by Meridith Levinson

WTF? Hiring Managers Can’t Find Qualified Candidates to Fill IT Security Jobs

Jun 05, 20092 mins

How is this possible? What is the problem?

This makes me angry: A survey from ISC-squared indicates that 80 percent of hiring managers looking to fill IT security jobs say they’re having a hard time finding qualified candidates.

Can you believe that? I can’t.

Never mind the record number of IT professionals lining up at unemployment officesacross the U.S. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the economy shed 3,500 data-processing and -hosting jobs and 2,800 computer systems design jobs in May 2009 alone. Never mind the fact that the unemployment rate for engineering and computer professionals rose faster in the first quarter of 2009 than it did for any other professional, according to IEEE.

I don’t understand how, in the midst of rampant layoffs and record unemployment, these hiring managers polled by ISC-squared are having trouble filling IT security positions. The explanation in ISC-squared’s report doesn’t satisfy me.

According to the report, respondents said they’re having trouble filling positions for three main reasons:

  1. Either candidates don’t have the right skill set, or
  2. There aren’t enough qualified professionals in the hiring managers’ area, or
  3. The hiring managers can’t meet candidates’ salary requirements given their tightened purse strings.
Oh, cry me a river!

If you’re a hiring manager, please explain why it’s so hard to fill open positions right now. I really want to understand this, and I’m sure the 14.5 million people in the United States who are unemployed would like some clarification on this, too.

If you’re unemployed and applying for IT jobs, I want to hear your reaction to ISC-squared’s survey. Do you think hiring managers are being too picky? Are their expectations unrealistic?

There’s a real problem when hiring managers can’t fill positions in an employer’s market.