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Is The IT Market Great Or Terrible Right Now? Or Is It Both?

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Originally posted 2015-07-21 12:57:52. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

“It was the best of times…it was the worst of times…”

So, you have two articles out there in the wild today…and then some perspective from people out there running the gauntlet.

On Detnews.com, you have an article about how firms are looking outside of the state to fill jobs here now.  Also today, you have a Computerworld article that talks about how huge the demand is for IT talent right now in metro Detroit.

So then why, when I’m talking with people at a Michigan Works office this morning…all unemployed, all Information Technology professionals, most of whom had an experienced background…why are they telling me that the IT market sucks?

First, “Hey there, and welcome” to the folks that were in the Michigan Works event this morning where I spoke.  Had a great time chatting with you and answering your questions, and hopefully I helped put some things in context for you and perhaps even nudged you in the right directions.

Now, taking a look at the two articles:

On Detnews.com, you have this article – http://www.detroitnews.com/article/20120514/TECHNOLOGY/205140341/Firms-go-outside-Michigan-fill-jobs – with notes and quotes from Quicken, Compuware, and Galax.E Solutions among others.

On Computerworld, you have this article – http://www.computerworld.com/s/article/9227102/Utility_hires_outsourcer_but_keeps_IT_staff – (you might recognize a name on page 2) with many of the same companies, notes and quotes.

tale-of-two-citiesEven in the Detnews.com article, they talk with an IT professional who’s been out of work for a while, and the spin seems to be that employers are being too specific and picky when it comes to who they’re bringing in for interviews and hiring.

And I thought we were getting past that…and perhaps we are, but maybe just not quickly enough.

Are there really still places out there who think it’s acceptable to get someone with a systems architect’s background to take an analyst job?  And I’m not talking about the BS artists that finesse their way into an interview that they have no business being in at all…but for a while there, because of the depressed economy…companies were thinking that way…and they were getting it to happen, too.

Is that why they’re finding these jobs so hard to fill?

If I take as gospel what I was hearing this morning at Michigan Works…yes, that’s at least part of it.  Why post something as an “entry level helpdesk” gig…when during the interview process you explain that you’re really looking for someone with at least two years of experience?  Why waste your time bringing people in…and their time being brought in…if that’s the reality of the situation?

I’m sure that’s not the only factor here, if for no other reason than I know that Overblown Sense of Entitlement Guyhttp://www.ITintheD.org/index.php/1126/dont-be-that-guy-overblown-sense-of-entitlement-guy/ – still roams the Earth making people’s brains hurt.

But when I make mention of a company that’s in those articles this morning…and I get eyerolling exasperation and tales of frustration with their hiring cycle, lack of feedback from their recruiters, and a nightmarish experience of being submitted for the wrong job…and now feeling like there’s a blacklist that they’re on because of how sideways that interview went…well, that doesn’t really sit too well with me.

Is the IT industry out here in metro Detroit…really in the same state that the city of Detroit itself is in?

Is it possible…maybe…that both sides need to “give” a bit and realize that it’s in their own best interests to do so in the long term?  To realize that you’re not going to find a candidate that has every bullet point on your wishlist on their resume?  To realize that maybe you really do need to stop holding out for that management gig and take a job that forces you to roll up your sleeves, get dirty, and take less money while you prove your worth?

I’m not saying I have all of the answers…but what I can do is sit back and look at things with an objective viewpoint.  Our events are always full of recruiters looking to hire people, all saying the same thing – they need qualified candidates, and they need them nowOur events are also always full of job seekers saying the same thing – that they need a job in the IT industry, and they need one now.

We’ve managed to play matchmaker over 350 times so far in the past couple of years to get the right combination of “hiring” to “needing to be hired” together at the right time.

I guess that’s the other thing I can do – I can say “Hey, here are our eventshttp://www.ITintheD.org/index.php/our-events/ – show up, and we’ll help.”  You don’t have to go out of state to find the talent that you’re looking for…there’s a lot of it right here locally that would prefer to stay local rather than look at out of state jobs like they’ve been starting to do.

So…which is it?  Is the market for information technology professionals out here right now great? Terrible? Both? Neither?

Whatcha got?

3 Comments
  1. Gary Reed says

    David,

    It was a pleasure to meet you today and I enjoy your posts.
    Look forward to attending my first ITintheD.org event this Thursday.

  2. Eric Troldahl says

    Great and Terrible, all at the same time.

    I got to the point that my wife had to step in and help me with the volume of emails I was getting and linked-in job postings to look at, yet…

    Probably 60% of the emails I was getting from outside my ITintheD/Linked-In network wanted experience I didn’t have AND were for jobs that were not in the set of titles I published that I wanted. Probably 80% of those were from “we spidered resumes for a single keyword” “recruiters”. Worthless. On the other hand, jobs I wanted who wanted to interview me were between one a month and one a week. And in one case I had three different people from a company tell me they would find out where my status was and call me back no matter what that status was. Yes, I felt black-listed. What did they possibly have to gain by lying to me? IF you won’t follow through, just tell me “we don’t have time to deal with people who don’t meet our needs”. And yes, that company posts jobs and events in ITintheD Linked-In.

  3. Rob Voigt says

    My tracking of job opportunities supports the “Both” answer.

    I’m seeing plenty of opportunities for niche technical skill sets (or odd combinations of skills). Fictitious examples of those types of postings would include companies looking for the “Seven years of AJAX experience” or a replacement for the “COBOL/Python/Linux” support analyst who just left. And as you expect, companies are finding those jobs hard to fill.

    I’m also seeing quite a few postings for the infamous “three to five year experience” positions that are one notch above entry level IT roles. While that’s an encouraging sign, for many IT staff it’s a step backwards. It’s a variation on David’s example of “places out there who think it’s acceptable to get someone with a systems architect’s background to take an analyst job”.

    Unfortunately, I’m not seeing many opportunities that match up with more senior IT skill sets or IT management. And when the rare position gets posted (that’s both realistic and above entry level), it’s not uncommon to see hundreds of candidates apply…

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