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Ask Slashdot: Why Are Tech Job Requirements So Specific?

timothy posted about 9 months ago | from the based-this-one-on-my-nephew's-resume dept.

Programming 465

First time accepted submitter hurwak-feg writes "I am in the market for a new IT (software development or systems administration) job for the first time and several years and noticed that many postings have very specific requirements (i.e. specific models of hardware, specific software versions). I don't understand this. I like working with people that have experience with technologies that I don't because what they are familiar with might be a better solution for a problem than what I am familiar with. Am I missing something or are employers making it more difficult for themselves and job seekers by rejecting otherwise qualified candidates that don't meet a very specific mold. Is there a good reason for being extremely specific in job requirements that I am just not seeing?"

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To hire specific people (5, Informative)

tepples (727027) | about 9 months ago | (#45550511)

I'm under the impression that the more specific a tech job requirement is, the more likely it was written to target one person, such as a specific foreign citizen on an H-1B visa. That or the company just wants to be a cheapskate, wanting the new hire to be productive from day two instead of taking two weeks to train him or her.

Re:To hire specific people (5, Interesting)

Lodlaiden (2767969) | about 9 months ago | (#45550531)

The "To hire specific people" may be spot on. Sometimes an employer will write a job posting as a way of promoting an internal employee, though they have to post it as an open req for staff, so it doesn't look like favoritism(sp?).

Re:To hire specific people (4, Insightful)

ebno-10db (1459097) | about 9 months ago | (#45550889)

Sometimes an employer will write a job posting as a way of promoting an internal employee, though they have to post it as an open req for staff, so it doesn't look like favoritism(sp?).

Pssst, wanna buy a bridge? Those absurdly specific job listings are to justify H-1B's. Promotions are promotions, and no one sees them as favoritism unless favoritism was the basis for the promotion. Absurdly specific reqs would be seen as favortism, if one favored Bob, when everybody knows Charlie does a better job and has all the necessary skills.

Re:To hire specific people (4, Insightful)

greg_barton (5551) | about 9 months ago | (#45550551)

This. The more specific the req the more easily you can say "no one in the country is qualified to fill it" and get an H1-B.

Re:To hire specific people (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45550575)

Your impression is correct. My immigration law professor talked about this during our visa lectures. The company will find an H-1B candidate they want then the corporate attorney writes a job app matching that person. Bingo, no one matches the description and you can then hire your H-1B.

Re:To hire specific people (3, Insightful)

majid_aldo (812530) | about 9 months ago | (#45550789)

this is not the process to get an h1b candidate. this process is to process a green card. it's a labor certification process.. for the sake of "labor protection", the employer has to say to the government..look i didn't find any citizen or permanent resident for this job.

Re:To hire specific people (4, Funny)

ebno-10db (1459097) | about 9 months ago | (#45550905)

Apparently you know more than an immigration law professor.

Re:To hire specific people (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45550931)

That's what I meant when I wrote, "no one matches the description and you can then hire your H-1B." I guess I should have been more specific.

Re:To hire specific people (1)

lightknight (213164) | about 9 months ago | (#45550801)

It's so Evil, it's super Evil.

Re:To hire specific people (1)

Hognoxious (631665) | about 9 months ago | (#45550875)

Slight problems with your theory:

One, it happens in countries that don't have H1-Bs.

Two, unless these H1-Bs are coming from Gallifrey there's no way they have 279 years experience in Java 147 on RHEL DCXLIV.

Re:To hire specific people (1)

ebno-10db (1459097) | about 9 months ago | (#45550969)

My immigration law professor talked about this during our visa lectures.

Out of curiosity, what attitude did he have towards the practice? I would think it's unlawful, or at least a serious violation of legal ethics, because it's fraudulent - falsely claiming you need someone with a given very specific set of skills just so you can circumvent the H-1B requirement that you first try to hire an American. At the very least it seems like violation of doing something in "good faith". I'm not sure if that term is used outside of contract law, and one could argue it's terribly vague, but I think it has a clear meaning.

Re:To hire specific people (5, Insightful)

bsolar (1176767) | about 9 months ago | (#45550587)

The other reason is that many companies are not interested in training people anymore: they want someone already trained to put to the task immediately without additional costs.

Re:To hire specific people (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45550809)

And this is certainly true when we're hiring at senior levels and salaries over $80k, we want someone already experienced in what we need them to do. I work with Oracle's ERP system, there are tons of American consultants that meet our very specific job requirements, if they were willing to settle down locally. We have gone to lengths to make sure our system is plain-standard out-of-the-box so that we don't need to train an experienced employee about tons of specific peculiarities. If you pass the 6 month probation (which isn't hard if you actually know what you're doing) then we have great job security. But we're sick of SQL-Server DBA, and SAP consultants, and web developers who apply knowing nothing about the structure of EBS; we're not going to pay an $80k salary for you to learn on the job.

We do occasionally hire at the entry level, without such specific job requirements, but those people usually leave on their own after they've gotten their experience and training on our time.

Also we never hire H-1B's.

Re:To hire specific people (2)

Rob the Bold (788862) | about 9 months ago | (#45550599)

I'm under the impression that the more specific a tech job requirement is, the more likely it was written to target one person, such as a specific foreign citizen on an H-1B visa. That or the company just wants to be a cheapskate, wanting the new hire to be productive from day two instead of taking two weeks to train him or her.

This is exactly it. Extremely specific job notices satisfy the requirement of posting the job and finding no qualified citizen or resident, allowing the importation of the H1B worker. Unless you're applying for the job to satisfy unemployment insurance requirement, no point in even applying.

Re:To hire specific people (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45550601)

I agree, it is partly being cheap because they don't want to train someone properly themselves. They expect the market to have the specific skillset they desire with a snap of the fingers. Which is funny, they want to pay an entry-level salary for someone with 3 years experience in a product which has only been on the market for 2 years.

Another part I think is dumbass HR drones. Many of them haven't a clue and ask such intelligent questions during the interviews as: "What is your favorite color?" Heloooo, this isn't some dipshit interview for a boyfriend, you silly female HR idiots. One of those I answered deadpan with "red - spraying arterial blood style". The look on that moron's face was priceless.

More seriously: if you can, talk with the manager who is looking to fill a position. They've got more sense than the HR department's mangling of everything left-right-center. He will understand that the idea is to find someone who can actually do the work and not someone who can jump through a million hoops of paperwork and red tape that just slows everything to a crawl.

Re: To hire specific people (5, Insightful)

pev (2186) | about 9 months ago | (#45550821)

"you silly female HR idiots."

Have you been in storage since the 50's or are you intentionally saying that to ensure that no one takes you seriously?

Re:To hire specific people (1)

lightknight (213164) | about 9 months ago | (#45550841)

Given the job requirements, it's almost like someone is engaging in temporal reverse engineering to make people come into existence for exactly the job qualifications that are then posted.

Re:To hire specific people (1)

lightknight (213164) | about 9 months ago | (#45550861)

I don't want to tell you what might be doing to Time or Space.

Re:To hire specific people (1)

lightknight (213164) | about 9 months ago | (#45550873)

what this* might be doing to Time or Space.

Re:To hire specific people (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45550617)

I'm under the impression that the more specific a tech job requirement is, the more likely it was written to target one person, such as a specific foreign citizen on an H-1B visa.

This does happen, as employers themselves have told me.

However, I think it's more common that they're just idiots. I work in a large tech company, and applied for internal reqs (no labor department requirements. And many job listings are as restrictive as OP describes. Months later, they still had not been filled.

Re:To hire specific people (2)

mark_reh (2015546) | about 9 months ago | (#45550655)

That's because the H1B they were hoping to hire got a job elsewhere.

Must have valid work permit (1)

tompaulco (629533) | about 9 months ago | (#45550783)

I remember last time I was looking for work that one of the big requirements was "Must have valid work permit to work in the United States". They were quite serious about this requirement. If you were a citizen, then you obviously didn't have a work permit and so therefore you did not meet the qualifications of the job requirement.

Re:Must have valid work permit (1)

CastrTroy (595695) | about 9 months ago | (#45550823)

Are you sure that's what they mean? Or are you interpreting that the wrong way. Your citizenship is a work permit. Couldn't this be interpreted as "we don't want to help you get work visa, and we want you to be able to start right away". Living in a government city I see similar stuff all the time. "Must have xyz security clearance" is common. The point is, they would rather hire somebody who has the ability to start work right away without any red tape than hire you and find out there's some obscure reason you can't get security clearance.

Re:To hire specific people (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45550913)

> I'm under the impression that the more specific a tech job requirement is, the more likely it was written to target one person, such as a specific foreign citizen on an H-1B visa. That or the company just wants to be a cheapskate, wanting the new hire to be productive from day two instead of taking two weeks to train him or her.

None of what you wrote, makes any sense. Failing logical reasoning and pragmatic needs in one ignorant post (I believe you aren't really ignorant, just trolling or stupid).

If you want to target one person, you solicit that one person. This was codified in tacit agreements between large silicon valley firms. If you want to seek out a bleeding edge developer, you list specific bleeding edge technologies to help set up and maintain that toolchain. If you want to maintain software that isn't de-jour, you list that (SVN, CVS, etc) because you aren't interested in an evangelist. Most of the time, a system is a combination of technologies on the spectrum. Why wouldn't you want to be specific? Making requirements more specific doesn't change who responds to your ads. HB1s will apply because they see 1 term they are slightly familiar with.

If you don't want to spend money and time training someone (who isn't entry or jr) then how is that being a cheapskate? Why wouldn't you?

Re:To hire specific people (2)

Arker (91948) | about 9 months ago | (#45550963)

Yeah, those are basically your options.

If it's an immigration thing they already believe they have the right person and they just now need to write a job spec that no one else will meet in order to get the visa.

If instead of that specific dodge, it's general policy, then you are looking at a common hiring strategy geared around hiring someone that in theory already has all the specific knowledge needed. That almost never really works, and usually those jobs seem to cycle quite frequently. Somewhere there is a manager who is (at least for a time) successful in painting his own incompetence as an issue with procuring the necessary talent.

Re:To hire specific people (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45550973)

There is a third reason. It's to gauge interest.
You might become a great game/graphics/web/whatever developer in time, but if you've never shown any interest in actually doing it before, why should anyone believe that you will show any interest/passion later?
And expecting full training of absolutely everything from an employer is absurd. Training is for things like dress code and coding conventions, not for whether you know the language you're supposed to be programming in. That's what school and work/personal experience is for.

As for specific job adds, yes, some are too specific. But keep in mind the chapter on hiring from Parkinson's Law. I'm paraphrasing a little, but: "The ideally crafted job placement advertisement will have exactly one respondent and that will be the candidate you want". Sifting through resumes, doing interviews, and all that stuff takes time, and time is money.

first post! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45550515)

first post!

It makes sense and it doesn't (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45550519)

A lot of jobs require domain knowledge, meaning that they aren't all that hard, but require a few complex tasks to be repeated over and over. Employers are able to train someone faster if they've been doing similar work.

On the other hand, you're a lot better off as an employer with a smart person with no experience in the field than you are with an idiot who's been doing the same job for years. That understanding hasn't seemed to trickle up toward management just yet. Maybe closer to the point, a manager can't tell a qualified candidate from a blowhard, or an unqualified one from someone who's simply insecure. So they settle for domain knowledge and hope for the best.

You might do better looking at startups. They aren't all ramen and 15-hour workdays, and the environment's usually more conducive to good technical work.

Re:It makes sense and it doesn't (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45550743)

I don't understand it when it comes to Automated test frameworks. Seriously, what's the difference between maintaining a test suite in watir or selenium?

If you've ever programmed automated tests you know it's a lot more difficult than developing the application you are testing. Someone with that level of development skill shouldn't really be questioned about what technology they use.

Re:It makes sense and it doesn't (1)

lightknight (213164) | about 9 months ago | (#45550895)

I take it it doesn't bother you that someone has been stuck in the same job for several years...that that might be unhealthy.

Re:It makes sense and it doesn't (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45550979)

Well, the above is my best guess at what employers are thinking. I'm not an employer myself. If I were, everything would be teddy bears and fluffy clouds, I would only hire geniuses to do every job, and we'd all be millionaires. But if I were a middle-managing drone with a crappy entry level job to fill, and couldn't say off the top of my head what the guy who just quit did all day, I would go and see what tools he was working with and write them down in lieu of a real job description.

Specific Requirements == Specific Person (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45550521)

Usually when it is a very specific requirement it is an Open Request that matches very well to a target candidate. Depending upon laws, contracting or sub contracting regulations, there is a requirement for an open job offer, and it can't be just given to the person that was targetted for the hire.

Internal hires (1)

word munger (550251) | about 9 months ago | (#45550533)

My sense is that a lot of the super-specific postings are written that way because the folks doing the hiring already have someone in mind. So they can say, "Candidate X may have an MS from MIT, but they only know Excel 2010 while my coffee buddy Ron is proficient in Excel 2013!"

Answer: HR departments (5, Insightful)

whoever57 (658626) | about 9 months ago | (#45550535)

There are lots of reports of this problem. HR departments screen resumes and in order to screen down to a manageable number, they specify (and match for) very specfic requirements.

Unfortunately, HR departments don't understand the hiring managers' actual requirements, leading to job posting that (for example) specify "x years of experience with Y language" when the language has not existed for x years.

Re:Answer: HR departments (5, Insightful)

SJester (1676058) | about 9 months ago | (#45550669)

This is completely true. I worked for a headhunter for a while. I was the tech guy who would interview prospects and translate their skills into bullet points for people who need to read bullet points. Meanwhile I had a relative who was a hiring manager at a large firm, so I got to see what happened when the job reqs were sent from IT to HR, what happened when HR put out those reqs, and what happened when I would try to explain to them that Skill X is equivalent to or superseded by Skill Y, and that for example the lack of familiarity with Q was not a showstopper. HR is not populated by techs. These are people who are really good at filing and filling out forms, at shuffling paper, and at bearing up under my contempt for them. But I digress... A position would open up for a developer who was familiar with C++ and experienced with databases and had worked on, IDK, an IBM mainframe. HR would get the req and send it back up with a "Is C++ hardware or software? What model of databases? And is it ok if I should say "familiar with IBM" ?" Eventually the req goes out with "Must have three years of experience with C++, SQL Server, and System/370." This is a small, off-the-cuff and fictional example but it was repeated endlessly.

Re:Answer: HR departments (1)

lightknight (213164) | about 9 months ago | (#45550907)

So...no actual thinking going on there, just filling out forms, going through the motions / gestures. In short, no caring.

Re:Answer: HR departments (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45550851)

There are lots of reports of this problem. HR departments screen resumes and in order to screen down to a manageable number, they specify (and match for) very specfic requirements.

Unfortunately, HR departments don't understand the hiring managers' actual requirements, leading to job posting that (for example) specify "x years of experience with Y language" when the language has not existed for x years.

Which means that the people who do "qualify" are proven liars.

Re:Answer: HR departments (1)

garyoa1 (2067072) | about 9 months ago | (#45550863)

Yup. Outside head hunters aren't always the best way to get a top shelf applicant either. Maybe run of the mill. On the other hand, a company with an internal HR department is usually worse. Especially if they are allowed to do the interview.

H1B Excuses (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45550537)

Companies make impossible lists of requirements so they can bring in an H1B for half of your salary.

Re:H1B Excuses (1)

lightknight (213164) | about 9 months ago | (#45550917)

Again, sounds like temporal reverse engineering. Giant tug of war over people from the future stealing from people in the past, and people in the past stealing from people in the future.

Two things: (4, Insightful)

Blakey Rat (99501) | about 9 months ago | (#45550545)

1) A lot of times, job listings to the public are a required formality when there's already an internal candidate wanted for the position. In this situation, the job description will be written to fit that specific internal candidate's skills as precisely as possible.

2) Job descriptions are crap anyway. If you think you can do the job, apply. If the company doesn't give you an interview because they asked for 5 years C# experience and you only have 4 years, you don't want to work for them anyway. That kind of hellish determination to strictly follow paperwork never leads to a fun work situation.

Re:Two things: (1, Offtopic)

Imagix (695350) | about 9 months ago | (#45550591)

For #2. If the job description says 5 years of C# and you don't have it (and your cover letter doesn't have an adequate explanation why that shortcoming won't be an issue), your resume will be immediately thrown away due to your obvious inability to follow direction. If you're not going to listen before you have the job, what makes me think that you'll listen after you have the job?

Re:Two things: (2)

Derekloffin (741455) | about 9 months ago | (#45550641)

I remember seeing a job add long time ago that required 5 years experience with Java... when Java was 3 and a bit years old. That was amusing.

Re:Two things: (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45550721)

I remember seeing that, too!

Back in 2000, there were lots of job postings looking for "8 years experience", despite the fact that 1995 wasn't 8 years ago.

Maybe it was written for that guy in a Dilbert comic: http://search.dilbert.com/comic/Unix%20Experience

Re:Two things: (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45550799)

My favorite posting was for 15 years of web experience. It was to hire someone with that, but I don't think Tim applied. I always wondered who they got.

Re:Two things: (2)

Imagix (695350) | about 9 months ago | (#45550817)

I recall the same thing. "Must have 5 years of experience with Windows 95"... in 1998. I was thinking: "Uh, that's about 6 people in the world, and the all currently work for Microsoft...."

Re:Two things: (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45550649)

Like the post above yours says, "hellish determination to strictly follow paperwork never leads to a fun work situation." Any workplace that prizes ability to stupidly obey arbitrary directions with no bearing on the task at hand will be a miserable place. A better place to work would be more interested in figuring out whether you were currently competent at C#, not exactly how many years ago you first churned out a crappy mess of code.

Re:Two things: (4, Insightful)

Chelloveck (14643) | about 9 months ago | (#45550693)

True, which is why you should include that reason in your cover letter. I applied for a job that was specifically looking for an experienced C programmer. I'd had a 2-day C class through my previous employer, but I'd never actually used it for anything. But I wanted that job. I sent them my resume along with a letter explaining why my experience was relevant despite not having used the language. The weekend before the interview I sat down with my copy of K&R and taught myself enough to write a print driver. I took that and code samples in other languages along with me, and was completely honest about my experience level -- and emphasized that languages are fundamentally similar, that I knew others and could learn this one. I got the job.

Re:Two things: (4, Insightful)

DarkOx (621550) | about 9 months ago | (#45550829)

I disagree. A lot of job postings really are wishlists. If they have four out of five of the 'requirements' it can still be worth applying at least if you are established in your career and field and are listing some prior experience.

If you have most of what they claim to be looking for and a positive work history with good references its worth a shot anyway. The worst thing that happens to you is you spend half an hour tweaking your cover letter and uploading your CV, and then nobody calls you back. You are out pretty little if you either A need a job or B really think the position is something you like to do.

If you do get to the interview have a story to tell about how you approached something unfamiliar and got up to speed quickly. You'll use this as your answer when the question comes up, "your resume does not mention any experience with $X, what about that?"

This has worked for me in the past.

     

Re:Two things: (2)

RabidReindeer (2625839) | about 9 months ago | (#45550867)

I disagree. A lot of job postings really are wishlists. If they have four out of five of the 'requirements' it can still be worth applying at least if you are established in your career and field and are listing some prior experience.

If you have most of what they claim to be looking for and a positive work history with good references its worth a shot anyway. The worst thing that happens to you is you spend half an hour tweaking your cover letter and uploading your CV, and then nobody calls you back. You are out pretty little if you either A need a job or B really think the position is something you like to do.

If you do get to the interview have a story to tell about how you approached something unfamiliar and got up to speed quickly. You'll use this as your answer when the question comes up, "your resume does not mention any experience with $X, what about that?"

This has worked for me in the past.

   

The problem is that a lot of screening is automated and I have little confidence that the automated screening has a "close enough" setting.

Plus, of course, it's worthless when the job requires 2 years of DB2 and the applicant has 5 years of Oracle.

Re:Two things: (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45550701)

Also, #2 is very important. The company wants you to do this. They write the insane job descriptions they do so they can pick the candidate that they like the best, that comes across as the most personable and team-able (rather than that one candidate that always applies who is an unwashed genius with a string of career hops because he can't stand working with plebs) without getting sued. Because nobody will have 25 years' worth of experience for a 5-year level position, there's usually always at least one thing you can say you didn't hire the evil genius due to.

Disqualification is as important as qualification in some scenarios.

There are a _LOT_ of candidates out there now (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45550553)

The problem is, there are a lot of candidates out there now. A LOT. So we get real specific with what we want, because we still end up getting between five to ten applicants that have those things and thirty to forty who have almost all of them. If we were vague, we would receive probably between 100 and 200 applicants per job. And we're in an area that is NOT tech haveny. We're in the middle of the deep south.

I remember a friend from google telling me they receive , on the average year, around 195,000 candidates, 30% of which make it to an interview phase. That number doubles every year and a half. By being way more specific , they are slicing that number in half. Or more. Instead of ALL the google employees having to interview 50000 (which doesn't count second or third or onsites that also occur), they're trying to do far less.

Employers are facing a glut of software engineers/IT/etc. We're just knocking the numbers down to reasonable levels with these extra requirements. It'd probably be in your interest to go ahead and apply if you're close to all.. but rest assured, if you see an advert for a job that contains a lot of requirements, they will probably get 5 - 10 applicants that meet those around here.. and 300 - 400 in a more tech heavy area like the bay area.

Corporate HR (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45550555)

Because jobs aren't given out by reasonable, intelligent people who understand the challenges of the task at hand in any field. They are doled out by corporate HR goons, who only know how to keyword search resumes from a list of software products that the company uses (without having the slightest idea what any of them do). Employers don't have to worry about "making it difficult for themselves" when there's a massive glut of qualified applicants for every job opening; they just have to come up with arbitrary BS reasons why 95% of applicants aren't qualified.

Not sure, but (2)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45550563)

I am not sure, but there has been some evidence that job seekers target almost impossibly specific requirements to make sure nobody can actually fill the job. That way they can claim that the workforce currently in the US is not enough or good enough so they can ask congress for more H-1B visas to be put inplace to get cheaper work forces.

Re:Not sure, but (2)

juancn (596002) | about 9 months ago | (#45550925)

It's not congress that matters, for certain visas the company has to do a reasonable effort to find someone locally before the visa is granted, so you post a job offer that it's essentially un-fillable by anyone other than the person applying for the visa.

From my experience (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45550567)

#1. They are probably trying to replace someone with that skillset and need closest-match to fill in and hit the road running. They don't have time for you to learn it. You need to know it - you need to fix issues on day 1.

#2. They might be expecting a ton of applications to that position. When there's a large pool to draw from you can be picky.

#3. Sometimes, just sometimes, such specific job descriptions might be an indicator of micromanagement. They want you do to shut up and do x,y,z tasks with no room for innovation or the like. I've experienced this first hand. So buyer beware.

Sometimes just a guideline (4, Insightful)

jonbryce (703250) | about 9 months ago | (#45550569)

I've had headhunters contact me with jobs. When I say that I don't meet the list of requirements in the job spec, they tell me that nobody else out there does either, but I'm close enough.

Re:Sometimes just a guideline (1)

lightknight (213164) | about 9 months ago | (#45550943)

So...they're just drawing up job requirements for people who don't exist yet...with some solid belief that someone will come along to fit that slot. That doesn't sound right...

Why not ask? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45550573)

Job postings can tend to be more of a wishlist then hard and fast requirements. For example my current job asked for experience with C# and I got the job despite having wrote about a total of 200 lines of c# code before that point. I volunteered that information during the first interview so it's not like they didnt know.

I hate to be an ass but you really need to consider the possibility that you are not getting interviews/offers because your resume is bad or you do poorly in interviews. It's frankly far more likely that you are being rejected for being a bad candidate than for having experience with the wrong version of MS word.

Employers want day 1 results (2)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45550579)

I am on the other end, I have been looking for a senior infrastructure engineer for about 6 months. We have very specific requirements that the engineer must experience with. vBlock, EMC, VMWare, Brocade, Cisco MDS, Commvault, Avamar, data center migrations, and Azure and/or Amazon glacier and a few other specifics that would be nice. Any single one of those we will let slide but not more than one.

In my opinion, IT departments have been cut so thin, I need someone with the experience on the stuff we have right now that can pick up and start going. We don't have time to get the person up to speed. Sure, in 12 months when we are going in a different direction with something new I'm sure he.she will be able to adapt as almost all of us have over the years and pick it up but that does not help me now.

I said I've been looking for 6 months, we've had many people interview but the qualified ones wanted more then we wanted to pay. That was an issue I had to deal with HR and our CFO but that has been resolved and now we are asking the going rate.

To sum it up.
Our specific requirement are because we don't have the luxury of molding someone into our environment, we need someone at a senior level to step in and take charge with plans, processes, and hands on work with very little oversight. In the junior and admin positions things may be different.

Re:Employers want day 1 results (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45550625)

You know, in the six months you've waited to find "the right one" you could've trained a promising applicant and been on your way? Now your six months behind and still waiting for the one. That, to me, means you didn't actually need day one results.

Re:Employers want day 1 results (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45550725)

The money was the key, it was an exercise we had to go through to prove the asking salary was too low. It was actually one that got some others on the team raises as well because they were all being paid below the market rate and they were a flight risk. I had to play my cards right to balance not losing existing people and the inconvenience of being one critical person short for 6 months. I was allowing more flexible hours, more work from home, comp time, more and less travel for those that wanted it etc and I as the manager picked up the slack along with using some banked time we had with some consultants. The thought of just getting someone at our asking price knowing their level was not what we would have liked was an option that was considered many times through the process but none of the candidates stood out enough to make us go in that direction..

Re:Employers want day 1 results (1)

PIBM (588930) | about 9 months ago | (#45550885)

They might need 1 day result for the money they will put in there though, which is a very different matter..

Re: Employers want day 1 results (4, Insightful)

h2oliu (38090) | about 9 months ago | (#45550659)

Ok. I am confused. You don't have the time to have someone on staff, helping with 50-70% of the job, but you do have time to search for 8-10+ months with no one filling the job?

Did I read that correctly?

Re:Employers want day 1 results (3, Insightful)

adamstew (909658) | about 9 months ago | (#45550713)

Couldn't you have hired somebody at the lower rate you were looking for 6 months ago and trained them to be proficient by now?

You say you don't have the time to train them... but for the last 6 months, you've been short staffed, having to do the work that this new hire is supposed to be doing, and searching for and interviewing candidates? With all the time you've invested over the last 6 months in looking for the "perfect candidate" and the extra money you are paying to actually bring them on board, you likely could've just hired someone who is mostly qualified (at the lower rate) and then spend the time you would've spent reading resumes and interviewing candidates to actually train this person...then you have them at a lower rate, and they can help with some aspects of their job while they are being trained.

Re:Employers want day 1 results (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45550865)

You are already short staffed because IT is a business expense. Your main person responsibly for a technology and direction of that technology leaves, who trains the new guy? If you had someone that knew enough to train him, you wouldn't even need the new guy would you? It does not always work that way. I'd love to work at a company that had a world wide presence and had 2-3 people teams in each technology discipline and a bunch of lower level admins but that is not reality. As IT departments thin up, those teams go down in numbers and you work on multiple things. You are bound to be in a position where one person took off and shined above the others in a certain area and when that person leaves, it leaves a gap that you must fill.

Re:Employers want day 1 results (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45550891)

Couldn't you have hired somebody at the lower rate you were looking for 6 months ago and trained them to be proficient by now?

You say you don't have the time to train them... but for the last 6 months, you've been short staffed, having to do the work that this new hire is supposed to be doing, and searching for and interviewing candidates? With all the time you've invested over the last 6 months in looking for the "perfect candidate" and the extra money you are paying to actually bring them on board, you likely could've just hired someone who is mostly qualified (at the lower rate) and then spend the time you would've spent reading resumes and interviewing candidates to actually train this person...then you have them at a lower rate, and they can help with some aspects of their job while they are being trained.

You're living in the wrong century.

The current model is hire them cheap and give all the raises to the C-level executives. There's no room for a reduced reduced training rate.

Re:Employers want day 1 results (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45550751)

So you don't have time to get someone competent up to speed, but you *do* have six months to let the position remain unfilled, and up till now it wasn't worth paying a reasonable rate for a qualified employee, right? Got it.

This kind of thinking is part of what's wrong with the IT industry.

Reducing number of candidates (3, Insightful)

flux (5274) | about 9 months ago | (#45550585)

If you can reduce the number of candidates you need to evaluate and interview, you are saving plain money. More effective to have them do the filtering in a distributed manner.

Of course, you might miss the perfect candidate that way as well. But, you cannot really put a price to that.

Best ignored. (1)

ddt (14627) | about 9 months ago | (#45550603)

What you should take from a list of specific requirements is that they don't know how to write a good help wanted ad. Contact em (a dev, not HR), be up front that you don't have what they're listing, but that you have experience in the skills behind the tools and that you learn quickly.

Targeted requirements (1)

DaveV1.0 (203135) | about 9 months ago | (#45550607)

As others have said, one reason is to tailor the requirements to a specific internal or external candidate. Another is HR people who don't know the technology or the jobs and rely on system and/or internal documentation. They then punch the info into the requirements. They also punch them into the resume screening software. Now you know why it is so hard to get an interview.

Sometimes (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45550609)

I have seen this a few times in my career. There are certain setups usually balanced on a knife edge that need highly specialised people just because of the perceived (or actual) criticalness to the business. This can be a sign of a really fragile set up, not always but it would be something that would make me think.

Mostly its because the hiring person doesn't truly understand either the technology or how technology actually works be it code or hardware or both.

Any true technology professional with grounded concepts and understanding can do most jobs. I have worked with people that just needed to know the new syntax in a couple of days before they were coding better code than the "in house seasoned guys". I have worked with Cisco guys that just jumped in and fixed problems with Juniper hardware.

To me its crazy for employers to stake everything on single focus and exposure.

That said there are few areas where singular specialty makes a difference. If you need someone specialist in say cobol with legacy experience in the decades then it makes sense. If its about maintaining a modern piece of software or hardware and you are 1 step across from the specifics then its now an issue to cross hire good people that don't have specific specialities in what you (hiring manager was told what was necessary) then its a lot of businesses loss to rule out good people for no other reason than specific localised experience.

You dont want to work for any of these companies (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45550619)

You dont want to work for any of these companies.
Whats happened here is that business people have taken over the role of IT.
They want control over something they dont understand.
They dont want anyone smarter than them working for them.
In the end its the hallmark of a dying business.

Human HR Resources (1)

DrPBacon (3044515) | about 9 months ago | (#45550627)

HR departments would rather keep positions vacant for long periods of time than to settle for young whippersnappers who think they can learn anything in a week just because they know a bunch of other riff-raff they've never heard of. If they were more efficient, they might be out of a job.

H-1 B program (3, Informative)

rsilvergun (571051) | about 9 months ago | (#45550631)

This is pretty well documented. In America if you want to hire someone for a tech job on a work Visa by law you have to "prove" there is no American capable of doing the job. The easiest way to do this is to have very, very specific requirements. There are law firms that teach companies how to do this without breaking the law, and the gov't is pretty much complicit in this (thanks to 30 years of non stop attacks on perceived 'Bureaucracies' brought on by people that don't like the DMV). Compounding this you have schools in India and China that exist to rubber stamp people with any qualification needed.

It mostly works because the vast majority of tech workers aren't MIT graduate rock stars but rank and file workers. There's nothing wrong with that, but it means you're easily interchangeable. But us tech workers also have big, big egos, so we're convinced that Unions and lobbying to protect your interests is for losers who just couldn't hack it (and if they lose their jobs and end up a Walmart they blame themselves anyway...).

Re:H-1 B program (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45550989)

Except unions are not there to protect you. If you think that, you've already had too much kool-aid.

Easy (1)

hypergreatthing (254983) | about 9 months ago | (#45550635)

Because job training is a thing of the past.

Simple (2)

Tablizer (95088) | about 9 months ago | (#45550637)

They are testing your lying skills

If you have 1 Apache admin, they better know Apach (5, Insightful)

raymorris (2726007) | about 9 months ago | (#45550639)

There is a good reason and a bad reason.

Where I work, there is very little overlap in skills between the IT people. One person is responsible for the old IBM database, for example. It's not a relational (sql) database, so nothing I know from MySQL applies. When we replace the IBM database guy, we're going to need someone else who knows that exact system. In fact, because there are so few people remaining who know the system, we are engaging in an 18 month project to rewrite everything for MS SQL shortly before the person retires.

My own job is programming Moodle, an LMS with over a million lines of code. That's roughly equal to an entire Linux distribution. Hiring someone with no Moodle experience would be roughly similar to hiring a Linux programmer with no Linux experience.

On the other hand, I once spoke to someone who wanted to hire a "PHP guru". I tried to explain there's no such thing. What he SHOULD have been looking for would be a web PROGRAMMER who knows PHP well. In many cases, skill in the field is far more important than above-average proficiency with a particular tool, but management sometimes doesn't understand that. If the person doing the hiring isn't particularly skilled in the job they are hiring for, they just don't know what is most important. For example, I would argue that for web programming, the WEB part is super important - good programmers who aren't web programmers aren't in the habit of thinking about security at every step, or scalability, nor are they necessarily skilled at stateless programming. A manager who isn't a very web programmer herself wouldn't know that though, so the best they can do sometimes is to look for someone experienced with the tools the company uses.

Having gotten some of these jobs... (1)

javelinco (652113) | about 9 months ago | (#45550643)

In many cases, it's because they don't want to pay to train you. And that includes paying for your time to get up to speed. There's a lot of time spent already understanding the deployment and development environment. If the company is working with a specific set of technology, then bringing someone in that has used related technology is often not good enough. There are specific design patterns that you use with different technologies, and specific ways of applying them for that technology. And they might not have people internally that have time to help you figure out the best way to do things, or maintain the garbage you build on your own because you don't have experience with these things. Love it or hate it, it's the way things go sometimes. And if you hate it, don't apply to these places. Of course, there are plenty of companies that see this stuff and think that's the way to do it - but don't need it. So, now you have an industry following "best practices" that don't apply to them... do you want to work at these companies?

Re:Having gotten some of these jobs... (1)

RabidReindeer (2625839) | about 9 months ago | (#45550915)

In many cases, it's because they don't want to pay to train you. And that includes paying for your time to get up to speed. There's a lot of time spent already understanding the deployment and development environment. If the company is working with a specific set of technology, then bringing someone in that has used related technology is often not good enough. There are specific design patterns that you use with different technologies, and specific ways of applying them for that technology. And they might not have people internally that have time to help you figure out the best way to do things, or maintain the garbage you build on your own because you don't have experience with these things. Love it or hate it, it's the way things go sometimes. And if you hate it, don't apply to these places. Of course, there are plenty of companies that see this stuff and think that's the way to do it - but don't need it. So, now you have an industry following "best practices" that don't apply to them... do you want to work at these companies?

This is a bit of a fallacy.

Most technologies I can become proficient with in under 3 months.

Learning how the company works, however, can take an entire year. Who does what, who needs what, how this or that is done and why, and so forth.

To hire a specific person (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45550647)

Posting as Anonymous on purpose.

We typically put out VERY specific requirements for positions when we have a particular person in mind. We can't just hire that person (fair hiring practices etc.) but we can target the position description so that we get a smaller candidate pool that happens to include the person we had in mind. We usually still end up needing to sift through 40-50 resumes and end up interviewing 4-6 people (over the phone or on-site) and, through this process we have found other people in addition to the person we were targeting... but we don't have to weed through hundreds of people just to get to the one we really wanted....

Re:To hire a specific person (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45550675)

After reading some of the other replies I should note that we're not doing this for H1B purposes... the majority of people we hire are US citizens... we're doing it because we've already run across someone in the field that would work perfectly with our team... but we still have to put out a public position offering...

Re:To hire a specific person (1)

PPH (736903) | about 9 months ago | (#45550997)

but we still have to put out a public position offering...

Let me guess; some sort of government contract.

Specific requirements (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45550653)

      Three reasons for this.

      Ease to dismiss a candidate if they don't like them for other reasons that are not so socially acceptable... "That guy's dress is Blue" ;-)
      They are trying to hire a specific person, allowed to hire from out of country because no one local meets the requirement.. etc...
      They want to sit the person at desk and say "work", hit the whip once or twice and get productivity...

That was my two cents...

Anonymous Coward.

nice to have's (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45550665)

My experience is that all the specific things they ask for are just nice to have's even though they my not be listed as such. If the tools they list are uncommon then nobody else will have them and your resume will look good.

"Required" frequently isn't (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45550673)

I'm in the middle of applying for jobs right now; one thing most places don't want to tell you is that the list of "requirements" is like the sticker price on a car at a dealership. That's what the dealer _wants_, not what they expect to get. If their dream person happens to walk through the door, that's wonderful, the person who meets the full list will probably be hired on the spot, but realistically, the list is just there to give you an idea of what the job involves, not what you need to know before you start. I've got an interview next week with a company where, of the ten languages and technologies listed in the job posting, I consider myself an expert in one and reasonably skilled in two more. I admitted as much in my cover letter, and they were still excited enough about my other qualifications to have the CEO call me personally to do part of the phone-interview. My last two jobs, I was hired to do programming in languages I'd never used before day one of the job; they might have preferred someone who already knew their preferred language, but it didn't stop me from getting the job... if you are a sufficiently good programmer, it doesn't matter -- if you can demonstrate that you are sufficiently good at C++, most good hiring managers will assume you can pick up java quickly or vice versa; if they aren't willing to cut you that much slack, you likely don't want to work for them anyway!.

They hire that H1B (1, Troll)

fullback (968784) | about 9 months ago | (#45550677)

because he works harder and can write a paragraph in English with substantially fewer grammar and syntax errors.

Relevant Old Joke (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45550679)

This reminds me of a sketch from the Two Ronnies that went something like:

Boss: "For this job position we thought we would hire a woman"
HR drone #1: "okay"
Boss: "Black, preferably"
HR drone #2: "alright"
Boss: "And we would be supporting the disabled community if we hired somebody with a handicap"
HR drone #1: "ummm"
Boss: "Maybe an injury as well as a handicap"
HR drone #2: "I don't think..."
Boss: "Okay, read that back to me"
HR drone #1: "A handicapped black woman in a wheelchair"
Boss: "Pregnant, pregnant!"
HR drone #2: "A handicapped pregnant black woman in a wheelchair"
Boss: "Sounds great, make it happen" (leaves room).
HR drone #1: "Typical, whenever a good job comes around it always goes to somebody in his family".

Save money (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45550683)

This is much cheaper than having to send new employee to product-specific training, which was very common years ago.

My suggestion (3, Insightful)

jones_supa (887896) | about 9 months ago | (#45550703)

Things are so complex these days that even a small subarea is its own big world.

A past requirement of "being good with computers in general" might today be an equally large job than of fully mastering some modern API.

Finding Talent Is Hard (5, Insightful)

CrankyFool (680025) | about 9 months ago | (#45550711)

(Context: I'm a hiring manager; my team builds big distributed software systems. Our choice of language is Scala, but the team chose to use Scala before anyone on it actually knew Scala, and we don't have strong preference for Scala for software developers we hire -- in fact, we don't look for specific language knowledge at all, but rather strong fundamentals (OOP, distributed systems, etc)).

Assuming you're not looking at a company that's gaming the system (others have talked about the whole "I want to hire/promote someone specifically but I have to post a position so I'll post a position only my preferred candidate will satisfy" scenario), the other problem -- and I think this is a bigger issue -- is that most people are just bad at ferreting out talent as part of the interview process, and therefore opt for asking about very specific skills, because testing for very specific skills is actually much easier than testing for talent, for experience, for understanding of the system. Add to that, of course, that if/when your HR group is responsible for job descriptions, quite often they can't conceive of a more flexible, open-ended description because they can't effectively measure for that when filtering resumes.

The unfortunate thing, of course, is that in the end the specific knowledge is probably not even what you're looking for -- certainly, it's not what we're looking for because what we want is the ability to solve very hard, complex, problems -- and these are the sorts of problems that are also hard to ask about in an interview, because any problem you can make significant headway on in 45 minutes is simpler than what we deal with. This really comes down to the fact that interviews are a test, a simulation of a reality (the person actually working with you), and people sometimes opt to build the interview (and the pre-interview process, like the job description) in a way that makes it easier to conduct that simulation, rather than in a way that makes it more representative of the actual thing for which you're testing. It's that "looking for your keys under the streetlamp because that's where the light is, even though you lost your keys in the dark alley" problem.

Another slant... (4, Interesting)

Junta (36770) | about 9 months ago | (#45550723)

We post specific 'requirements' fully aware that no applicant will meet every single one (well, it happened once when someone applied for a position after having left our group a few months prior). For us, it's more about describing what the job will entail and attracting people who wouldn't mind working with the stated technologies.

We had once upon a time not bothered listing the technologies we already knew a candidate would not have experience with, but we were inundated with applicants that made clear they were unable/unwilling to work with things they were not already familiar with.

Now we list things knowing full well applicants won't have experience, but we still get applicants and almost always they might be a bit concerned they lack the 'requirements' but they always had the will to entertain learning new things and usually seemed to have the ability to actually become proficient.

I of course have seen the more common thing, some 'public' job offer that was tailor made for a specific guy, but I know first hand some of these things are crafted with total awareness the requirements are not going to be met.

We would like someone... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45550739)

The one who needs to fill the position (not HR) tells HR "We would like someone with these skills and experiences ...". Unfortunately, HR takes that as "gospel" and makes it sound like you have to have x, y, and z, and not something LIKE x, y, or z. Example: one of the requirements is relational database experience, but the one needing to fill the position tells HR that they need someone with MySQL experience. Ok. I have serious Oracle and Postgres/Ingres experience, but not much MySQL. Does that make me unqualified for the position? As a senior engineer with 30+ years experience with SQL, IT DOES NOT! But HR may think so.

So, this can be a problem, but usually HR will not reject a candidate simply because of this, but will pass it to the manager who needs to fill the position in their team, to let them decide. I say "usually", but this doesn't mean "always". :-)

Lots of reasons really (1)

erroneus (253617) | about 9 months ago | (#45550753)

1. To get more H1-Bs in
2. To accomplish a specific, often short-term goal
3. Empire building (hiring a lot of specialists under you makes you more important somehow)
4. Limit the number of applicants
5. Increase the odds of a good match for the company

I think the first one is obvious even if it's not universally applicable. The second speaks to a larger trend of short-term goals and contracts. The third is one I experienced only recently and it turned out the actual skill and capability of the individual isn't relevant once hired. If this manager has eight people under him, he's more important in some eyes than someone who only has two or three. Limiting applicants is the job of HR drones so when a job description is created, the IT people don't want good candidates weeded out because of a failed keyword matching process. It's not a perfect answer but it helps. The sad reality is that large numbers of unqualified people will apply for jobs they aren't suited for or simply aren't capable of performing. Being specific does act to limit that to some degree. (It's hard to keep assholes, cert chasers and pretenders out) And the fifth is admittedly redundant. Genuinely qualified applicants should still be able to get through the filters...hopefully.

One thing I suspect of many job descriptions is that some of the requirements aren't really requirements at all. But if they go with too small of a minimal list, it seriously makes it hard to screen and filter. Turns out there's a lot of unemployed people out there -- more than government figures would like to admit.

Recruiters are useless, you need to 'network' (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45550761)

Recruiters are also totally useless IMO. When I ran my own business, I only hired 2 people from recruiters, and never again. They're the slimiest operators I've ever had the misfortune to deal with....out of several hundred employees we had, only 2 came from recruiters and 1 was totally useless even though he had about 20 certs to his name.
I'm in a very similar situation to you now (having exited the business) and looking for work. Just wait till you have to cope with being too close to 50 as well, the jobs just disappear completely which makes me wonder if we're going to end up with a whole IT generation that is unemployed.

Time is the issue (4, Insightful)

scrawlhead (2943633) | about 9 months ago | (#45550777)

I have hired dozens of software engineers over the years. Most of the time I get approved to hire a new staff member because i) the project is late or ii) somebody critical has just left and the project is at risk of being late or iii) its a new project that I have to quickly staff or it will be late.

I usually assume that it will take 4 to 12 weeks to find an appropriately qualified engineer, then 2 weeks for said engineer to give notice at his/her current job and then 2 months to ramp up on our existing product stack. During these 14 to 22 weeks, this new resource is either not providing any benefit to the project or is actually slowing the project down (ie during interview phase and during ramp up phase). This is always bad news and no VP ever wants to hear that velocity in his/her pet project cannot be improved for at least 14 weeks. Now imagine that I have to add another 1 to 2 months of slowed velocity while this new engineer upgrades his or her skillset (or occasionally downgrades to an earlier version). Ugh.

That is why there is a huge preference for people that know the exact tool chain and software stack that the project is already running. Time.

However, I (and most managers) personally don't care if you have some specific sub release of SomeLanguage++ 5 (for example). But you ought to have coded SomeLanguage++ professionally and well within the last few years on some significant project where you can point to some kind of value that you added. Your 2 months of SomeLanguage++ 3 experience from 2001 is not interesting to me.

At large companies, the HR department may very well screen on precise versions of a software stack. Solution: use google to figure out what is significant about that release (if anything) and how it differs from your knowledge about the stack and then add that specific version of that software to your resume. The dev manager isn't going to care that you only used PHP 5.4.3 and not PHP 5.3.25.

Even better solution (assuming its not the gov't or some massive corp): Find out who the hiring manager is and somehow get introduced to them. The devil you know. I totally prefer to hire people I have met that are known to people in my network. Why? Because I trust my network. I do not trust the Internet.

Either way, the manager will want you to be able to prove in the interview that:

a)You are a good person who is reliable, easy to work with, dependable and can hit the ground running and get me out of the hole that some sales guy dug for me
b) You have specific knowledge about the technologies that you claim to know
c) You have work experience to back up your claims
d) You have the skills and capabilities to succeed as an engineer in my organization
e) Ideally that you can do more than what is minimally required for the job

I specifically recommend that you do not complain about the job posting in the interview. ;) Actually, don't complain about anything in the interview.

It's to give you an idea what to expect (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45550835)

If they say 5+ years , that means they are looking for someone that is already an expert in . This is likely because they currently don't have an expert in . This means that if they hire you, everyone is likely going to be looking at you if they have any questions about or don't know the best way to solve a problem with .
If they say 1-2 years experience in , it doesn't mean they are looking exactly for someone with between 1 and 2 years of experience in , it means that if they hire you, working with will be part of your job but there is likely someone more experienced in that you can learn from. If you think you can handle working with with 0 years of experience, tell them that and tell them why you can handle it.

If a company says 5+ years C# experience they expect anyone reading that add to do one of 3 things:
1) The person will think "Oh, I only have 2 years, nevermind then"
2) The person will submit a resume exactly matching those specifications (either lying or truthfully)
3) The person will write a cover letter including something like "During my 2 years of experience developing in C# at I had the opportunity to work with a variety of the languages advanced features including linq query optimization, MEF implementation and advanced build configurations. In my first year at I researched various build, deployment and testing practices and implemented the necessary configuration changes to facilitate the transition to a nightly build process. Throughout my time at I worked closely with newer developers to mentor and educate them in the more advanced features of C# and Visual Studio 2012."

Guess which person they are going to hire.

If they make generic requirements that anyone can meet, it's pretty hard to find the right person for the job and most of the time the person they hire is going to quickly realize that the job is not what they were expecting or what they want to be doing.

It's the current job market (4, Funny)

heretic108 (454817) | about 9 months ago | (#45550859)

The job market is very tight, so employers are spoiled for choice. They will seek employees who can hit the ground running immediately. In this environment, they see even a week's learning curve as a waste, and would rather hire someone ordinary who can be immediately productive rather than someone great who might take a little longer. Watch out for this changing as the economy recovers, and jobs again become an employee's market.

Too easy just to blame HR (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45551005)

Whilst the story outlined in some of the posts above about HR not understanding the requirements and just conducting box tocking exercises fior matching skills is depressingly familiar to me, the real blame sits with the technical management who allow this to happen. If they just leave it to HR and don't get involved in the screening process themselves they are either too lazy and ineffective in their job, or have just capitulated to over-powerful HR people, without going higher up the management chain to argue why it is vital that they need to be involved in the process.

A good manager who has come up from the shop floor as it were over a solid career by starting as a programmer or admin will know this is vital. MBA types are generally too blinded by what they see as their own brilliance to understand it.

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