Do We Have a War for Talent in Software?

I'm at the SHRM conference in Chicago this week, courtesy of I blog for them, and am working on an agile recruiting series. Watch for it, in the coming weeks.

I read this piece, The War for STEM Talent is a Lie. I agree. Until we do all of these things:

  • Hire the people who are in their 40's and 50's. People who are older than 35 do know something.
  • Hire the unemployed and train them
  • Hire the people who are not in your general geographical area and provide some relocation assistance
  • Train the people you have!

Then I don't think we have a war for STEM talent.

If you can't find people for your open position, you are not looking hard enough. You have created a job description that does not fit your job. You are not looking in the right places. You are not thinking about how to create a job that fits the profile of the people who are available.

Now, if you are a candidate, you must act, also. You cannot think that the skills you learned 20 years ago are still valid. What have you learned today? Have you thought about the Depth or Breadth of your career lately?

If you are trying to hire someone, extend your thinking.

If you are trying to become hired, make it easier for your potential employers to hire you. Differentiate yourself with new skills that you have learned with practice. Practice on open source, or with internships, or something. Show potential employers you are learning.

Read the hiring strategy chapter in Hiring Geeks That Fit. (That chapter is in the sample book.) Read the chapter called “Move Forward” in Hiring Geeks That Fit that talks about what to do when you can't find someone.

But most of all, think about what you are going to do. This is a problem you can solve.

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