Beyond skill lists
Of course, skills aren't the only thing employers are looking for.
David Foote, managing partner at IT compensation consulting company Foote Partners
and Foote Research Group, in New Canaan, Conn., says that the right experience alone is
worth a long list of skills that haven't been tested on the job.
"It's one thing to say that you have a year of SAP [experience], and it's another
thing to say that you have a year of SAP [experience] working with one company on one
project, and you actually saw the project through to completion," Foote says. "For many
candidates, there's an experience factor that's missing."
And despite all the reasons employers have for asking for certain skills, many of
them may be willing to compromise -- to a point.
Bakonyi says hiring managers usually know which skills are essential.
"Since these are 'dream' lists, most managers have a priority list that they will
go off of," Bakonyi says. "So they are willing to take people lacking skills in some of
the areas. The biggest issue is what do the other team members have for skills, and
what is the direction of the project, and what skills are easy to learn. That helps
managers prioritize their dream list."
Holmes says she is willing to train new hires if they come up short in one or two
skill areas. She believes that it is essential for all employers to consider training
to improve the overall talent pool in the IT arena.
"It's not a good long-term strategy" not to pay for training, Holmes says. "It's a
circular process. From a philosophical standpoint, we should be providing the
marketplace with these skills."