Friday, November 14, 2014

Is your company causing the IT Skills gap?

I've posted previously on the "IT/IS Skills Gap".  As I'm previously noted, I'm not convinced it's necessarily due to a lack of skilled people, but in how some companies are handling filling positions.

A recent article at CSO magazine is interesting.

It's point is the skills gap could be caused by how companies deal with employees, both in hiring and in keeping them.  They make 4 points on this:
  • Looking for a Perfect Match
  • Not focusing on Training & Education
  • Poor Pay
  • Using outsourcing makes it worse
Now, as a job seeker, I've seen the first 3 in action.

"Perfect is the enemy of good".  I think some (many?) jobs go unfilled because someone is looking for a mythical perfect candidate.  Some job descriptions want someone with particular skills (certain applications) that you will unlikely find (not every company uses the same apps you do), or a wide range of skills that most people will not have gained in their career (most people in IT or IS focus on a handful of areas and get really good at them, not a dozen or more).  And so when you have a really good candidate that is missing 1 or 2 or 3 skills, they don't want them.  Also focus is too often on what you've done and NOT on what you can do.  I also think most people want to grow into a new job, they see that as a challenge, yet employers don't seem to want someone like that.  (why?)

In IS/IT, getting technical training as a professional is very important.  But for many of us, we've not been able to get that training for the last several years.  For me, I had to move into a new position before I was able to get training with any regularity.  So expecting employees to pick up the slack is difficult.  The really good training is expensive (upwards of $4-5K!).  If our employer is not going to foot all or some of the bill, will we even get time off to go to training?  This makes it hard for candidates to have the latest skills you want if YOU and other companies aren't providing training for us.

I have seen some doozies when it comes to pay.  Some companies have no idea what is the going rate for IT/IS people, especially those who are experienced, have certain certifications and skills.  Why should I (or others) have to explain this to potential employers OR recruiters?  Do your homework.  I've seen other articles that mention that it seems some companies don't seem to realize that IT salaries have been increasing in recent years.  Some still think they are stuck at what they were 10 years ago.

Again, what do others think of the skills gap?


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