Comcast vs. Amazon for Philly Tech Talent

Tonight, both companies go head-to-head.

There’s a talent war going on in Philadelphia. Last week, Technically Philly reported that Amazon was coming to town for a three-day recruiting fest at the Loews Hotel in Center City. The Seattle-based online retail giant is offering immigration assistance and a “comprehensive relocation package,” to potential employees, Technically reported. It’s holding an invite-only party tonight and will be in town until Friday.

But after Comcast learned about the Amazon recruiting event, it decided to hold its own invite-only event at the Loews bar during happy hour. It invited contacts at Aramark, local tech companies and industry groups. Although positioned as a celebration of the local tech scene, Comcast spokesman John Demming confirmed that the company will be recruiting at the event.

“Philadelphia is a great city for top tech talent,” said Demming. “The whole goal of the event is to celebrate the tech community and enable the tech community to network and recruit.”

Perhaps it’s a response to Amazon inviting “a handful” of Comcast employees to its event, a source close to the situation told me. That comes while Comcast is in major growth mode and constructing a new skyscraper where it hopes to focus on innovation.

There’s little doubt that recruiting in the tech world is fierce these days, and that companies are taking notice of Philly’s rich pool of tech talent.

Patrick Baynes, co-founder of PeopleLinx and GameTimeUpdates, told me he’s not surprised that the two companies are recruiting heavily in Philly. (He wasn’t invited to either recruiting event, but wanted to offer some insight.)

“Recruiting tech talent for any company is tough. The best candidates are usually scarce, employed and expensive,” said Baynes. “For juggernauts like Amazon and Comcast, it shouldn’t be too hard to find a pool of techies in Philly ready for a leap in salary and career stability. Most of the visible tech companies in Philly are startups and don’t hire at their scale or with their pay grade.”