IT Execs Are Confident, But Still Face Hiring Difficulties

We're Hiring Sign

IT executives continue to express confidence in their company’s business prospects, but worry about the difficulties they face in hiring the technology workers they need, according to the latest CompTIA IT Industry Business Confidence Index.

Based on an online survey of 305 IT companies, the index stands at 61.3 on a 100-point scale, edging up from 60.2 in the first quarter. Disruptive technologies and business models were among the issues causing the most concern among IT leaders.

“Two areas – cloud computing and mobility – are key factors,” said Tim Herbert, CompTIA’s vice president of research. “With such far-reaching impacts of these technologies, firms across the IT channel are still working through how to best meet the needs of their customers and their business.”

Meanwhile, one-third of the surveyed companies said they’re understaffed. Forty two percent are fully staffed but want to hire for expansion. Half the companies have job openings, including 76 percent of large firms, 75 percent of medium companies, 47 percent of small businesses and 18 percent of what CompTIA calls “micro firms.”

The majority of open positions include technicians and IT support personnel, application developers, cloud experts, network engineers and security experts.

The surveyed companies also said it’s more difficult to find technical workers with the right skills and expertise (57 percent) than it is to find non-technical workers (26 percent).

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Image: rnl/Shutterstock.com

Comments

  1. BY Cicuta says:

    The problem has been the skills they want which are a mile long; not even in a life time can anyone acquire them, and be good at it. Also, companies rely on “Certifications” instead of university degree which gives the individual better skills across the board and the ability to solve problems which “Certification” don’t provide. Good skills are acquired throughout time of experience also.

    • BY Victor King says:

      If I’m paying you 100k per year I should get at least a DBA/Cloud expert/Software Engineer/Hadoop big data expert and an all systems system adminstrator. With at least 3 to 5 years of working experience in each area. Also I expect you to have made innovations that saved or preferably made your previous employer 3 times you salary.

      • BY Bubba says:

        Yes, you have that right to expect that for 100K a year. A lot of companies have these expectations, though, and expect employess to be happy paying almost half that.

      • BY Nightcrawler says:

        I agree with Bubba. If you’re paying six figures, then absolutely, you have the right to a laundry list of strict demands. But not if you’re paying $10.00 – $15.00/hour.

        • BY James says:

          Bubba and Nightcrawler, I disagree with both of you. Each one of those skills sets pay 60 to 126k per year not all of them in one person, that is unreasonable.
          If there really was a skills companies would work with local community colleges to students in the skills they see they need.

          • BY Aaron says:

            Great point, James!

          • BY Lynn says:

            James, that was my first immediate thought. Why aren’t companies collaborating with colleges and universities – community or larger – to get what they need? If companies collaborate for other type employee skillsets (management, business acumen, etc), it seems you could easily collaborate here too.

      • BY J- says:

        No you can’t. Don’t be ridiculous, and I really hope you’re being sarcastic.

        $100k isn’t the huge number it used to be. Just keeping up with inflation, some one who made $100k 10 years ago would need $126k.

        Lay $200k on the table then maybe you can make your arrogant demands, but $100k these days gets you a mid-level admin in larger markets.

      • BY Darryl says:

        $100,000 a year? I’ve never received even close to $100,000 in any year of my life, and I have worked in IT for over 20 years. In fact, my most recent project paid an equivalent of an annual salary of $40,000, and it lasted only six months. And, as others have posted, the client provided no training yet expected me to be an expert on the client’s internal tools, standards, and processes, not to mention history of the project before I joined it.

    • BY Arielle says:

      Thank you so much for saying that! I sat through a whole interview where all they kept saying is that I didn’t have certifications until I finally told them why (anyone can cram for a test and then you’re hiring ‘just anyone’; I can PROVE my skills and have proven them in the field. They ended up calling me back to hire me but I turned them down after they told me it was only going to be 16 hours a week! These companies demand so much and then they put 29k a year at the end of their job listing.. what?? I don’t have 2 degrees that I earned while I worked 2 jobs so I can earn just above minimum wage.

      • BY Arielle says:

        sorry – that was meant to be just above minimum wage when the hours are factored in based on a salaried job.

    • BY apruitt says:

      I graduated with a Bachelors in Technology Development and Management and Majored in Information Security. Here’s the kicker though. I took classes like DBA, Project Managment, Accounting, Legal Aspects of Managing Technology, Two Semesters of Programming and a variety of Network Admin and Engineering Courses. However, I wouldn’t consider myself an expert in any of them, not yet.

      Then again as you mentioned it does give you better skills across the board. As well, it proves you are able to pick up concepts, learn new skills and obviously you know how to set and achieve goals for yourself.

      I still feel that there will be a learning curve and expectations need to be set for the employer that it might take a while for your IT guy right out of college to be a Network Juggernaut certs or no certs.

      Also you might not pay them what they want but don’t insult them by offering them what they could make flipping burgers. They worked hard for the piece of paper that says they worked hard. lol

  2. BY Leonard Hamilton says:

    Difficulty hiring? Try being honest in the pay and the job description. If you want experts just go the vendor and pay them 150 a hour for their skills. Otherwise if new tech recently came out but your company expert learned that skill on your dime then bolted when a company offered them fair pay, do not get your panties in a bunch by asking for a contractor to have 25 skills but only pay them for two.

  3. BY Bubba says:

    How are we going to get the skills when noone is willing to train? I’ve been teaching myself lots of new technologies in the last year, but most people want at least 5 years experience. I’ve applied to dozens of companies, but only one seemed willing to train or allow some time to get up to speeed.
    Also, where are the Jr. level jobs? A recent job search in my area showed only a couple Jr. level positions, but 30-40 Sr. level positions. And the Jr. level positions required 1-2 years experience. I’m really thinking about transiitioning into accounting after a decade in programming. Although I love programming, and am willing to work nights and weekends to get up to speed, I find it nearly impossible to satisfy the requirements to get the most basic job.

    • BY Aaron says:

      Great point, Bubba!

    • BY Jeradiah says:

      I agree with that. It’s hard to get an IT job when they ask for so many certifications and years of experience…….when there’s no guarantee that all the qualifications in the world doesn’t guarantee that they’ll have a great worker

      I’ve been applying for an IT “career type” for a while now and sometimes it seems hopeless. All I can do is wait for my opportunity to accomplish my dream

  4. BY Emilov says:

    “IT executives continue to express confidence in their company’s business prospects, but worry about the difficulties they face in hiring the technology workers”.
    Imagine the opposite: IT executives aren’t confident in the business prospects, and don’t worry about finding the best talent…
    They’ll be fired ASAP! It’s what Dilbert’s cartoons are about…

  5. BY Tekniq says:

    I am a Network Engineer and from what I see the problem is that these same companies only hire contractors and they misinterpret the jobs trying to get over on the contractors and pay them less than what they are worth. Or get more work out of them for a cheaper price. They need to hire more permanent workers and maybe they will see those who have the skill set they are looking for and they say they are under staffed….. HAAAAAAA!!!… Don’t advertise contract to perm and then forget the perm part of it all. It is discouraging to us IT people and may cause some to change career paths. I blame the companies and the rise in contract jobs and less perm jobs.

    • BY Aaron says:

      Good point, Tekniq.

      • BY Aaron says:

        It’s a good point, because for tech jobs, it could take a two to three years to really learn everything about your system while meeting deadlines and cranking out the work. It may also take at least a year to get your working processes down — assuming you can get a group of folks to agree and cooperate with the rules that need to make the teams work like a well-oiled machine.

  6. BY Joe says:

    Tune in next week when 5 other skills will be listed as the “hot” skills and there are “desperate” shortages. Fact….there is NO shortage of IT talent. Companies don’t want to train and just want to bring in H-1Bs. Don’t believe any of this.

    • BY WP says:

      Absolutely. Aldous Huxley (I’m a reader also, as well as IT/Mgt.etc. talents/experience huge over years) said this exact economic hypocrisy in the future technology would self-perpetuate until a breakdown of the technology and the creativity and with it the economy.

  7. BY Tom says:

    “The surveyed companies also said it’s more difficult to find technical workers with the right skills and expertise (57 percent) than it is to find non-technical workers (26 percent).”

    Yeah, just what exactly are the “right” skills and expertise. Maybe we should start by answering that question. 57% of companies are saying everything you know and have studied is all wrong.

    • BY Arielle says:

      The sad part is that if the person doing the hiring is not in the IT field, they have no earthly idea what they need skills-wise because they don’t actually know what we do.

      • BY apruitt says:

        Interviewer/HR: So what is your first troubleshooting step.

        Answer: Have you tried turning it off and turning it back on again?

        Interviewer/HR: Brilliant! When can you start?

    • BY Aaron says:

      Exactly! There’s plenty of work, but the technology is moving so quickly that IT workers cannot realistically keep forking out thousands and thousands and thousands of dollars and personal after work time to keep getting re-educated. If employers have a need for certain skills sets, they simply will need to plan ahead with a corporate training budget to get existing employees trained up or be willing to train someone new.

      • BY Marnie says:

        You put it so well Aaron. I have over 20 years in tech support and each time a new technology came into play we had to learn it by the seat of our pants. Not the best route! Training used to be a hefty part of IT budgets and produced a better employee usually. They feel valued, useful and productive. What a concept.

  8. BY kmagg says:

    Finished 2nd in my Cisco Networking Academy class of 19; I was the only female in my class. I am only 1 of the 2 who passed the CCNA exam and received CCNA certification in September 2014. I have applied to 5 – 20 IT jobs per week since Sept 2014, ranging from entry level help desk to Network Eng/Admin positions and I can’t even get some to acknowledge they have received my application/resume, let alone provide them with the above information and what I’m capable of doing for their company.

    • BY Tom says:

      What exactly are you capable of doing for a company with your ccna?

      • BY kmagg says:

        The CCNA cert is only one part of who I am, I have also been a division mgr for many years with a primary focus on tech support and customer service; can develop and administer websites, develop and fabricate business advertising, take apart and fix washing machines…should I go on? :) what I’m saying is…I’m applying for IT jobs and not even getting the common courtesy of a “thank you for applying, but you just don’t have the qualifications we are looking for”. You can only place so much in formation on your resume. Without even meeting with the people who are applying for these jobs how do you really know who you are passing up? Anyone can put anything on a piece of paper.

        • BY Big Joe says:

          Being a division manager is worthless, anyone can learn to manage monkeys. Heck I read Dilbert so I know.

          Your ccna is a great start though, should get you about $40k per year to start pretty much in any help desk. Your not level 1 but your not level 3 either.

        • BY Joe says:

          Don’t take it so personally… the number of resumes received makes it incredibly difficult (read: almost impossible) to respond to every applicant.

          You might want to take a look at your resume… when I was hiring a year ago, I trashed almost 2/3 of the resumes because of three things:

          Incorrect use of the word “its” and “it’s”
          Misspelled words (really?)
          No relation to the job description

          If someone has no attention to detail in their *resume*, how can they possibly be a good fit when detail is one of the hallmarks of a good IT employee?

          I *specifically* put our “drop dead” needs in the job description (for a help desk job with Mac experience) and got applications from:

          A church organist
          A person with over 25 years of telecom experience (but no experience with Macs)
          A veteran with no computer experience at all

          I got over 150 resumes for this position… and I’m a very small fish at a school (typically lower paying than the norm)

          Really… a well crafted resume can make all the difference.

        • BY kmagg says:

          I really appreciate the feedback. I actually just had my resume revamped by an IT hiring manager (not in my area) and I am hopeful it’ll make a difference.

  9. BY WP says:

    That is because they are daft. They aren’t looking at the whole graph of talent in one individual; the education, the experience, the tech know how, the budget know how, the … know how, that is contained all in one person, in many cases. Like mine.

  10. BY Aged PM says:

    Here I am, a senior project manager sitting at home without a job. Though I have almost 40 years IT experience across 11 industries leading mutlimillion dollar projects it seems my lack of a PMP proves I cant do the job. I had a person born after I started in IT tell me that very thing. Ridiculous. Though I had a certification prior to PMP even being invented it seems my lack of the latest thing keeps me sitting at home. Project managemnet gets BETTER with age not worse. Wake up employers. We older workers are capable if you’ll look beyond today and see experience as valueable. Soon I’ll be forced to take a job at entry level pay just for the cash flow. Employers, do you think that will cause loyalty in me? NO! Somehow you’ll be deluded enough to think you got a bargain. How sad you really are to be so superficial though you pride youself on your management skills.

    • BY Aaron says:

      Exactly!

    • BY Chewtoy says:

      So get a PMP and get to work! If it’s NBD, then you should be able to cruse through the training and test, right?

      • BY Harold Carruthers says:

        My college merged with another so none of my contact hours are not able to be proven. 25+ years in project management should speak to something I’d think. While folks with less than 5 years experience take tests, I cant even get to the point of taking the test. Bootcamp money does not exist following a 4.5 month layoff. I seriously am thinking of a career change to something I am completely qualitifed for … taking surveys online and delivering pizza. Meanwhile almost 40 years of IT experience sits unused.

    • BY Lori says:

      Exactly!
      You are not alone, I too have 20+ years exp and at home I sit considering entry level positions, perhaps I also need to down play my last salary to not scare employers away so I can put food on the table.
      If i wasnt from America I’d have been hired.
      Just saying…

  11. BY Mark Hausammann says:

    The focus of a lot of technology has drifted away from classical development and implementation methodologies that have caused disruption in the first and second line technology managers (those that do the bulk of IT hiring). Once the IT executive shifts her focus back to (re) building an IT department rather than a conglomeration of projects things will settle down such that well rounded IT professionals can once again build careers rather than spend their work life chasing from one project to the next, one certification to the next and one company to the next. Then, the promise of the evolution of IT as represented by the cloud, mobile, cyber security, risk and compliance, big data, et al will come to fruition by using worldwide employees with IT and business degrees willing to stay with stellar companies that want to share the IT promise with their employees.

  12. BY Serkan Arsuzoglu says:

    This is a joke?! “Still Face Hiring Difficulties” … I can tell you why.

    1. They want to offer a job with low payment/salary but want you to do the work of 10 person (tech. support, admin, sales…and so on). They ask you to move to a new country and how should you pay an apartment? From what money shoul you live? I saw job offers for 800 euro, but the rent in that country was min. 800+ euro a month. This is a good joke.
    2. They don’t want to pay/offer any training (too expansive for them, they want to save money) and expect the next person they will hire to have all skills/certification in the world.
    3. They don’t want to pay/offer person abroad/foreign ticket and relocation package.
    4. They do not even post jobs on the internet (most company have their internal job website, can only accessed/viewed by their own employe only and offer the job for them only). I know form my working experience (i work more than 7 years as tech. support for HP and Dell) that this job offer stay there months and months most of the time and nobody apply because they have already a job inside the company.

    I am looking for more than 2 years for a new job, a perm. job. Not the one that lasts 3 months and than end of project. I do not like “temporary employment agency”, they promise you a good and safe job, but treat you bad. Probation work/time are exploited.

    I also applied for many job’s in America, but got always same response. They wrote me that if i move/go to America i should contact them again and they can offer me a job. No sponsorship nowadays, sad but true. :(

  13. BY Chris says:

    The problem is the whole education / training lifecycle is completely broken. Like other people have commented: where are the junior-level positions? Why are American universities still making undergraduates take 60 credits worth of courses they will never use at the sacrifice of exploring newer languages / technologies. Is anyone awake? Does anyone care? Of course not.

    • BY WP says:

      The universities don’t care. Try to talk to the Regents of the UC system in California. They’re sinking in the lava pools. And taking the kids down with them. There is no forethought on education in the country. We’ve done civil rights, universal medical coverage, the Bill of Rights, but nothing on education. The high schools are left over from the brutal Hapsburg ‘methods’. The Universities and Colleges are left over from the English and Scottish models of a well rounded BA.

    • BY Aaron says:

      Great point….Universities set up their degree programs to basically waste a lot of your time and money! Public Universities also have issues keeping up with technology too. I cringe when I see universities that hang their hat on their old cobol programming class. Really?

    • BY Mark says:

      I think these are two different problems.

      1) companies should train people. They suddenly want only people with intermediate to advanced skills with experience in their industry doing the exact same thing. The only people who fit this description already work for them!

      2) Universities are not the industries’ minor league teams. They teach according to a degree plan, and not focused on a particular language. And I feel there is nothing wrong with this. Do you really want universities to be trying to scramble from one language trend to another? What if they taught nothing but Visual Basic classes or COM? Both of those were very hot at one point, and are dead technologies now.

      Universities teach people to learn and think, not specific job skills. Companies need to hire people based on their ability to learn the job, and do it well. Does it really matter if it takes weeks or months to come up to speed when you end up working there for years?

      Instead, they focus on short term goals. They want maximum output immediately because they might need to fire everyone in 6 months to make the revenue forecast.

      • BY Kimberly says:

        I think a great book to read is “The World is Flat” by Thomas Friedman, believe it’s up to the 4th edition. The author addresses globalization and the affects on domestic and international workforce. It’s a very enlightening book. Friedman writes about IT training, outsourcing (domestic and aboard), the role of secondary education and corporation collaboration to address the shortage of skilled IT workers. From what I can recall, I believe it was Georgia Tech, that went out to a local company,CNN, and asked the executive management what they needed from graduates to fill IT positions at CNN. The dean from the computer science school went back and redesigned the curriculum with different concentrated modules to develop the specialty IT skills needed for students to transition in the workforce. I think the book was a good read because the author really addresses the concerns of corporation, how the workforce has changed over the years and provides perspectives from a domestic and international stance. The content of the book is very observable, but it really makes sense. I had so many ah-ha moments while reading it.

        • BY Chris says:

          Georgia Tech just opened an online computer science bachelor’s program through udacity.com

      • BY Chris says:

        Regarding point 2:
        12 years of grade school isn’t enough to learn American history, read Hamlet and write a decent essay? When you enter college you are adult. You’re looking to become a professional or an academic. In either case, you need to narrow your focus.

        American universities teach people how to think deep thoughts about being unemployed.

        As a college student I would rather learn the up-and-coming languages and frameworks so that I’m marketable when I graduate. If those languages and frameworks are out in 5 years I’ll still know how to program and test software. And how are you supposed to understand the next wave of technologies if you didn’t even get the chance to learn the current wave?

        http://www.techrepublic.com/blog/career-management/how-entry-level-developers-are-being-squeezed-out-of-the-job-field-and-what-they-can-do-about-it/

  14. BY Kimberly says:

    I can understand the frustration IT Techs face when applying for positions, especially at the entry and mid-level. I hear it from former and present co-workers. No one wants to hire them because they don’t have enough experience, and that’s even with a certification. If IT executives truly want company growth and business development then they ought to seriously consider a training development program. There are a lot of expectations on the part of IT executives but not a lot of investment on the part of the company that would make them successful, “the people.” The people are the main reason your company is successful.

    I also to piggy back on “Tekniq” previous comments, some job descriptions are misleading, posting with temp to permanent, or short term contracts with intentions of extensions. Who in the world can maintain a consistent standard of living, in particular when some of the positions required that people have good credit and a current active clearance. If IT executives want to find qualified personnel for their companies then perhaps they need to wake up, be honest with the requirements needed to run your company. The number one factor that is keeping IT executives from filling a position is their hesitation to invest in the people that could make the company successful.

    1. Stop being cheap with the most important resource in your company. Set aside a training/ development program, time (and not PTO), and funding for personnel starting with entry level to senior, or have a mentor program in place to have peer to peer training, vendor training, etc.

    2. How soon we forget history. When Russia was ahead the U.S. in the space race, President Kennedy gave a speech where he mentioned investing in the American workforce to bring our science, math and technology up to speed, get a man on the moon. IT Executives you want to hire that next techie, it’s time to make that investment again. Your tunnel vision thinking is hurting your company in the present and the foreseeable future. “Time and training is what you need to bring along that next techie.”

  15. BY Dave says:

    I have to agree with several others. To me it appears that execs have a long list of skills they want and don’t want to pay for them. In addition, I have seen several situations where execs want to hire employees as contract (temporary) workers for 6-12 months. The reason? They use this contract to pay off the head hunter firms. So, they want the new hire to assume all the risk and inconvenience. In some cases, while you are on contract, you will be making LESS than full time if/when they hire you on.

    So
    1. Long list of required skills
    2. Want candidates to subsidize the costs of hiring
    3. Want new hire to assume the risk and hassle of being temporary

    No thank you unless I am really desperate.

  16. BY Asches says:

    Two things that come to mind.

    Asking one to be an expert in all things even in the 6 figure realm is unrealistic. The reason being that IT has forced is people into silos. Secondly one cannot be an expert at all things. It would be like having a pro athlete be a football, baseball, basketball, etc. My father was an engineer of sorts. The one thing that he pushed and pushed hard on is figuring things out. Know something related, but then having enough common sense to break it down, figure out what you have for an information gap, and fill in the rest. For example, when I knew nothing about a given technology or programming language, I already knew the basics of whatever the topic is. It was merely a matter of learning how it related to what I already knew.

    The one thing that frustrates me the most is that there are a ton of people who are out there with either an associates degrees or less but have so much knowledge. They could easily figure out and deal with all of the gotchas in a much more timely and with a very seasoned approach. These people are being excluded from the job search stack yet they are much more qualified. Also if they are treated well, they would be more loyal than most.

    There is definitely not a skill shortage. I have been a part of several contract to hire gigs over the years. It protects both sides of the equation. If the person you pick up doesn’t fit the need, part ways. Also instead of instead of wasting time with several rounds of interviews, jump to the tech stuff. Set up a test scenario. Give them any resources they need. See if they know how to think outside the box. You won’t be disappointed with those that pass the test.

  17. BY Vic says:

    As long as it is cheaper to bring in foreign workers than to train current staff, American IT workers will get overlooked. Contracting has been the trend as you can bring in and exit the contractor at will without concerns about health insurance, vacation, Social Security, or unemployment insurance. Until the H1B visa are stopped this trend will continue. Other countries have much lower limits on foreign workers. The same should be done here!

    • BY Tom says:

      Nobody owes you anything. My work speaks for itself, I’m in demand. You want to replace me with a dummy from overseas, that’s your call but now you will have to deal with me going to work for your competitor with a sole purpose of destroying you for my new employer.

      • BY Tom says:

        All excellent points indeed but I can’t tell where you are going with all this.

  18. BY Aaron says:

    If IT Execs needs people with special skillssets, then fork out the money to get them educated! Give them full scholarships to finish a degree or get them enrolled in the tech classes with the skills that are required. Working class IT folks don’t have the time or money to keep dumping their own money into learning new skills constantly! If you want the skills, fork up the education dollars, please.

  19. BY Tom says:

    So many complainers on this board. Quit your wining. Become irreplaceable. Go off on your own and build a better mousetrap. Nobody owes you anything. Tell it to your mommy she’s the only one who cares.

    • BY Chris says:

      You are correct in the sense that you have to accept things as is. Complaining doesn’t help unless you have leverage. Obviously, if you are passionate about software engineering you are going to spend the majority of your waking hours outside of work learning, experimenting, building not because you have to but because you want to. I can’t imagine someone who isn’t passionate or at least extremely dedicated staying competitive. However, these complaints are true and point to systemic problems in the way that the industry works. Now as far as what people can do – the wheels are already turning. We are in process with the curtailment of foreign guest workers and investment in STEM education at the secondary school level. What’s going to happen is that the online code schools are going to put a hurt on colleges and universities because people are realizing they could be a cheaper more effective alternative. As long as legislation holds out on suppressing foreign worker quotas companies in the US will have no choice but to hire more native workers with more technical / less academic training which will in turn force universities to revise their curricula.

      • BY Dave says:

        Crhis:
        You wrote the following:
        “What’s going to happen is that the online code schools are going to put a hurt on colleges and universities because people are realizing they could be a cheaper more effective alternative”.

        From my experience (I teach 2 separate universities part-time 1 is an on-line course, the other is a face-to-face (F2F) course. I am a software engineer during the day), the on-line classes are much less rigorous and much more difficult to assess exactly who is doing the work. I get much higher quality out of my F2F students than my online students. I can clearly see their abilities and create assignments that directly challenge them. My online course is MUCH more generic and I frankly have difficulty determining who is doing the work. Maybe there is another model of ‘online code’ schools but I don’t see it.

        From my experience I would value a F2F educated candidate more than an online candidate.

    • BY Kimberly says:

      Tom,

      It’s not a matter of complaining or whining, but perhaps an answer as to why IT Executives can’t fill positions. It’s a discussion of what people in the field have experienced and observed.

  20. BY Aaron says:

    Maybe IT Executives should choose to purchase software that is easier to customize and maintain like BMC’s Remedy product. There’s not a lot of coding needed and you can use it on the Web or create mobile apps. Why buy something that is so freaking difficult to find the skillset to use and maintain?

  21. BY Aaron says:

    IT Execs should purchase software that comes with RAD tools and does not require intensive tech skills.

  22. BY Big Joe says:

    Maybe companies should just pay a little extra and get 24x7x4 hour vendor support to go along with their maintenance agreements and fire all their support staff. Then, they can hire IT liasons at $10 per hour who’s job it will be to open support cases with vendors.

  23. BY Come-ON-sense says:

    Thanks for so many honest comments, I especially like your statement Kimberly “The number one factor that is keeping IT executives from filling a position is their hesitation to invest in the people that could make the company successful.”
    That should be engraved into the windshield of every exec’s car, onto the sides of their jets, the mirror in their bathrooms, the headboard of their beds, their office door, every check they write from their accounts, business and personal.
    “Things change.” A simplistic but true statement but is the change for better or worse?! OTJT used to be everywhere, now it seems nearly nowhere (without prior years of experience and higher degrees of education). Too often higher education leaves candidates w/ little more than rudimentary skills (as it pertains to some positions) and a high amount of debt. Sure skills are sometimes transferable but a business should be willing to invest in job-specific training for their particular business and not expect that potential candidates for hire are going to have the precise skills necessary to start on day one as if they’ve been working the position for the last 10 years.
    Education is a wonderful thing but sadly it seems more about the profit margin for private institutions and government funding for public institutions than about the student’s overall success during and after their schooling. Furthermore its an “easy-out” for businesses to assume they have to provide little to zero training.
    A positive trend that is slowly taking on some speed in my area is that more employers ARE getting involved with local colleges and universities to aid in training their potential candidates for hire in the future, but it still needs a lot more work.
    More employers need to engage with the institutions of lower and higher education in order to ensure that the curriculum’s being implemented provide students with the skills necessary to work for these companies upon program completion.
    Just as candidates for a given position cannot expect a one-size-fits-all, businesses cannot expect it either. If *you* want employees skilled to your field and specifically the position(s) you’re offering, then be willing to invest in them. Yes there is some risk involved but consider an investor in the financial markets, if the investor is not willing to accept risk by actually making an investment in the first place then they can’t expect to make a profit.
    Risk is not something any of us *likes* to assume and say for the sake of simplicity you could invest in the markets $1 and lose a $1 or gain a $1, you could invest $1000, lose a $1000 or gain a $1000 clearly it is still RATIOnal. Invest little to nothing and expect at least as much on your return. Maybe the question is, what is your expectation regarding your investment?! According to the article they seem to have high expectations for their business but low expectations regarding the skills of potential hires. So, it sounds like its worth investing in the business since it seems viable. Investing in your business means more than trying to build towers of glass and steel, buying the newest SUV or luxury sedans for company employees or execs-only, it means more than having a bathroom attendant or a 12 seat Lear at your disposal. It means investing in the future success of your business and the future success of your business is in the hands of your employees. These employees deal with customers directly to facilitate installation/maintenance of equipment and services to your customers. A *happy* business consists of happy customers, a positive reputation, a positive workplace environment and positive cash-flow. But guess what helps facilitate all of those things?! Happy employees! Invest in them and they will invest in your business by way of their attitudes, work ethics and service to your customers.

  24. BY Michael Hunt says:

    A penny saved is a penny earned-Penny -Wise -Dollar foolish.Lots of complaints about how technical talent is evaluated/paid and tasked.You all have valid points.You get what you pay for! Budget restraints need to be addressed prior to approaching Talent.The technician needs to be ageless and enthusiast.No money-Train them.Hire the person not a random set of skills.There are no bargains in tech. If you pick from the dollar bin-you get a dollar item.If you pick from the 10 dollar bin and offer a dollar (no sale)I make a living on the dollar bin in finding items that I can (MAKE-Train) that will belong in the 10 dollar bin in a short time.You will kill your Employer Brand by approaching talent with the wrong message.Recruiters need to do the homework to at least have a working knowledge of what a tech is being asked to do for the Budget challenged Salary.

  25. BY gary says:

    Cios are paid million of dollars and all they do is sit and tell.people what to do without knowing exactly how to do it. We are the coders a nd analysts and you’re complaining at 100k? Maybe if you hire more people with your salary, things will get done. But no, you want to keep the money for yourself.

  26. BY David says:

    I have 15 years IT experience, 2 Master Degrees and 12 Certifications. Do you think half of these hiring managers care? No they really don’t. What they want are obsure skillsets which require 2-4 years of experience on a contractual basis for low pay. Period. No room for training, no room for compromise. This is a buyers market my friends and yes, it does suck!

    things to disappear over the last 30 years.

    1) Pensions
    2) Job Stability
    3) Training
    4) Full time employment
    5) Good Health Care
    6) American Workers

    Its a shame I love technology so much.

    • BY Aged PM says:

      Bravo ! Best reply of the day. I could not agree with you more. If I might add 1 thing to your list that is gone … Expectation of a good work – life balance. Again, excellent.

  27. BY Joanne Ross says:

    As an IT professional with 10+ years currently looking for employment, I can say my number 1 frustration with employers is no acknowledgement of an application. This goes for agencies as well. Don’t complain about not getting quality applicants then ignore people who do apply. I’m not saying a personal phone call but just a form email to say ‘we have received your application’.

  28. BY joe perkins says:

    OH PLEASE….IT Managers earn your pay and spell the word along with me:

    T-R-A-I-N-I-N-G

    No sympathy here!

  29. BY unca alby says:

    It seems not a week goes by without Dice publishing YET ANOTHER article with somebody whining about how “difficult” it is to hire “qualified” talent.

    Personally, I’m sick of it.

    Millions of people out of work, and you can’t find anybody to hire. Oh, Boo Hoo.

    I’ll believe it when all this “understaffing” starts causing bankruptcies.

  30. BY Overproof says:

    My company has been understaffed for 2 years now and we start a tier I support rep out at over $22 an hour in Dallas.

    Sad part is the skills we require are pretty minimal.

  31. BY Ronaldo says:

    We’ve given companies a delightful, convenient and wonderful excuse to go offshore. It’s all about the money. It’s not the H1B visa. It’s the L1 visa. It’s the power of the business lobbies and immigration law lobbies.

    Seriously everyone… How are we going to fight the deep, deep pockets of these lobbies working behind the scenes. You won’t even hear about them, or see them in the media. Very seldom do you hear about them or even know who they are, and if you do, they fade into the background very, very quickly.

    Again, it’s all about the money. Would you rather pay a US employee $90,000 per year, or pay an offshore resource $22 an hour?

    We can complain all we want. Nothing will change on H1B or L1 visas. The business powers and the $$ they contribute to lobbies and political interest groups not only come from US companies, but also the large Indian technology service firms. It’s in their best interests to do so, is it not??

    • BY Tom says:

      Why work for someone else anyway? Let them hire as they see fit, meanwhile you can have your own business and call the shots.

  32. BY brad says:

    Getting back to basics, in general…

    Managers of companies are paid to put more money into the owner’s pockets today than yesterday; nothing more.

    Their timeline is the current quarter; no longer.

    Loyalty up is a tool to increase net revenue. Loyalty down does not exist.

    The harder a manager’s job looks to their superiors, the more justified an increase in their compensation.

    It is in manager’s financial interest to pay the least amount possible and get the most possible from every dollar they control.

    The cost of talking, complaining, whining is $0, so any payback from yacking interminably is always positive. It does not matter if what is said reflects reality; just that it has the desired effects.

    Interestingly enough, if you can convince your superiors and equals that a self-defined problem has an external source, you no longer own the problem. Someone else must solve it. And it supports the appearance of increased difficulty of your job. It is a feedback loop.

    Aside from that, if an employer cannot find the exact skill set at a price they want to pay, they should offer more, trim the requirement, or they face the fact that they are not responding to the signals from the market.

    And the very, very, very good thing about companies that complain:

    The level of talk coming from a company about how difficult their life is is a very good negative indicator of the quality of an employer. Public behavior is generally sanitized compared to private behavior.

  33. BY John R says:

    100k isn’t really much. That’s sad because most people don’t make half that. It’s really sad because most executives and CEO’s make 100x that.

    It’s really disturbing because companies make millions or billions. Long live the corporation!

    Perhaps if companies would stop hiring technical people who don’t speak English as their FIRST and only language… there would be more incentive for Americans to work in IT.

    And maybe they can stop hiring/using foreign-work-visa holders as well…

  34. BY SBS says:

    Interesting comments. I have found that the problem with IT is greed. Employers were raking in $$$ during the electronic boom of the 80s and 90s. And the economy was booming too. Now organizations aren’t making the money to support the 6 figure salaries but still want you with expensive degrees and certifications, that normally justify the higher salaries.

    The other issue is technical recruiters who do not take the time to find out what the client actually needs and recruit for the positions. I know of a contractor who uses the same narrative for all their job descriptions on one job regardless of whether or not it is for an Engineer II or Tier 1 Help Desk and the client can’t figure out why they are not interviewing for people with the skill sets required. Not to mention the contract was extremely low-balled.

    Employers need to start getting realistic with their requirements. You have to have a minimum list of requirements and then list the would prefer requirement or wish list. IT is still falls under BUSINESS and Business requires people skills. I find most IT departments forget about the soft skills and concentrate too much on just the technology. Think about this: a computer is just a bunch of metal, ceramic and plastic without the software. In IT is the software that determines what the computer can or cannot do. The same is true in the IT department. It is the interaction of the staff (people) that direct what the equipment can do (hardware and software). In the IT technician, the people and problem solving skills are the software and the technical knowledge is more like the hardware.

    Business needs to get back to reality and needs to pay an honest wage for an honest days work. They also need to realize that even in IT there is still a learning curve, even if it is just to learn how the technology fits into their business plan.

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