Tech talent is in demand and real estate is just one industry courting the best and the brightest software engineers.

Of the 123 current job openings at Zillow, just over half (62) are for technology positions. Tech positions also make up a good chunk of the jobs at Zillow competitors Trulia, Redfin and operator Move Inc.

Of the 70 open positions at Move, 29 involve tech. Fourteen of Trulia’s 38 open positions are tech-related. And more than a third of Redfin’s 22 job openings (eight) are for engineers.

The reality of a competitive market for tech pros in the real estate space and with giants like Google, Facebook and others, in part, prompted Zillow to be proactive about scaring up the best coders — even if they’ve been away from the scene for a while.

Zillow CEO Spencer Rascoff’s Twitter account is sprinkled with tweets about his firm’s recruiting efforts. See a few others here, here and here.

To satisfy its voracious appetite for tech talent Zillow has developed a paid internship program it’s calling a “Returnship” to bring experienced engineers on board who have taken time off to raise a kid, travel or to pursue some other endeavor.

The pilot program is restricted to five software engineers who will join product teams for a three-month stint at Zillow’s headquarters in Seattle. The return interns will get access to extra training and classes while participating as a member of a Zillow product team.

Zillow and the intern will evaluate each other over the course of the three months and decide if a full-time position makes sense once the program period ends, the program’s mastermind, Kristin Acker, Zillow’s vice president of product teams, told Inman.

The idea for the internship-like program for midcareer profiles came from the gaps Zillow saw in a lot of resumes for potential candidates, Acker said.

If things go well, Zillow will consider expanding the program to other positions and offices next fall after Zillow’s regular crop of college interns wrap up and head back to school, and when moms, who are one talent segment Zillow’s targeting with the program, may have the time to jump into the program, Acker added.

The program’s open to pros with five years of experience who have a B.S. in computer science or related field. It’s set to run from Feb. 2 to April 30 and includes 10 days of vacation time.

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