IT Skills Gap: What We've Got Here Is A Failure To Communicate - InformationWeek

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IT Skills Gap: What We've Got Here Is A Failure To Communicate
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zerox203
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zerox203,
User Rank: Ninja
7/15/2015 | 8:08:42 PM
Re: It Skills Gap: What We've Got Here Is A Failure To Communicate
I have a lot to say on this topic. First, perhaps views from people on both sides of the interview table are bound to be biased - a hiring manager would never admit he discriminated against someone unfairly, and a job-seeker would rarely admit he didn't get a job due to his own failings. It's a topic we all have a personal stake in - as evidenced by the number and variety of passionate comments here. Dave mentions job descriptions written by non-IT people. I read lists of job requirements that look like cake recipes, yet, when you sit down at the interview table, the person you talk to is more interested in your approach to problem-solving, your adaptability, and your 'soft' (re: people) skills. They'll gladly work around a lack of experience with one type of API/hardware and bring you up to speed. But you often could never get to the interview table because you're off the list without that experience. How backwards!

On top of GAProgrammer's points, the salary issue is two-sided. They can pay more, or prune their requirement of the unnecessary and open the job up to legions of applicants (yes, even programmers) who would be overjoyed to take even less than the wage they're offering. If they've no problem accepting H-1B applicants as a cost-saving measure (not implying anything about H-1B holders), why not these people? I've noticed some employers finally putting 'degree or equivalent experience' in their listings, a nod to the alternative educational or entrepeneurial paths one can take to IT. There's a lack of clarity in bullet-point listings: for "1-5 years" of experience in a specialized subfield (say, "OpenStack" v "Cloud Computing"), is five years of the generic skill better than one year of the specialized one, or not? I think we all know a shakeup is needed here, but we likely won't see one for some time.
GAProgrammer
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GAProgrammer,
User Rank: Ninja
7/13/2015 | 11:10:18 AM
I had to laugh at the final comments...
It doesn't sounds like a communications problem, it sounds like a money problem.

John Reed, senior executive director for Robert Half Technology, told us in arecent InformationWeek article on rising IT salaries: "Companies have begun to -- I hesitate to say relax their standards -- but to at least adjust their expectations for the skills they can get for the money they had allocated to that role. Companies every day are saying, 'Wow, we wanted a five-year experienced person, but it looks like we'll only get a three-year experienced person.'"

They want someone with X years of experience,yet don't want to PAY for that many years of experience, so they settle for X-3 years of experience instead. So it seems clear that they need to say we need X-3 years of experience at this salary instead of shooting for the moon and hoping someone with X number of years of experience will just settle. Props to IT pros for sticking to their guns and demanding the salaries they deserve! Of course, once you get that salary, you have to be sure you earn it!
moarsauce123
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moarsauce123,
User Rank: Ninja
7/11/2015 | 9:53:36 AM
HR excuse to shop for someone cheaper
When a candidate is rejected for a position HR tells them they are overqualified. That may not be true at all, it just puts a positive spin on the rejection. Often times there is also not enough budget for the position. Although the candidate would be a perfect fit for the job the company already knows they cannot pay what the needed talent will cost due to budget constraints. So HR needs to shop for someone cheaper and they typically find nobody....unless the intention was all along just to reject a few US candidates to hire H1B instead because there are no US candidates that match the requirements.
Whatiswhatguy
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Whatiswhatguy,
User Rank: Apprentice
7/10/2015 | 11:04:00 PM
Re: Overqualified
One should also factor in C-Suite or senior management influence of qualified candidates. You may never hear something like "Purge employees with more than 'x' number of years experience and re-staff with candidates with 5 or less years experience." but it happens in reality non-the-less. Sometimes its not the skills & capabilities are not available but rather they are beyond budget constraints. I don't think one needs to narrate and link this to the macro-economic impact or state of things.

Before shifting to a 'freelance' oriented career, I sensed this preference applying and interviewing for Business Intelligence Analyst positions. I recall job posting after job posting for my line of work include some variant of statements like "H1-B Visa candidates encouraged". 
Technocrati
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Technocrati,
User Rank: Ninja
7/9/2015 | 2:16:25 PM
IT Hiring and Office Managers /HR From Hell .......

The dreaded Office Manger can be added to the slowness in hiring - I recently experience an interview where the technical person was fine with my experience, background ...etc but the real problem was the other person in the room ( who I assume was the Office Manger/HR since they never identified themselves). In any case it was obvious they were not in tech as they tried to grill me about topics they clearly had little knowledge about.    It was really ludicrous to watch this person pretend they knew what they were talking about and why were they in the interview anyway ?

Apparently I had to impress them as well and then maybe I would get a second interview where I would have to impress yet someone else who probably knows little to nothing about tech as well.  

This was not an enterprise and with hiring practices like this they will never become one either. 

Technocrati
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Technocrati,
User Rank: Ninja
7/9/2015 | 1:42:13 PM
Re: Corporate Hiring Theater

@MemphisITDude   Thank you for telling it like it actually is.   I have seen what you mention my entire career.  The listing of most positions are just because they have to do it - hiring most often comes from inside and in most cases your resume will have to stand out and your interview will have to be persuasive enough to counter a decision that has already been made before you even step through the door.

Technocrati
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Technocrati,
User Rank: Ninja
7/9/2015 | 1:38:32 PM
Modern Day Myth: The IT Shortage

The fact is there is no IT skill shortage.   The problem is as everyone has alluded to - companies do not have a process that is realistic, couple that with "It's who you know, not what you know" and we have this ridiculous notion that someone has termed an "IT Shortage".

MemphisITDude
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MemphisITDude,
User Rank: Strategist
7/9/2015 | 10:31:31 AM
Corporate Hiring Theater
You're right about the "poker game" - the bigger the company, the more of a game it is... In a small market my experience has been people on a development team generally want a specific persion. When I was with a Fortune 500 company years ago, HR processes were something to be worked around. A typical behind-the-scenes hiring discussion was "well we have to post the job tomorrow and we'll interview people and go through HR, but we want YOU." So while the survey numbers don't make sense, they sort of do...
PedroGonzales
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PedroGonzales,
User Rank: Ninja
7/8/2015 | 10:46:41 PM
Re: Overqualified
I agree many employers have high expectactions. As a former job seeker, I did noticed many job descriptions had at least 8 technology requirements and 5 to 10 years experience.  For a recent grad, it is discouraging.  I think there should be better guidance in school; if schools are turning up computer science students, they should prepare them for jobs, help them with creating a portfolio of work, providing internships.  Unless, you have experience, it is very difficult to get an interview or get notice by an employer.

Also, learning to navigate and match the correct keyword is another type of work by itself.

    
simple77
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simple77,
User Rank: Apprentice
7/8/2015 | 3:40:37 PM
Re: Overqualified - no It was always like if we train then they will find better jobs
The serious trouble with indian IT services set up is it never did any forward thinking in terms of  providin more core technology services. What  existed till now was a rat race to increase the revenue  by getting into large long terms deals to provide low end testing. maintenance support services and coding services.

The Onsite and client knows best culture resulted in work force whose creative thinking not to mention the (and boss is always right culture.

Technical professional were forced to move into management roles with in  3-4 years in testing and with in 5 years in development so that they become machines that produce more IT workers with low end skill.
Also people were rotated frequently so that they dont gain deep domain focussed technical skill  and serve to provide commditized services.

The training programs were made superficial so that the campus recruits dont out grow jobs.

A huge middle mangemnt layer (team leads, managers delviery manager, direcotors ) has been created and this leyer lack  deep technical skills and managment skill ( non people management skills)

Espcially in testing the profession that was seriously affected by the reckless commodization each junior levelmanagers is expected to handle min 50 - 70  people to save costs at offshore.

IT services never invested even 1% of their profits into any strategic initiative.

 
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