Thousands of jobs throughout the San Diego region have been lost in recent weeks because of coronavirus, but medical companies, tech giants and startups remain on the hunt for top talent. 

Local companies currently hiring include organizations like Qualcomm, Teradata, Brain Corp., Classy, GoSite, Shield AI, and Ezoic. There are also many medical-related jobs hiring like Dexcom, Eurofins Scientific, Novasyte and SeaSpine, among others.

User Generated List

The list, created by San Diego Regional Economic Development Corp. (EDC) in collaboration with Startup San Diego, and Connect with San Diego Venture Group, is user-generated and allows companies to promote their full-time and part-time roles. 

Founded in 2017, San Diego Life Changing’s mission is to help elevate the region’s tech and life sciences hub enabling employers to source talent and allow individuals to be aware of a variety of local career opportunities.

Looking For Local Talent

Alexa-Rae Navarro, executive director of Startup San Diego said, “While this is an unprecedented time for our region, there are many local companies who are still looking for homegrown local talent.”

It’s unclear how long the coronavirus pandemic is going to last or how much COVID-19 is going to affect the hiring market in the long term. Right now, about 11 percent of firms are still planning to fill positions, but many are just temporarily waiting to see how things shake out. 

A recent survey conducted by the EDC showed that 379 employers plan to eliminate 14,524 jobs, about 68 percent of their total workforce. 

“Over the past month, our team has spoken with more than 400 San Diego businesses. While the impacts of COVID-19 have been devastating and real, we also heard from many businesses that were still hiring. We wanted to create a resource that could connect these companies with impacted workers,” Mark Cafferty, president & CEO, San Diego Regional EDC said.

Positive Feedback

According to the EDC, the hiring resource  —  which was compiled a week ago  —  has 28 companies listed so far and has received positive feedback from recruiters, job seekers and employers. 

Jessica Serrano, senior director Talent Acquisition at Lytx said, “It’s very helpful having a one-stop-shop for job seekers. It’s a tough time economically for a lot of people, and this list could change someone’s life. I’ve directed a couple of people there myself.”

Lytx, a telematic company that uses video to help make roadways safer, said that interviewing during this time is much different, but it is still business as usual. 

To avoid spreading the virus, the company does most interviews through Zoom and has incorporated a video campus tour to give candidates a better feel for its company’s culture.

“Our hiring managers and the candidates haven’t skipped a beat. We’ve already hired several employees,” she said. 

GoSite, a fast-growing local startup that helps companies manage their online presence and customer engagement, also said they have found the resource to be valuable. In particular, software as a service (SaaS) company is honing in on finding key leadership roles during this time. 

Market Shift

Victoria Ashton, vice president of people at GoSite said, “We have really been sure to broadcast as loudly as we can that we’re still hiring and that we’re securing top talent. A shift has occurred where it once was a candidate market and now it’s a bit of an employer positive market. We have continued with all hiring plans and were using this time to double down and support the business with great talent.”

Connect with San Diego Venture Group, a longstanding organization that has devoted much of its efforts to helping mid-level employees transition into engineering and scientists type of roles, said looking on the positive note from this crisis, the life sciences sector has yet to see as many layoffs and is well-positioned. 

“San Diego is a super broad ecosystem: it’s everything from software to mobile to cybersecurity to genomics to therapeutics. So if and when certain industries do get hurt, I think we have a broad enough spectrum of companies that will do well across the macroeconomy,” Mike Krenn, CEO of Connect with SDVG said.

Krenn a syndicator for both investors and entrepreneurs said he had conversations with several venture-backed companies, many are planning layoffs but some companies continue hiring. 

In 2019, the local venture ecosystem had yet another record-breaking year, hitting historical highs with companies raising $3.4 billion from investors, up from $2.8 and $1.8 in the previous two years. Due to COVID-19 impacts, those numbers will be out of reach this year, Krenn said. 

Good Investors

“We’re certainly not going to hit that now in 2020. However, because of our last couple of really good years, with a lot of growth money coming in and raising money from good investors, those same investors will be more inclined to bridge their (portfolio) companies and help them get to the next milestone.”

With that in perspective, Krenn predicts we will come out of this crisis a bit earlier and better positioned than other tech communities cities like Austin, Seattle, and Denver. 

“San Diego has a unique close-knit innovation community, and regardless of our individual missions, visions, and core competencies, the desire to lift up our community members transcends and anchors us. We will emerge stronger from this crisis together as a community.” Navarro said.

To view the developing career resource, job seekers and companies are encouraged to reference the list at www.sandiegolifechanging.org/hiring-in-san-diego/.