ATC Weekend Update November 26

Goodbye from Ross

Hi Y’all

Ross Kiernan
Marketing and Membership Services
Austin Technology Council

After 10 incredible months of living in Austin, it is time that I return back home to Ireland. I am fortunate that this was my first “real job” out of college, I couldn’t have asked for a better experience. Working with the ATC to help strengthen the Austin tech community has been a fantastic journey to be on, but it needs to be said that the highlight of my time with ATC has been the people I’ve met.

It has never ceased to amaze me how supportive the ATC community is, once I became embedded in, and surrounded by the tech industry, it was great to see how far people went to help each other out. The people I’ll miss the most are the ones I’ve seen Monday to Friday, 9-5 every week over the last 10 months. A special thank you to the ATC team, they are relentless when it comes to fulfilling the mission of ATC and a pleasure to work with, I can’t wait to see what they will do next.

If you haven’t already, I encourage you to connect with me on LinkedIn here; who doesn’t want a bunch of C-Level executives in their Network? 


Austin Technology Council Foundation: Building the Future of Tech Talent

Does the Holiday Season have you thinking about how you can give back to the Austin community? Are you looking for a deeper way to connect and contribute to future generations? Or, do you just want to do something that is FUN and outside of your normal routine? If so, the ATC Foundation has opportunities for you!

The ATC Foundation was created to address the need for a strong and sustainable talent pipeline of young people that will keep our technology community alive and well for many years. We want to inspire young people to not only pursue academic pathways in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math fields, we want to encourage them to think BIG and be the next generation’s entrepreneurs. Research shows us that just one external positive role model can change the trajectory of a student, particularly a low-income student who may not have the same opportunities to explore their career options as others. With a focus on these students who could use a little extra inspiration, the Foundation has created opportunities for YOU to get involved!

ATCF has opportunities for you to engage at many different levels. Have an hour? Great! We would love for you to take part in our Career Conversations program at one of several targeted middle schools. Have an hour a week? We have after-school programs that could use your energy and knowledge to help kids learn about technology! Have time on the weekends a few times a year? We have opportunities for you to judge robotics competitions. Our goal is to find an opportunity for you that fits your availability. Every opportunity for these students to engage makes a difference and together we can make a real impact.

In 2017, we will launch an initiative that allows for company-wide volunteer engagement as well as the individual programs we currently have available. If your company is looking to engage, let us know! For more information on any of the Foundation’s programs, please contact me at, call 512-740-6522 or visit, click on “Volunteer Now” and fill out the form. I’ll be in touch as soon as possible.

I wish you a happy and joyous holiday season and hope to see you soon!

All the best,

Molly M. Youn

Hiring Top Talent in an Employee’s Market

Currently, the Austin market is an employee’s market. Unemployment is low, which is great news for the economy, but makes it difficult for companies to find qualified people. Even with a slight increase from 3.3 to 3.5% from September 2015 to September 2016, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that Austin is still 1.4% lower than the national average. To find superior talent, a job must be competitive and enticing. Once several candidates are identified, a hiring team needs to move quickly and be ready to catch that person they covet to complete a team or lead a project.

Since most of Austin’s technically savvy candidates have no trouble finding great work, discovering people who may be interested in a new position takes a skill set that is developed through years of knowledge and numerous tools that most Corporate HR teams may not have at their disposal. In order to address these issues, Luna Data Solutions (LDS) has adapted to better address the shifting Austin industries. As experts in the field of finding the right personnel fit for companies of various sizes and specialties, LDS suggests approaching these hiring dilemmas in the following ways.

Wish List vs. Must List

The job description is the first introduction a candidate is going to have to the position and your company. If the job is too demanding, you may get your perfect candidate, or you may inadvertently exclude the people for which you are searching.

In one recent case, LDS recruiters started work on a mid-level developer role. As our submitted candidates were repeatedly rejected, we dug in a bit deeper into the role and the project. Our recruiters worked with the client’s team and got down to what skills they were missing on their team. Our findings suggested that what the client required was a much more senior person. Once the job requirements were modified to better reflect what our client needed, we had much greater success at matching the right talent to the role.

Had we not known to look closer at the job requirements, it may have taken weeks to realize the issue was not the applicant pool or our screening process, but the job itself. Having that pinned down first is going to save your hiring team a tremendous amount of detective work.

Know Where to Look

Job posting sites are only a few viable places to find candidates. Social media is an excellent tool for identifying people looking for work, collecting feedback about what they like to see in a place of employment, or looking into groups specializing in the field for which you are hiring.

An employee’s market means that people are often not actively looking for work, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t amazing candidates who might be interested in a change. Knowing where these people post those inquiries will save hiring managers or recruiters a great deal of time. Visit groups for the profession you’re seeking, join networking events where these individuals socialize. Think outside the box.

Don’t Keep Them Waiting—You’re Being Interviewed, Too

Once your dream applicants have been identified, setting up interviews is the next step. The level of commitment and organization you show in this step may have a significant impact on whether or not your offer letter is received with joy or ambivalence.

There have been times when LDS has found great candidates for a niche role, only to have a slow interview and hiring process result in a miss for both candidate and client. When a candidate is actively looking, it’s fair to expect that there are several viable roles available for this person.

In one such case, an ideal candidate was forwarded to a client for interview. The process took over a week for the first round, and by that time, the candidate was already fielding offers from other companies. By the time our client realized this was the perfect person for their role, the candidate politely bowed out of the process, having secured a competitive rate and position with another company.

Canceling an interview multiple times, forgetting about the appointment, or making your candidate wait for a response or feedback may result in a qualified candidate accepting a different role if the interview process suggests that one company will value their time and effort more than another.

Know Your Industry Rates

Recruiters need to know that asking about a candidate’s previous pay rates is no longer allowed in several states, and it is anticipated that this law will be here soon, as well. There are ways around the previous salary question, but the safest approach will be to know what the market dictates for pay rates on any given position. Is your offering competitive? Is the candidate asking for too much based on experience and the needs of the role?

LDS, acting as arbitrator between candidate and client, is often called upon to make salary or pay rate offers based on the client’s project budget and there are times we are forced to explain that for the qualifications and experience for which a client wants to hire, the pay rate needs to be modified to meet Austin market demands. Sometimes this is within the budget of a given project, and sometimes the job requirements need modification. Knowing which dial to move is the key to finding the right people who will enthusiastically join your company and team.

Adapt to Meet New Challenges

Luna Data Solutions (LDS), one of the most well established Austin-based technology recruiting firms, has diversified to offer specialized recruiting and consultative solutions to accommodate the evolving needs of our clients nationwide. We’ve watched as certain technology specializations have developed into vibrant industries of their own, and we’ve tried to meet that new complexity with clarity in approach and purpose.

Our two new practices focus on the exciting Creative and Marketing and Health Sciences domains. As a customer-first organization, we’ve seen the need for diversification and have met this growing demand with our new verticals, enabling us to continue to deliver the ‘Luna’ level of service we’ve provided since our founding in 2000. In addition to our concentration expansion, LDS is also in the process of opening offices in the Houston and Dallas markets in 2017 to advance talent and consultation services in those regions as well.

Visit the Luna Data Solutions website at for additional information on our selection of solutions or call our Austin office at 512-828-7906. As we grow to meet varied market demands, we strive to maintain a nimble, solutions-driven culture of excellent customer service and candidate care.

Sixth Circuit: Data Breach Victims’ Heightened Risk of Future Harm Establishes Article III Standing

Until now, a company’s exposure to direct liability type claims for potential harm as a result of a Cyber breach has been gauged as relatively low. A recent decision in the Sixth Circuit has changed all of that and we expect that the Supreme Court will at some point hear a case similar to the one outlined for you below. In a recent article summarized below, Kevin LaCroix author of the D & O Diaries blog discusses the court’s decision and the impact it could have on companies in the future.

One of a defendants most significant arguments in opposing data breach victims’ negligence and breach of privacy claims has been that the claimants that have not suffered actual fraud or identity theft can show no discernible injury and therefore lack Article III standing to assert their claims.

Appellate decisions in the Seventh and Ninth Circuit have previously taken a bite out of this defense, in rulings holding that the victims’ fear of future harm is sufficient to establish standing.

In a case involving alleged victims of a data breach at Nationwide Mutual Insurance Company, the Sixth Circuit has joined others, holding that the claimants’ heightened risk for fraud and mitigation costs were sufficient to establish Article III standing. The Sixth Circuit’s September 12, 2016 opinion, which can be found here, represents the latest in a series of developments evincing courts’ increasing willingness to recognize fear of potential future harm as sufficient to establish standing, which in turn may make it easier for the plaintiffs’ claims in these kinds of data breach cases to go forward

What the Court Decision Means for Companies Regarding Data Breaches

One particular aspect of the Sixth Circuit’s decision may be particularly troubling for companies that have experienced data breaches. In support of its conclusion that the plaintiffs had standing, the Sixth Circuit cited the fact that Nationwide had offered the data breach victims credit monitoring and identify-theft services.

The appellate court said that these moves showed that even Nationwide recognized that the risk of harm was great enough to support these kinds of protective measures. Many companies routinely offer these types of services following a data breach. The concern may now be that offering these kinds of remedial or ameliorative services may actually be held against companies and used as the basis for claimants to establish standing. Companies and their advisers may now need to rethink how to respond and what steps to take following a data breach.

Unless and until the Supreme Court weighs in and sorts out these issues, data breach victims will continue to try, with apparent likelihood of success, that their claims of potential future harm are sufficient to establish Article III standing, even if they cannot allege actual identify theft. The availability of these kinds of arguments not only will make it more difficult for defendants to secure dismissal on Article III standing grounds, but it may encourage more data breach victims to try to pursue negligence and privacy breach type claims.

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