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DataFox Study: Hiring Trends in Silicon Valley More than Just Layoffs

After a quarter when Silicon Valley companies seemingly announced new layoffs every day, the bad news seems to have slowed. But after Zenefits, Optimizely, VMware and others, how should job-seekers feel about taking a tech job in the Bay Area?

According to a DataFox analysis, the Valley's top tech startups are still hiring, albeit at a slower pace than a month ago. An index of the top 100 Silicon Valley companies, as ranked by DataFox quality score, shows that hiring continues at companies with strong business fundamentals. Those top companies posted nearly 1,450 jobs in the last 30 days – a slight drop from last month, but encouraging for job-seekers nonetheless.

We also analyzed a broader index of over 3,500 Silicon Valley private companies, finding that their economic outlook has remained relatively steady compared to a month ago. 15% raised funds in the past six months, indicating that they might begin to hire aggressively (and potentially even seek out laid-off workers as a source of new talent).

The takeaways:

  • Silicon Valley's top businesses continue to hire, despite recent layoff news - companies in the DataFox index of the top 100 Silicon Valley private companies posted over 1,448 full-time jobs in the past 30 days.
  • Though that's down about 5.5% from last month, 60% of companies have as many or more jobs posted.
  • A broader index of over 3,700 Silicon Valley private companies have not funds since 2013, hindering their ability to hire top talent and putting them at risk for layoffs.
  • However, 15% of the companies in that index have raised funds in the past six months, meaning they will likely grow their teams aggressively.

Top-tier companies fuel tech jobs

The Valley's top companies are continuing to hire, with 9 of the top 100 companies posting at least 30 jobs in the past month. Overall, 1,448 full-time jobs were posted at the 100 companies, down 5.5% from 1,533 jobs last month.

However, there's good news to be found: That drop is largely driven by one startup, Dropbox, who went from 113 jobs posted to 30. And 60 companies have at least as many job postings as the previous month. While hiring may have slowed for some Silicon Valley companies, among the best, competition for talent still runs high.

View the top 20 companies, along with contact information and news events, on the DataFox platform

Funding crunch may lead to more layoffs, but holding steady for now

A broader analysis of 3,716 private Silicon Valley tech companies founded since 2006 shows that funding for solid startups continues, but others have reason for concern. 33% of the companies (roughly the same percentage as last month) have not raised funds since 2013, putting them at higher risk of layoffs or even folding altogether.

On the bright side, 15% of those companies raised funds in just the past six months, and they'll be using that money to hire engineers, designers, marketers and more.

"The longer you go without funding, the harder it is to retain and bring on top talent," said Anisha Sekar, lead researcher on the study. "But while some startups are in a worrisome funding drought, others are still raising money – and recruiting aggressively."

The chart below shows that a full 34% of companies have raised a round in this past year, a good sign for job seekers:

"We're always looking to bring on more talent," says DataFox CEO Bastiaan Janmaat. "And when we raised a round of funding, our first move was to grow our team more aggressively. If you're looking for a job, the number of startups with a new cash infusion should be comforting."

Methodology and scoring

DataFox analyzed the top 100 privately held Silicon Valley technology companies, as ranked by DataFox score. We sourced job listing data from Indeed.com, and employee headcount information from our internal database. Our broader index of 3,716 private Silicon Valley startups comes from our database of over 1 million companies, which draws on information from our data analysts, provided by third parties, and in-house natural language algorithms that process over 10,000 news sources daily.

The DataFox Score is the output of a machine-learning algorithm that measures a company's likelihood of success, and weights a variety of factors including from time since last funding round, headcount changes, management quality, investor quality, and web traffic.

We classified startups by industry using our proprietary Keyword Similarity algorithm, which assigns intuitive sector keywords by parsing companies' websites, news mentions, conference attendee lists, and other sources.

Media contact: Anisha Sekar, press@datafox.com.