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How one Tampa tech company is taking on the talent challenge

Margie Manning



The MyArea Network team

An internship program has been among the factors that has helped MyArea Network nearly double its staff.

The Tampa digital media company has a staff of 22, with nine jobs added in the past six months. It plans to add 20 more jobs over the next eight to 12 months, a news release said.

MyArea Network said it has hired several interns as permanent full-time staff, working with University of South Florida, University of Tampa and other schools — a strategy that has helped the company take on the talent challenge.

Talent is often cited as the biggest issue founders face in the Tampa-St. Pete region, according to an Aug. 28 report from startup hub Embarc Collective.

Embarc, which earlier created a job listing site, examined 324 jobs listings from 21 companies, then analyzed how long it took to hire a new employee and what factors impacted that time to hire.

Time to hire: It took an average of 44 days to fill a position, although some listings took as long as 187 days to fill. About one-quarter of the jobs were filled in 17 days and half were filled in 30 days.

Location: One factor that had little impact on time to hire was the location of a job. The median job listing lifetime for a job based in or near Tampa-St. Pete was 27 days, compared to 34 days for a job based outside the region. The difference wasn’t enough to be significant, the report said.

Job descriptions: Listings with a job description were taken down eight days faster on average than listings without a job description. A job description was the only factor that Embarc found that had a pronounced impact on how long it took to fill a job.

As of Aug. 30, MyArea Network had 12 listings on the Embarc job listing website and 14 job posts on its own career page, including jobs in writing and photography, digital marketing, software and sales.

The company’s founder and CEO, Scott Conlon, “wants the Tampa Bay ecosystem to be a nationally recognized market for attracting tech talent and companies,” said Rich Heruska, accelerator director of Tampa Bay Wave. MyArea Network is part of Wave, a Tampa nonprofit that services and houses young technology companies.

Related story: Meet the new investors at MyArea Network

MyArea Network publishes entertainment and lifestyles websites, with locations in Tampa, Orlando and Austin, and 150 sites across the United States, Canada and Puerto Rico. Locally, it operates and

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