Networking to Stay Employed
Here’s the last in my series of non-coding blogs. As someone who has done some hiring of programmers over the last couple months, I can say from experience that it is not just a case of too many programmers and not enough jobs, or outsourcing causing the problems in the current tech job market. It's a multilevel problem that starts with lots and lots of inexperienced programmers (who flocked to IT during the dot com boom) looking for jobs. These inexperienced programmers are flooding the market with resumes, just trying to make something stick. These resumes are making it impossible to try to find the good quality programmers' resumes. To make matters worse, you can't even go thru a recruiting agency or a consulting firm, because any recruiter that was worth anything got out of that field when the jobs got scarce. So the recruiters aren't doing their jobs and just push the bad resumes along.
I can't tell you how many bad resumes I got from recruiters, and it took a long time to find the diamonds in the rough. For 1 position I must have received about 100 resumes from recruiters (which were on the corporate “approved” list”, of which 10 were decent enough to warrant looking at. Out of the 10, I gave 5 phone tech interviews, brought 3 in to interview in person, and hired 1. Now, I've got very good relationship with some of the recruiting firms, so those guys did their best to only send qualified candidates, but the rest of the recuiters just were pushing paper. And I know from others that it is even worse trying to hire full time employees. HR thinks that because there are so many people looking for jobs they can skip the recruiter and save money, but all they get are lots and lots of resumes for candidates that are not anywhere nearly qualified.
So things just get worse, not better. In times like this it is not only what you know, but who you know. I tell all my friends, you should be networking with others in your industry at least 1 hour a week. Plus, there is usually finders fees, so you help a friend find a job, and get a little extra money, too. Don’t wait until it is too late, network now. Conferences are a great place to expand your network. So are User Groups. And so is blogging.
By the way, if anyone knows of a SQL Server Development DBA positions in the North Jersey area, let me know. My wife’s been out of work for a while, and is finally itching to get back to work. She’s not a support DBA. She does the stored proc/database design stuff, and also loves working with OLAP and SQLXML. Shoot me an email if you have any leads.