Why are employers so picky?

By Thomas York, InfoWorld |  Career

THINK EMPLOYERS ARE getting a little too picky when looking for new hires?
You're not alone. Consider the long laundry list of skills needed to fill this recent
job opening posted in the classified section of a Silicon Valley newspaper.

Wanted: Network operations center supervisor to supervise Internet systems
engineers who provide customer service and technical support.

Requirements: Must know the technology behind Cisco routers, hubs, bridges, DSU/CSU
switches and be familiar with common Internet applications. A good understanding of
TCP/IP and other protocols in the LAN and WAN environment, firewalls, Cisco products
and subnets is required. An understanding of DNS configuration, BIND, RWHOIS VLSM, and
HTML is a plus. Knowledge of transport protocols such as T3/E3, T1/E1, FDDI, Ethernet,
Fast Ethernet, ISDN, and frame relay is desired. Must have Microsoft and Cisco
certifications and a basic knowledge of Unix (Unix certification a plus). Customer
service skill is required, as is the ability to work independently. Two to three years
supervisory experience also required. Telco or access provider environment desired.

Welcome to the IT job market of the late 1990s. Detailed lists of qualifications
are by no means unusual, as a casual glance of the help-wanted section of any big-city
newspaper or industry trade magazine will attest.

It's a market in which hiring managers cobble together lengthy wish lists of
education, qualifications, skills, and talents when seeking candidates to fill slots in
their IT departments -- and may not fill the positions until they find the perfect

Mike Bakonyi, director of national staffing company Pencom Systems' Austin, Texas,
office, says one of his clients has been looking for four build engineers for more than
six months because the right candidates with the right set of skills haven't been

Why not simply fill the positions with candidates who meet some of the
qualifications? Employers and recruiters say several factors make that a difficult

New economy, new rules

As businesses large and small face tighter competition, lightning-fast change
brought on by the Internet, and unfettered globalization, IT has become the heart and
soul of many an organization.

Managers are demanding workers who can help them thrive in the new digital economy,
says Tim Pappas, an executive recruiter at Pappas & Delaney, in Milwaukee. Workers
without the requisite talents can't help them remain competitive.

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