Hashtag Trending Feb.23- Companies losing top talent with long hiring processes; Intel – the “foundry for the world?”; AT&T outage


If you know me, you know I’m passionate about three things – music, books and data. My interview on the weekend edition hits two of those passions. I read a book called Winning with Data Science, and it blew me away. So, I reached out and managed to get one of the authors, Howard Friedman in for an interview. Check it out on the Weekend Edition. 


Companies are hiring for IT jobs in Canada but long hiring processes may have them losing top talent. Intel is set to split into two companies to become the “foundry for the world” A US nation-wide outage affects AT&T and other carriers and a blog post about the benefits of job hopping goes viral on LinkedIn.

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All this and more on the “can you hear me now?” edition of Hashtag Trending. I’m your host Jim Love, CIO of IT World Canada and TechNewsDay in the US. 

A recent study by Robert Half reveals that over 50% of Canadian technology managers are set to continue hiring in the first half of 2024, despite facing significant challenges in finding skilled talent. 

This is driven by factors such as anticipated company growth, increased turnover, and a notable skills gap among current employees. 

The opportunity to capitalize on talent laid off from other companies is a key strategy for many.

The study, which surveyed executives, senior managers, and workers across small, medium, and large businesses in Canada, highlights a strategic shift towards hiring more contract professionals, especially in burgeoning fields like AI, machine learning, cloud architecture, and software development. 

This move is to advance projects that were previously put on hold in 2023.

But recruiting the right talent isn’t easy. Nearly half of the managers surveyed acknowledged skill gaps within their teams were affecting the quality of work and project completion. The greatest challenges lie in securing talent proficient in AI and machine learning, security, privacy and compliance, and cloud architecture and operations.

The report advises recruiters to act swiftly to fill these gaps, noting that the hiring process has become more prolonged than in previous years, with 64% of managers reporting longer hiring times. 

To combat this, companies are encouraged to streamline their interview processes and offer competitive compensation and benefits packages to attract and retain top talent.

Interestingly, the study also sheds light on the priorities of workers seeking new opportunities, with higher salaries, advancement opportunities, benefits, perks, and flexible work options topping the list. The challenge for recruiters is to meet these expectations while navigating the higher salary demands and preferences for flexibility that lead to losing skilled candidates to competitors.

Despite the hurdles, this study indicates that the Canadian tech sector remains resilient, with a clear focus on growth and innovation. As companies adapt to these challenges, the landscape for hiring and employment in technology continues to evolve.

Sources include: ITBusiness.ca

In a strategic pivot aimed at reshaping its future, Intel is splitting into two distinct entities. This move is not just about restructuring; Intel is trying to become the world’s second-largest chip manufacturer by 2030. 

Speaking at Intel’s Foundry Direct Connect event in San Jose, California Intel CEO Pat Gelsinger said “We want to be the foundry for the world. If we’re going to be the Western foundry at scale, we can’t be discriminating in who’s participating in that,” 

By dividing its operations, Intel is hoping to win business from rivals traditionally viewed as competitors.

The split creates two independent organizations under the Intel umbrella: Intel Foundry Services (IFS) and Intel’s Product division. IFS will now encompass technology development, supply chains, fabrication, and packaging services, marking a significant expansion of its capabilities. 

The Product division will concentrate on developing and licensing client, desktop, and networking equipment, operating similarly to a fabless chipmaker.

The two divisions will have separate staff, processes, and even sales forces. This allows Intel to engage in arm’s length transactions between its foundry and product groups.

Intel’s strategy also involves deepening its collaboration with Arm, aiming to make Arm’s intellectual property available on Intel’s process nodes. This partnership, described as “strange bedfellows” by Arm CEO Rene Haas, underscores the unconventional yet promising alliances Intel is forging to fill its fabs and push the boundaries of technology.

With this focus on chip manufacturing Intel is also hoping to take a substantial of the 39 billion dollars of subsidies for chip fabrication in the US and EU CHIPS Act.

But Gelsinger is not yet ready to spin off the foundry business entirely, taking a cautious approach to fully separating Intel’s manufacturing capabilities from its product innovation arm. 

But the move towards creating legally distinct entities hints at a future where Intel could move depending on the success of this initial split.

Sources include: The Register

In a significant disruption that unfolded across the United States, thousands found themselves without cell service as AT&T, alongside other providers, faced network outages. 

This widespread service interruption left many unable to make calls, send texts, or access the internet on their mobile devices, raising concerns over public safety and the ability to reach emergency services.

AT&T was the most affected carrier. Reports of service disruptions peaked early Thursday, with Downdetector noting over 73,000 complaints shortly after 8:30 a.m. ET. 

Customers reported a complete loss of signal, rendering their mobile phones unusable. 

The outages predominantly affected major cities including Houston, Atlanta, and Chicago. 

AT&T responded with advisories for customers to rely on Wi-Fi calling while efforts were underway to restore full service. By later in the day, the company announced that three-quarters of the network had been reinstated, with ongoing work to reach full restoration.

Verizon and T-Mobile users also encountered service issues, albeit on a smaller scale compared to AT&T’s challenges. Verizon assured that their network was “operating normally,” suggesting some difficulties arose from attempts to connect with users on the impacted AT&T network. T-Mobile’s stance mirrored this, attributing Downdetector’s outage reports to similar cross-network connection attempts rather than an internal failure.

The outages extended were more than an inconvenience. 

Authorities, including the San Francisco Fire Department and police departments in Irving, Texas, and Prince William County, Virginia, were affected.

The incident serves as a stark reminder of our dependency on digital connectivity and there will no doubt be investigations to determine the cause of the outage.

Sources include: Axios

A couple of updates our our Reddit stories of the past few day. It turns out that Google was the AI company that was willing to pay Reddit 60 million dollars a year for access to their data. 

And another Reddit tid-bit. As the company goes public it is planning to offer the opportunity to buy shares to its most loyal supporters. Forum moderators and those with over 2,000 karma points, the mark of a Reddit contributor will get preferential treatment, something that is usually reserved for large corporate investors. 

Sources: Various

In a candid LinkedIn post that has since gone viral, Seattle-based software engineer Alex Nguyen shares his view on job hopping, challenging the traditional notion of company loyalty. 

Having moved between Amazon, Microsoft, and Google within a span of three years, Nguyen’s career sparked a spirited conversation about employer-employee loyalty in the modern workforce.

Nguyen pointed out the financial benefits of job-hopping. He netted a 20% salary increase by moving from Amazon to Microsoft for a role with identical responsibilities. He noted that It’s a lot easier to ace a job interview than to get promoted.

Nguyen’s post sparked a spirited debate and some downright nasty comments. Some argued that a resume filled with short stints may deter potential employers, while supporters applauded the opportunity for growth, connections and passion over job stability.

But is raises a couple of questions. If companies can axe jobs to meet profit objectives, why should employees not move to enhance their earnings? But in a world where we all essentially become glorified contractors or “guns for hire” how do you build a unique company culture? Isn’t a company’s competitive advantage it’s team? 

And can you have customer loyalty if you don’t have employee loyalty? 

Sources include: GeekWire

Hashtag Trending goes to air five days a week with daily newscast and a weekend interview show that we creatively called – the weekend edition. 

I got comments on my story yesterday on the growth in C level titles. Thanks. I am really interested in what you think about AI and your reaction to the story today. 

I like to keep it real and knowing what you think is a big help. 

Send us a note at [email protected] or drop us a comment under the show notes at itworldcanada.com/podcasts – look for Hashtag Trending. 

Thanks for listening and have a Fabulous Friday.

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Jim Love, Chief Content Officer, IT World Canada
Jim Love
Jim Lovehttp://www.itworldcanada.com/
I've been in IT and business for over 30 years. I worked my way up, literally from the mail room and I've done every job from mail clerk to CEO. Today I'm CIO of a great company - IT World Canada - Canada's leading ICT publisher.

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