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View Diary: Government reports just 88,000 jobs added in March, with 7.6% jobless rate. U6 falls to 13.8% (85 comments)

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  •  IT industry failures... (6+ / 0-)

    I know what you mean. It's not that we are bitter IT workers towards them. But the companies that scam these people into the country are creating a real crisis. We expect each worker to be paid a commensurate wage. When companies fail to do so they create a vacuum. And when they ignore or prohibit hiring of the existing US IT workforce just to get cheap labor they end up breaking the overall industry.

    In the past workers had to strike to get fair wages for all. Nowadays, Congress is circumventing Labor through these Work Visa programs. They were not meant to be used as a cudgel against Labor. They were meant to find necessary skills when we didn't have enough in the country already.

    IT workers are currently underemployed or unemployed simply because the companies are either too cheap or too self-important to hire and train up the current work force. They are looking for extremely experienced and skilled IT workers at below rockbottom salaries. This isn't the way America works.

    There are a few tenets to IT hiring I tend to stick to.

    - Hire for skills, but look for talent: Hire skilled workers and trainable workers. You can hire a person with the right skills but you can't make them work. It takes skills plus talent to make a team work.

    - Pay people what they are worth and they work harder: Skimping on salaries just for budgetary reasons is a losing proposition. As a manager, you have the job of securing the funding necessary to make the project succeed. It's your failure if you can't. Underpaying workers depresses their talents and can even make them make mistakes that can cost you success overall. It's not worth it.

    - Train a workforce, don't just hire one: It's an old idea which has been discarded over the years thanks to outsourcing. But it needs to come back if we are going to make real jobs in this country. Hiring a worker is like planting a seed. You grow them into what you need them to be in the future as part of the overall team. You can build a tremendous team of individuals if you can follow all of these tenets correctly. People that can be dependable, dedicated and enthusiastic about your company's success.

    But of course, companies fail in this arena. They hire peicemeal for projects. The do so on the cheap and personnel move on to other places multiple times because of this. The IT world suffers because of it.

    "I think it's the duty of the comedian to find out where the line is drawn and cross it deliberately." -- George Carlin, Satirical Comic,(1937-2008)

    by Wynter on Fri Apr 05, 2013 at 07:37:38 AM PDT

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    •  I wish more managers had your philosophy (6+ / 0-)

      Especially point three, training.  This is a point that's often overlooked whenever people talk about the phantom "skills-gap" our nation faces.  Now, somewhat obviously, there isn't any kind of skills gap, because if there were, unemployment would be near rock bottom in sectors of the economy, and wages would be sky-rocketing as companies fought over the highly-demanded but limited supply of skilled workers.

      But second, and more importantly, if there were a skills gap, how come companies aren't hiring people and training them?  Are they such terrible employers they're afraid people will flee to greener fields as soon as the training is complete?  

      The example I always call to mind is World War II.  America sent its men off to war.  But America also needed industry to produce the goods to win the war!  So what did American companies do?  They shattered the gender barrier, and hired completely unskilled women, who after being trained were assembling the planes, bombs, tanks, and ships we needed to win the war.  That's what a skills shortage looks like.  

      American companies today have a terrible disease of the mind.  They don't want to please customers, just shareholders.  They don't want to pay their employees, just their executives.  And they don't want to train the next generation, they just want to import foreigners who have state-subsidized educations, who will work in America at rock bottom wages.  It's terrible.

    •  Well, said.. and it's nice to hear (0+ / 0-)

      a manager with your attitude.

    •  I agree and would add a couple things (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Wynter, denise b

      One is sort of an offshoot of your final point: when making any decision that might impact them, take them into account and if possible include them. This applies to numerous things, including not creating an environment so hectic they can't be effective (the studies on this should terrify managers concerned about productivity)

      The other builds on your first point - it is difficult to find workers who meet all the criteria for a professional IT position. Over the past few years, my small team at a large company has had occasion to need a number of people. Out of loads and loads of resumes, few were what we needed (and our needs are not unusual). Out of the few we interviewed, few would have worked out. Out of the few we actually hired. . .let's just say the trend continued, though there were a couple bright spots.

         The point of all this is that in IT at least, both employers and workers have focused too much on technical ability and not enough on other things that make for a good employee and a good team. The result is a workforce increasingly devoid of these skills. I tend to think that some older workers might be more likely to fit the bill if only companies were willing to invest the time on training. But the overall problem is a lack of focus on what matters most.

      The IT world isn't the only world that suffers because of this. The idea of a bright line between IT and the rest of the company is a concept that needs to go away in this day and age. For most of the nation's top companies, IT should be inextricably intertwined with the business.

      Want a progressive global warming novel, not a right wing rant? Go to www.edwardgtalbot.com and check out New World Orders

      by eparrot on Fri Apr 05, 2013 at 01:30:05 PM PDT

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      •  Recruiting suffers of test aces. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        eparrot

        IT has suffered a good deal from having too many skill sets that are in technology that is moving faster and faster. I can't tell you how many jobs I have seen that posted that want obscure skill sets or combinations of skillsets all at the expert level even though that version of the skill only came out a year or so ago.

        I'm one of those old school mainframe folks that grew into the .Net web area of developing. And there is no way in hell I can keep up with all the various branches to this segment of the field. Most of these specific skillsets are similar and if you can understand one you can figure out the other in with a little bit of training or on the job experience. But many recruiters don't look for that when they screen resumes. They look only for the keywords and don't delve deeper to see whether the candidate could actually compensate for this on the job.

        I pride myself as a jack of all trades that can adapt to almost any environment or requirement given a chance. But you can't shine in an interview these days with just that behind you. They fire off questions not designed to gauge your ability to solve problems but rather to ascertain if you know the keywords, jargon or obscure factoids that accompany a skillset. Only asking test type questions will always get you someone that can pass tests, not someone that can properly develop, code, and test an application. We have lost the ability in recruiting to adequately assess candidates.

        "I think it's the duty of the comedian to find out where the line is drawn and cross it deliberately." -- George Carlin, Satirical Comic,(1937-2008)

        by Wynter on Fri Apr 05, 2013 at 09:12:35 PM PDT

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        •  Agreed 100% (0+ / 0-)

          So much accurate in your comment, so yes!

          Want a progressive global warming novel, not a right wing rant? Go to www.edwardgtalbot.com and check out New World Orders

          by eparrot on Sat Apr 06, 2013 at 03:46:15 PM PDT

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