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IT industry problem - too many vacancies but not enough qualified people to fill them?

Tony Jaa
Greenhorn

Joined: Feb 10, 2013
Posts: 19
I am hearing this a lot. IT companies have a "lot" of vacancies but they are having a hard time finding enough candidates. I feel it could be correct. I am seeing a lot of job ads and getting some replies. But, the main problem is that most of the jobs require 20+ qualifications (ok, that is an exaggeration, but it is not far from the truth). Most job ad requirements look like - html, css, javascript, ruby, php, python, mysql, asp.net, ajax, excellent management skills, 5 years experience, <insert other jargon here>

I understand that some jobs need many qualifications and experience. But if most jobs have such high requirements, then how will companies be able to fill such vacancies? Sometimes i wonder if the requirements are realistic. Maybe they could actually do with a guy who satisfies half the requirements.

Do we all need to have a CV like this guy to get a job?
Bozhidar Bozhanov

Sai Surya
Ranch Hand

Joined: Feb 08, 2006
Posts: 457

This is very generalized news. I'm thinking the other way around! Too many people too little jobs. Every company wants excellent technical skills, outstanding management skills within budget. It's game of skill vs money. For a typical Java developer role, any company can find developers with Ph.Ds or without even a formal degree. Some companies pays thousands of dollars where others pay few hundred for same roles.


Sai Surya, SCJP 5.0, SCWCD 5.0, IBM 833 834
http://sai-surya-talk.blogspot.com, I believe in Murphy's law.
chris webster
Bartender

Joined: Mar 01, 2009
Posts: 1479
    
  11

It depends where you are (I'm in the UK), but I don't think there is really that much of a skills shortage, especially at the lower end of the market. There are intermittent shortages in some niche skills, especially for people with a lot of experience in those fields, or in some parts of the country, but overall the job market seems pretty flat to me.

  • If there were a real skills shortage, you'd expect to see rapidly rising salaries for experienced developers, but here in the UK salaries have remained pretty stagnant outside the London area for the last 10-15 years (e.g. I just applied for a senior developer job on the same salary I was earning 20 years ago). Of course, the widespread use of cheap "onshored" staff by fat consultancies with a large share of the market is also having an impact here by increasing the supply of labour and pushing wages downwards at the same time.
  • If there were a real skills shortage, you'd expect to see employers being more flexible by recruiting some of the thousands of experienced IT workers who've seen their jobs moved offshore and re-training them if necessary in the specific skills they need. But this isn't happening anywhere that I can see.
  • If there were a real skills shortage, you'd expect to see more employers investing in retaining and developing the skills of their existing staff, but with salaries stagnant and widespread redundancies, this doesn't seem to be happening much either.
  • If there were a real skills shortage at the junior end of the market, you'd expect to see employers grabbing IT graduates and training them up in the skills they need. But this isn't happening, at least here in the UK where IT graduates have the highest unemployment rate of any degree subject.

  • Finally, if you're seeing job adverts with long shopping lists of skills, it's likely that recruiters are using those long lists as a way of filtering through hundreds (even thousands) of applications for each job i.e the "buzzword bingo" approach. The problem here is that they tend to overshoot, so instead of having hundreds of applicants, recruiters suddenly discover they can't find anybody with the arbitrary combination of skills they claim to require, while job-hunters can't find any jobs they feel able to apply for either. Then everybody wails about the "IT skills shortage" yet again.

    Of course, my jaundiced view reflects the situation where I am, but YMMV, as they say, so good luck finding a decent job.

    No more Blub for me, thank you, Vicar.
    Jayesh A Lalwani
    Bartender

    Joined: Jan 17, 2008
    Posts: 2058
        
      22

    I think the core issue is recruiters don't understand what the hiring manager needs. This is what leads to the buzzword bingo that Chris described. Over the past few years, I am seeing recruiting companies get a lot more smarter. They have recruiters who are technically savvy enough to interview a candidate and get enough information about his/her strengths to make a match. They do use buzzword bingo, but only as a very loose filter, and the recruiter acts somewhat as a tighter filter.
    Campbell Ritchie
    Sheriff

    Joined: Oct 13, 2005
    Posts: 36520
        
      16
    Jayesh A Lalwani wrote: . . . what the hiring manager needs. . . .
    Hiring Manager? They don’t need anything, except possibly confirmation that the candidate is still breathing. It is what the development teams need that matters!
    Henry Wong
    author
    Sheriff

    Joined: Sep 28, 2004
    Posts: 18124
        
      39

    Campbell Ritchie wrote:
    Jayesh A Lalwani wrote: . . . what the hiring manager needs. . . .
    Hiring Manager? They don’t need anything, except possibly confirmation that the candidate is still breathing. It is what the development teams need that matters!


    This may be a terminology issue -- but around these parts (ie. near me), the "hiring manager" is the manager of the development team (the person that the candidate may be reporting to). The HR people generally goes by "recruiter" titles.

    Henry


    Books: Java Threads, 3rd Edition, Jini in a Nutshell, and Java Gems (contributor)
    chris webster
    Bartender

    Joined: Mar 01, 2009
    Posts: 1479
        
      11

    Jayesh A Lalwani wrote:I think the core issue is recruiters don't understand what the hiring manager needs.

    It's not just the recruiters, though. Just today I was told by a recruitment agency that they'd like to put me forward for a job which is a perfect match with my skills/experience, but that the client's hiring manager would probably reject me because I've been out of work for more than 6 months. This has happened to me a couple of times recently, so I can only conclude that there is not really much of a skills shortage (despite the relatively good daily rates for these jobs), or these people might be interested in at least considering applicants with the right skills and experience. Instead, I suspect the "6 months" criterion is simply another filter to cut down on the number of applications they have to read.
    Jayesh A Lalwani
    Bartender

    Joined: Jan 17, 2008
    Posts: 2058
        
      22

    Henry Wong wrote:
    Campbell Ritchie wrote:
    Jayesh A Lalwani wrote: . . . what the hiring manager needs. . . .
    Hiring Manager? They don’t need anything, except possibly confirmation that the candidate is still breathing. It is what the development teams need that matters!


    This may be a terminology issue -- but around these parts (ie. near me), the "hiring manager" is the manager of the development team (the person that the candidate may be reporting to). The HR people generally goes by "recruiter" titles.

    Henry


    Right, Hiring manager is the manager who makes the final yea/nay decision for the candidate. Generally, the Hiring manager is the person that the employee, once hired, would be reporting to
    Campbell Ritchie
    Sheriff

    Joined: Oct 13, 2005
    Posts: 36520
        
      16
    It probably is a terminology thing. If the hiring manager is the leader of the team, then it is the same person whose needs I thought important earlier.
     
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