Need work? Become a software engineer

Sarah Gardner Dec 26, 2011

Adriene Hill: The national unemployment rate has improved ever so slightly, but the U.S. economy ends the year with one indicator still in territory we’d prefer not to see. There are still millions of unemployed out there seeking work.

Well to add a hopeful note, here’s Marketplace’s Sarah Gardner.

Sarah Gardner: Want to hear some good news for a change?

Dawn Curlee: We have grown so significantly this year, we’re kind of busting at the seams at our current site.

Wait. It gets better.

Curlee: So at the end of the year, we’re moving into a new building, which will have a gym and an exercise room.

That’s Dawn Curlee, vice president of human capital at Tendril. Tendril’s in a high-growth business, making gadgets and software that help consumers monitor their home energy use. Last month alone, Tendril hired 25 new workers.

But even in this job market, those hires didn’t come easy. Software engineers are in short supply and Tendril’s got West coast competition.

Curlee: It’s the Googles, it’s the Amazons, it’s the Ebays, it’s all of the big name companies who are also in the market for software engineers.’

Tendril competes partly by selling itself to potential hires as a green company in a city dubbed “the happiest place in America.” The company’s bus billboard ads didn’t hurt either. Employees dreamed up pitches that techie types might appreciate, like, “We’re looking for Honey Badgers.”

Curlee: Honey badgers. It was kind of a viral YouTube video about the honey badger as an animal. They’re relentless and will work hard in pursuit of food.

And will relentlessly work hard for Tendril, was the idea, apparently. Maybe you have to be a software engineer.

I’m Sarah Gardner for Marketplace.

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