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IT Positions Some of the Toughest Jobs To Fill In US

Unknown Lamer posted about 2 years ago | from the fifty-years-of-dot-net-experience-required dept.

Businesses 886

coondoggie writes "Forty-nine percent of U.S. companies are having a hard time filling what workforce management firm ManpowerGroup calls mission-critical positions within their organizations. IT staff, engineers and 'skilled trades' are among the toughest spots to fill. The group surveyed some 1,300 employers and noted that U.S. companies are struggling to find talent, despite continued high unemployment, over their global counterparts, where 34% of employers worldwide are having difficulty filling positions."

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Salaries (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40157445)

Maybe they are hard to fill because they dont pay enough?

Re:Salaries (5, Funny)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | about 2 years ago | (#40157469)

Impossible. As everybody skilled in economics knows, there are no low salaries, only lazy workers.

Re:Salaries (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40157781)

As everybody skilled in economics knows, there are always better payed job that you currently have, and there is always somebody that is ready to get less pay than you get for the same position.

Re:Salaries (5, Insightful)

Grishnakh (216268) | about 2 years ago | (#40157843)

Wrong. What you meant to say was:

"Impossible. As every MBA knows, there are no low salaries, only lazy workers."

It's not economists who are running these companies.

Re:Salaries (3, Insightful)

SJHillman (1966756) | about 2 years ago | (#40157477)

After I gave notice at my last job, my boss complained it was hard to replace me - and not because of a lack of applicants. In a nutshell, he said that all of the applicants either had zero relevant experience or they had great experience and tech skills but had absolutely no interpersonal skills. I've found that the ability to talk to non-technical people is more important to most hiring managers simply because it's a lot easier to train someone to be technical than it is to train them to work with people.

Re:Salaries (5, Funny)

0100010001010011 (652467) | about 2 years ago | (#40157561)

So what you say is you take what the non-technical people say back to the technical people. Couldn't the technical people just talk to the technical people directly?

Re:Salaries (1)

TheLandyman (1130027) | about 2 years ago | (#40157611)

We actually have a department that does this, not just one person.

Re:Salaries (4, Funny)

chill (34294) | about 2 years ago | (#40157761)

So, you don't physically take the specs from the customer? Does your secretary do that, or are they faxed?

Re:Salaries (5, Funny)

CanHasDIY (1672858) | about 2 years ago | (#40157619)

So what you say is you take what the non-technical people say back to the technical people. Couldn't the technical people just talk to the technical people directly?


Re:Salaries (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40157661)

I deal with the god damn customers so the engineers don't have to. I have people skills; I am good at dealing with people. Can't you understand that? What the hell is wrong with you?

Re:Salaries (3, Interesting)

SJHillman (1966756) | about 2 years ago | (#40157719)

Except it was a small company, so I was the technical person too.... so yes, the non-techs were talking to the tech directly... which only worked because I could break down technical issues for the non-technical people and I could understand them when they talked about thingies and whatchamacallits.

Re:Salaries (4, Funny)

dkleinsc (563838) | about 2 years ago | (#40157793)

Look. I already told you: I deal with the god damn non-techies so the techies don't have to. I have people skills; I am good at dealing with people. Can't you understand that? What the hell is wrong with you people?

Re:Salaries (5, Interesting)

MickyTheIdiot (1032226) | about 2 years ago | (#40157603)

While interpersonal skills are important, in many jobs I've had there is WAY too much emphasis put on them. I personally believe this is because it is a skillset that a manager can understand while the non-technical types don't understand the technical competence. For certain I.T. people and programming-types it's much more important, IMHO, that they understand the technical side as 95% of their job should be in front of the computer (this is excepting support personnel that have to deal with the public). I've seen quite a number of work situations where it is the other way around.

I disagree with that. (4, Insightful)

khasim (1285) | about 2 years ago | (#40157711)

I've found that the ability to talk to non-technical people is more important to most hiring managers simply because it's a lot easier to train someone to be technical than it is to train them to work with people.

I disagree with that.

I think it is easier for the hiring managers to evaluate "interpersonal skills" than it is for them to evaluate "technical skills". And since it is easier for them, they value those skills more. [] []

BINGO! (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40157839)

Since career managers are experts at interpersonal communication (how do you think they got there?), the easiest "solution" is to evaluate people based on interpersonal communication.

Who would have thought?

wrong signon, dood (0)

sgt_doom (655561) | about 2 years ago | (#40157715)

You misspelled your sign on dood, I believe you meant: "J Shillman"

Re:Salaries (5, Informative)

cpu6502 (1960974) | about 2 years ago | (#40157741)

I don't buy that.
I think it comes down to $$$. Same reason Jobs put Apple factories overseas to save ~$25 per iPod.

If the hidden-camera videos on youtube are accurate, the companies DON'T want to find U.S. workers, but instead collect resumes (per requirements of U.S. law) simply to throw them in the trash afterwards. Their real mission is to claim "we can't find any locals" to the Congress, so they can apply for temporary visas to import cheaper workers from overseas.

Re:Salaries (4, Informative)

dkleinsc (563838) | about 2 years ago | (#40157767)

I hire and supervise technical staff for a living (although it's a small enough team that I'm chipping in on the tech work as well).

I can manage somebody with fantastic technical skills but without people skills if (a) I can put him in a proverbial cave where I can keep the non-techies away from him and him away from non-techies, and (b) other techies can work with him. I would rather have somebody with great personal skills too, but if it comes down to technical skill versus people skill, I'll take the technical skill.

You can train people skills too: you sit your problem employee down and tell him exactly what your expectations for personal behavior are, and what you need him to do differently. You be specific about what behavior is inappropriate or problematic, and tell him what you need him to do differently. If you start seeing changes in the right direction, you encourage it by telling him what he did right.

Re:Salaries (5, Insightful)

captbob2002 (411323) | about 2 years ago | (#40157503)

That seems to be the case that I see. Positions that want YEARS of experience, long lists of certifications, and pay around $34,000.

Same with any other area, there is no shortage of people wanting jobs, there *is* a shortage of people wanting to be slaves. Shouldn't "market forces" tell these "job creators" that they are not paying enough?

Re:Salaries (1)

brad-x (566807) | about 2 years ago | (#40157601)

Ain't that the truth.

Re:Salaries (1)

betterunixthanunix (980855) | about 2 years ago | (#40157615)

Market forces put those salaries where they are. The IT positions are hard to fill, not impossible to fill; there are enough people willing to be slaves.

Re:Salaries (4, Insightful)

crazyjj (2598719) | about 2 years ago | (#40157679)

there are enough people willing to be slaves.

Yeah, all you have to do is get them H1B visas.

Re:Salaries (2)

sjames (1099) | about 2 years ago | (#40157699)

Market forces are raising those salaries. Employers that didn't get the memo are having a hard time hiring people.

You pay slave wages, you get slave labour. (5, Insightful)

khasim (1285) | about 2 years ago | (#40157815)

While you MIGHT get extremely lucky and find one of the few techs who (for whatever reason) needs a job at any salary while having all those skills ...

You'll pretty much end up with two situations:

1. That person will be gone as soon as they find a better paying job. And you will have to start over again.

2. That person really does not have those skills and is willing to learn them "on the job" while making all the mistakes a novice would make. And then leaves to find a better paying job.

Either way, you pay slave wages, you get slave labour.

Re:Salaries (4, Insightful)

MickyTheIdiot (1032226) | about 2 years ago | (#40157623)

Market forces are warped. That is what happens when you can buy laws and that is what is happening now. It's pathetic to see people scream at the free market and purchase legislators at the same time.

Re:Salaries (1)

localman57 (1340533) | about 2 years ago | (#40157717)

What laws do you think have been bought here that are causing this dynamic? Not being snarky, just asking. This really does seem to me like a case of people not being willing to what they feel is too high, and workers not taking jobs that they feel pay too low...

Re:Salaries (2)

MickyTheIdiot (1032226) | about 2 years ago | (#40157827)

Three characters: H1B.

Re:Salaries (0)

crazyjj (2598719) | about 2 years ago | (#40157641)

I've seen jobs that wouldn't even pay enough to make student loan payments on the degrees I would have to get just to qualify for them. Not to mention the jobs that want 10 years experience programming in languages that aren't even 10 years old.

James Gosling (1)

eugene ts wong (231154) | about 2 years ago | (#40157787)

I heard that James Gosling is pretty excited. 3 years from now, he'll finally have enough experience to apply for those entry level Java programming jobs!

Re:Salaries (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40157509)

Or maybe they're asking IT employes to be able to fill in for five roles at once? I'm sorry but a Jack-of-all-trades isn't good enough for specific positions.

Just as an example, in the Web field, most employers seem to think that someone should be able to go from using Illustrator to writing HTML, CSS and Javascript and coding server-side stuff including databases.

I'm sorry but in my book, that's three jobs, not one. People who studied in graphic design don't really know anything about coding websites and web coders will only make a mess and security nightmare with your server code.

Re:Salaries (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40157647)

Or on the engineering side...

Asking for VMWare, Hyper, Xen server and desktop virtualization experience, able to manage and configure fiber channel and iSCSI SANs, disaster recovery, Windows AD, Exchange 2010 and Cisco routing and VPN. and provide tech support (oncall included) for lower tiers. Starting salary... $65-75K depending on experience.

Re:Salaries (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40157849)

You just basically described my job, and my salary. Oh, you forgot "manage a team" and "plan budgets".

Re:Salaries (2)

Crudely_Indecent (739699) | about 2 years ago | (#40157861)

That sounds like a job I recently quit.

I was brought on board to manage the server and network infrastructure. Then the tech support guy quit. So I started giving high level tech support. Shortly after that, the guy who climbed the radio towers quit. When a tower went down due to lightning strike - I donned the climbing harness and up I went. A while after that - one of the guys who did installs quit. So I did several installs per week to catch up the remaining installer. The owner promised a few websites to his buddies - so I ended up building those.

It seemed like the owner would pile another responsibility on my plate every so often - like a boiling frog, I didn't really notice until it was just plain overwhelming.

When I finally quit - so did everyone else.... I gave notice, everyone else just quit on my last day. That day is still satisfying to think about.

Re:Salaries (4, Insightful)

MickyTheIdiot (1032226) | about 2 years ago | (#40157539)

Well, that and they are often some of least respected positions in the U.S. There are plenty of people in I.T. fed up with the fact that while it isn't really a "dead end" job, you are always in a bad situation. If you're bad at your job, you just eventually lose it. If you are good at your job, some places will be scared to advance you or, since being good at your job really mean more idle time in I.T., they'll claim it's a place to cut and STILL fire you. There's also that pesky fact that many of the baldy suits can't understand what you do.

The way I.T. has been handled over the years by the management types is a prime problem in getting people in to the jobs. The I.T. people are smart and they see the "creative" people get respect and they see the pointy-head management get overpaid. It's no surprise that it would lose it's appeal.

Re:Salaries (2)

Spazmania (174582) | about 2 years ago | (#40157631)

I have a position that has been open for 6 months. No one has turned us down on salary because no one has presented a skill set strong enough to get an in-person interview let alone an offer.

Apparently strong network security (packet/protocol level) + network operations background + minor software development + security clearance is an impossible combination to find.

Re:Salaries (1)

MickyTheIdiot (1032226) | about 2 years ago | (#40157685)

That seems like two or three specialties right there...

Don't the H.R. people hate "jack of all trades" people, too?

Re:Salaries (3, Insightful)

Spazmania (174582) | about 2 years ago | (#40157807)

At my company we call them "folks with broad skill sets." That's who we hire. Hard to keep someone with a too-narrow skill set busy doing work that's of actual value.

Re:Salaries (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40157791)

Sorry, I don't buy your argument.

If you strike possessing security clearance from the listed of mandatory requirements, and change it to "must be able to obtain a security clearance", your field of candidates will open up. Yes, you will have to pay for someone to get cleared, and that is not cheap, but there is an acute shortage of information security practitioners as it is.

The reality is IS pro's with TS/SCI clearance command a premium due to the insatiable demand from the U.S. Government and firms that do business with the same.

Re:Salaries (1)

jbolden (176878) | about 2 years ago | (#40157831)

That doesn't sound impossible to find I've worked with those people. But security clearance cuts your ability to pick anything else rather dramatically. Generally you are better off grooming security clearances.

Re:Salaries (1)

fermion (181285) | about 2 years ago | (#40157837)

It is also general misunderstanding of requirements. For instance, do all your software developers need a computer science degree. Would and engineering or hard science degree suffice if they can demonstrate ability to code. Do all you engineers need to be recent graduates, or would perhaps experience be beneficial? In general when I look for a job, it seems that companies are most often looking for a type instead of a skill. Which is their right. What I don't like is they claiming there is some sort of work shortage, and demanding that public funds be spent and laws be changed to help the work shortage end, while not hiring the people who have the skills. I understand that if one can get an indentured servant to work for you that is the best. But lack of indentured servant is not the same as lack of workers. Some of us simply like to be compensated and treated like a productive member of the staff.

Or find someone to slave for low wages (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40157449)

Perhaps if there was a better compensation model this would not be such an issue, but wanting somebody with 5 years of sysadmin experience running Windows 2003-2008R2 and RedHat and LAMP and JBoss for $50k may not be realistic...

Re:Or find someone to slave for low wages (1)

SJHillman (1966756) | about 2 years ago | (#40157529)

One place I interviewed at wanted a one-man IT department (helpdesk, network, systems, programming, etc) for 80 users for $32k with mediocre benefits. The fact they wanted at least 8 years experience with Windows 7/Server 2008 R2 in 2010 should have been a hint...

Re:Or find someone to slave for low wages (1)

MickyTheIdiot (1032226) | about 2 years ago | (#40157737)

Yeah. Turning around to run is the correct action there.

Re:Or find someone to slave for low wages (0)

crazyjj (2598719) | about 2 years ago | (#40157743)

And probably expected you to be on call 24/7 to boot.

Re:Or find someone to slave for low wages (1)

Bob the Super Hamste (1152367) | about 2 years ago | (#40157795)

The requirements that they ask for always seem retarded. I think that is mostly driven by HR as a way to filter people without understanding. An IT manager comes and says we need a senior X person with these skills (pick appropriate subset). The HR drone assumes that means we need someone with 5, 8, or 10+ years experience with new technology Y. I saw similar things back in the early 2000s where they were looking for people with 10+ years of Java experience. Part of me does wonder if this is one of those tactics they use to show that there aren't qualified personnel in the US that can do the job so they need to import some workers for it.

Not hard... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40157453)

...when you just fill the positions with H1B visa holders. Large corporations have figured that one out - just barrage the US government with applications and hire people next to nothing. Can't fill positions if you want them to speak 10 different languages, write code in five different programming languages, and be willing to do it on $20k USD a year - unless you import a 'hired gun'. The fix is in...

Re:Not hard... (1)

fiannaFailMan (702447) | about 2 years ago | (#40157829)

20K / year? I suspect a bit of exaggeration there. I came to the US as a H1B. I started on a pretty decent salary (which was twice what I was getting in the UK). Sure it wasn't 80k, but it wasn't far off and doesn't exactly compare with minimum wage which you're implying with your "next to nothing" quip. And as time wore on my salary increased very quickly to the point where I'm now getting slightly more than the going rate for the work I'm doing. And I stayed long enough to get my green card at great expense to myself as well as my employer after an epic six year wait.

Hard to find: For their price range (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40157461)

Generally it's not the case they can't find them at all, they abound. They just can't find them at the substandard price and unreasonable work hours they used to. It's like the girl who gets hit on constantly by good but average guys and complains "why doesn't anyone hit on me?"

Reasons (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40157467)

From the article the 3 reasons why they can't find people:

1.) lack of available applicants
2.) applicants looking for more pay
3.) lack of experience.

I'm willing to bet that all 3 reasons are related to #2. Post a job listing online, looking for 20 yrs experience in Java and offer 40K/yr. Lets see anyone reasonable come try and fill that job post without asking for more money.

Re:Reasons (2, Insightful)

crazyjj (2598719) | about 2 years ago | (#40157599)

Lets see anyone reasonable come try and fill that job post without asking for more money.

No they'll just go crying to their cronies in Congress to give them more H1B visas, saying there aren't any American workers out there. Then they'll hire some guy from India willing to work for next to nothing--who will produce shitty work in the long run, but hey it's all about the short term profits on paper anyway.

Second half of the phrase.... (4, Insightful)

wickerprints (1094741) | about 2 years ago | (#40157471)

"IT positions some of the toughest jobs to fill in the US...because employers can't get enough cheap H1B foreign labor." This is not about finding Americans with enough technical expertise, of which there are plenty--it's about employers who aren't willing to pay for it, and want to hire cheap labor from India/China visa holders.

Re:Second half of the phrase.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40157553)

You can't be more wrong.

I don't have any degree or certification of any kind, yet I'm a Sys Admin earning 100k a year in a place where there's a low cost of living. The problem is finding the skills required, which mine are fairly vast.

Go take your low self esteem and shame back to your parent's basement.

Re:Second half of the phrase.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40157653)

Hey, look, an anecdote! Time to ignore the evidence, everybody!

Re:Second half of the phrase.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40157677)

I'd be interested to know how long you've had this possition and how you worked your way up into it? Some organizations are good about that kind of thing but they're few and far between and today it seems tougher than ever to walk in without a degree and get taken seriously even if you can display your work.

Re:Second half of the phrase.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40157757)

I don't have any degree or certification of any kind

And you have the corresponding attitude. Enjoy your good fortune.

Re:Second half of the phrase.... (1)

sgt_doom (655561) | about 2 years ago | (#40157691)

Thanks, --- all intelligent comments such as yours, good citizen wickerprints, are truly appreciated --- and getting rarer and rarer here....

more like trouble finding staff at their price... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40157487)

I am sick of seeing these garbage stories, proliferated by greedy companies, who just want caps on immigrant workers lifted. There are plenty of qualified staff available, if you are willing to pay the market rate.
If you are an intelligent person, with good skills, you are not going to stay in any occupation that doesn't suitably reward you. Companies have to realise that.

Re:more like trouble finding staff at their price. (3, Insightful)

MickyTheIdiot (1032226) | about 2 years ago | (#40157785)

Again, when you can buy your own laws the market is warped. This is what is happening.

There is plenty of talent and plenty of people if you just follow the rules like you did in the good ol' days. This is one of those situations where the good old days were ACTUALLY good. Businesses had to compete for skills and didn't go crying to their favorite senator with money in hand when the market didn't go their way.

Talent (2)

Spazmania (174582) | about 2 years ago | (#40157491)

To be clear: we're not struggling to find *people*, we're struggling to find *talent*.

of course (1)

g0es (614709) | about 2 years ago | (#40157493)

Working in IT in most organizations is soul sucking.

Got laid off but found a job next day. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40157497)

Having been a UNIX admin for over 14 years, I was laid off from a contracting company but after updating my resume, got 3 calls a day and an interview following week and hired when my 2 week was up.

No joke, a DBA friend who also got laid off with me also found a job after 3 week.

Translation (0)

crazyjj (2598719) | about 2 years ago | (#40157507)

IT positions are hard to fill

Translation: We can't find anyone to fill these positions at wages slightly above minimum wage. Please give us more H1B visas so we can import workers willing to work for slave wages.

Two part problem (5, Insightful)

i kan reed (749298) | about 2 years ago | (#40157525)

1. Americans bailed on the sector when the first big bump in 1998-2000. This left a gap that new trainees never really came in to fill.
2. H1Bs go home. This means the insane over-recruitment of H1B employees had a cost at the end of their terms.
3. There has been, up until 2008, and attitude in the U.S. that any college degree is good enough. My state only graduated 40,000 people from community colleges/trade schools this year. Everyone with higher aspirations just went to a 4 year school. To do less is to view oneself as a failure(and employers do too).
4. Combine that with a culture with a slight distaste for mathematics and science and that's more than enough basic features to explain a discrepancy of this level.

Re:Two part problem (2)

betterunixthanunix (980855) | about 2 years ago | (#40157701)

You left out low salaries. It amazes me how little companies are paying their IT workers, while simultaneously complaining about the lack of competent IT staff and the risk of a low-paid tech guy leaking their trade secrets.

Re:Two part problem (1)

dkleinsc (563838) | about 2 years ago | (#40157851)

5. Many employers refuse to hire any employee immediately out of college, because studies have shown that technical staff make their big mistakes in their first 2 years on the job. That leads directly to the "can't get experience without a job, can't get a job without experience" problem.
6. There has continued to be an attitude that a good system administrator, network administrator, help desk guy, or programmer should have a degree in Computer Science or something similar. Many do, but many also have degrees in mathematics, engineering, or physics, and some have no degree at all.

Basic economics (5, Insightful)

beamin (23709) | about 2 years ago | (#40157537)

They just need to up their offer. Go invisible hand!

Re:Basic economics (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40157733)

There's still an unfotunate trend in manager thought that if it isn't a tech company, they shouldn't have to spend much on tech. (But the one overworked guy in the basement should still be able to get their iPad working flawlessly on the system while protecting all data from all sorts of attacks.)

I suppose it has to do with whether they see IT as an essential alternative to higher overhead elsewhere, or whether they see it as a form of high-tech janitor (altough, a Shadowrun style drone rigger could make quite the uber-janitor...)

I think we all know how to solve this problem... (4, Informative)

spagthorpe (111133) | about 2 years ago | (#40157541)

If the salaries for those positions were acceptable to the people with those skills, they would have no problem filling the positions.

I get weekly emails from companies wanting me to do contract work, all senior engineer level work, as a contractor (no benefits, 1099 work), and the hourly rate is pathetic. Then they cry about not being able to hire engineers, and how we need to outsource/bring in H1Bs. Let them struggle.

Re:I think we all know how to solve this problem.. (1)

Virtucon (127420) | about 2 years ago | (#40157721)

I know what you mean. I routinely get messages asking me if I'd be interested to work in Bentonville Arkansas. NFW am I working for Walmart even if it is in IT!

There is a major shortage of recuiters and HR (5, Insightful)

johnb10001 (604626) | about 2 years ago | (#40157543)

people that can write a job description and match job seekers to the jobs.

Re:There is a major shortage of recuiters and HR (1)

SJHillman (1966756) | about 2 years ago | (#40157649)

The position I was in now was taken down for a few months, renamed and reposted. Originally, they had a lot of applicants who just saw the title "Systems Administrator" and applied with expectations for $60k+ salaries... if they had read the actual description, it would have been obvious the position is for a much more junior level person with a salary to match.

Re:There is a major shortage of recuiters and HR (1)

skids (119237) | about 2 years ago | (#40157667)

This. They'd have better luck if they stopped posting resumes obviously written by clueless PHBs, as we can smell people we do not want to work for a mile away.

Probably because they want to pay peanuts (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40157557)

And are surprised when they get monkeys. That and it might reflect a complete failure in HR practices.

Either way, it's clearly time to open the H1-B etc floodgates to mitigate the above two failings.

"IT Staff?" (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40157569)

IT is kind of a nebulous term. Going by the common definition on the street, I'm guessing that "IT Staff" means "On-site computer support people willing to work for just over minimum wage and oh yeah, can you carry the duty pager tonight?"

I could see it (4, Insightful)

Sycraft-fu (314770) | about 2 years ago | (#40157581)

To do well in IT you just have to have a certain problem solving ability. I don't think it is something that can be taught, or at least I can't tell you how to teach it. It isn't about knowing a lot about computers, it is about being able to process novel problems and find solutions to them, expediently preferably.

That's what we look for when we hire students (I do IT work for a university). Finding students with experience is hard since, well, they are students of course they don't have experience and that aside the kind of things we do, almost nobody has experience with. That's ok, what we are really after is someone who is good with problem solving, particularly the kind of problem solving you need for computers.

I've encountered more than a few people who are not very qualified/competent in IT. We've hired a few people since I've worked here and I've sat on their hiring board (the IT manager, my boss, usually has 4 other technical people with him on the board for interviews). The only people in interviews already made it past HR's resume filtering, and then were the best resume's from the bunch we got. Still, many have been totally unqualified and it becomes readily apparent in the interview process.

Re:I could see it (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40157857)

The bigger problem is that who in a typical HR role has the capacity to recognize those logical skills? Usually they have no idea what to look for so they just cut and paste a lot of experience and certificates/degrees as requirements to cover their ass.

Today's IT Job market (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40157589)

Sucks for most, but the skilled english speaking talent will have no problem at all getting work.

In transition myself to a new job (I hate microstrategy, and no, I have no interest in learning it) - be reasonable, a little animated, somewhat excited about solving problems and you will do well.

The flip side is the negotiation cycle - folks think that just because the job market is weak for most, that the skilled set will make massive concessions on salary. Its about the time I start asking for massive concessions on work environment (aka telecommute). For some reason, everyone is still afraid of remote work.

No, really? (5, Insightful)

Sarten-X (1102295) | about 2 years ago | (#40157613)

As someone who recently sought to fill one of those openings, I have some advice for companies looking to hire: Let your existing IT people write the job listing. A disturbing number of the listings I came across were ridiculous.

5 years experience required, for an entry-level position at $25,000 salary with weekends on-call? Nope. I might be unemployed, but I don't want to lose money on a job.

Looking for someone A+-certified with mainframe maintenance and 15 years of Java programming experience? I'm close to qualified, but now I'm scared.

Five programming tests and two phone interviews, and the face-to-face interviewer doesn't even get my name even close to right? I don't think the epitome of "faceless corporation" is the right fit...

Look, I understand that there are lots of IT folks out of work, and you think that if you ask for the world, you'll get it from them. You might meet some success, but is stripping your employees of dignity really the right way to get a productive workforce?

Basic business school.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40157617)

"the most common reasons employers say they are having trouble filling jobs, including lack of available applicants, applicants looking for more pay and lack of experience."

Really? Do businesses not understand the laws of Supply and Demand? When supply shrinks or demand goes up the price you have to pay to get the good also goes up. Either you pay more, you do without, or create more supply (I.E. hire noobs and train them).

Re:Basic business school.... (1)

vlm (69642) | about 2 years ago | (#40157811)

create more supply (I.E. hire noobs and train them).

You miswrote:

create more supply (I.E. pay politicians to open up the H1B floodgates).

Unwilling to Train? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40157629)

Seems like in addition to the low pay, mediocre benefits, and high expectations for years of experience, most companies are unwilling to train new people which pretty much fails the Cheap/Easy/Fast triangle. Try the cheap/easy route of a new person fresh from school - you might even try hiring them before the last person leaves - but that would require forethought.

The usual Propaganda (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40157643)

Actually, there are plenty of people to fill these jobs. They're just Americans, who apparently aren't worth hiring, and obviously have no political voice or politicians would be courting them. They're not, which tells you what side their bread is buttered - corporate interests. The last 30 hires I've seen go by at my company are all from India and China. One in my group is an "intern". Actually, the person graduated and was offered a regular job, but had visa problems - stupid H1B limits, the person says indignantly. So rather than hire an American, they just brought the person in as an intern. There are no "critical" skills. This is just a recent college graduate. Nothing special or high-skill. No relevant training, just a smart kid like all the others. There's a critical mass now, and a definite descrimination bias against Americans. It's actually a fascinating turnaround from the old America, when it was impossible for immigrants to find work. Unfortunately for our politicians, those people can't vote, because they're not citizens. That said, American tech workers have been sold out by both sides of the aisle for corporate money. Every single person in my team is from another country. And all will likely go back home when their visas run out, to work in the Bangalore or Shanghai offices at the same job.

Re:The usual Propaganda (0, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40157841)

And all will likely go back home when their visas run out, to work in the Bangalore or Shanghai offices at the same job.

And with as much of your company's IT and trade secrets as they can grab while they're here.

Experience (2)

killmenow (184444) | about 2 years ago | (#40157645)

I know how hard it is to find experienced IT staff. Especially when I see job postings for people who have "at least 5 years experience" with tech that only became available 3 years ago.

Bullshit (3, Insightful)

smooth wombat (796938) | about 2 years ago | (#40157651)

This is the same whining we hear year after year. It's been going on since at least the early 90s, if not earlier. With few exceptions, there are people out there willing to fill these jobs but employers are unwilling to hire them because (jumping on the bandwagon here) they don't want to pay these technical people what they are worth and will not accept anyone who does not meet the exact, cross the T, dot the I experience they think they want.

Employers have essentially pawned off all training on schools, completely unwilling to offer even the barest training to bring people up to speed. They now expect you to know the intricate details of their organization even though you have never worked for them before.

Employers have brought this upon themselves and are now acting like spoiled 2 year olds, stomping their feet and holding their breath until they get their way.

You want to know how to fill these positions? REDUCE the number of H1B visas and force employers to hire those unemployed IT folks who have applied for these positions but were rejected because they didn't fit the bill 100%.

When I see the same job postings from the same employers month after month, entry to mid-level jobs, not the high-end, ultra technical positions which legitimately could have a shortage of workers, there are only two conclusions to reach: either no one is applying for the positions (for whatever reason), or employers are rejecting everyone because their standards are too high (and their heads are too high up their asses to figure it out).

Oh, wow, dood, ManPower Group (1)

sgt_doom (655561) | about 2 years ago | (#40157669)

...I remember them, back in 2003, they shut down 1,000 offices throughout the USA and opened up about that many throughout China. Yeah, they surely are completely trustworthy, doods!

You betcha, yaaaaah shoooor.....we only learned about it in an off-hand business report published in 2005.

Parents of College Students (1)

Ensign_Expendable (1045224) | about 2 years ago | (#40157675)

The next time your kid says the college advisor told him/or her about the great careers awaiting Western Civ graduates, smack the crap out of him/her and MAKE them go to engineering school!!!

Third half of the phrase... (1)

fluffythedestroyer (2586259) | about 2 years ago | (#40157683)

I noticed lots of employers don't want to train their staff or offer some kind of investment program to their employee's or any type of training from the other staff as well. In other words, they want the new guys to perform at 150% on the minute they are hired and they are very impatient on that. It's either they perform top notch right away or they get out right away. Lots of boss forgot that those IT Staff are humans and not computers or robots.

Re:Third half of the phrase... (1)

fluffythedestroyer (2586259) | about 2 years ago | (#40157723)

third half... lol

Bullshit! (3, Insightful)

Virtucon (127420) | about 2 years ago | (#40157689)

The problem is that all these employers are looking for $10,000 Ferraris and bitching because they can't fill the niche. That way they can go out and cry to the Labor Department for an H1-B so they can get somebody on the cheap.

It's not that the IT folks are asking for big money, but a decent living wage and employers are tempted with the H1-B rules to go out and leverage the crap out of them. Also there is a trend, in general, to have requirements so specific that the HR folks or the dreaded Taleo bullshit will filter out candidates who meet 70 to 80 percent of the requirements. I realize that's the situation we've been in for years but for all these employers who are crying I say that there are people out there who can work for them if 1) They're willing to pay at least the market rate for some of these positions rather than trying to drive the prices into the dirt and 2) Taking a look at their requirements and matching their candidates objectively, not allowing some fucking acronym matcher determine if a person is suitable or not for a job. Yeah, I know
maybe that's too much to ask but considering that the information is coming from an HR temp staffing firm, which is another big, big problem with the IT industry but that's another kettle of fish.

Companies are bad at hiring (4, Insightful)

Kohath (38547) | about 2 years ago | (#40157707)

Companies (and HR departments in particular) are bad at hiring someone to grow into a job. They want someone who is in the top 20% of their profession and can do the entire job starting right away, but then they base their pay scales on the 50th percentile.

Headhunters also do a bad job, at a high price.

If there were people who could actually be trusted to do a good job at filling positions, lots of people would benefit.

3 reasons (5, Insightful)

jbolden (176878) | about 2 years ago | (#40157731)

The original article listed the 3 reasons the slots were hard to fill, "including lack of available applicants, applicants looking for more pay and lack of experience"

So in other words employers who don't recruit, don't pay much and aren't willing to train are having trouble. Well good.

Not enough talent? Yeah right... (1)

ilsaloving (1534307) | about 2 years ago | (#40157735)

Maybe if they stopped asking for 5 years of Windows 8 experience, they'll have better luck?

List of issues (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40157759)

1. Relatively low pay for a job which requires constant training, certification, and work experience.
2. Almost no time to get the training or certification while maintaining work experience.
3. Constant complaints about the quality of job they are performing even if they aren't responsible for incidents at work.
4. Needing to be on call 24/7.
5. Having almost no job security as people keep talking about outsourcing your job.

* Note that I am an engineer who tends to have lots of friends in the IT industry. Personally, I try to do my own computer maintenance when possible at work and try not to complicate their lives any more.

Fortune passes everywhere (5, Interesting)

undeadbill (2490070) | about 2 years ago | (#40157769)

Management are finally discovering what experienced IT staffers have been warning them about for years- failure to invest in training and mentoring entry-level staff will result in shortages over all levels of skill in the future.

Skilled staff are not a commodity. They are not widgets that can be easily replaced. Moreover, the attrition rate for the IT field is high- I am one of 4 people I know among my extended group of friends with more than 20 years in the business who are still working as non-management. Everyone else has either changed professions to something else, or is in management.

The unemployment rate for IT staff in my region is less than 3%. I stopped trying to get requisitions for new staff to train up years ago when I realized that until their pants are on fire, management at most companies simply won't understand that it can take three to five years to train up a good IT staffer, provided the will and funding are there to do it. So, this new "news" is not a surprise to me, and I've taken a more laid back approach as I've realized that there isn't any purpose to changing some peoples' minds about the growing staff shortage. As of now, I'm enjoying the ride, letting people call me and determining where I'm going to have to argue least about pay.

Ageism (5, Interesting)

vlm (69642) | about 2 years ago | (#40157789)

Don't forget the ageism thing. Shocked no one mentioned this.

Must have 25 years Java experience... and the unwritten rule is be under 30.

Sometimes ageism shows up in ridiculous combos, where the only way to get that combo is to already have that specific position, or be about 60.. and they only hire kids under 30.

it is a truism (1)

spirit_fingers (777604) | about 2 years ago | (#40157803)

This confirms my experience as an IT Manager that it's hard to find good people, even in a recession.

Ridiculous requirements and bad salaries (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40157809)

What if drivers were hired like software developers?

Job title: car driver

Job requirements: professional skills in driving normal- and heavy-freight cars, buses and trucks, trolley buses, trams, subways, tractors, shovel diggers, contemporary light and heavy tanks currently in use by NATO countries.

Skills in rally and extreme driving are obligatory!
Formula-1 driving experience is a plus.

Knowledge and experience in repairing of piston and rotor/Wankel engines, automatic and manual transmissions, ignition systems, board computer, ABS, ABD, GPS and car-audio systems by world-known manufacturers - obligatory!

Experience with car-painting and tinsmith tasks is a plus.

The applicants must have certificates by BMW, General Motors and Bosch, but not older than two years.

Compensation: $15-$20/hour, depends on the interview result.

Education requirements: Bachelor's Degree of Engineering.

Unwilling to train people as well? (1)

Salpula (1598505) | about 2 years ago | (#40157835)

I have noticed that while searching for an IT job that 99% of the listings I come across (at least in my region) want someone with 3-5 years experience and a degree, or you have to be certified in like 4 technologies. I have an associate degree in computer and communications technology and am about to get my cisco CCNA certification. Even with the certification, it seems everyone wants experience. Where are the companies looking to hire intelligent people who are willing to learn and have a strong base from which to build? Or is that not a viable option because no one is willing to pay them enough to stick around?

Study Says... (1)

clinko (232501) | about 2 years ago | (#40157855)

This is a link from Slashdot, to blog spam, linking to a press releases, which is an advertisement for a company that specialises in supplying solutions to the problem in the press release.

"Study: It's hot outside, you should hydrate." - Coca-Cola Bottling Co.

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