>>When the job market has a shortage of qualified unemployed folks, then the only way to get good people is to convince them to leave jobs they like.
I'm actually old enough to remember the days of headhunters calling 10 times a week. Even back then it was a crapshoot. Headhunters could give you general idea of salary range sometimes. But by far most successful ploy was just jumping job to job. You'd tell the new guy what you made currently and they'd bump you 5-10% to entice you. If you were really valued by your cuurent employer, they would try and match. Well, at least first couple times you pulled that on them.
It was interesting paradigm that evolved. The jumpers weren't usually the best or brightest, and certainly didn't give a rat's butt about the company. The valuable people didn't really have mindset to behave like that, they were committed to who they worked for. Big reason they were so valued, it was part of who they were.
So you ended up with a market where what you made was way out of whack with the talent you had. The IT crash after Y2K took care of most of those people, the change of technologies took care of rest. But that headhunter market that spawned the jumpers barely exists anymore. Seems doubtful things will get that hot again. But in internet age, maybe the Monster.com's of world provide that opportunity now? I could see niches get hot for awhile, then cool/disappear completely. Long term IT work is not for the meek anymore, your best quality better be adapting to change.