Monday, 29 August 2011

The upcoming Skills Shortage

There has been some talk in the news recently of an upcoming IT skills shortage in the country when we still have a high unemployment rate.  I have noticed that every time there is a period of great unemployment, this is followed by what is perceived as a skills shortage.

During the employment and financial crisis of the last few years, those companies who were able to hire got very used to the idea that they could get exact fits to their needs. While there was high unemployment through these times, companies and employment agencies became comfortable with the knowledge that every job advertised would have a hundred or more applicants. They could then be extremely picky about their exact needs. In other words, if they wanted, say, a senior Java developer to assist them in programming plugins for Atlassian's Jira, then they could easily expect to find amongst the applicants, some who have 3-4 years exerience specifically programming jira plugins in Java.

This is no longer the case and employees and agencies are crying "Skills Shortage" to the government. Too bad if there are 120 others within a 10 mile radius who are very well qualified and capable and have enough experience to quickly pick up the industry and product knowledge - heaven forbid but they may even be 10 years younger or older than all of the others in the team. Who know's they may even bring some diversity to the team, especially if they are originally from another country or have a different accent and skin color.

While we do need those highly qualified and experienced people, employing good people willing to work their guts out for opportunity might resolve some of the issues.

Your thoughts? 


  1. Just the usual... We can indeed expect such artificial "shortage".
    It's worth writing that hiring criterias are country and company-depended. Human resources usually follow the duck-typing interface model: if you claim you're a jira/Java programmer, you are such. Hiring a better Java programmer, which never used jira, but will be a better programmer for the project, is a much more time-consuming process.
    IMHO such issue comes from the fact that some people how manage HR are not technical enough, or at least don't have enough practice to understand what programming is about. They follow general guidelines, from the time's mood.
    In France, my lovely country, it's even worse: for instance, a lot of companies HR just ask for a diploma and keywords in the CV, and won't hire an expert with years of field experiment without the matching diploma. With skills shortage, such dogma tends to be an heresy: you'll hire young (cheaper?) programmers with the right diploma, even if they won't fit the technical needs. It takes time to make a good/not-so-bad programmer.
    When a company is about to hire a programmer, I think it is founded to ask for source code to look at, better than diploma.

  2. Interesting... I was wondering for the past couple of months why many companies are hiring so much lately -- if there's an economic crisis --, it just didn't make sense to me, but after reading this post it does make more sense.
    About 1.5 years ago I was interviewed for a job at a pretty large company, I was expecting hardcore questions and was trying to fill my "gaps" as much as I could on the last 100 m, however I was really disappointed to find out that the questions where very basic and lack advanced knowledge testing so then I came to the conclusion that it wasn't the job for me, I mean, I seek knowledge, I want to be the "small fish" (:

  3. There is so much hiring and lots of companies are hiring employees in bulk so we cannot say that there is any economic crisis or recession, but this is the fact some of the good companies sit their employees on bench and they are not giving any work for those employees so we can say that there is a type of recession.
    business software solutions

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