Tuesday, February 05, 2013

IRS badly needs mainframe IT skills, but hiring time is still 90 days

The Internal Revenue Service has reduced hiring time for outside employees from 150 days to 90 days last year, and admits that it has serious needs in Information Technology to reprocess many changes in laws from Congress and future changes that are likely from budget negotiations.  The IRS held its breath a few weeks ago that Congress would fix the levels on the Alternative Minimum Tax and did not actually change them to the “unexpired” lower values.

The IRS also uses outside contractors for some mainframe programming work.  Some of the IRS systems are in IBM mainframe assembly language, and the required level of skill in that area (which has become unpopular in the past dozen years or so) is difficult to find, in a market where even older professionals did not retain skills that they perceive (probably incorrectly) as becoming obsolete. I had a telephone conversation about IRS needs back around Christmas 2005.  Jobs seem to go to a very small group of professionals who stayed in the mix. When the IRS doesn’t find the skills it needs in that area, then it is very difficult to find someone who can actually do the job now.  So for so people, the IRS is a good place to look for jobs now. 

The IRS may be more likely to have technical or software issues processing returns correctly this season than ever before. 

My own information, from the past, was that most positions were around Merrifield VA (now undergoing extensive real estate renovation) and Martinsburg, WVa (near Harpers Ferry, about 70 miles from DC). 
The original story by Josh Hicks appears in the Washington Post Tuesday February 5, 2012 (on “The Federal Page”), but had been published online Feb. 1, and is difficult to find with the Post’s normal search, link
Happy job hunting!

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