Like most I.T. professionals I get contacted regularly by headhunters and recruiters who would like to place me with their clients. I also participate in a number of Linux related groups on the business social networking site LinkedIn. I do try to keep abreast of market conditions and I do read job postings now and again.
We all know that the U.S. economy is still creating jobs at a relatively slow pace, salaries are down at least a little, and even in I.T. many good people are looking for work. One of the net results is that a company or recruiter can get inundated with résumés for a given position. Companies can and do put out long wish lists of skills and experience to reduce the number of applicants to those who most closely match the position and related positions within their I.T. departments. That's all well and good. However, sometimes those desired or required skills effectively reduce the pool of qualified people to zero.
Here is a great example. This was the #1 requirement for a Senior Linux Administrator position:
• 8+ years working with RHES v5.x+ and CentOS v5.x+ Linux systems administration.The first public beta of Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5.0 was announced on September 7, 2006. Nobody on the planet has that level of experience. Eight years ago RHEL 4.0 wasn't even released yet. It's even worse for Microsoft admins. I saw a position demanding 10 years of experience or more in SQL Server 2008 and Office 2010.
Who writes these requirements? Can't they read a calendar? I guess basic math is not a requirement to work in some HR departments or as a recruiter for some companies. Ridiculous doesn't even begin to describe this and yet I see things like this over and over again.