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Old 04-22-2012, 01:43 PM
 
7,488 posts, read 8,080,036 times
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Default Picky Employers

I've been in IT for more than 10 years. While I don't consider myself a superstar, I do think I'm competent and more than qualified to fill many of the jobs in my field. Anytime I post my resume online, I'm flooded with recruiter calls and emails. They tell me demand is strong for people with my skill set. Normally, I take what recruiters say with a grain of salt. But what I see on the job boards confirms it. The problem I'm running into is this. The recruiter submits my resume to their client and one of three things happen. A) The client and/or recruiter never responds. B) The client passes on my resume. C) The client says they're interested in setting up an interview. But one thing I'm noticing in interview after interview is just how picky hiring managers are being. I'm being asked questions that I've never been asked to answer in 10 years. These are not just standard questions that you ask to gauge someone's ability to do the job. These are the kinds of questions that reward those who've memorized really obscure details, the kind that people would normally just look up. To me, it's analogous to asking a chemist to name the 47th element of the periodic table. I don't know any chemists, but I have a hard time believing they'd memorize all the elements when they can so easily look them up.

So there's a disconnect, one that a number of my friends in my field have also observed. On the one hand, there's strong demand for people with my skill set. But on the other hand, employers are willing to take their time interviewing and making applicants jump through hoops. If you really need something, wouldn't that cause you to be less picky? This job market is hard to make sense of. It's one thing if an employer says we don't need any more workers or we don't need someone with your skills. But here they're basically saying your skills aren't good enough. I've talked to my friends who say they would've stumbled on the same questions I did. So I know it's not my competence. And like I said, I've been in my field for 10 years. It's not like I'm fresh out of college.

Has anyone else experienced this? Does it feel like employers are being way too picky even though they claim to really need to fill these jobs?
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Old 04-22-2012, 02:17 PM
 
2,249 posts, read 4,000,603 times
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Not only are they picky, but they're smug about it, too.

"While your qualifications were a great match..."

Apparently, they weren't that great of a match. If they were, you would've hired that person.
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Old 04-22-2012, 02:18 PM
 
1,828 posts, read 2,828,870 times
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Ive been contracted now for a year and a half in IT and I can tell you I don't like it one bit. This is the first time I have been contracted as well, I was always direct hired with benefits before. When I was getting interviews I know what your saying, they want you to be a superstar for nothing an hour in compensation at least where I am at. While I'm happy to be working at this point after being out of work 2 years I can tell you I'm getting more and more disgruntled as they have 2 pay scales as well as benefits on the other pay scale. The other people that are getting the higher pay are making 5 an hour more getting all kinds of benefits and are doing the same job as me. Its getting real old getting screwed like I am.
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Old 04-22-2012, 02:34 PM
 
23,262 posts, read 30,341,134 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Colts View Post
Not only are they picky, but they're smug about it, too.

"While your qualifications were a great match..."

Apparently, they weren't that great of a match. If they were, you would've hired that person.
Not necessarily--they could have been a great match, but there was someone else who was an even greater match.
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Old 04-22-2012, 07:29 PM
 
2,249 posts, read 4,000,603 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by annerk View Post
Not necessarily--they could have been a great match, but there was someone else who was an even greater match.
Don't do that.
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Old 04-22-2012, 07:44 PM
 
7,488 posts, read 8,080,036 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OHGreat View Post
Ive been contracted now for a year and a half in IT and I can tell you I don't like it one bit. This is the first time I have been contracted as well, I was always direct hired with benefits before. When I was getting interviews I know what your saying, they want you to be a superstar for nothing an hour in compensation at least where I am at. While I'm happy to be working at this point after being out of work 2 years I can tell you I'm getting more and more disgruntled as they have 2 pay scales as well as benefits on the other pay scale. The other people that are getting the higher pay are making 5 an hour more getting all kinds of benefits and are doing the same job as me. Its getting real old getting screwed like I am.
I've never done contracting before in my life. Like you, I've always had direct hire positions. It meant making less money, but the idea of being a contractor never appealed to me. Even the recruiters are confused by this market. When I tell them the salary range I'm looking for, they say it's in line with what the market is offering and what their clients will pay. So it's definitely not an issue of me asking for too much money. If that were the case, I wouldn't be getting interviews. It would be one thing to lose out to another candidate who just did better. But that's not the case. A lot of these jobs are still unfilled.
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Old 04-22-2012, 08:18 PM
 
1,030 posts, read 1,490,974 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by annerk View Post
Not necessarily--they could have been a great match, but there was someone else who was an even greater match.
Not necessarily. I've been in similar situations to what the OP mentioned and can tell you that some of the jobs that I interviewed for and didn't receive an offer have not been filled after several months. Employers are being so ultra-picky that they'd rather the position remain vacant than hire someone who doesn't walk on water and is willing to work for pennies on the dollar (even if it means overworking their current employees to breaking point, due to being short-staffed).
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Old 04-22-2012, 08:53 PM
 
734 posts, read 824,451 times
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These days poorly versed IT professionals can royally screw up an installation that could lead to unplanned downtime, embarrassment, loss of customers or fines if any PII was lost in the equation. So if I am hiring for an x server admin, i'll expect them to know how to protect their own boxes and make that puppy sing. I don't want any script kiddies. I want folks who can hit the ground running and can bring our team some extra knowledge. So yeah, "What's that obscure tool that no one has ever heard of that is used to do XYZ (but you'll need to use)." If they tell me correctly then i'll know they're a cut above the rest.
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Old 04-23-2012, 12:38 AM
 
Location: Viña del Mar, Chile
14,367 posts, read 11,896,122 times
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Not to really pick apart your thread, because I hate when people do it but that sentence about the chemist made me laugh. Most chemistry students have the periodic table nearly memorized by their 4th semester of chemistry

I do understand your point though, and it must really be frustrating. I think that stuff seems pretty ridiculous if you ask me. The IT industry is really tough right now, my mom is in it and there's just not much you can do. Employers are being pricks right now because they know even highly qualified people are just flat out desperate. A lot of these people are probably nerds on power trips and want to just mess with people too.

Best of luck to you, I'm sure you'll be fine.
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Old 04-23-2012, 05:06 AM
 
23,262 posts, read 30,341,134 times
Reputation: 10458
My husband is in I/T, he is a team lead (hands on) but not a manager. He's often called upon to perform technical interviews for the managers. Many of the applicants know how to toss around the right lingo to get past the management, but when it comes to nuts and bolts programming, either they are super sloppy or just pretty well incompetent.

For every five applicants that gets to the point of a technical interview, only one really has the chops. My husband wishes it were more, because he's working 60 hours a week picking up the slack due to two open desks right now. But he'd rather do that then work 80 hours cleaning up the mess made by a bad hire.
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