Wednesday, April 19, 2006
Sign Up Top Workers Before They're Hot
The current shortage of IT graduates is getting worse in America. The perfect storm of baby boomer retirement and a deficit of young workers means the situation is poised to go from bad to worse unless enterprise architects start thinking on better ways to solve this problem.
Right now, enterprise architects who aren't capable of thinking but only in following have embraced the notion of outsourcing where the idea is to seize the opportunity to capture young folks in other countries. This approach is doomed to fail in the long run and is somewhat racist in its approach.
Thinking back to when I was 21 and all of the wonderful things I wanted to do, having the opportunity to choose between working for a global consulting firm travelling to see lots of different businesses, working for an Internet startup where I could bring my dog to work, working for a large software company such as Microsoft, or working for a large Wall Street firm where I could get started on a career path where I could become VP by 26 all seemed appealing. Many Fortune enterprises though have never really indexed themselves against the opportunities offered by others and only compare themselves to their verticals.
Is it really sustainable if your particular vertical can't hire locally yet also offers work that is analogous to watching paint dry to offshore workers? Sure, us enterprise architects have a duty to keep up morale and make things sound more attractive than they really are but do we also have a duty to index ourselves and the career opportunities provided against other verticals?
I think there is another answer that needs to be considered. I previously mentioned that several IT professionals from local companies after hours tutor local kids from the community on various computer skills. One student in particular (his name is Charles) is in tenth grade and knows Linux cold. He knows how to write C code, compile kernels, etc. The main problem though is that a tenth grader doesn't have a resume. I wonder what would happen if the HR folks didn't screen on resumes but instead simply allowed him to interview?
Taking this thought one step further, what if HR folks didn't sit on their butts waiting for resumes to cross their desk and instead actively recruited IT folks before they became hot. In our town, the Warhawks Football program is a dynasty and makes it to the State tornament pretty much every single year for the last fifteen. There are college scouts checking out our Freshman program. Why can't HR work in this fashion?
The enterprise that figures this out first wins...