After the tax man, probably the most hated profession in the IT industry is the recruitment business; everyone seems to have a horror story to tell from both the employer and candidate perspective.
At SQL Bits a couple of weeks ago there was a session by a SQL Server recruitment specialist, James Proctor from Huntress Technology, so I thought I would have a rest from T-SQL and see what this brave chap had to say, especially as he was going to be between the DBA’s and their beer and pizza.
I have to say I found the whole presentation very interesting, even though I have the best job in the world and don’t need another one. One particular set of metrics also showed how SQL Server has taken off over the last few years:
- 14% of all contract adverts posted on UK job boards cited SQL server as a key technology as opposed to 6% for Oracle
- 24% of all permanent adverts posted on UK job boards cited SQL server as a key technology as opposed to 5% for Oracle
- While the job market for most of the common BI platforms is flat, growth in demand for all aspects of the SQL Server BI platform is up by at least 40% and in the case of Integration Services by 300% on last year.
For everyone else in the room, James then proceeded to give a simple but effective guide to getting a slice of the action, either in a permanent position or as a contractor. It was all blindingly obvious , but we all have a blind spot about ourselves and I have seen all of James’s advice on good practice ignored in the past, the most obvious one being not telling the person interviewing you that you actually want the job!
The same sort of thing applies to employers, James spent a good five minutes explaining to one unhappy lady that you will get a applicants with the skills you ask for, so if you are vague you will get a wide range of potentially unsuitable candidates. Again all very obvious, but strangely this practice also continues and recruitment agents don’t get paid by the number of people they put forward so they don’t win out of this either.
So don’t shoot the messenger, (or James the recruitment agent).