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Tech Sector Slow To Hire

Soulskill posted more than 3 years ago | from the because-hp-might-sue-you dept.

Businesses 450

Iftekhar25 writes "The NY Times is running an article about soaring unemployment rates for IT in the US (6 percent) despite a tech sector that is thirsting for engineering talent. Quoting: 'The chief hurdles to more robust technology hiring appear to be increasing automation and the addition of highly skilled labor overseas. The result is a mismatch of skill levels here at home: not enough workers with the cutting-edge skills coveted by tech firms, and too many people with abilities that can be duplicated offshore at lower cost. That's a familiar situation to many out-of-work software engineers, whose skills start depreciating almost as soon as they are laid off, given the dynamism of the industry.'"

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450 comments

Read closer (4, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33502368)

IT is not engineering. The two fields are not analogous

Re:Read closer (5, Funny)

Yvan256 (722131) | more than 3 years ago | (#33502400)

They're digitalous?

Re:Read closer (2, Funny)

Idbar (1034346) | more than 3 years ago | (#33502768)

On top of that, companies are not interested on hiring IT or engineering guys, they are interested on hiring CEOs! It would be a shame all those bonuses go to waste!

3... 2... 1... before that old H1B rant (0, Troll)

e065c8515d206cb0e190 (1785896) | more than 3 years ago | (#33502382)

Go ahead guys.

Re:3... 2... 1... before that old H1B rant (1)

ArhcAngel (247594) | more than 3 years ago | (#33502450)

3...2...1...before that old NAZIS rant

Re:3... 2... 1... before that old H1B rant (0, Offtopic)

fkx (453233) | more than 3 years ago | (#33502500)

First !!

Re:3... 2... 1... before that old H1B rant (3, Insightful)

Surt (22457) | more than 3 years ago | (#33502602)

Stupid H1Bs! Stealing our jerbs!

But seriously ... H1B suffers from serious abuses. There are a lot of well-qualified americans ready to take those jobs, but companies don't want to pay what it would cost to hire those americans. It definitely does NOT do what it claims.

Re:3... 2... 1... before that old H1B rant (1, Informative)

e065c8515d206cb0e190 (1785896) | more than 3 years ago | (#33502742)

You obviously don't know the restrictions to H1B hires:
http://www.immihelp.com/visas/h1b/h1b-visa-requirements.html [immihelp.com] (site dedicated to migrants from India but it applies to everyone)

The rules are here. They're (very) restrictive. I'm not saying they work 100% right. But it's not a free for all to hire cheap labor either... at all.

Re:3... 2... 1... before that old H1B rant (5, Insightful)

nomadic (141991) | more than 3 years ago | (#33502854)

The rules are here. They're (very) restrictive. I'm not saying they work 100% right. But it's not a free for all to hire cheap labor either... at all.

That's cute that you think companies follow the rules like that...

Re:3... 2... 1... before that old H1B rant (0, Flamebait)

e065c8515d206cb0e190 (1785896) | more than 3 years ago | (#33502904)

The rules might not have been followed that well before the crisis, but the authorities are now much keener on enforcing the law and finding companies that abuse those rules.

Tt's cute that you talk about a topic which obviously you have never deal with.

Re:3... 2... 1... before that old H1B rant (5, Informative)

Surt (22457) | more than 3 years ago | (#33502858)

I DO know the rules, and I have also seen first hand how the companies that abuse them are evading them. The most common strategy is to list an impossible requirement, and then miraculously find that the foreigner they want to hire happens to have that on his resume. Miracle of miracles, the job is filled. Meanwhile, to get an american to do the job would have cost 2-3x the 'prevailing wage', so they have a huge financial win.

Re:3... 2... 1... before that old H1B rant (4, Insightful)

lgw (121541) | more than 3 years ago | (#33502906)

Unless someone is cheating (and there are some contracting companies that cheat badly), an H1B is no cheaper than a citizen to employ. The wages are typically slighly lower, offset by legal costs of dealing with the immigration paperwork. Legally, you have to pay an H1B market rate (and all H1B salaries are public, so it's easy to check), and since an H1B worker can change jobs, he'll leave like anyone else if you try to get too cheap (like anyone else, that can be hard right now).

Companies that don't want to pay what it would cost to hire Americans offshore the jobs, they don't muck around with H1Bs.

I can compete with H1Bs, they have the same basic costs of living I do, but there's no way to compete with the cost of living in a developing nation.

Six percent (3, Informative)

paazin (719486) | more than 3 years ago | (#33502386)

My sincerest wishes to those unemployed, but 6 percent considered soaring?

Sure, it's not great but it's perhaps not as terrible a crisis as newspapers would like to make out; considering how every section of the economy is impacted right now I would read too much into it.

No kidding (3, Informative)

Sycraft-fu (314770) | more than 3 years ago | (#33502470)

Especially since the national average is over 9% currently. Seems to me a more accurate story would be "Tech sector hasn't recovered to previous levels, but has much lower unemployment than many other areas."

Re:No kidding (5, Interesting)

Jah-Wren Ryel (80510) | more than 3 years ago | (#33502694)

Especially since the national average is over 9% currently. Seems to me a more accurate story would be "Tech sector hasn't recovered to previous levels, but has much lower unemployment than many other areas."

Presuming that the majority of people in the tech sector have at least a 4 year college degree and thus average nearly the same unemployment rates as other primarily white-collar sectors, I believe "soaring" is appropriate.

This chart [mybudget360.com] shows that people in that category have had no more than 3% unemployment for nearly the last 20 years - including the dot-bomb fall-out. Given that unemployment was roughly 2% before the latest crash, a 200% increase is pretty drastic.

Ok (1)

Sycraft-fu (314770) | more than 3 years ago | (#33502900)

But it seems to have gone up with unemployment generally going up. So it isn't anything special, it is just more of the same. Also as far as I can see, UE has stabilized. That isn't what we want, we want it going down, but it cannot be said to be "soaring" when it is staying the same.

Finally I have to question that chart more than a little bit, given the extremely high rate for general unemployment it is reporting. All over the net I see people reporting the "real" unemployment rate, always something much higher than the official one. The two things they have in common:

1) They don't have a good source for this. It is always either just unsourced, or through various dubious sources and "corrections" to the official rate applied.

2) They are all nutty doomsayers who cry about how fucked we are and how this is even worse than the great depression.

To me, the original article just sounds like more doom and gloom trying to make things sound worse than they really are. I hate this shit since so much of our economy is based on perception. That means the doomsayers are actually working to make things worse. No small part of what is needed right now is for individuals and companies to get less fearful and start returning to normal.

Re:No kidding (1)

buddyglass (925859) | more than 3 years ago | (#33502738)

To know whether there's a story here, we'd need to check what tech unemployment was during previous periods of elevated "general" unemployment. If, during previous periods of high overall unemployment, the tech sector wasn't affected at all and now is, then that's moderately newsworthy.

Re:Six percent (1)

allcoolnameswheretak (1102727) | more than 3 years ago | (#33502784)

Yeah, and an unemployment of below 5% is considered full employment because there will always be people caught between jobs, or unemployed due to sickness, personal issues, unwillingness to work, etc.

So IT is one percent above statistical full employment. Great news!

Re:Six percent (2, Interesting)

Iamthecheese (1264298) | more than 3 years ago | (#33502804)

I have been looking for an IT job for a year. Any job. I would gladly take one of those soul sucking script reading help desk positions. I'm a damned good computer repairman and I have my certs. And I've been looking for a year. looking hard. I have applied at every company in the three towns I have been in. I know all about resume tweaking, interviewing, how companies search. I could write a damned book on looking for a job. The only thing I don't have is a degree. So I keep reading about how the average salary it 60,000 dollars and the unemployment rate is 6 percent and it smells more like bullshit with every pound I lose.

Re:Six percent (4, Interesting)

Caerdwyn (829058) | more than 3 years ago | (#33502820)

Agreed. Six percent? One in eighteen? Consider the people whom you know who are out of work. Are there at least one out of eighteen whose behavior or lack of skills means they're unemployed for a REASON? Consider the people whom you know who do have work. Are at least one of eighteen of those people whom you think are more of a liability than an asset?

I know several IT/engineering folks who are out of work. With perhaps one exception, I wouldn't hire any of the individuals in question. They're slackers, or in way over their heads, or behave badly in a professional environment. Sure, I'd have a beer with 'em, but hire them? No. That's a higher standard. Wages don't have anything to do with it; the people in question I wouldn't take on at any price.

Tech is doing just fine, at least here in San Jose. I get daily emails or calls from recruiters, my company has unfilled jobs (and is offering a bounty for referrals), and I know that others have the same experience. I'm no hot-shot super-star either, I'm almost 50 (so it's not a cheap-because-I'm-young factor) and it surely isn't because of my looks. I read the required H1B notices that get pinned to the break-room cork board that include the position and salary; we are certainly not lowballing imported labor (I have yet to see one that was less than six figures).

If you're good, you're in.

Other regions may differ; I can't speak to that.

50% right (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33502406)

not enough workers with the cutting-edge skills coveted by tech firms,

Complete bullshit.

and too many people with abilities that can be duplicated offshore at lower cost

This is 100% true.

And don't forget this reason I am adding:

Too few people willing to work heroic hours for non-heroic pay.

Re:50% right (2, Interesting)

jaymzter (452402) | more than 3 years ago | (#33502478)

Cutting-edge? How about just getting someone that lives up to their resume? My employer is hiring, both full-time and contractor. My previous employer was hiring as well. In neither case could we get qualified candidates. I don't know if it's just applicants misrepresenting themselves or headhunters just throwing something against a wall and hoping it sticks, but when you get guys who claim to be CCNAs but don't know what traceroute does, there's a problem.

I know the above doesn't apply to everyone, but really, if you're applying for a job at least crack a book the night before the interview so you're not wasting everyone's time.

Re:50% right (5, Insightful)

bhcompy (1877290) | more than 3 years ago | (#33502528)

That's because you're requiring the piece of paper instead of a demonstration of skills. Instead of saying "oh, no CCNA on the resume, let's roundfile this one", take a deeper look at the resume and recommendations instead. I was a victim of that for nearly a year, until I got lucky and had someone read my resume and verify my credentials(and overlook the lack of certification despite the training being there). I can't afford the 4k for a VMWare class that's required in order to receive certification from VMWare, but that doesn't mean I don't have the skills.

Re:50% right (2, Interesting)

IamTheRealMike (537420) | more than 3 years ago | (#33502552)

jaymzter didn't actually say his employers required a CCNA, he said that candidates who claimed to have one didn't have any networking skills. Not the same thing.

I see this as well when interviewing. Lots of candidates put down that they have, for instance, ten years of experience of Java. And maybe they do! But depressingly often they can't do trivial tasks, like select a random element from an array. Or they fail at understanding what happens under the hood, eg, they have no idea what garbage collection or a character encoding is.

The skills/requirements mismatch is a real issue, it's not simply a matter of evil CEOs wanting to smoke even fatter cigars at the workers expense.

Same problem as always. (3, Insightful)

khasim (1285) | more than 3 years ago | (#33502630)

Lots of candidates put down that they have, for instance, ten years of experience of Java. And maybe they do! But depressingly often they can't do trivial tasks, like select a random element from an array.

I see that a lot. There needs to be a differentiation between "experience" and "drawing a paycheck".

If you get hired by a company to drop workstation images onto workstation hardware ... and you do it for 10 years ... do you have 10 years of experience working with those OS's?

No. You have 1 week experience ... repeated 520 times (not counting vacations).

You have 10 years of drawing a paycheck.

That's why I prefer to test candidates myself.

Re:50% right (4, Insightful)

Mongoose Disciple (722373) | more than 3 years ago | (#33502656)

Lots of candidates put down that they have, for instance, ten years of experience of Java. And maybe they do! But depressingly often they can't do trivial tasks

Sometimes what seems trivial to you might not to someone else. For example, I legitimately have 10 years of professional Java experience, and character encoding has been relevant to my work precisely zero times in that 10 years.

(That's not to say I probably still couldn't answer a question about it, but I think as developers we tend to take for granted that the kinds of tasks we run up against are universal.)

Re:50% right (4, Informative)

Ironhandx (1762146) | more than 3 years ago | (#33502700)

It is a real issue, but HR is the most massive problem in the IT sector today. They get a list of requirements and filter based on those. Many of the folks that have those requirements that are unemployed are unemployed for good reason. There are however a whole slew of people that could do the job that don't have exactly those requirements that get thrown in the trash by many an HR clerk.

In my experience the above is the leading cause of IT understaffing. Personally I look for a "Skills" section on a resume, and test the claimed skills in an interview. If they can get past my cursory test they're worth a shot, if they are just good at BSing then its obvious within a month, or at least well within their 3 month probationary period. You get more quality employees that are actually interested in what they are doing that way. Of course you end up interviewing more complete idiots as well, but its no loss, as you were going to interview (approximately, again, in my experience) the same amount of unsuitable candidates regardless.

Its partly a problem of the jargon too. Most of the HR folks aren't going to have a clue how your previous job relates to this one or how your own pet projects relate to the job you are applying for, but for an engineer say, they realize that working as building designer for 5 years necessarily includes that you have a lot of civil engineering requirements even if you don't have a degree in civil engineering. If you have 10 years experience working in C with some minor experience in Java but the job requires almost pure Java, the HR girl/guy likely doesn't have a clue how the skills could be transferable and will dump you in favor of someone with a college/uni degree that focused on Java at some point, meanwhile they end up firing the guy because he cheated his way through school and doesn't actually have a clue.

Re:50% right (1)

bsDaemon (87307) | more than 3 years ago | (#33502716)

Well, those job listings/employers who require or say they require all sorts of certifications and knowledge of areas that you never actually end up using in the job probably cause a lot of people who "inflate" their resumes or outright lie, hoping to just get past the filter and sort it out later. The thing about certs from vendors like Cisco or RedHat is its pretty easy to check on the veracity of the claim as to whether the candidate even has the certificate or not, even without doing your own skills assessment. Unfortunately, for those people who have say, RHCE-level knowledge but don't have the time and money to tuck down to Raleigh for the exam/lab, likely because of their current lack of employment, what are they going to do? Lie and hope HR doesn't know to check their RHCE number? Hope that they get a skills test and can prove their ability?

I haven't personally had to deal with this myself. I just list the truth of what education and experience I have, hope to to get an interview anyway. It's worked alright so far, so whatever. Safely employed for now.

Re:50% right (1)

Surt (22457) | more than 3 years ago | (#33502642)

I suffer with this also, and it seems like every time I see one of these complaints (e.g. doesn't know traceroute), it is for something even I know (e.g. traceroute), even though it is waaaaay remote from my day to day work. Depressing.

Re:50% right (5, Insightful)

vlm (69642) | more than 3 years ago | (#33502704)

My employer is hiring, both full-time and contractor. My previous employer was hiring as well. In neither case could we get qualified candidates.

Thats because HR is requiring 10 years of experience with winders 2008 server, so by definition the only resumes that make it thru the HR filtration plant are liars / con men / inside-referrals.

Parent has got it! (5, Insightful)

AnonymousClown (1788472) | more than 3 years ago | (#33502932)

My employer is hiring, both full-time and contractor. My previous employer was hiring as well. In neither case could we get qualified candidates.

Thats because HR is requiring 10 years of experience with winders 2008 server, so by definition the only resumes that make it thru the HR filtration plant are liars / con men / inside-referrals.

Whenever I see someone say that "they can't get qualified people" it's always for these reasons:

Unreasonable qualifications as the parent stated or incompetent HR. And it's not just tech skills, it's also for subjective reasons too; such as, "they wouldn't fit in" or some nonsense.

Here's an example that I over heard fixing a friend's computer who lives with an HR person that works at home. They were on a conference call and it was on speaker phone. One of the HR people came on to talk about a candidate. The candidate by her own admission had an impressive resume - all the skills, education and experience required by the job. Anyway, this person commented that when the candidate came in the room "he sucked the air out of the room" and he wouldn't be good for the company.

Now, was it brought up that the guy could have been a bit nervous because he was unemployed for several months? Nope. He was passed over because the HR person didn't think she was allowed to have enough air.

You want qualified candidates? Bypass HR.

Re:50% right (1)

Jah-Wren Ryel (80510) | more than 3 years ago | (#33502776)

I know the above doesn't apply to everyone, but really, if you're applying for a job at least crack a book the night before the interview so you're not wasting everyone's time.

As a guy who as interviewed a few people over the years, I disagree.

Some things are basic knowledge like memorizing your multiplication tables in 4th grade and knowing what traceroute does if you are a network admin. But if cramming before an interview is enough to pass the interview, you aren't doing good interviews. If the guy shows that he doesn't know basic shit then he is not wasting your time in the interview - he's saving you thousands of hours you would have wasted by actually hiring him.

Re:50% right (2, Insightful)

dieth (951868) | more than 3 years ago | (#33502952)

when you get guys who claim to be CCNAs but don't know what traceroute does, there's a problem.

This describes about 99% of employed Network/Sys admins in the USA. I work at an enterprise/software as a service helpdesk, I fix the servers when shit goes to hell. When I have to rely on one of these retards onsite there to actually do something it is the most painful thing ever... it is seriously like guiding a 3 year old child. I do not know how these people get employed.

Re:50% right (4, Insightful)

inKubus (199753) | more than 3 years ago | (#33502506)

Yes, companies are "milking the recession". This usually happens at the tail end of a recession, when interest rates are low and inflation is also low, companies are making profits but they are not investing in labor supply. The main thing is maybe capacity isn't fully utilized, maybe they want to buy new equipment, maybe they want to reward the shareholders that stayed through the rough times. I see it at a lot of places, and people I know are seeing it as well. Companies with good balance sheets aren't replacing people as fast, they are milking more work hours out of salary people and they are utilizing temps and contractors as a way to avoid permanent expenses. A few more good quarters and things should start trending back down to the normal structural unemployment rate of around 5-7%. IT is a growth industry so it in turn should return to a normal growth structural unemployment of 3-5%. Having been present on more than a few interviews recently, there's not too many good people out there. If you're out there and you're good, you shouldn't have trouble getting a job. If you can't, you should consider washing your beard and not wearing that T-shirt that looks like the front of a tuxedo to interviews...

Kill the temp loophole. (1)

sethstorm (512897) | more than 3 years ago | (#33502594)

If it costs as much to offshore it or temp it as much as it does to do it properly, those ways of "hiring" might not look so good as a loophole.

Re:50% right (1)

Altus (1034) | more than 3 years ago | (#33502658)

My company cant find competent C++ developers to develop desktop applications. I don't think their requirements are totally out of line since I was hired in the last 6 months. We would like our develpers to understand inheritance and const and some basics of polymorphism. We develop on windows, linux and the mac and proficiency in any one of those goes a long way.

The pay here is reasonable though not overwhelmingly awesome it is certainly in line with the area.

We have managed to find one good hire since I have been here. We have several more openings to fill and should be hiring something like 4-6 developers in the next year and a half. I'm sure there are a lot of smart people out there looking for work, but we seem to be having a hard time getting them. In part I blame HR since we aren't getting that many resumes passed onto us in the first place, but if the economy is so bad, where are the people hammering on our door?

It did take me 6 months to find this job. I did have other prospects on the line that didn't pan out, but this was certainly easier then back in 2002-2003.

Re:50% right (2, Insightful)

vlm (69642) | more than 3 years ago | (#33502756)

but if the economy is so bad, where are the people hammering on our door?

Whats your (approximate) pay and location? That might be the problem.

The other problem is what does the HR resume filtration system look like? Too specific, perhaps?

Re:50% right (2, Insightful)

abigor (540274) | more than 3 years ago | (#33502846)

In all honesty, get HR out of the way. When I was a permanent employee (ie not self-employed) and doing interviews etc., HR was the biggest problem - "Oh, they don't have this TLA that I don't know the meaning of? Into the trash!"

Re:50% right (1)

jeff4747 (256583) | more than 3 years ago | (#33502936)

I don't think their requirements are totally out of line since I was hired in the last 6 months. We would like our develpers to understand inheritance and const and some basics of polymorphism. We develop on windows, linux and the mac and proficiency in any one of those goes a long way.

Prediction: It will turn out that your HR people are filtering your requirements using AND instead of OR.

Re:50% right (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33502944)

That's funny. I am a very competent C++ programmer. It was the first programming language I learned. It is also my favorite.

But I have had a hell of a time finding C++ work here in Denver (Colorado). Whenever I was looking, the work was all .Net stuff (also Java and other assorted stuff, but no C++). Of course, learning .Net was easy and I am making an ok salary doing .Net stuff now....but....where were you when all I wanted was a nice stable C++ job?

This Just In !!!!!!!! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33502422)

The sun rises in the east.

Yours In Moscow,
K. Trout

Fill in the blanks. (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33502426)

"not enough workers with the cutting-edge skills coveted by tech firms" ...
who are willing to work for $20,000 a year.

grapes of wrath (5, Insightful)

bugs2squash (1132591) | more than 3 years ago | (#33502434)

Oh no, there are not enough highly skilled engineers available to depress wages even further. The CEO will starve if he can't drop the payroll enough.

Soon to be Grad. (1)

spiffydudex (1458363) | more than 3 years ago | (#33502442)

The numbers being spread around for unemployment are quite unsettling to me. I can only hope things turn around enough to get a decent starting job this spring. Several of my friends could not find internships this past summer due to companies decreasing the amount of students they hire. I myself could only get several odd jobs scraped together to give me a reasonable income for the summer.

Re:Soon to be Grad. (1)

Mashiki (184564) | more than 3 years ago | (#33502750)

Good luck, no really good luck. But I'll say that the US is in for at leas 4 years of complete loss in jobs and economic gain, based on all the numbers I've seen the last bit. A growing economy does not make it with a -68% in new and used home starts/sales, and -40% on shipping, along with -21% on durable goods.

Easy to make qualifications that nobody can meet (4, Insightful)

sethstorm (512897) | more than 3 years ago | (#33502454)

...then complain about a lack of "qualified" candidates.

Re:Easy to make qualifications that nobody can mee (1)

Surt (22457) | more than 3 years ago | (#33502502)

I'd really like to see someone who can solve trivial problems in java. Maybe our internal recruitment team just sucks, but I just did yet another interview with a candidate who got stuck for almost 3 minutes trying to figure out why eclipse was complaining about their HashMap<String>.

Where are the qualified candidates!
   

Re:Easy to make qualifications that nobody can mee (3, Insightful)

Stiletto (12066) | more than 3 years ago | (#33502610)

Where are the qualified candidates!

They're already employed and fairly happy. If you want to get them to uproot and move to your company, your HR department is going to have to offer more than the standard "kinda above average" salary and "competitive" benefits.

What does the job posting look like? Is how it's worded attracting the wrong candidates?

When I was job hunting, I could always tell the "dog" jobs because they said nothing interesting about compensation besides (sometimes) "competitive pay and benefits".

Re:Easy to make qualifications that nobody can mee (2, Interesting)

frank_adrian314159 (469671) | more than 3 years ago | (#33502670)

hey're already employed and fairly happy. If you want to get them to uproot and move to your company, your HR department is going to have to offer more than the standard "kinda above average" salary and "competitive" benefits.

Not necessarily sure about the "fairly happy". It may also be that in an insecure economy, the devil you know (and have experience with that might save you from a layoff) is better than the devil you don't. Either way, your solution is correct - a risk premium in salary or benefits are in order.

Re:Easy to make qualifications that nobody can mee (4, Insightful)

vlm (69642) | more than 3 years ago | (#33502812)

the devil you know (and have experience with that might save you from a layoff) is better than the devil you don't. Either way, your solution is correct - a risk premium in salary or benefits are in order.

Or, if they're coasties, their house is (financially) underwater and to switch jobs they'd have to move and declare bankruptcy. I've heard this is an issue, folks whom rent can move, and are making bank, folks with houses can't move and are stuck. Even worse for security clearance type jobs where bankruptcy equals no clearance.

Re:Easy to make qualifications that nobody can mee (1)

Surt (22457) | more than 3 years ago | (#33502722)

That's pretty much in line with my thinking: the 6% unemployment number is complete BS, because those 6% appear to be unemployable. We're still counting too many dot com bubblers as 'in' our field.

Re:Easy to make qualifications that nobody can mee (1)

Zeek40 (1017978) | more than 3 years ago | (#33502826)

Judging by the candidates I've interviewed in the past few months, I'd say this is entirely correct.

You're unwilling to train them, or quite picky. (1)

sethstorm (512897) | more than 3 years ago | (#33502920)

That's pretty much in line with my thinking: the 6% unemployment number is complete BS, because those 6% appear to be unemployable. We're still counting too many dot com bubblers as 'in' our field.

While there might be some justification, the large part is the set of companies that are being allowed to be too picky for their own good.

Re:Easy to make qualifications that nobody can mee (1)

Mongoose Disciple (722373) | more than 3 years ago | (#33502748)

That's so true. I was offered an otherwise decent job a few months ago, except it paid ~20-25k/year less than the about equally decent job I'm working. Sorry, no.

One of my friends once said to an employer while negotiating salary something to the effect of, "Look, money isn't everything, but the difference between what you're willing to pay me and what they're willing to pay me is the price of my car."

I put it more delicately as I'm negotiating, but I take the basic concept to heart.

Also is the posting written by an idiot? (5, Insightful)

Sycraft-fu (314770) | more than 3 years ago | (#33502808)

Had a friend who had a long stint of unemployment. A large part of the problem was companies that use recruiters, and have morons write the job requirements. There were so many jobs that when you filtered through the bullshit, he probably could do. However he'd have to lie about his qualifications to get them, and he won't do that. Shit like "Must have 7 years experience in Ruby, Java, Perl, PHP, and MySQL." Ok so they are looking for a web app and they don't know what they want it in. Fine, he can do that, he's a real programmer in that he can learn new languages. He also has done all those. However he can't truthfully say 7 years of Ruby experience. He's got 15 years of Perl experience, but only 1 of Ruby. Doesn't mean he's bad at Ruby, just that he didn't see the need to use it till recently. However he gets filtered since he doesn't "meet the requirements" and instead they get the liar types who don't know what they are talking about.

That was actually something that the people at the job he did get commented on. He had very little Ruby experience, but generates code faster and of much higher quality than the "Ruby people." They were amazed and he had to explain that he'd done all this before, the specific language isn't really relevant.

So if you want good candidates, make sure the description is written by someone who knows what the fuck they are talking about, and that what it asks for is reasonable. Reason is a good candidate is probably also someone who's honest and thus won't lie on the app just to get in the door. Figure out what you actually need, and put down also what you'd like as optional and go with that.

No "10 years of experience with every single web related language," kind of shit. Instead something like "Someone with 5+ years of software development experience, at least some of it with web programming. Experience in one or more of the following a plus: Perl, PHP, Ruby, etc." Something that tells people what the job actually is, and gives them an idea what you want.

Roll with the punches (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33502898)

If your friend can't tailor a resume for an opening, taking into account any apparent lack of understanding on the part of HR, your friend may need a wake-up call.

Lying on the app is one thing, willingness to make up for someone else's stupidity because you're hungry is another.

Re:Easy to make qualifications that nobody can mee (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33502628)

That is what IDEs do to people ...

I write all my java in vim, and I never have useless complaints like yours.

I may venture so far out as to say it is remotely possible that even emacs sucks less than an IDE.

Re:Easy to make qualifications that nobody can mee (1)

sabs (255763) | more than 3 years ago | (#33502526)

Like the Helpdesk position I read once that wanted someone with Java, C++ experience and the ability to write his own support tools.

Re:Easy to make qualifications that nobody can mee (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33502634)

This was probably actually a Remedy developer position.

Re:Easy to make qualifications that nobody can mee (1)

Surt (22457) | more than 3 years ago | (#33502678)

I can picture that at a small company. Sometimes it's a budget stretch to hire two different people for those roles. E.g., you have some highly technical, low volume product with a very small number of support calls, you don't need to fund a full support staff, and in fact, maybe you want the one guy doing this to do some IT work for you too. You could pay the right, capable person 1.5-2x a normal salary for simple helpdesk, and still save money.

Re:Easy to make qualifications that nobody can mee (1)

meerling (1487879) | more than 3 years ago | (#33502762)

I saw a job posting that required 10 years experience with a program that had only existed for 6 years.

Re:Easy to make qualifications that nobody can mee (1)

sethstorm (512897) | more than 3 years ago | (#33502766)

Like the Helpdesk position I read once that wanted someone with Java, C++ experience and the ability to write his own support tools.

That's not a helpdesk position.

Re:Easy to make qualifications that nobody can mee (1)

Jah-Wren Ryel (80510) | more than 3 years ago | (#33502832)

Sun's PSARC 2002/013(sun4m EOL) is why I run an IBM RS/6000 today.

Is that a RowerPC system?

A bunch of bullshit to justify offshoring (4, Insightful)

sethstorm (512897) | more than 3 years ago | (#33502490)


The result is a mismatch of skill levels here at home: not enough workers with the cutting-edge skills coveted by tech firms, and too many people with abilities that can be duplicated offshore at lower cost. That's a familiar situation to many out-of-work software engineers, whose skills start depreciating almost as soon as they are laid off, given the dynamism of the industry.'"

Then train them or make it a legal requirement to hire & train them. It's one thing to complain about regular people having to settle with less, why can't a business be made to do the same?

Reads like an justification for offshoring if you'd ask me.

Re:A bunch of bullshit to justify offshoring (1)

phantomfive (622387) | more than 3 years ago | (#33502888)

Then train them or make it a legal requirement to hire & train them.

I'm really curious about this, how exactly do you suggest training programmers? I've tried it: taking someone with inadequate skills, hoping they will get better, and it didn't work (maybe I suck at teaching, but I do fine at teaching other things). In fact, when I've tried to do that, it does nothing but waste my time, and more since I have to clean up some of their messes. So, how exactly do you suggest training these people? If they don't get it after four years of college, how are you going to make them get it now?

It's called "offshore outsourcing" not unemploymen (2, Insightful)

fkx (453233) | more than 3 years ago | (#33502494)

All we have to do is get rid of the H1B bastards and BOOM instant high tech employment.

Let's get going - time for a "change"

Re:It's called "offshore outsourcing" not unemploy (4, Insightful)

phantomfive (622387) | more than 3 years ago | (#33502836)

All we have to do is get rid of the H1B bastards and BOOM instant high tech employment.

I love how Slashdot is dominated by liberal sentiments until it comes to our jobs, then it's 100% anti-immigration, dominated with rhetoric that sounds like theminute men [wikipedia.org] . It's sad that you were modded insightful instead of troll.

What we actually need is more immigration, and more emigration, so we can all get to know each other and realize that we're all human brothers and sisters and won't want to kill each other for reading one book or another, and can be happy when someone else gets a job instead of calling them bastards. :) That's my happy dream.

Re:It's called "offshore outsourcing" not unemploy (4, Insightful)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 3 years ago | (#33502840)

H1Bs are not offshore outsourcing, they are importing skilled workers. If you fire them all, you'll replace them with people who live and work in another country and you won't get any benefit from them paying taxes to the same government as you.

Importing slaves, not "skilled workers" (-1, Troll)

sethstorm (512897) | more than 3 years ago | (#33502884)

Calling them "skilled workers" is a joke. Fake qualifications, poor work, and the US-based guy has to clean up the mess.

Fire those H1b folks, replace them with US citizens, and get on with the day.

Re:It's called "offshore outsourcing" not unemploy (1)

eht (8912) | more than 3 years ago | (#33502860)

Oh poor baby, maybe if you were worth hiring, you'd be hired. The H1B's are there because you are not worth hiring at any price, so they might as well save some money and hire for cheap.

6% high? thats about 2/3s the national average. (1)

Nadaka (224565) | more than 3 years ago | (#33502522)

I prefer the 6% unemployment rate in my industry compared to the unemployment rate in my sisters field of expertise (architectural engineering), IIRC it is above 20%.

Same old song (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33502524)

Times are good:

not enough workers with the cutting-edge skills coveted by tech firms

Times are bad:

not enough workers with the cutting-edge skills coveted by tech firms

It's starting to sound like a thin excuse to hire cheap. Not that it didn't sound like one before.

But not slow to recruit (in software) (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33502536)

Anecdotally at least, it seems there are plenty of tech job postings out there, especially in California (where I don't live), and especially in software. It may be front-loaded, that is heavy on the posting/recruiting end and light on the actual offer/hiring end of the pipeline, which could help explain the unemployment numbers. It may also be that like other industries, larger established companies have had layoffs. But plenty of companies (small or innovative firms) appear to be hiring like mad. Either way, the current job market in tech looks to me to be good for those actively seeking work or a promotion. As usual, I expect innovation in various sectors (not just so-called "tech") to be a major driving force of any serious turnaround.

Re:But not slow to recruit (in software) (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33502950)

Anecdotally at least, it seems there are plenty of tech job postings out there, especially in California (where I don't live), and especially in software. It may be front-loaded, that is heavy on the posting/recruiting end and light on the actual offer/hiring end of the pipeline, which could help explain the unemployment numbers. It may also be that like other industries, larger established companies have had layoffs. But plenty of companies (small or innovative firms) appear to be hiring like mad. Either way, the current job market in tech looks to me to be good for those actively seeking work or a promotion. As usual, I expect innovation in various sectors (not just so-called "tech") to be a major driving force of any serious turnaround.

I've been looking on and off for the last year or so and did check out lots of those so-called "jobs" listed out in California. The requirements for these positions, especially anything listed as 'entry level' was way out of line for the description of the position or the pay being offered Exhibit A [yahoo.com] . I overwhelmingly got the impression that a lot of these companies, in the interest of cost-cutting, got rid of their high-paid (and probably highly-experienced) staff, and are looking to hire someone else to do the same job at a fraction of the pay.

Report tied to Chuck Schumer's bill (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33502542)

This report in NY times looks like it is somehow tied to the recent Bill sponsored by Chuck Schumer.
The bill pays for the border security with Mexico by slapping a hefty fee on Indian outsourcing companies.

http://www.nydailynews.com/blogs/dc/2010/08/schumer-bill-sends-reinforceme.html

I am not surprised this news came around this time.

Skills Mismatch (2, Interesting)

iso-cop (555637) | more than 3 years ago | (#33502584)

So, let's do some logic here.

U.S.A. citizens get their training at U.S.A. universities.
Countries around the world send their citizens to U.S.A. universities.

Skill mismatch? Where do the foreign folks get their unique skills? Should the U.S.A. be sending folks abroad to universities?

Is the unique skill "low cost"? Are businesses finding it totally unacceptable to train their employees?

Does this mean employees are throwaway after five years since "the next big thing" has come out and it did not exist when they went to school?

Re:Skills Mismatch (1)

sethstorm (512897) | more than 3 years ago | (#33502622)

How about pre-empting them and putting all our own in first? Train our own, hire our own, prosper with our own.

Then there might be a leg to stand on regarding complaints.

Re:Skills Mismatch (2, Insightful)

jeff4747 (256583) | more than 3 years ago | (#33502850)

Is the unique skill "low cost"?

Yes

Are businesses finding it totally unacceptable to train their employees?

Yes

The CEO's gotta buy his third yacht somehow. Can't make that happen if you want pay adequately or invest in the long-term health of your company. Besides, he only has to milk this company for about 2 more years for all his options to vest, so the crap will hit the fan on some other CEO's watch.

What do you expect (1, Insightful)

BeanThere (28381) | more than 3 years ago | (#33502588)

when you take more and more of the cash companies make from them to fund an ever-expanding state and "bail-outs" (http://news.cnet.com/8301-13578_3-20014563-38.html) ... *of course* it gets harder for companies to be able to afford to hire people and thus create more jobs. No sh-t. Let companies keep more of what they earn and they'll feel more comfortable hiring people, it's that simple. But all those billions floating around, it's just too tempting for governments to not want more of it.

Or make it harder to not hire. (1)

sethstorm (512897) | more than 3 years ago | (#33502734)

Or make it harder to not hire, and in ways that are not temporary. You seem to want to have companies have the perfect conditions before they will hire, yet have individuals have to take less than perfect conditions.

You're only making a case for the government to pursue harder. Want them not to? Hire more US citizens in the US, full-time.

You are an Idiot (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33502778)

Companies aren't hiring because of taxes??

Let me guess - you are retarded enough to vote Republican even after they just finished driving the country in to a very deep ditch.

Companies aren't hiring because they don't have enough demand for their products. Do you really think that a company is going to hire someone just because they got their taxes cut? That type of shady logic may make sense to a lobotomized 'conservative' but back in the real world (where I work) companies only people because they have some need for their labor.

Then again, considering that your incredibly stupid statement actually resonates with many Americans, it's possible that companies are having trouble finding and hiring intelligent employees.

Re:What do you expect (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33502880)

Maybe if they weren't more interested in lining the exec's pockets instead of doing right by their employees, they'd be in better shape. But instead.. let's blame the gov't... it's more fun than blaming the fat cats.

Re:What do you expect (5, Insightful)

frank_adrian314159 (469671) | more than 3 years ago | (#33502892)

Let companies keep more of what they earn and they'll feel more comfortable hiring people, it's that simple.

Ummm, it's not that simple. In general, corporate earnings have been improving since Q1 2010 (when the "official" recession ended). Targeted business tax cuts were instituted in 2009 as part of the stimulus package. There are still not robust increases in hiring. If you look at financial reports for companies that are having increases in earnings you find that these corporations are either (a) hoarding cash, (b) using extra cash for acquisitions, or (c) instituting share buyback programs. None of these things "hire workers". In fact, choice (b) often depresses employment, as redundancies are eliminated in the merged entities. Nor is there any indication that lowering the tax rates further at this point would encourage corporations to hire more workers, either theoretically or empirically.

Do you actually observe the economy and research these things, or do you just get your talking points from Glenn Beck?

Re:What do you expect (1)

cyber-vandal (148830) | more than 3 years ago | (#33502912)

You seem to be under the delusion that corporations pay tax.

California elections (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33502598)

Here in California, the Republican party decided to run 2 fine tech CEOs for Governor and Senate.

There's Meg "Buy the governorship now" Whitman who wants to replace you with 500,000 new H-1Bs this year, and every year.
There's Carly "Fired from HP" Fiornia who wants to offshore your job.

Wouldn't Fiorina be unable to take the oath... (1)

sethstorm (512897) | more than 3 years ago | (#33502654)

...for already being beholden to foreign offshoring interests?

I would hope that they say "...and we recognize the Senator from India, Carly Fiorina"

Re:California elections (1)

pandrijeczko (588093) | more than 3 years ago | (#33502666)

There's Carly "Fired from HP and Lucent Technologies" Fiornia who wants to offshore your job.

There, corrected that for you.

skill fade? (1)

killmenow (184444) | more than 3 years ago | (#33502646)

" whose skills start depreciating almost as soon as they are laid off, given the dynamism of the industry"

Why? I've been laid off before. Worked for a company that went out of business too. Why do your skills have to start fading when you get laid off? To me, that's the perfect time to pick up NEW skills. You still have a computer, I presume. Even if you don't still have an internet connection at home, what self-respecting nerd can't get access to the latest tech in their field? Besides, learning Java, Python, Ruby, etc. is FREE.Setting up a bunch of virtual machines and playing around with network configs is FREE. Setting up MySQL, PostgreSQL, and even MS-SQL is FREE. Learning BGP is FREE. MIT OpenCourseWare is FREE.

If you can't get re-hired right away, there's no reason you can't stay current and even improve your skill set with all your new found FREE time.

Of course, last time I was laid off, I just started consulting while looking for a job. After three months of 40+ hr billable weeks and no end in sight I asked my wife if she minded that I stopped looking for full-time W2 employment. She doesn't mind. That was four years ago.

Stability * (1)

sethstorm (512897) | more than 3 years ago | (#33502680)

It's one thing to be able to do that, it's another to have tons of people able to do that. Sounds like you would have no problem either way.

No thank you, but some stability is all that is asked, for the majority.

Re:skill fade? (2, Insightful)

cyber-vandal (148830) | more than 3 years ago | (#33502818)

Getting the required industry EXPERIENCE solving real problems rather than just dicking around with it at home is not FREE. I learned Java at home. It got me precisely zero jobs. I learned C++ at night school. It got me precisely zero jobs. I managed to get EXPERIENCE in C# and SQL Server and now I have a job in that. Having no EXPERIENCE in the technology of the job you're applying for means your resume goes in the bin. At least in my experience anyway.

Re:skill fade? (1)

nomadic (141991) | more than 3 years ago | (#33502934)

You still have a computer, I presume.

Don't be stupid, computers are so expensive only the give richest kings in Europe own them.

Riiiiiiiiiight (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33502660)

From TFA: "We are firing up our college recruiting program, enduring all manner of humiliation to try to fill these jobs," said Glenn Kelman, chief executive of Redfin, an online brokerage agency for buying and selling homes that is based in Seattle and San Francisco." (emphasis mine)

I call bullshit. Complete & utter bullshit. The guy claims he can't find qualified people in those 2 towns? Suuuure you can't pal. The clincher here is the "enduring...humilation" part. I don't even know what to say to that. WTF is he even talking about? Maybe he is forced to whore himself out, blowing anyone he can to get enough cash to score the crack that keeps him so high & delusional that he actually believes his own bullshit. Did I mention he is full of shit? Amazing.

Non-Tech Civilization & Its Discontents (1)

eyenot (102141) | more than 3 years ago | (#33502674)

Increasingly, the only world for techs is run, owned, staffed, and generally populated by techs.

Techs can't be content with a government run by non-techs. They get miffed when patents are granted for things like "clicking on the icon", but non-tech patent clerks grant such patents any way. They get miffed when laws are drafted against breaking rot-13 encryption, even though a nine-year-old can do it, but it happens anyway because non-techs draft and pass the legislation. They get miffed when Governors O.K. networked electronic voting in their states but Governors do it anyway because they have no idea what a transistor is or what security really means. So techs aren't content unless their government is all-tech.

Similarly, techs get miffed when they are asked to be the nervous system of the entire company and are paid just a little more than the janitor. They would have to work in a company entirely owned by techs to get the treatment and compensation they feel they deserve. They get miffed when their coworkers think they're supposed to crawl out of the network closet and fix a pencil sharpener or change a toner cartridge, but the only time that doesn't happen is when all the coworkers are techs, too. And they get miffed when in society in general things go according to what football players and retired military officers want and never the way techs want, so techs get to be the whipping posts of the rest of the population and are never glorified, always misunderstood, and never respected or wanted around by the more glamorous members; but the only way that would change would be if all the members of the population were techs.

So who cares if you can't get a fucking job? Learn how to make your own money, since you're so god-damned smart!!! :)

Software Engineering skills don't depreciate much (5, Insightful)

XaXXon (202882) | more than 3 years ago | (#33502682)

Software development is more about problem solving and communication skills than actually writing code. These abilities don't atrophy nearly so fast. A solid developer can pick up whatever technologies are needed for jumping into an existing problem space with little effort and apply their problem solving skills.

strange brew that's also good for you (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33502724)

That would be home made Kombucha. Better to be brewing than stewing.

Unless... (1)

merc (115854) | more than 3 years ago | (#33502758)

You're Mark Hurd.

Re:Unless... (1)

sethstorm (512897) | more than 3 years ago | (#33502834)

The irony is that if he didn't jump ship to HP, NCR was likely to have stayed in Ohio.

For starters, abolish payroll tax for US citizens. (1)

otis wildflower (4889) | more than 3 years ago | (#33502790)

Incidentally, how much hosting/colo is being offshored from Europe/US? I'd think that power reliability in India and censorship in China would hamper that, but it wouldn't be the first time I underestimated management stupidity..

Interesting hypocrisy (1)

sethstorm (512897) | more than 3 years ago | (#33502796)

It's fine for a company to want and get perfect conditions, but individuals are asked to take less than perfect jobs.

That's the problem to solve, and not in the favor of business.

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