Tech Jobs: How to Get Hired in 2007: Page 3

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Network Management: A Mixed Message

Sending a shiver down the spine of certain IT staffer, the Forrester report says, “commodity skill areas are candidates for outsourcing or contracting.”

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One of these so-called commodity skill areas is network management – sort of. “Network management sort of has this mixed message, where it’s both a hiring priority and an outsourcing priority,” Bright says.

IT execs are looking to outsource this position when costs for routine configuration and maintenance climb too high. Yet network managers who are “conceptualizers,” who can design and improve systems (especially the security of those systems) continue to be in great demand.

Almost a quarter of firms will outsource packaged app support to third party providers, suggesting that software-as-a-service (SaaS) will become more prevalent. An additional 11% will buy these skills on a contract basis in 2007.

Curiously, the report finds that “IT leaders, though feeling under-resourced for maintenance, wouldn’t hire new maintenance people even if they had the budget to do so.” As an alternative to paying staffers to oversee routine maintenance, managers are looking to tools. (Which might create a problem: who handles the weekend system failure when the tool malfunctions?)

On a related note, 23% of companies expect to outsource legacy programming, with 16% handling legacy system issues on a contract basis.

Playing Well with Others

The Forrester report makes it abundantly clear: “Interpersonal skills are critical across the board.” The survey found that an overwhelming 75% of hiring managers said communication skills are very important to their hiring decisions this year.

“IT is become more intentional in terms of its search for interpersonal skills,” Bright says. Communication skills have become so paramount that employers are finding new ways to screen IT candidates in interviews. These include setting up mock scenarios and bringing teams of business people into the interview.

“There’s a level of creativity in terms of trying to identify, from the get go, that these candidates have the soft skills that allow them to blossom in their IT jobs,” he says.

soft skills in IT jobs

(Graphic by Forrester research)

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