Tech job descriptions are unique.
When it comes to job posts, it seems that some skill requirements never go out of fashion:
- Highly organized
- Works well with others
- Leadership ability
- Attention to detail
These are traits that all employers look for, and most job seekers think they have. But employers can’t truly expect to assess their candidates in these skills – at least not until they have their short list prepared and are in the process of conducting interviews and following up on references.
The obvious question, then, is what skill requirements are essential for job seekers to meet in order to get past that first hurdle of the hiring process?
Obviously, the answer to that question is different from one job to the next. And that is especially true when it comes to Information Technology jobs.
One thing that distinguishes IT jobs from any other sector is the enormous diversity of tools and products that can all more or less achieve the same goals. But the ends aren’t the same as the means, and a job seeker may know how to perform a job with one tool, but require training to perform the same job if a potential employer uses a different tool – and this is a growing concern.
A short time ago, a web developer’s job description might list the following required skills:
- MS FrontPage
But more recently, the rate of growth in new software applications and back end development tools has risen exponentially, resulting in a boom of new, niche technical skills and experience. Now, depending on the employer’s technology preferences, the required skills for web development could be any of the following:
Rails Web Developer
- Ruby on Rails
- Amazon WS
- PHP and MySQL
- SM APIs
.NET Web Developer
- .NET framework
- SQL Server 2008
- Telerik Sitefinity
- Google Maps API
There is A LOT of technology out there, and the various combinations of skills listed above for web development is just a small sample. Naturally, as businesses adopt various cutting edge technologies into their IT systems, they are looking for IT staff with experience with these technologies, including financial systems, network technologies, security software, document management systems, and enterprise software.
In fact, you can see this trend if you do a simple search for IT jobs in any search engine. Employers are so hungry for product-specific talent that they are invading their own Job Title fields in job posts with crucial product experience. (Instead of “Database Administrator,” for instance, you might find “DBA with IQ, Sybase ASE.”)
With so many potential combinations of product-specific skills out there, one thing is clear – a job seeker’s combination of IT skills is as unique as a fingerprint. How, then, can employers hope to find the perfect match for their IT positions, which have equally unique requirements?
One answer comes to mind in the example of the employer squeezing required product experience into the title of a job post. Perhaps rather than relying on keyword searching job titles, we might consider a new approach, with a simple technology, designed to match IT job seeker skills with IT job requirements.