Alongside the recent development of accelerators, these co-working spaces play a critical role in the real-estate side of things. Possibly the most well-known co-working spaces in NYC, General Assembly (which is also well known for its educational programs) grew to 350 members and upwards of 100 start-ups after about a year*. And they’re not alone in their quest. Aside from their cheap rent and great extras, these spaces have enabled their start-up hatchlings to grow their business before stepping out to make it on their own.
One other solution being currently explored by many start-ups in NYC is moving outside of Manhattan. You can see tech communities popping up in parts of Brooklyn and Long Island City; places that you previously may not have expected. But the bang for your buck in these areas is enticing a lot of these companies to set up shop just a short subway ride from the city’s center, and it’s paying off in cheaper rent and larger spaces.
Now, we may have money and real-estate, but you can’t build a tech company without manpower. All of these ideas can’t take shape without the people who can mold them into products. In the tech world, that primarily takes developers. Working with their product and marketing teams, these guys lay the bricks to the next big thing, and without them these tech start-ups would never get past the idea stage.
When compared to the private sector, IT job growth in NYC in recent years is astounding:
Based on the upward trend in the markets that 2013 has brought us, we can only assume this number will continue to rise. But this growth has not been matched with the number of available, qualified, tech job seekers in the city; A problem that could become the bottleneck of the whole industry here if it isn’t addressed. Luckily, we are seeing several Bloomberg initiatives aimed at targeting this bottleneck, from the Cornell Campus on Roosevelt Island to the High School engineering programs the administration has launched locally. But it’s going to take more than just a college campus and a few dozen high schools participating to fix this completely.
As the manager of a recruiting team here in midtown NYC, I can attest to the rise in business over the last several years (in fact, here at Motion, we are seeing historical production highs on an almost monthly basis). Companies are definitely leveraging the recruiting industry’s ability to help identify and deliver existing talent. However, using recruiting/staffing agencies like ours may help, but it’s a well-known fact amongst recruiters that we simply need more candidates ourselves.
So what are we to do? We’ve got more money being funneled into tech here in the city than the budgets of many small countries. We’ve solved the real-estate problem by sharing space or thinking outside the box. For all intents and purposes, we are in the middle of The Great NYC Land Grab as it relates to technology. But we don’t have enough settlers heading east to New York City.
From where I sit, the answer is simple. We need to talk about it more. We need to tweet it, email it, text it, post it, like it and all out yell it from the rooftops. We need to engage the already active technology community with those interested in becoming a part of the industry through meetups like TechInMotion. We need to start with children using technology in education, and support organizations that teach this like the Bronx based CampInteractive , which fosters the idea as they turn into young adults and gets kids excited about technology and entrepreneurship. We need to take high schoolers and college kids and talk to them about the demand and the rewards. And we need to do it now.
It’s going to take all of us, from VC’s to techies to recruiters. And it’s not going to be easy; we will have to change the way many people think about traditional career paths and how they look at technology as a part of everyday life, not to mention the way we educate our youth. But if we don’t do this, all of us are out of luck. After all, technology has become the universal language, and we’re all in this together.
*All data and/or statistics used in this post have been pulled from the Center for an Urban Future’s article entitled New Tech City published in May, 2012.
This past week, Workbridge Associates' NYC office partnered with Tech in Motion to host an awesome event at Alley NYC in celebration of Women's History Month. Together they were able to gather an incredible group of influential women working in the tech community to speak on a panel regarding issues such as education, hurdles faced in and out of the work place, market news and much more.
We would like to thank our wonderful panelists:
We would also like to give a special thanks to Rachel Sklar, Co-founder of TheLi.st and of Change The Ratio as well as member of the Lean In launch committee and board member of the non-profit She's The First for taking a moment to speak to our audience about the Lean In movement.
Tech in Motion NYC members networking before the panel begins.
Tech in Motion members networking and enjoying pizza and beer before the panel begins.
It's a full house for Women in Tech at AlleyNYC!
Beth Gilfeather introducing herself to the audience of Tech in Motion members.
If you missed this event, check out our recap video of Women in Tech presented by Tech in Motion NYC.
Recently, Workbridge New York's open-source development team took a trip to Manhattan Collge to speak with a few members of their business college, honors society as well as a few computer science majors. It was a lot of fun getting a chance to speak with the students about Workbridge Associates and the technology market in New York, and we hope the students were able to take something away from it.
Our Vice President of Sales and Recruiting, Drew Sussberg, along with lead recruiter, Gary Goldstein and recruiters, Michael Yurcisin (Manhattan College Alum), Melissa Gallagher, Andrew Kolkhorst and Thomas McCormick had a great time interacting with the students and helping to give a vivid picture of what our company is like and our purpose in the NYC tech community.
We would like to thank Manhattan College and everyone that attended the event for having us and being so hospitable. We look forward to visiting again in the near future!
Our Vice President of Sales and Recruiting & a few of our Workbridge NY recruiters.
By Joe Schurig, Practice Manager at Workbridge New York
After hearing countless amounts of interview feedback from our clients and job seekers, I feel like we have almost heard it all. Considering the strength of the technology market, we might be experiencing the most competitive candidate market...ever.
The U.S job market as a nation is struggling, in tech however, there are more open positions than qualified candidates with new companies and positions popping up daily. For obvious reasons, there has been a growth towards the expectations and talent of any potential employee when hiring. To put it simply, it is becoming much harder to get through an interview successfully. Furthermore, job descriptions are outlandish; they often appear to be a wish list of the best candidate ever -someone that may not exist. These expectations combined with the strength of the market are leading to almost impossible first interviews.
The initial interview to begin the process is where first impressions are made. Whether it is of you specifically, or your impression of the organization, it’s something that will last in one's mind forever. The amount of candidates on the market who are reachable is going to favor the organization: they can be picky. Regardless, it is imperative to have a strategy!
1) Do your homework. Make sure you are aware of what technologies the company you are interviewing with is using, it's important to study up.
2) Describe your background and prepare to explain how it is relevant with their company. Your resume usually doesn’t tell the entire story.
3) Questions gauge their interest. People love to speak about themselves, or their company. Ask questions about both
- What type of a team they work on?
- Overall employees, tech stack, seniority of company.
4) State your true thoughts and feelings! Most tech-focused first round interviews last less than an hour. If you are interested, best time to state your feelings is NOW.
5) Your enthusiasm, not your resume, will get you the job. Feel the need to go above and beyond: People hire People.
With all of these things listed above, the philosophy is that the interview will hopefully flow to a natural dialog. The general rule of thumb is that you, the candidate, should do about 65% of the talking. If you can represent yourself in the most honest way possible while following these general rules and suggestions, you will do just fine. Good luck!
Want to speak with Joe regarding the New York job market? Reach out!
Call: (212) 271-5100
One year ago Workbridge Associates NYC and their sister company decided to give back to the New York City tech community by creating and hosting FREE networking and educational events for our job-seekers, clients and tech lovers alike.
Over the past year we have grown to well over 1,000 members and have hosted an array of successful events thanks to all of our members, co-organizers and staff. With that being said, we thank you for your attendance at our events, suggestions and spreading the word about this group to your friends, co-workers and family! This is something to be acknowledged and most importantly, something to celebrate!
To kick off 2013 and to celebrate our achievements, it is our pleasure to announce Tech in Motion NYC's Demos and Drinks event for January 31, 2013 at Gallery Bar!
Join 100+ NYC tech professionals and enthusiasts for a night of networking, drinks and of course...tech demos! Seat Geek, Pluto Mobile and more will be presenting their company and apps for all to enjoy!
Not a member YET? Click here to join and RSVP for this event and more! Tech in Motion NYC
It is our pleasure to announce one of our own as the new Vice President of Sales and Recruiting!
Drew Sussberg, has been with Workbridge Associates for over 9 years now working his way up the corporate ladder. He has led his team and the New York City region, while also being an inspiration to our staff as the top sales professional in our company for 2 years running, Regional Director and now Vice President!
His hard work, attention to detail and stellar ability to land our job-seekers positions they love and assist our clients time and time again by introducing amazing tech talent has not gone unnoticed. In fact, he is an inspiration to many within our organization.
Congratulations to you once again Drew! You deserve it!
Just a few words from his colleagues:
"Drew's leadership and ability to raise the bar of performance is second to none." -Sloane Barbour, Regional Director of NYC
"One of my favorite things about my job here is that Drew performs as he does. To watch him continue to expand his business and management skills but at the same time remain the top sales person in the company pushes all of us to do better every day. It’s not something you see in other jobs, and it makes a world of difference." -Samantha Epstein, Practice Manager
"Drew Sussberg epitomizes a consummate professional in every aspect of his life. He embodies the values of this organization and exemplifies daily what it means to be an “insider” in the technology community. Drew attacks problems with the fervor of a rabid gorilla. He has taught me everything I know about sales, and I will be forever indebted to him for doing so." -Blake Williams, Practice Manager
"I thought I knew what hustle was, until I met Drew Sussberg. Now, I realize that what I thought was hustle, is Drew's relaxed state." -Joseph Schurig, Practice Manager
As a result of Hurricane Sandy, many companies and businesses in the NYC tech community were displaced due to flooding as well as issues with equipment due to the severe storm. In fact, such was the case for one of our clients. Upon hearing about the loss of their work space, Workbridge New York opened its doors to lend a helping hand.
We welcomed three of their contractor employees, all of which we placed with the company, into our space for the past few weeks and turned our office into a co-working space for our recruiters, staff and these three contractors.
As we got to know each of them a little better, the story of one contractor stood out the most. His display of courage, determination and positive attitude gave such inspiration to our recruiters and staff.
In August 2012, Drew Sussberg placed Matt in a contract to hire position. Upon accepting this position Matt was determined to show that he was an asset to the company and worth keeping. However, on October 29th, Matt faced a devastating situation that many of us couldn't imagine going through.
As he explained to our Marketing Specialist, his home in Broad Channel, Queens "was almost completely submerged in the storm surge. At least 6 feet of water was in my house and in the house of my extended family who live fairly close by."
Thankfully he and his friends and family, made it out alive. Currently, Matt is residing in the Glendale area of Queens with 8 other family members until their aid arrives. In early December, Matt received great news from the company he was doing contract work for; they had extended him an offer of full time employment and to work at their headquarters in Maryland. Matt described this news as being "like the sound of angels coming to my rescue. Not only have I finally secured myself with work that is both fulfilling and well compensating, but I also get to be in Maryland, where I met the woman of my dreams and my heart."
It is our pleasure to congratulate Matthew on his advancement and wish him all the best in his new full time position and life! We're rooting for you!
"My independence, my love and my life are now literally days from being secured and firmly within the palm of my hand, and none of this would have been possible were it not for Workbridge Associates. Even when I had given up the fight and thought that work was just impossible to secure in this day and age, they never gave up on me." -Matthew G.
We are so very happy to announce that our recruiters at Workbridge New York have spent countless hours, energy and resources working towards the same common goal of assisting every job seeker that walks into our office find a new, exciting and satisfying opportunity.
As a result of our work ethic, commitment and overall drive to make good on our promises, we have helped 283 tech professionals in the greater New York City area find employment over the last year. That's about 23 placements per month!
It has been our pleasure to educate, assist and guide each individual that comes into our office with company preparation, interviewing and follow-up information for each opportunity they encounter while working with us.
On behalf of the entire Workbridge New York office, we would like to extend our gratitude and appreciation for allowing us to participate in each job seekers precious job search and making it a successful one from start to finish. It has been an honor for each member of our staff to be that advocator one may need.
Most importantly we would like to say CONGRATS to all 283 job seekers placed this year. We hope that you enjoy your new position as well as the company you found yourself most fitting for. We hope that your time there is long and happy offering you much professional growth and advancement!
We would also like to give special recognition to our Regional Director, Drew Sussberg for placing an incredible total of 102 job-seekers this year alone. For us, Drew is more than a supervisor, he is a Super recruiter and an inspiration for our team!
We pride ourselves in our work and it's because of him we make sure to go above and beyond to satisfy our job seekers! Thank you for leading by example and giving us all that extra drive we need to be successful as individuals as well as individuals.
Drew Sussberg hard at work in the Workbridge New York office.
Feel free to stop by our office, give us a call or send us an email. We'd love to help you out!
Visit: 11 East 44th Street Ste.301. New York, NY 10017
Call: (212) 271-5100