Midmarket still recruiting IT workers

The senior vice president of management services at technology services provider Technisource discusses the types of IT skills being sought by his company’s midmarket clients.
What’s the IT recruitment landscape like?

The recruitment market is still strong. It feels like it’s stronger than the overall economy. From 2001 to 2003, there was a little bit of a logjam [in labor demand] when IT spending had gone down. Around 2004-2005, spending began to pick up to address initiatives that had been put on hold.

Those projects have since been completed, but now there’s a second wave of investments around areas like security, how to get costs down in the data center, etc.

How has this translated in terms of the types of IT skills that are in top demand?

There are a couple of things that are important right now. One is BI, including data architects, people who know how to operate the tools like a portal or Crystal Reports or Cognos. And business analysts who can train the end users on what the BI tools can actually do.

The second area is security. It’s similar to BI, where there are a number of subskills that IT specialists need to possess — not things that you can traditionally find in one person — like network security, operating system security, database security, application security and physical security around the data center.

How difficult is it to find people with these skills?

They are definitely findable. They are midcareer professionals for the most part, people with three to 10 years of IT experience. The hardest area to recruit for is this business analyst position. Evaluating how good someone is at evaluating requirements and translating them effectively is more difficult to measure and thus more difficult to find.

— Thomas Hoffman

Getting to Know You

More than ever, the people who make hiring decisions are checking out social networking sites like Facebook in order to get more insight into job candidates. According to a CareerBuilder survey, 22% of hiring managers said they follow the practice, up from 11% two years earlier. What are they looking for?

On the negative side, they are interested in seeing whether a candidate has:

— Lied about qualifications.
— Revealed links to criminal behavior.
— Posted information about drinking or using drugs.
— Posted provocative or inappropriate photographs or information.
— Bad-mouthed previous employers or co-workers.
— Used discriminatory remarks related to race, gender, religion, etc.
— Used an unprofessional screen name.
— Shared confidential information from previous employers.

On the positive side, things that can help a candidate get hired include:
— Support for claims about qualifications.
— Evidence of strong communication skills.
— Signs that the candidate would be a good fit with the company’s culture.
— A professional image.
— Favorable references posted by others.
— A wide range of interests.
— Awards and accolades.
— A creative profile.

Source: CareerBuilder.com online survey of 3,169 hiring managers and human resources professionals, September 2008

Never Enough Money


Percentage of people who earn more than US$100,000 annually but say they live paycheck to paycheck, according to an online survey. For all workers, the figure was 47%. The survey found that men are more likely than women to put money aside from each paycheck.

Maybe that’s why half (51%) of the 557 U.S. workers responding to a Gallup telephone survey in August said that they think they’re underpaid. Even among those making $75,000 or more, 38% said they felt they deserved more. Three percent of the respondents said they felt they were overpaid. CEOs of investment banks, perhaps?

Sources: CareerBuilder.com online survey of more than 7,192 workers, September 2008; Gallup Corp. telephone survey, August 2008

Page compiled by Jamie Eckle.

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Jim Love, Chief Content Officer, IT World Canada

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