Increased Job Postings?

Ryan Simpkins plug at ryansimpkins.com
Wed Jan 17 23:26:16 MST 2007


Hi All,

Is it just me, or do we seem to be getting more job postings lately? I've had
several people contact me directly seeking information about how to post jobs to the
list. I've also heard that it is getting harder for tech managers to find needed
talent, especially in the local market.

The SLLUG runs a moderated list to make it easier for companies to post jobs. Do you
all think it would be worth our time to create a similar list for Utah county?

Also, last weeks "open mic" session was great (at least I thought it was). I haven't
forgotten about the things I need to do there. We covered so much ground I need to
break it down in to smaller discussion items. I'll probably be posting several
threads in the coming weeks to try and get the ball rolling.

In the spirit of discussion, what do you all think of this:

There are some great companies with some great HR people that really know how to
hire tech talent. Then there are companies that are great employers, except they
don't have experienced IT HR people. Then there are companies that are just rotten
to the core. We all figure out which companies those are pretty fast. Word gets
around in this town, doesn't it?

What if a PLUG volunteer(s) helped companies fill Linux/FOSS jobs? As stated, some
companies don't need any help. Others just need a little helping hand, but that
doesn't make them bad companies. Maybe HR doesn't know PERL from Perl, they just
know they need a Perl guy after the one they had walked out the door. What if we had
a volunteer "Open Source Employment Specialist" to help companies leverage our user
base?

This volunteer(s) would be doing their part to promote a better IT/Linux/FOSS work
ecosystem. PLUG would provide a real service to local employers. Members would
realize a tangible benefit to being part of PLUG. We also might pick up some new
members along the way.

For something like that to work I think it would take three basic things:
1) PLUG being recognized by local HR mangers as a solid place to find job
candidates. We have the geeks, we just don't have the HR peoples' brain share. Many
have no clue we even exist.

2) A PLUG volunteer to take a few moments and work with HR managers in creating a
more FOSS friendly job posting. That might be as simple as: "Your description will
spawn a flame fest, you should probably fix some capitalization issues."

3) A PLUG volunteer members can send their resumes to and and get a few words of
helpful feedback. That could be something like: "You have a lot of Perl experience,
but you don't highlight it much. We've had a lot of call for that lately, you might
try tweaking that part."

If this were a good idea then we can add a special "Open Source Careers" section of
the web site. There we can provide contact information for the "Open Source
Employment Specialist" as well as the benefits everyone can realize.

Here is what I think the "Open Source Employment Specialist" job requirements would be:
- Must be willing and able to talk to HR personnel without starting world war three
because the person says they are down with the geek culture 'cause they like
"Jar-Jar and all that Jedi stuff." (True story.)
- Must be very trustworthy, honest, dependable, and have a generally helpful attitude.
- Must be willing to spend up to three hours a month volunteering.
- Must understand the difference between PERL and Perl, as well as other FOSS
cultural nuances.
- The ideal candidate would have IT managerial experience.

Job tasks would include:
- Contacting local technical employers either by e-mail or phone and letting them
know of PLUG's FOSS employment services.
- Collect statistics regarding local FOSS employers.
- Work with HR and IT managers to increase the likelihood of finding needed local
talent by debugging job postings.
- Assist companies in advertising their job at PLUG meetings and the mailing list.
- Work with PLUG members in increasing interview potential with helpful tech resume
hints.

I'm sure we can debate the usefulness of this idea. However, if there are no
objections to at least *trying* this out for a few months, does anyone want to give
it a go? The first month will probably take a bit more work because everything has
to be set up. Hopefully someone out there would be willing to spend up to 3 hours a
week the first month to get the ball rolling and contact some companies to get some
feedback.

What do you all think?

-Ryan



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