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For employers, one of the problems of a white-hot job market is that it’s getting hard to find the talent you need. In some fields and in some regions, such as software development in Silicon Valley, it’s taking longer and getting more expensive to fill jobs. 

So why not look somewhere else? 

With effective use of labor market data, a hiring manager or recruiter can identify talent pools that might otherwise be hidden, saving both time and money. 

Software development is a good example. If you plot out job postings for software developer jobs on a map, you can see that most of the positions are in places you might expect: northern California, New York, and other major metropolitan areas.

But the picture starts to look different when you add two additional metrics that are critical to talent strategy: the time needed to fill positions, and the average advertised salary. The longer a job stays open, the harder it is for companies to fill it. And highly competitive areas also have highly competitive wages.



San Jose—the core of Silicon Valley—is a tough market on both counts, with the highest average advertised salary and a longer-than-average time to fill positions. Nearby San Francisco isn’t much better. Los Angeles, Seattle, and Chicago are slightly better options. All three have lower salaries, and their time to fill is about the same as the national average. 

If a company has the flexibility, Dallas stands out as a city with notably lower salaries (average $98,000 per year) and a shorter time to fill than the national average.  

But probe a little deeper: Dallas is the faster choice, but is it the best choice? Look at the skills in demand for software developers in Dallas compared to San Jose. There is overlap in many areas—Java is the most requested skill in both cities. In some critical areas, however, the two regions are way off. San Jose firms demand knowledge of the Python programming language, but Python is far down the list for Dallas employers. And SQL is the second-most-frequently requested skill in Dallas, but barely raises a ripple in Silicon Valley.  

So if Python is critical to your product, maybe it’s worth spending the extra time to fill jobs by recruiting in Los Angeles, where Python talent is more plentiful than in Dallas and the pay is comparable.

That’s a far more sophisticated decision than a hiring manager would be able to make with other sources of labor data, balancing cost, convenience, and available skills to make more effective recommendations to senior management. Different parts of the country have different employment strengths, and a smart hiring manager can use those differences to make more effective decisions. 

To learn how you can begin gathering these insights yourself, talk with us today.

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