July 12, 2012, 11:43 AM — The IT job market is either hot or lackluster, but mostly it is difficult for anyone who is seeking a job or hiring.
There are plenty of companies searching for employees, but jobs are nonetheless elusive for many. It's a job
market of contradictions.
Employers aren't making it easier for job seekers, and may be suffering from expectation inflation. Some
employers want superstars, with
resumes as rich as the high school student who not only quarterbacked the football team, but led the math club to a
state tournament, played Lady Macbeth on stage and hit a 4.0 GPA.
And then there Crown Equipment, a manufacturing company that makes fork lifts and other types of systems used to
move materials around. It has about 16 IT job openings in product development and business operations. The problem
Crown faces in attracting candidates is its location. It's in New Bremen, Ohio, (Pop. 3,000). Thankfully, St. Marys
is about 8 miles down the road, and Dayton, only 60 miles away.
"[New Bremen is] a great place to raise a family but if you want to go to Taco Bell you have to drive to St.
Marys," said Jim Gaskell, director of global Insite products at Crown.
Insite is a name of a product line that helps customers track their forklifts and personnel, make better use of
their equipment, and provide overall operational intelligence. Crown host the system in the cloud, and customers,
if they chose to, can deploy independent of their internal IT.
Gaskell said that hiring a new graduate out of college is not as difficult as getting someone with experience,
such as a software architect. Experienced workers often don't want to relocate or switch jobs, he said.
Finding people with "good experience" is difficult, but the rural environment is a selling point for some as is
the company's practice of promoting from within, said Gaskell.
But is the IT job
market harder to deal with today? "I wouldn't say it is harder today -- this is a problem we have had since the
beginning of time," said Gaskell.
Michael Beckley, the CTO and a founder of Appian, has a completely opposite view of the job market. Appian is
business process management (BPM) software provider that combines social, mobile and cloud.
"It's the most competitive we've seen it and in some ways it is even more competitive than the dot.com days,"
said Beckley, especially for key skills such as mobile developers. The company is based in Northern Virginia, near