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Having Trouble Finding Tech Employees?

Why are so many entrepreneurs struggling to find qualified tech employees?

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This story appears in the April 2006 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

After three months of looking for a technician to install phone systems, Sheila Mayer Tobier has yet to find one she wants to hire. Those she has found through a combination of networking and online job banks have either lacked the skills she wants, not returned her calls, or been lured away by other offers of employment. "It's always hard to find people," says the 50-year-old co-founder of Proactive Solutions Inc., a seven-person, $1 million telecommunications and home automation business in Plantation, Florida, that she started with Richard Tobier, 45. "But it seems to be a little more difficult now."

The supply of technically trained employees started shrinking last year, according to Tom Gerace, CEO and co-founder of Boston-based Gather Inc., an online source for user-generated content. "Last year, hiring technical workers didn't pose a problem for this company," says Gerace, 35. "We found terrific talent and were able to recruit people on schedule. This year, we're seeing the market as much more competitive for talent."

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