The job market as bad as we all think?

I'm not much of a conspiracy theory kind of guy, but our recent experience with the job market here at my little IT shop in Annapolis Maryland does not reconcile with all the bad news you continue to hear in the press. We've had an open position now for close to three months for a database developer and I can tell you we've only gotten perhaps three dozen resumes and we've only interviewed a handful of good candidates. Granted we've decided to go at this ourselves and not use a placement firm which disqualifies us from a large number of candidates (I'm a believer in hiring a pro to do this). Our informal policy is to try to pick up a candidate via word of mouth (a.k.a. ask your friends for friends), then post on the free sites, then post advertisements in papers, and if all else fails go to a placement person.

So, we asked friends, posted in craiglist and online in places like linkedIn, paid for Dice and the Washington Post and we really didn't give us the quantity of resumes we were hoping for. In cases like hiring, quality is certainly more important then quantity and typically you'll get good quality candidates from trusted placement firms. We did however think in our current economic condition that marketing the position all over the web should generate some significant resume traffic - but it didn't.

Perhaps it's the physical location/area we're in. Annapolis is a relatively small city which "sits between" it's larger brethren Baltimore and Washington DC. A quick review of the large job websites indicate there are many similar positions available in those cities. We're also very close to Ft. Meade Maryland - which apparently ingests technologists at what conspiracy theory folks would consider an alarming rate. Perhaps out posting verbiage is lousy - but I don't think so as it seems pretty standard. Yes, I recognize that perhaps "standard" doesn't make us stand out, but it also would not disqualify us from receiving resumes from good candidates either. My gut tells me that it's not quite as bad out there for IT folks as it is for folks in other industries.

At the end of the day we do in fact have a few good candidates to consider, but the road to get here has been pretty long and somewhat painful. We've hired for similar positions a few times over the last few years and I have to say that we've never had so few resumes to consider. If your in a different geographic location and your a data geek you might consider moving to this area as our general consensus is that good candidates are really hard to come by in this market.

Until next time...Rich


sendmail said…

I am in the same state of mind as you (only read the first section of your blog) in that we can't find good people at all, even in this market. We are struggling to find good admins, developers, etc ...

How's life otherwise my friend?


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