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Old 21st September 2015, 16:26   #241
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What a lovely article Samurai, !
And in my limited experience of this world, it is the truth.

Somehow most people do not understand this very simple thing.
Most people do not realize (neither in professional, not in personal lives): what they are getting themselves into and what is the real payoff.
Thanks. This is not an easy concept to understand, especially hard to understand in the early part of the career. Some never get it. But it feels so simple once you understand it.

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Is the demand/supply match an altogether different topic? Wouldn't it be intertwined with the retention policies that you are making?
It affects the actual numbers, but not the concept itself. I have tried to be as generic as possible, so that it can be applied to any industry.

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If after providing all the intangibles that you can, you still feel that you have hit the ceiling of your wage bill, I think the company would be forced to rethink at a strategic level at the business model itself.
Obviously... therefore one must plan to compensate for those unavoidable attrition. You can offer all kind of intangibles, yet the employee might say he/she has financial problems and walk away towards a bigger pay.

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I don't know what business you are exactly into, but unless you are in a sufficiently attractive niche with higher margins (and hence be able to pay sufficiently high) the trade-off between work-life balance and very high pay may work out negative
Are you saying low margin companies are doomed then? Then you didn't get the gist of my article.

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(btw, you forgot to provide the youtube link you referred to)
Thanks for reminding, just added it to the post too.


Last edited by Samurai : 21st September 2015 at 16:31.
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Old 21st September 2015, 16:46   #242
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Are you saying low margin companies are doomed then? Then you didn't get the gist of my article.
Not doomed - but will find it very difficult to attract the right talent. The point I am trying to make is - if the pockets are not very deep, there will more external variables that will come into play
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Old 21st September 2015, 17:44   #243
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Not doomed - but will find it very difficult to attract the right talent. The point I am trying to make is - if the pockets are not very deep, there will more external variables that will come into play
And you feel I didn't address that in my article?
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Old 21st September 2015, 18:47   #244
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Excellent discussion.

Money is a number and numbers don't end. So practically, no number is satisfying. However, what most of us primarily see is ensure pay easily meets our current needs, immediate aspirations and future demands (mostly while we are not earning or lack financial support). It's a tricky game, while we bargain/demand for higher salary we are also turning into an "expensive" resource.
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Old 21st September 2015, 19:14   #245
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Yes, but a company not paying and having bad intangibles like work life balance, freedom etc., is not going to get good engineers. Good programmers who can actually design a working system from a specification will leave such a company.
These companies tend to groom raw talent, E.g.: an engineer who could not get into Tier I or II collages, but has capacity to learn.

These engineers are productive in ~6 months and with things like 90 days notice + bond + references; stick around for 2 - 3 years. This much attrition is built-into pricing models.

Another pool is second year students working part time for 5 - 15k per month. From student's point of view, by working for 1 year they are pretty much ready to hit the ground running in placements as compared to others who can't code.
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Old 21st September 2015, 21:15   #246
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Default Re: IT industry salary survey

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These companies tend to groom raw talent, E.g.: an engineer who could not get into Tier I or II collages, but has capacity to learn.

These engineers are productive in ~6 months and with things like 90 days notice + bond + references; stick around for 2 - 3 years. This much attrition is built-into pricing models.

Another pool is second year students working part time for 5 - 15k per month. From student's point of view, by working for 1 year they are pretty much ready to hit the ground running in placements as compared to others who can't code.
You do not make a world class product with 2-3 year experience. To do that you need to have a very solid 6-7 year experience layer, and a solid 10+ year experience layer.

Companies on the 2-3 year model actually do not need CS graduates. They just want to "show off" their engineering prowess. There is very little work in these so called giants which cannot be done by a metric pass with a six month "course" or "certification". So why do you need to give salary or intangibles at all. I think they require graduates because of VISA rules.

Last edited by tsk1979 : 21st September 2015 at 21:17.
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Old 22nd September 2015, 09:19   #247
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In my opinion, programming is a "craft" that can be learnt by anyone. It takes 10 years to be really good at Architecture, but not everyone in team need to be at that level.

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There is very little work in these so called giants which cannot be done by a metric pass with a six month "course" or "certification". So why do you need to give salary or intangibles at all. I think they require graduates because of VISA rules.
That is true. Even second year students do a great job in finishing projects. That is true for really good companies as well as scum companies (either big or small).

I have seen interns delivering features that were requested by clients but were put on backlog since no-one was available (or back-porting features to older version for clients that cat' / wont upgrade).

A quote from an answer in Quora:

Quote:
Some teams have a project in mind that they need to get done over the internship period. They agree to accept interns specifically to ensure the completion of that project.
https://www.quora.com/What-kind-of-p...-for-an-intern
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Old 22nd September 2015, 12:36   #248
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Default Re: IT industry salary survey

The Dilbert strip from today's TOI seems so relavent for this discussion
Name:  Dilbert.JPG
Views: 1391
Size:  41.9 KB
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Old 22nd September 2015, 12:44   #249
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One more reason why people feel underpaid is clueless news articles like these, whose author compares salaries in different countries in absolute dollar values. Somebody needs to educate this Economic Times reporter about an economic concept called Purchasing Power Parity.

http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/...w/49042767.cms

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The Dilbert strip from today's TOI seems so relavent for this discussion
Yeah, I saw it today morning and almost fell out of my chair.

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Old 22nd September 2015, 13:23   #250
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Default Re: IT industry salary survey

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And you feel I didn't address that in my article?
Well, am not talking about the final summation you did (Frankly re-reading the summation, don't you feel that it is a bit like a newspaper article, and not a Samurai post?). What I had in mind was this

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How do companies with lower salary budgets survive? As they say, necessity is the mother of all inventions and innovations. These companies just have to be innovative in order to provide non-financial benefits that employees will treasure. Therefore, they should look for employees who donít consider salary as the only criteria. There are many who highly value intangible perks like sane working hours, stress-free work environment, absence of bureaucracy and office politics, workplace empathy, career development, challenging work, opportunities to innovate, and lots of independence. Basically, low budget companies must hire such employees and give them what money canít buy.
Whether big corporate with huge turnover or niche companies with higher margins or companies as you say with limited budget - all address the same employee market. (And hence demand/supply cannot be delinked) Whatever the limited budget companies can bring to the table, the bigger companies can also do it, if they want such candidates (In fact they can bring a little more, too). And they do it, whenever they find a golden egg laying goose - with all guns blazing

Rather than the budget, it is the type of business that determines what a company can offer to the employees. If it is going to be just a smaller version of a big corporate that depends of volumes, then the quality of manpower that the small company gets can never match the bigger firm - since the smaller company will require the same manpower/task or more as the bigger firm

But if there is a special expertise or niche that the smaller company is addressing, then automatically you are higher on the value scale. Your product are dependent on talent and not on the manpower 'volume' - and consequently the manpower requirement / task is lesser and you pay more (not in terms of money, but the overall package)

So ultimately, it is not whether the company is big or small - rather the market the company caters to, and business model the company follows that ultimately determines employee happiness and also the ability to attract the right talent

Am in the brick and mortar industry and hence not able to find the right words or technical words suitable for the IT field - but hope am able to convey what I wanted to say
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Old 22nd September 2015, 13:54   #251
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So ultimately, it is not whether the company is big or small - rather the market the company caters to, and business model the company follows that ultimately determines employee happiness and also the ability to attract the right talent
I believe the thing that Samurai is saying is that take two people with equal skills (or say kind of equal skills, because no two person are alike) ...
Since no two person are alike, they will have different likes, dislikes, things that motivate, things that demotivate, hunger for money, hunger for other things in life, etc

Some companies only use "hunger for money" as the key factor, Samurai tries to find other things that might be relevant to the candidate ...

Your point has a relevance, though, since we started off with the assumption that two candidates come with equal skills. Perhaps the requirement in a certain industry is such that there is indeed a finer distinction between the skill levels, and these two candidates are not at the same levels for certain industries! But even in this case, it is difficult to say with absolute certainty that higher skill worker will want higher money at the cost of other things in life.

I know in my industry the "domain experts" earn significantly less than those who own the revenue/P&L/operations. Nothing stops them from moving to the other side, and some do. But the folks that stay are the ones that value their independence and "creativity" more than becoming a mere "collections agent" being subjected to regular (weekly/fortnightly/monthly/quarterly/yearly) harassment by higher "collection agents" (running up to the global business VPs)

Now your point about whatever smaller co does, bigger can offer better.
Not really.
It cannot reduce Bureaucracy, it usually cannot offer creativity & independence, it often cannot offer flexibility (eg due to darned company HR policies), it cannot change the company culture (perhaps built on back biting competitiveness nurtured in certain large companies). There can be many more points that may roll in the more I think about it.

Last edited by alpha1 : 22nd September 2015 at 14:03.
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Old 22nd September 2015, 14:31   #252
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Basic point:

- Leaving the money part aside, there are intangibles that come along with work
- Question is when does one start to appreciate them?
- Most do it only when they reach a "certain" level of fulfillment of the money aspect
- Some "dont" appreciate it ever
- While some appreciate it early and hence to a large degree are invariant to the pull of heavy salary.

To most of the lot, its like Maslow's hierarchy where salary forms the first level of need that has to be satisfied.

It also depends on where does one land-up during one's formative years. That can totally shape his destiny. However, if for some one the Maslow's hierarchy requirements are acute, then irrespective of where one lands, he will get pulled to the lure of salary in his initial years for sure. So reverting back from that path, then is totally up to him.
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Old 22nd September 2015, 15:07   #253
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Quite agree with Ampere here - its clearly on when an employee finds the so called "true calling" and he/she figures out what they really want to do. Till then, the salary plays a big part.

On the same breath, and having hired 1000's of people across the different organisations i have been working so far, i can see a drastic shift in the thinking of the youngsters of today. Not all of them, but i can see the thoughts being different. Most candidates actually challenge certain company policies even during interviews - something that is quite unheard of during my formative days decades ago.

These kind of conversations with the talent of today makes me feel that for a good section of today's upcoming talent, "salary" is a criteria, but NOT the major one and they do have their research done across the work/life, the intangibles, the brand value, the CV value in a few years etc..etc..
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Old 22nd September 2015, 15:59   #254
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Well, am not talking about the final summation you did (Frankly re-reading the summation, don't you feel that it is a bit like a newspaper article, and not a Samurai post?).
You are right, it was not an usual post. It was an official article written for a corporate audience, and it has undergone two editorial reviews.

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Rather than the budget, it is the type of business that determines what a company can offer to the employees. If it is going to be just a smaller version of a big corporate that depends of volumes, then the quality of manpower that the small company gets can never match the bigger firm - since the smaller company will require the same manpower/task or more as the bigger firm
This is where you are wrong. As alpha1 has already described, not everybody looks for money, so smaller companies must seek such employees and then give them what money can't buy. Thus you take away the advantage big companies usually have.

When I was in TCS in the 90s, any deviation from official business was considered unprofessional and not allowed. That means no playing computer games any time at work, no playing of music, no causal wear, no carrying of personal CD/disks to work, etc. They went on to disable all CD drives and USB drives on all PCs. Meanwhile, they used to lend engineers (body shopping) to clients who had their own development centers, some of which were small and lot more cheerful. There we would get to do all the things that were taboo in TCS. These were intangibles that TCS would never allow. As a result we all tried our best to keep working in client places than TCS itself. I spent the last 5 years of my 6 years in TCS in client locations enjoying the intangibles that TCS wouldn't give.

Earlier, I was in a small company in Bangalore in 1991-92. There I used to practice Nunchaku in the office kitchen whenever I couldn't solve some programming problem. Sometimes the CEO would discuss the problem with me when I was swishing around the nunchaku.

After TCS I joined a startup which let us do barbecues (in US) at work on spring days. If it was a slow day, we walk out of the door and start barbecuing within the ear shot of the office phone, so that we don't miss any customer call. Here I would also keep my bokken (wooden sword) and nunchaku near my table, so that I could practice it whenever I feel stressed. Sometimes I would be swinging the sword swish... swish... next to my table and the CEO would be calming attending a teleconference in my opposite table.

These are intangibles that can't be provided by larger deep pocketed companies.

Therefore, when I started hiring for my startup I decided to focus on people who love intangibles that bigger companies can't even dream of providing. For such people money isn't primary as long as it is sufficient for a good life.
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Old 22nd September 2015, 16:43   #255
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@alpha1 & Samurai : I would bull-headedly stick to my point

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As a result we all tried our best to keep working in client places than TCS itself. I spent the last 5 years of my 6 years in TCS in client locations enjoying the intangibles that TCS wouldn't give.
Weren't the clients equally big or even bigger companies? Wouldn't you attribute this to a difference in culture?

A big company, if it thinks that for a particular job the best talent can be got only with the appropriate change in their HR policy, will be willing to do that. Again depends on the individual firm's culture. But if it wishes, what it can bring to the table will be much more than what a smaller company of the same kind/same business model offers

Another problem is if you are looking at giving good relaxed life style to people - you may end up hiring people with laid back attitude to work itself. Though that will turn out to be a individual case by case issue to be sorted out - generally this will turn out to be the case!!
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