Employers Are Clueless About Hiring IT Staff

You’d think that after all these years, considering how critical and pervasive IT has become, that employers would understand that:

  • IT is complex: there is more to IT services and infrastructure than clicking Install in an app store.
  • No one person can know everything: Hell, no one person can know all of System Center!!!! (You hear that Microsoft certification process managers?!?!?!)
  • Good people are required: There are lots of “cowboys” out there who can do a shit job, but you need good people to do a good job.
  • Good people are rare, and therefore expensive: You’d think that business people would understand the rules of supply and demand.

But, it appears that lessons have not been learned.

Exhibit A:

Here’s a tweet from earlier today by MVP Didier Van Hoye:


Yes, some employer wants a person with little to no experience to decide and plan the future of their IT, and therefore the ability of their business to function. That’s smart … no … that’s moronic.

Exhibit B:

Some company (I haven’t bothered to figure out who yet) in Dublin (Ireland) is recruiting for a cloud consultant. I was spam-emailed last week, I’ve seen adverts on LinkedIn, and I’ve been cold called by head hunters. This employer is seeking a unicorn, bigfoot, or abominable snowman type of creature. They want a consultant who knows EVERYTHING:

  • Hyper-V, vSphere, etc
  • System Center, VMware’s suite, etc
  • Hardware and storage
  • AWS
  • Azure
  • I think there also might have been some networking stuff in the laundry list

And that person will earn the princely sum of €55K per year. Firstly, this person does not exist. Secondly, €55K is the going rate for a mid-level consultant that has a few of those skills.

The world still needs to learn that IT pro staff are not glorified cleaners. It’s not like we can go to college for 2 years to learn how to balance or cook the books and we’re set for the rest of our careers.

10 thoughts on “Employers Are Clueless About Hiring IT Staff”

  1. Amen. It drives me nuts when I see job ads like that, and the sad thing is you see it all the time. Like you said, it is near impossible to be an expert in all things, and if you do find someone claiming they are, I would be highly skeptical of their actual abilities.

  2. And for such skill set to be genuine and recent you would basically not be able to have free time and/or personal life.

  3. I love the jobs that are posted “10+ years experience managing Hyper-V infrastructure, 10+ yrs experience with cloud technologies (AWS, Azure)” etc.

    My company might have posted that ad, if they were in Ireland. But it would have been closer to €40k

  4. I am the owner of an IT support company. We are a small, growing company and are required to help our customers with a broad range of requests from the simple to the complex. Recruiting is a difficult thing, so what we do is create a job specification which details the technical and non-technical requirements of the role. These are then split into Required and Desirable skills and the whole lot is provided with an overview of our company and how we work to the recruitment agency.

    The result of all this upfront work, is we know what we want from our next staff member and those applying have an understanding of the role they are applying for. This results in higher calibre recruits that hopefully fit our requirements. Just giving a list of technical experience to tick off would be a complete waste of time and shows a lack of forethought for what your business truly needs. All of the above applies to non-techie staff too.

  5. Absolutely, it enrages me when I see job advertisements looking for Linux AND Windows experts (with no further elaboration) and a paltry salary attached to it.

    The trouble is that there are people who will apply for these roles and due to the employer not understanding the skill set, will employ them. This has two undesired consequences.

    1. It affects “the going rate” for IT roles, although any company that doesn’t value the position and will take any one on, is perhaps a company best avoided.

    2. It puts unsuitable people behind business critical systems, in many cases perpetuating the “bloody computers” mentality from users.

    For those of us who work hard, study hard and strive for perfection in our infrastructure, it’s a constant source of irritation.

  6. I agree entirely, but feel I should say that rate looks OK for doing *only* those things. I don’t make much more than that (in the delightful but tiny antipodean paradise that is NZ – maybe there are some compensating benefits, I guess) and carry full responsibility for a bunch more than just some virt and storage stuff. In fact that’s what I do when I’m not doing networking, telephony, commercials, people management, strategy, development, system centre, project management, architecture, and the rest….

    Down here, everyone tries to run complex IT shops with about 25% the resource they need to do the job properly. We’re three people and a contractor doing the work of 10-12 in a sane world. Crazy.

  7. Great post. I see this a lot as well. Especially with employers wanting the finest champagne on a beer budget. That is nothing new though, not many want to pay for good IT people.

  8. I agree with the above comments, currently looking a new challenge.Its a bit of a nightmare as employers (and/or recuriters) are trying to find some who knows EVERYTHING and does EVERYTHING – Universal soldier. The truth is, no one knows everything.

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