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Employers getting more picky hiring engineers

Karen Field
7/23/2010 01:57 PM EDT

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Tunrayo
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re: Employers getting more picky hiring engineers
Tunrayo   7/24/2010 5:33:11 PM
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I think the problem with your case is you have too much experience - and higher pay demands comes with much experience. The thing is most job positions can be filled with candidates with 3 to 5 years experience (unless it is an executive or very senior role). I agree you may do a better job than someone with less experience, but you would demand more money. In addition, someone with 5 years experience may have the same capabilities as you do on current systems and technologies. This is because these systems and technologies would have changed so much since 30 years ago and all that knowledge and experience you have on antiquated systems may not be needed anymore.   I have also faced similar situations in the past - headhunters especially, are willing to sacrifice quality in order to recruit candidates with low wage demands. Most of the time, employers may even be willing to up the rates but the headhunters preclude contact between the employer and the candidate. So the main problem in these situations are the headhunters, and the only way for experienced professionals to stay ahead of the competition is to steer their career towards management positions in their respective professions. Otherwise the pay kind of flattens out.

KB3001
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re: Employers getting more picky hiring engineers
KB3001   7/24/2010 2:11:41 PM
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Yes, specialisation is what companies are looking for now as they do not want to invest in training etc. before someone is truly productive. From what I can see and hear, companies are hiring these people as consultants on fixed contracts, which is understandable in such unceetain economic times.

yanam
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re: Employers getting more picky hiring engineers
yanam   7/24/2010 8:18:30 AM
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Hey Mark, I really don't find it might be a H1-B scam... because similar ads have started appearing in India too, and I really don't think India is outsourcing or hiring engineers as she produces quite a plentiful every year with quite lower costs. I think this is an new trend that has been setup by smart HR managers to workaround with salary packages, diminishing your work experience and fill in lower end of the pyramid -- all in all to buy an expert at lower targets. I recently read an email from job consultant expecting me to answer following questions (a) Total work exp. in yrs (b) Work exp. in Assembly/Embedded C (c) Work exp in Analog electronics (d) Work exp. in FPGAs and (e) Work exp. in application languages (VC++/VC#/Java)... Even if I might be able to work on all of these, I really cannot blow up my "total" relevant experience into (b.c.d and e.)

DBG2
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re: Employers getting more picky hiring engineers
DBG2   7/24/2010 1:16:01 AM
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Employers are doing themselves a huge disservice by doing things like this. Intelligence and creativity are far more important that specific narrow skills. Someone who wants to expand their knowledge and learn new things is typically a far better employee who is stuck in a rut.

pmoyle111
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re: Employers getting more picky hiring engineers
pmoyle111   7/24/2010 12:11:10 AM
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Sigh, I am in the same boat. 30 yr designing hardware, writing embedded software. Started as an analog guy. Took a diags software job at AMD about 13 yrs ago for 6 yr and after that everyone thought I was a software guy. I only got into that because sw people just frustrated the heck out me. even tough everything I was doing was for hardware; bringup, validation, ect. Recently, I did a yr and a half contract at AMD again but this time in per-silicon verification. After that I applied for a contract in board bringup that was very similar to the job before that: response from hiring mgr: "we are lookin for someone with more recent board experience". I am currently at a job 1500 miles away from home. When it got offered I didn't even think twice about it.

Mark in LA
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re: Employers getting more picky hiring engineers
Mark in LA   7/23/2010 11:17:40 PM
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zeeglen, haven't you been paying attention these last 10 years? Look at any typical job post for an electrical engineer. The hiring morons want proficient in software, proficient in digital hardware, proficient in analog hardware, and proficient in PCB layput tools, all in the same person. They have no clue that these are very different disciplines. The companies know they will never find such an animal. If something like this did exist and was truely proficient in everything, he would likely be working for his own company. These ads are part of the H-1B scam. Once this ad is placed and nobody can fill it, the company will then claim some H-1B from India can and will then hire an H-1B, nobody from the US government will check that the Indian has these skills.

Robotics Developer
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re: Employers getting more picky hiring engineers
Robotics Developer   7/23/2010 10:22:18 PM
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I have seen the very same experience in the hiring process: they scan the resume for the right buzzwords and score it based on words found. Once past that gauntlet, the phone conversation with a recruiter (internal or external) with no technical clues occurs. If you get pass that brick wall, then you may, again may, get to speak to someone who understands engineering. Most companies do not yet understand and truly value broad-base skills/experience in applicants. As a result, most older engineers are culled out, instead younger "perfect fit" / lower cost individuals are selected which results in potential loss of experience, depth, and understanding of the bigger picture. I can only hope that this trend reverses or it will be very difficult for future engineers.

zeeglen
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re: Employers getting more picky hiring engineers
zeeglen   7/23/2010 9:15:40 PM
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Webmasterpdx, Do not ever tell a hiring moron that you have 30 years experience. That tells them you are 50+ years old and bordering on senility, ie too old to be considered. Against the law to discriminate based on age? Can you prove it in court? Look at any typical job post for an electrical engineer. The hiring morons want proficient in software, proficient in digital hardware, proficient in analog hardware, and proficient in PCB layput tools, all in the same person. They have no clue that these are very different disciplines. Twenty years ago hiring was done by real hiring managers whi actually looked at resumes and understood the skill sets of the applicants. Today applicants are selected through keyword matching tools.

webmasterpdx
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re: Employers getting more picky hiring engineers
webmasterpdx   7/23/2010 8:11:12 PM
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I've given up on trying to figure out what motivates hiring. I have 30 years experience... I think that seeing my resume and cover letter, they see how broad my experience is and they just cannot accept that one person can know that much experience with great depth (which I do), so they hire someone with a narrower skill set as they believe that they will have greater depth (again not true). What they miss is the broader experience allows one to see new ways and algorithms towards solving old problems in new ways. The answer all seems to point towards trying to find a way to start your own business. Problem is earning enough to get that going.

lcovey
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re: Employers getting more picky hiring engineers
lcovey   7/23/2010 8:01:51 PM
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I've actually seen this happening in the EDA world. Several field app guys have come on board who were formerly designers with customers of the EDA company. As the semi companies shed designers the vendors are snapping them up. But semi companies seem to be making more use of design "consultants" rather than hire in house. It might make sense for out of work engineers to start using social media, like Linkedin, to find more freelance work and, in the process, develop the skills they need.

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