in reply to Certifications are dumb.
The good candidates get left behind, because the kind of candidate who really does know practically everything about a system is the kind of guy who would never, ever, say that.
So is there no hope? There's some. Go to conferences, presentations and any kind of programmer get together where you can meet programmers in their natural habitat. If you meet a good one, be ready to make an offer even if you don't have a role ready for them. They won't be available when you are ready.
The best tip though, is to hire physicists. They're cheaper, sexier, smarter, and usually desperate to change careers after they find out how much a PhD scholarship pays, compared to the guy who changes the backup tapes at a computer company. And a degree in a hard science is a 'cert' that still has some credibility left.
And while I'm busy cluttering up this little box on your screen, allow me to address all the interviewers reading this thread: Stop putting communications questions in the selection criteria. I just went for a sysadmin/dev role where four of the five questions were asking about my communications skills. Here's a tip: if you want to know about my communications skills, pick up the phone and CALL ME. Or leave it till the interview, where I can lie to you in person like a civilised chap.