IT Employment

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Lots of IT jobs but vacant for MONTHS!

By murso ·
I am just wondering if anyone else has noticed the following trend and why it is happening. Starting around 12/05, I noticed more IT jobs began to open up in my area after the "drop off a sheer cliff" back in '00. Now, companies are begging for IT staff and yet they are taking weeks and months to actually hire people. The jobs are posted and stay posted for as long as 8 months or more.

But why?????????????

There are thousands of highly skilled and talented IT folk in my area, I personally have more work freelance than I can handle and yet companies cannot seem to get off their asses to actually hire someone.
One position I had applied for back in March is STILL up for grabs and it is basic IT stuff. I finally emailed the HR person in frustration just to get a bead on why the position was still open and she said the "interview team" was still gathering itself to start the process after getting hundreds (her words) of qualified applicants.

Anyone got any clues about this trend?

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If the ads are from employment agencies ...

by stress junkie In reply to Lots of IT jobs but vacan ...

... then they are really just trying to collect resumes. It is a common practice among employment agencies to try to collect resumes. Then when a job becomes available the agency has a stack of resumes to send to the employer.

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I thought of that, but..

by murso In reply to If the ads are from emplo ...

These are direct hire postings. In many cases they are with local companies who don't have a headquarters other than here and won't talk to or accept 3rd party resumes from staffing agencies.
In my area, Robert Half Tech, Diedre Moore and TechSource are the big resume hogs. And now that I think about it, I have seen fewer postings from the big 3 than from the companies themselves.
The one I mentioned in my OP is doing direct hire thru their HR.

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Part of the problem

by Tig2 In reply to I thought of that, but..

Just as I saw in 2001, postings that hang for months are indicative of projects and areas that have not committed the funding yet. What I have seen happen is that a project will identify a skill set and post, collect and evaluate resumes (not candidates) and then wait. Once they can validate that the skill set is available, they go back and argue for the funding.

The downside is that folks can't be out of work forever. And prospective employees aren't willing to attend multiple interviews.

Another twist- in my area anyway- is that there is a lot more contract to hire work. So if you work with the headhunters, you have to be very careful about what you are being submitted for.

And just in case that isn't enough fun, I frequently will get calls from multiple recruiters on the same role. This has forced me to use specific recruiters for specific employers.

Bottom line- in my opinion, anyway- is that prospective employers assume that IT folks will wait around forever to take a role.

Another note- there are employers that are trying to force a rise in the H1B visas. One of the ways that they validate doing this is to claim that qualified professionals are simply not available. An 8 month open posting suggests that.

Edit typo

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You are right on about H1B visas

by AV . In reply to Part of the problem

If companies can't find the "perfect" candidate, they have the perfect excuse to claim they can't find qualified professionals. Whatever happened to providing some training to an otherwise well-qualified candidate that has 98% of what they want to make them "perfect?" That concept is gone now that there is off-shore outsourcing.

I think, too, that it looks like there are alot of jobs when in fact you might have many different recruiters posting the same job at the same company but advertising it differently.

How good is the job market in IT really, or is it all puffery?

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Well based on recent experience with a similar trend in the UK

by Tony Hopkinson In reply to Lots of IT jobs but vacan ...

for coders.

There are lot of people who claim to be highly skilled and talented.

Ask them a few technical questions though and you end up with the impression they have a great deal of talent for prevaricating on their cv.

Expert SQL Developer

What is transaction?

2 answered correctly out of 9. Five of them attempted to BS me, must have thought I was from HR or a pimp.

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Bridge the gap between the role, the CV and the person...

by ncudmore In reply to Well based on recent expe ...

I have to agree with Tony, this happens a lot in the UK. BUT, it's not just the fault of the people with the CV.

I've worked in IT for over 20 years, and I'm currently looking. I've taken loads of things off my CV - Cobol, LanManager, Novell, frame relay, BOS, etc. etc. Yet I get calls from agencies asking about things I've not touched for years; yet, for more recent work I've done I can't even get them to return my calls.

I'd say the majority of HR and Agency staff don't know a lot about technical IT requirements, so they resort to picking out key words and phrases which IT staff gave them in the spec for a new person.

CV or curriculum vitae: "a summary of your academic and work history". Not these days. It's being treated more like a personal advert for people. With HR and agencies looking for staff with 'shopping lists' when it comes to skills, it's not surprising there is a little 'embellishment' on some CV's.

I had one agency ask about my Lotus Notes server experience. Now, I've worked with Notes/Domino from R2 up to R8 since '92. Yet, on my CV I had Domino server (after all that's the name these days for the server and has been since 4.5/5, that's over 10 years ago) listed. No problem, updated my CV to they way they wanted it. Applied for another job and hadn't changed it back, so it was rejected since I didn't show any 'Domino' experience !

Ask the average Joe in 3rd line support on say e-mail systems, what's the difference between Notes at company A, and company B, or Exchange at company x and company y, and you'll get technical answer - after all if it's the same core product they used in both companies. So, pray tell WHY state in a job ad, you need experience in 'health care' or 'insurance'. If your supporting/building/maintaining a 24x7 system the end user can be a dealer on a trading desk, a print artist in an advertising company or a sales person. It's just a way of 'narrowing the field down' when 200 CVs all say they can support Exchange.

Oh, and the SQL thing, I've worked with DB2, Informix (pre IBM days), Oracle and mysql over the years, even programmed Microfocus COBOL under OS/2 with DB2 backend on an AS/400. So, are you asking about (T-SQL) or about wrapping a transaction around multiple SQL statements? I'm no 'sql' expert it's not even on my CV. But if I was still a manager and asking for an SQL developer, I would expect them to be a generic SQL developer; if I wanted a Microsoft SQL expert then I'd ask for that instead.

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probably, they're having trouble

by Deadly Ernest In reply to Lots of IT jobs but vacan ...

trying to work out how to tell a competent tech over an incompetent one, because all their competent ones have retired or moved on.

Having been on selection panels, the hardest thing is wading through the applications. If the panel are checking for a tech position and don't have a highly skilled tech doing any of the intitial checks, then it's going to take some time.

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Might also be because...

by NoCubes4Me In reply to probably, they're having ...

And apologies if this has already been pointed out, but...

If you wade through the requirements for a lot of those postings, you'll find top-level skillsets being required for entry to mid-level positions.

I don't know about the rest of you, but I can't seem to convince my family to live in a homeless shelter so that I can accept a $40K/year job - particularly not with advanced degrees and programming skills plus a solid work history behind me.

The same can be said of postings "requiring" salary history. Table an offer and then we can discuss past salaries - if that's warranted by the offer itself.

Freaking hate this corporate mindset, if I haven't made that readily apparent.


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by Womble In reply to Might also be because...

This is only because they are benchmarking you against what they can get from Indian hires with a green card

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On postings "requiring" salary history

by murso In reply to Might also be because...

Just once, I'd like to have the upper hand in that.
Of late, it's "send us your salary history" or "what are you expecting." I think it is unfair and cowardice in that it puts the candidate at a huge disadvantage.
I've even tried those interview tricks where you say "when the time comes...fair offer...blah blah blah". Employers here won't even talk to you without you stating salary upfront.

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