Another industry executive I heard from, the CEO of a Texas-based systems integrator, blames "cut-and-paste, robotic HR people" for corporate America's seeming inability to fill open tech positions with qualified people. Staffing companies, he says, depend too much on resume certs references rather than an understanding of what the job requires. "Experienced American citizens abound to fill jobs here or on foreign soils if senior technical management makes the time and accepts responsibility for properly interviewing job applicants personally prior to getting HR involved when hiring technology-skilled professionals," he says.
A reader who describes himself as "someone who has sat on many sides of the IT hiring and management desk" observes that companies looking to hire after the deep recession are seeking experienced business technology pros who can drive and manage IT projects in highly matrixed work environments. "These positions require people who have the ability to work effectively with internal and outsourced IT, the business side of the house, and are fully security-, audit-, and compliance-aware--especially as new cloud initiatives are deployed," he says. The problem is that the recession and "mass outsourcing" have driven many of the people who meet those criteria out of the IT profession, he says. "The smarter and more fortunate ones ended up in the consulting world, where they found higher salaries and much more flexible work environments, and they don't want to go back," he says.
Another reader, who just concluded a four-year job search, suggests that instead of having governments pour money into programs that train students or unemployed professionals "to do a job that polled well when our politicians funded it" (he cites green jobs as an example), we instead use that money to relocate skilled workers to where the openings are for their skill sets. (I assume that money would come in the form of tightly controlled employer subsidies rather than putting the federal government in the worker relocation business.)
The principal of a consulting firm in Georgia is looking to the pool of experienced mid-level professionals displaced by the recession. Another place to look is among the tens of thousands of returning military men and women. The National Guard, in association with three non-profits, has launched a national campaign to encourage small and midsize companies to post openings for skilled technical workers and a range of other positions on the National Guard's job bank. The program aims to serve not only unemployed National Guard veterans, but also those from other military branches as well as their spouses. Companies that want to post open jobs can do so here, free of charge.
Is Far Really Better? My father used to have an expression--"far is better"--which was his backhanded critique of people who thought they had to trek many miles to their favorite bakery, tailor, or some other proprietor when one just as good or even better was around the corner. We see the same phenomenon in IT circles.