Silicon Valley Competes with Corporate America for Workers

Tech sector job openings are now one signifier of a well-run corporation. That’s true for the Drucker Institute, which relies on tech guru Peter Drucker’s management principles to rank the Management Top 250 companies. In addition to other factors, the Institute now also looks at each company’s listings for high-level tech jobs, via Burning Glass Technologies, a labor-analytics firm that provides data on jobs in such innovative areas as blockchain, robotics and artificial intelligence. Increasingly, companies across numerous industries are hiring employees with specific technology skills.

The Wall Street Journal reports that, “some of the biggest recruiters of people with robotics expertise aren’t just tech outfits or manufacturers … but also banks and real-estate firms.” Healthcare company Johnson & Johnson, for example, is looking for experts in 3D printing “to develop customized orthopedics and surgical tools.”

Burning Glass revealed that Allstate “posted more than a dozen jobs related to autonomous-vehicle technology in the 12 months ended in June,” and also is engaged in a “self-driving research project with Stanford University.” Allstate senior vice president of product innovation Howard Hayes said that the company feels that “the insurance companies of tomorrow will have to have an engineering relationship with these car makers,” especially with regard to safety and financial risk.

JPMorgan Chase has “advertised hundreds of job openings tied to robotics over the same 12-month period,” applying it to an existing AI platform to “execute trades across its global equities algorithms business.” American Express has also posted robotics jobs, which it uses for “automating some customer-service functions, such as credit-card upgrades and the account-balance and reward-point transfers they require.”

Other non-tech companies that require tech workers include Jones Lang LaSalle (now called JLL), a global real estate firm that “posted hundreds of jobs for robotics engineers, technicians and mechanics and people with expertise in the Internet of Things.” JLL president of corporate solutions Doug Sharp reported that, “robotics are playing an increasing role in the company’s facilities-management business … helping warehouse operators better utilize floor space and move products to be prepared for shipping.”

“Building engineers used to be walking around with a wrench to investigate problems,” he said. “Now they are sitting behind a screen, adjusting components. I need a new level of engineer who is capturing that data.”

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