Filling a tech job slot

New to the field of computer science, I set out this month to find myself a job for after graduation in the Spring.  As a new graduate, I’ve been looking for entry-level positions into the field.  As my search grew, I became more and more astounded by the degree to which it was impossible to directly find potential jobs.    

To some degree I’m sure this is a reflection of the miserable general job market and the especially poor tech job market at the moment.  That’s to be expected.  There are nevertheless plenty of possible jobs listed.  It’s just that none of them are actually done by companies themselves.  At least 90% of all interesting job listings encountered are done by recruiters from staffing agencies looking to market me as a consultant.   

The decision by companies to look to consultants rather than individual job seekers probably comes down to a question of qualifications.   When a company or division is expanding or replacing someone on the team, someone in human resources is tasked with filling the spot.  These people are not necessarily informed enough to know that Ubuntu administration and linux administration skills overlap or that someone with Javascript expertise is qualified to some degree for AJAX.  Rather than go to the trouble of bothering the software guys in the company to screen applicants, they turn to staffing agencies to supply people, the same staffing agencies which, by the way, skim off a significant chunk of change for their services.  

This setup makes it quick and easy for HR people to fill developer slots, and maybe some developers with targeted skills can benefit from this matchup.  I am of the opinion, however, that a software company without the informed scrutiny to screen applicants on its own may not be as concerned about the quality of the employees it settles for, and may not care whether they’re happy enough to stick around for the long term.

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