But why? We attempt to explain

Java developer hardest job to fill, says survey

Chris Mayer

Java jobs remain the toughest position for hiring managers and recruiters to fill according to job search engine Dice. Does this mean that they are too demanding, or the candidates aren’t up to scratch?

The ongoing battle to acquire highly-skilled Java candidates for tech jobs appears to be everlasting, according to a new survey.

Data from, a job search engine, has found that the position of Java developer remains the most difficult to fill, according to hiring experts surveyed, with mobile and .NET developers following closely behind.

These skillsets, along with software developer, are most desired among hiring managers and recruiters – almost three times as much as any other, according to Managing Director Alice Hill.

This is a clear indication that a gulf is present between the talent pool and what companies want from prospective candidates, although that could well be a general employment trend.

In what won’t come as a shock to some, of the 866 tech-focused hiring managers surveyed, most want experience over apprentices, saying they want IT pros with two to five years previous experience on the frontline.

Another important factor to consider, according to Hill, is the fierce competition present to acquire these veterans, with all recruiters gunning for the same targets.

A conclusion we can draw from this survey is that the advances in certain fields is accelerating quickly than the education to job applicants. Technology is moving too fast for the emerging talent pool to cope with the changes, leaving them unprepared for what recruiters are actually looking for.

There also appears to be a clear problem with apprenticeships – no one is willing give an opportunity to younger applicants. Why? Because they no longer see fit to plough capital or time into internal development, at least not to levels previously seen. This clearly has to be addressed somehow.

“Companies have been shifting the responsibility for training their employees to the individual for decades. Hiring managers say they expect tech professionals to stay with their firm about three years. That makes it tough to cross-train, retrain, or train at all,” Hill adds

On the flip side, is this an issue for the talent pool? Are some empowered enough to learn emerging languages, tools and practices? Or are they simply unaware of what is expected of them as they enter the market? A lot of this appears to be down to education – perhaps some don’t have enticing enough resumes for companies to take a punt on them.

The survey provides a pretty convincing argument that expectations from employers and potential candidates are poles apart, but also that there could be some self-fabricated visions from applicants in where they expect to be.

If you’re currently looking for a development role, check out this blogpost from Trisha Gee, a developer who is part of the hiring process at LMAX – a great article on what she looks for when perusing a job application. Another shrewd move to make is to join a local Java User Group – by immersing yourself in a community, you pick up new skills and importantly, contacts quickly. Learning from others might just fill that gap in your knowledge that might secure a job in the future.

What’s your view – are employers expecting too much from candidates or are candidates not doing enough?

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