As part of the transition from a manufacturing-centered rustbelt economy to one more focused on research and development, the Detroit three are expanding their technology divisions at such a rapid pace, that area universities aren’t able to provide them enough graduates to fill all the jobs. In an effort to fill all available positions, recruiters are going cross-country, with special focus on Northern California’s Silicon Valley, known for decades as being the heart of today’s high-tech economy.
“There’s a war for talent out there, and it’s only going to get worse,” said Jim Bazner, vice president of human capital solutions at MSX International in Southfield, Michigan, which helps automakers find specialized employees. “There are hundreds of jobs, and all the automakers are hiring.”
Among the issues recruiters are facing is the lower salaries paid in the Detroit area relative to the near six-figure starting salaries some Silicon Valley jobs offer. However, the flipside is the much lower housing costs of Michigan compared to Silicon Valley, known for having some of the most expensive real estate in the nation.
Another issue is career potential in moving between companies, a measurement by which Detroit lags Silicon Valley by far, with roughly one-fifth the total number of openings of its high-tech West Coast counterpart.