adopts Software Council’s skills profiler

An IT occupational profile tool launched earlier this summer will get some traction in the commercial market through a high-tech career portal. Tuesday said it will add the Occupational Skills Profile Model (OSPM) developed by the Software Human Resource Council (SHRC) to its Career Board. The OSPM provides descriptions of 24 technology industry jobs and is designed to help IT employers better select the right candidates for available positions. The SHRC created it in consultation with a variety of IT firms and industry associations, releasing it both in book form and as an online database. is a venture started by executive recruiting firm Perry Martel International, whose vice-president, David Perry, sits on the SHRC board. He said the OSPM will make it much easier for employers using to accurately pinpoint exact abilities.

“Everybody has their definition of what a systems analyst is, or what a Webmaster is,” he said. “The push is on now for XML to integrate all the different job boards and all the different services that are possible. A fundamental issue is that nobody has any standards. Now there is one.”

Julie Kaufman, an analyst with Toronto-based IDC Canada, said the OSPM has the makings of a potential industry benchmark, but it won’t necessarily solve employer’s problems.

“I think that it can be valuable, but it can also be dangerous,” she said. “Skill levels and requirements are changing so quickly that how you define one particular job role will be very different from one year to the next. You need to take that into account.”

Having been in the recruitment business for 15 years, Perry says he gets 2,000 to 3,000 phone calls before college and university gets out each year with students asking for career search advice. The portal was a way of offloading non-executive enquiries. The site’s technology aggregates the IT jobs out of 410 technology newsgroups in North America. On average, Perry said the site posts 60,000 jobs a week for free.

“By putting the OSPM in, we’ll allow recruiters and employers to have a common dictionary,” he said.

Kaufman warned that salaries, compensation levels and benefits will also change based on what skills are in demand. Have to do research on at least an annual basis. IDC conducts its own research in this area, she said, and has to revisit terms at least once a year. “You’ll need to update those definitions all the time and the comparative from year can be difficult to do.”

The OSPM has already been endorsed by the federal government, but Perry said its use on could give the government some real-time statistics on Canadian employment in the high-tech sector.

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