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Employer Requirements in Job Descriptions.

By Observant ·
Given the state of the economy and the fact that there are several million people unemployed right now, this seems like a good opportunity to pose a question for the employers rather than job seekers.

We've all been told to never lie on our resume. This can include the term ?Padding? which means that I could say I have 10 years experience in something when I've only had 5 years, etc.

Having been unemployed since October 2008, I have a great deal of exposure to job descriptions and employers seeking to fill positions via the Internet and I am appalled at what I see to the point I would love to grab both the hiring manager and HR by the shoulders and give them ?shaken baby syndrome?. It is absolutely unforgivable the amount of padding I've seen slathered in a job description. When I read them, I know at least one of three things. ? One, the job was simply posted perfunctorily just to keep the company within the law and is intended for an internal candidate. Two, the hiring manager and HR did not effectively review the description before posting it. Three, assuming that number two is incorrect, I would guess that the description was a hodge-podge of experiences collated from the existing managers' portfolio or a combination of several employee skill sets and it was just convenient to just throw it all together and chuck it over the fence.

The first item is pretty much a given. The third is a bit more obscure but it doesn't take much searching to realize that you could live to be older than Moses and still not accumulate the combined skill sets necessary..... Which brings me to the second item which is the most glaring. If you will look as some of the job descriptions with a critical (black hat kind of thinking), eventually things will start to stand out and I will just mention one here which should make every tech out there snort their Mt. Dew! ? So here is a job requirement that I've seen recently and it's becoming more and more prevalent.

?Must have 5 years experience in Windows Server 2008?

It will be interesting to hear of other faux-pas.

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Told to me by a Sun employee in 1995

by JamesRL In reply to Employer Requirements in ...

Must have 5 years experience in developing on java platform.....

At that time, they were not sure that even the inventor of Java had that much experience in it, it was formally released in 1995, though there were betas out there.


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More statements from years of trying...

by mark.christy In reply to Told to me by a Sun emplo ...

At an all employee meeting at Cisco Systems, during a rather fierce hiring spree, John Chambers stated that if you hadn't interviewed with at least (read many more than) 20 people or possible co-workers, then you were not the right person to be here (at Cisco). The hall got really quiet, and a shuffle-murmur ensued. But he meant it. That is a big company, and I interviewed more than 20, over 5 interviews... whew!!! But - many had not I am sure... I also know from informational interviews, that the top 3-5 hard job skills are usually the most important. After that they do get lost in the noise (from a hiring manager of another large company)... enjoy and good luck!

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There were a few

by Ed Woychowsky In reply to Told to me by a Sun emplo ...

Java was originally called <a href="">Oak</a>. It was originally created for game development, which is why you'll find <a href="">sprites</a> in the bowels of Java.

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Given your job role

by Tony Hopkinson In reply to Employer Requirements in ...

presumably in your previous employment, I must confess to some surprise. If there was a key area where a CIO/CTO should get involved it would be getting the right people, as it is, you guys keep leaving it up to HR, who know naff all about tech, or some twit with a phone and email on commission.
My current favourite was a hit from a recruiter for developing with something called Merlin. Never heard of it, it is on my cv/resume though. It's the name of the road I live on....

That tells me everything I need to know about IT recruitment in the industry. Nobody but the people looking for a job are putting any resource into it.

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by Ed Woychowsky In reply to Employer Requirements in ...

In 1998 I worked at a company that had a requirement for a web master with a minimum of 7 years experience. Knowing something on the subject I thought that I?d throw my hat in the ring, so I asked about the job opening. HR told me that 7 years was the minimum number of years to justify the starting salary.

In the end they actually hired someone that claimed to have been working as a web master since the early 1980's. The guy that they hired was either a liar or a time traveler.

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by jck In reply to Years

he worked at MIT, CICS, or DARPA (or was Al Gore :^0 )

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it's one thing I have always hated

by jck In reply to Employer Requirements in ...

about job ads:

Most companies post this "wish list" rather than what the job will really entail.

It makes me mad.

So you want someone with 10 years DBA experience in Oracle, 10 years, SQL Server, expert VB/VB.NET programming skills, Windows NT 3.51/4.0/2000/2003/2008/Linux/AIX/Unix/HP-UX/Cray XMP-32 admin experience, and able to leap tall buildings in a single bound?

Call superman.

I usually won't even apply for a position where the job entails more than 2 facets of a profession. If they want a systems analyst, senior programmer, senior DBA, web content developer, IT projects lead and IT support manager...they better be willing to shovel out $250k a year plus overtime and make a day have 40 hours.

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Requirements vs. Need

by stevieg In reply to Employer Requirements in ...

Greetings, all,

Other than some short consulting engagements I have not held a "real" job since 5/07.

What I have subsequently observed is that while the hiring manager may very well know his needs, these are expressed in the most general terms to HR, where I suspect the job posting is created.

Unfortunately, lacking astute technical skills the HR staff take the given requirements as literal and inflexible.

Frequent occurrences: I have been turned down for positions for a "release engineer" because my resume has SCM all over it and not release engineer specifically. After fifteen years in this field I can with a high degree of confidence say that SCM is a general term that encompasses all builds and deployments. However this is never explained to those who do the initial screening and hence, no further activity.

If I were to embellish my resume by adding release engineer to my resume and elaborate for every position, my resume would soon approach c.v. size and this is not acceptable.

If only HR were given minimal technical knowledge, even a comprehensive glossary, I thin the situation outlined above would happen less frequently.



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Somewhat true with a twist

by Observant In reply to Requirements vs. Need


Although I could see where HR should have some technical exposure, it would be near impossible for them to have a smattering of skills from each position within an organization (especially the larger ones).

What I'd really like to see is for HR to do their job properly and actually ask the hiring manager "is this a BFOQ?"

By the way, many in HR do not know what that means (it stands for Boni Fide Occupational Qualification). I recently saw a job description that blathered on and included a statement that said "Must have... (such and such certification)" just for a help desk position. I contacted them to discuss this and when I mentioned the phrase "BFOQ" they thought I was swearing at them.... No kidding. ... By law, you cannot have a "Must have..." as a requirement (versus a "prefered") if you have other staff doing the work without it.

Second, HR needs to work with hiring managers to develop current, accurate job descriptions (to weed out the need for an expert in Windows 3.11).

This kind of padding actually hurts an organization because it rules out very good, motivated people that will work the job diligently and are willing to learn and grow within the company. Granted, they will receive a greater number of resumes to review, but given they take less than 30 seconds to scan a resume anyway, they could include a statement about "no padded resumes will be accepted!" ... Plus, with today's technology, a resume is electronically scanned for key words.

Got a deal for HR, ... Don't pad your job descriptions and I won't pad my experience.


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