IT Pros with Linux Skills Finding Job Market ‘Easy’

Kachina Shaw
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Corporate hiring managers, SMBs, government organizations and staffing agencies are currently all looking for IT professionals with Linux expertise, so Dice surveyed over 1,000 of them to find out more. The jobs site also surveyed over 3,400 Linux professionals around the world for its 2015 Linux Jobs Report. Partnering with The Linux Foundation, Dice aimed to find out how employers can best attract and retain these skilled professionals, and how those professionals can make the most of their desirability in the workplace.

These key findings give a snapshot of how hot this skill area is:

    • 97 percent of hiring managers reported they will hire Linux professionals in the next six months.
    • 42 percent of hiring managers say that experience in OpenStack and CloudStack will have a major impact on their hiring decisions.
    • 88 percent of hiring managers report that it’s “very difficult” or “somewhat difficult” to find Linux talent.

    So what kinds of incentives or creative approaches will hiring managers rely on to attract the best talent with the Linux skills they need in the near future? Dice President Shravan Goli told me those on the hiring side have to come to terms with the fact that it’s a seller’s market:

    “First and foremost, hiring managers need to recognize that it is a candidate’s market today. With a tech unemployment rate of 2.5 percent and with tech professionals in such high demand, particularly Linux-based professionals, companies need to step up their game when it comes to perks and incentives. Seventy percent of hiring managers, according to the 2015 Linux Jobs Report, claimed to be doing just that, increasing incentives in order to retain Linux talent.

    With that being said, companies need to think outside-the-box to lure the best talent, so they can differentiate themselves from their competitors. Recently, I have seen companies offering onsite services, like massages, meals, dry cleaning, and haircuts as a way to attract the best and the brightest. Other companies have even offered candidates a paid vacation or a car lease to get them in the door.

    While those perks are all well and good, I also think offering professional development opportunities as well as emphasizing the ‘technology culture’ and vision of your company is key. Unique perks will get your company noticed, but company culture and potential growth opportunities are what close the deal.”

    And what might candidates do to make sure that they present themselves in the best light if they feel they fall into this desirable category of skilled IT professionals with Linux skills? Goli says since hiring managers already know that these skills are highly sought after, fine-tuning presentation of Linux experience and making sure it lines up with the latest and greatest will pay off:

    “In today’s market, tech professionals, specifically those with Linux skills, couldn’t be in a more ideal position. Linux professionals are a hiring need for companies, and these professionals know it. Linux pros are very confident with their market position, with 55 percent claiming it would be ‘very easy’ or ‘fairly easy’ to land new opportunities in 2015. So, with that said, what can they do to present themselves in a better light? It is important to think about maximizing the position they are in. Even though they are in demand, they should demonstrate passion for the opportunity, company, and how their skills map best to the opportunity. It is always a good idea to brush up on the fundamentals, be in tune with the latest developments on the Linux front, and come out as a proactive thinker. With a market that is constantly evolving, it is important that tech pros keep their eye on the future and continue to improve their skill sets.”

    Kachina Shaw is managing editor for IT Business Edge and has been writing and editing about IT and the business for 15 years. She writes about IT careers, management, technology trends and managing risk. Follow Kachina on Twitter @Kachina and on Google+

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