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Why Some Tech Workers Leaving Silicon Valley Are Changing Jobs

Tech companies in smaller cities are starting to see an uptick in applications from candidates living in San Francisco and New York—areas that have long had a grip on tech talent.

Deepinder Singh, founder of a Bloomington, Minn.-based startup, had never bothered trying to recruit Silicon Valley tech workers. They were too expensive and didn’t want to move. In seven years, he had never gotten an applicant from a large tech company.

But since May, more than a dozen people on both coasts have applied for jobs with his company, 75F Inc., which makes internet-connected, energy-saving HVAC control systems. One résumé came from Facebook Inc. ; another came from Twitter Inc. The 130-employee firm just hired an engineer from Sonos Inc.

He has seen the reverse—employees leaving for Google and Tesla—but, he said, “We’ve never actually seen this.”

For years, high-talent tech workers have been drawn to Silicon Valley, willing to put up with exorbitant housing prices and long commutes to benefit from the skill and experience of their colleagues, and the largess of employers and investors. The result, a culture of entrepreneurialism and inspiration, has been hard to match elsewhere.



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