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After Announcing Huge Layoffs, HP Seeks 1,302 New Hires

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Engineers and programmers worried about impending layoffs at Hewlett-Packard, which announced on Tuesday that it plans to cut 14,500 jobs, might want to start sending their resumes around internally. That's because a check of the "Jobs at HP" Website indicates the company is still recruiting for lots of open positions. A search of the site on Friday afternoon returned requisitions for 1,302 open positions, including a wide variety of engineering, software development, and customer-support slots.

Analyzing the openings by geographic breakdown, HP is recruiting for 244 positions in the United States, as well as 419 positions located in Bangalore, India. There are also 112 job openings in China, 22 in France, 55 in Poland, 22 in Malaysia, 12 in Taiwan, 18 in Slovakia, 21 in Thailand, 10 in Israel, and 27 in the Phillipines, among the listings.

Many of the open positions could be filled by personnel already at the company, HP said Friday. "It is our hope that these positions will be filled internally," Robert Sherbin, an HP spokesman, told TechWeb. "Of course to do that, we need to ensure that there is a proper alignment of skills and experience."

The HP spokesperson rejected the notion that there was anything anomalous about the process of looking for new hires amid the cuts. "These headcount reductions are being made with an enormous amount of focus and attention and care," Sherbin said. "They are not being spread across the organization. They are in specific targeted areas where we need to better allocate our resources. Those who are affected will be treated fairly, with severance packages. Where possible, we will seek to fill open jobs with [personnel] that may be affected."

In announcing the cuts on Tuesday, HP CEO Mark Hurd said that most of the reductions will come in support functions such as information technology, human resources and finances. HP spokesman Sherbin said that the company has not provided a geographic breakdown of the planned layoffs. "We have three main operating regions -- the Americas, EMEA( Europe, Middle East and Africa), and Asia/Pacific/Japan -- [that] are affected by the layoffs," Sherbin said. "There is headcount that is being reduced in each of those areas, but at the same time there are open positions. What we are trying to do is align resources with our requirements."

Pink-slipped HP workers looking to align their skills with the new positions will find a mix of support and technology openings listed as available when "United States" is selected as the location in the drop-down menu on the HP Jobs site.

The list of 244 domestic openings includes several dozen technical opportunities (including a temporary job as a storage engineer and a senior C++ engineer with a security clearance to work on-site at the Los Alamos National Laboratories). However, there are many more program management and technical support positions, as well hundreds of sales and related support openings throughout the United States.

The listings for India are dominated not by support, but rather by a large number of full-time technical opportunities, the likes of which could be expected to get most developers salivating at the prospects. For example, there are three openings in Bangalore for senior software engineers needed to work on projects in the storage-data backup and restore area. According to the job descriptions, candidates require "three or more years of software development experience working on client-server products in C and C++, in Unix or Windows environments." They’ll also need skills in software development and debugging, the ability to "generate creative and innovative solutions," and fluency in English.

HP's Bangalore operation is also seeking two senior .NET developers, four positions for "core" software design engineers with experience in Unix and Linux internals, three entry level software engineers, and a team leader with experience in Microsoft technology, to "give guidance on technical issues, and resolve technical conflicts," according to the job description.

Also on the Bangalore list is a software test and quality assurance engineer, to work on certifying HP's NonStop SQL/MX product, and separate software engineers to work on Open VMS, embedded Linux networking, Java, HP-UX internals, C++, I/O testing, Visual C++ for handheld applications, and J2EE.

In addition, there are two very high-level positions for research scientists, the first to work on handwriting recognition technology, the other on digital multimedia broadcasting. Those are the kinds of positions which might be appropriate for some of the researchers about to be made redundant by the cuts HP is reportedly making in some of its research projects. HP has already indicated that, of the 70 or so employees of HP Labs who are subject to layoff, some may find work elsewhere in the company.

HP support personnel also have numerous opportunities to land in other non-U.S. countries. The Jobs at HP site listings included openings for a field-support engineer in Kazakstan, an SAP Project Manager in the Philippines; an outsourcing manager in Poland. Also on the list are 15 "collaboration support" specialists in Russia, requiring fluency in a non-English language, such as Polish, Finnish or Czech.

By Alexander Wolfe
TechWeb News

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