- engineering teams being disbanded entirely due to lack of staffing
- product roadmaps generally in chaos. major product initiatives delayed indefinitely due to lack of staffing resources
What have others been noticing?
For example, they ask for a Sr Developer that ticks all the boxes and needs to come into the office in the inner city in a European capitol every day of the work week. The compensation is meh and not substantially different from any other company out there.
So the great resignation is hitting those that fail to realize wages need to go up to attract talent especially in the light of the growing wealth of the 1%. Pay well and substantially more than your competitors and people will be more reluctant to leave for greener pastures.
The ability to work from home once in a while is not a favor handed to those that behave well, it is the other way around: I'll come in if there is a clear need for me to be there and do not expect me to wear noise cancelling headphones to try and concentrate on coding in an open office.
Finally, grow your own skilled and experienced people, you had years to develop a pipeline of less experienced engineers. The complaint: "I train people just for them to leave" is stupid, ask yourself and them WHY they leave and then up your incentives.
But anyway, I am leaving a team in a week, there is no replacement for me and development on this component will basically halt as there is nobody else in the company that can do the work I did as those people are all busy on other things. Product Management is pulling out their hair as to how it could be this way and when I try to explain their continuous push for functionality over maintainable code they ask me how I would fix that. There is never a technological fix for cultural problems so yeah, I left.
I don't think it's really surprising - what makes sense for the business does not necessarily make sense for the middle management writing the hiring requirements. Bob doesn't want to deal with remote subordinates because he has no idea how to. He also doesn't want to hire outside the US because he's never done it before and doesn't want to learn.
Of course, Bob isn't going to go to _his_ supervisor and say all this - that would be career suicide. So we get all sorts of silly excuses about why they need people in the office or only hire from X country.
And all that is going to persist until people like Bob are forced to adapt or lose their jobs. The real question is this though: how much are developer salaries inflated because of stupid, self-serving requirements from people like Bob?
Maybe one day, the typical software company structure will be an inverse pyramid, with one developer at the bottom, and hundreds of managers on top of them. That would certainly solve the problem with shortage of skilled developers.
Also worth considering: what if you don't train them and they stay?!
They do complain about that, but would anyone agree with such statements? I do participate in tech interviews in my current company and we get tons of applicants. Now, sure, the company I work for is raising the bar every year and is only looking for "the best of the best" (honestly, we don't need that, we are an average tech company). I don't think there is a lack of skilled people: it's just that every damn tech company out there thinks they are Google.
Just prior to Covid we had some churn, and some issues, and I capitalised on that.
I went in to bat for higher wages for the roles I wished to hire for. Updated job descriptions to include newer tech stacks. Put in a position whose focus was on keeping things maintainable and having cross-team standards. I hired for competency, and offered flexible working arrangements but with some initially fixed, bite sized deliverables and quite a bit of breathing room for the team to come up to speed.
I now have a very competent team who have a professional outlook, little drama, decent remuneration, job security, actual professional growth opportunity and flexibility to work from home for at least part of the week. I hope they feel supported and that they can get focus time. My gain is at the expense of those who were not agile enough to change.
Our freelance pool has massively reduced in size - mostly through people moving on to find full-time work in completely different industries.
In our case (events + conferences) - I'm finding it quite hard to comprehend, as we were one of the only companies still paying our freelancers during COVID as we believed it was the right thing to do, so that we would still have freelance staff who we could rely on post-pandemic. We were paying them on a completely no strings attached basis too - there was no expectation that they would have to pay it back or work for us in future. Our rates are well above average too - which makes the issue even more hard to understand.
I suspect that in quite a few cases - people have gotten used to spending more time at home and with loved ones and have decided that they enjoy it more than travelling on a fairly regular basis.
I drove a ways to a bank and found they lost their last "banker". All they have are tellers now. The tellers are all in training to become bankers. They directed me to a bank 1.5 hours away but said they lost people too so I should make a solid appointment.
ALL the remaining small businesses in the small town up the highway from me say "HELP WANTED". Some of the small businesses are closed for good. Many phone numbers just ring out or error now. I should add I moved to the middle of nowhere.
My dad used to work in a bank and is now retired.
The way he described the retail banking industry when he left is that "bankers" were being basically phased out.
Banks nowadays mostly have tellers and 90% of their work is to gether documents and documentation, all the important decision will be taken more centrally, probably with the aid of some kind of AI/ML engine.
This view is confirmed by my recent experience in getting a mortgage: all the bank clerk did is collect documents proving my ability to repay a mortgage, but the final decision was delegated to some sort of central evaluation center.
On a sidenote, this also means that the performance of a bank office in a certain city mostly does not depend on their employees there, and marketing mantras like "we entrust people to thrive / we empower people to thrive" is mostly BS.
Whereas 25-30 years ago a "banker" at the local branch of a bank could have followed their own instinct and could actually have helped people thrive, nowadays there probably is a hughe part of the decision taken by an automated system.
The jobs report that just came out debunks this theory. Your assumption that people are just “enjoying an extended vacation” seems pretty detached from the reasons people actually cite for leaving the workplace (going back to school, caring for kids, caring for elderly, illness, etc.).
Hopefully the new data available helps you change some assumptions about other people.
Inflation is increasing as well so people need higher pay but I bet a lot of businesses haven't seen inflated prices hit their P&L yet where they can "afford" higher wages. I say "afford" because I believe they can pay higher wages but the capitalism mantra of always higher returns means they won't pay more until they meet that objective for a quarter or two.
Also, consider the "domino effects" of that million+ loss: people losing a spouse, sibling, child, parent, etc. now may be in an even further economically disadvantaged position than they already were, thanks to losing that person and therefore that income source they provided. Some may have moved in with friends and are still grieving, not able to interview well for a job; some have been able to co-habitate and make ends meet with increased unemployment help from the government (especially when combined with eviction moratoriums that we're now seeing aren't valid legally anymore). And for professionals, "remote" is becoming the new norm despite corporate tyrants/sociopaths/control freaks trying to kill it.
Mix that economic disadvantage situation in with credit reports being a piece of the background check process in some jobs (which I think should be illegal as hell but I digress...), combine that with "remote is the new norm" emerging, rapidly increasing inflation and unrealistic employer expectations with laughably low pay, and yeah you start to see why nobody wants to go back to a lot of jobs, especially the shit ones.
> Inflation is increasing as well so people need higher pay [...] the capitalism mantra of always higher returns means [employers] won't pay more until they meet [higher revenue objectives] for a quarter or two.
Not at all disagreeing here, just wanted to point out a few things about this (as it's a complicated kind of thing.)
1. For-profit companies have a fiduciary responsibility to shareholders to generate those higher returns. This is literally the entire reason for a profit-driven company to exist, "doing good for the world" bullshit be damned.
2. Human beings are always, by far, the largest cost for any company, so increasing wages, benefits or hiring is the last thing you want to do from a profit perspective, at least in the short term (which is all the vast majority cares about, especially publicly traded companies).
3. My only very minor nitpick with that statement isn't about them being able to "afford" higher wages, but that it'll never happen until they're FORCED to pay higher wages, either by government action (minimum wage increase, etc.) or market conditions (can't hire? try paying better - it works!)
4. As soon as that happens though, they'll increase prices to their customers as much as possible in excess of their cost to pay higher wages because they can blame the increased margin beyond that wage compensation on said wage increase. For example, if I have to raise prices 10% to compensate for paying employees better, it would make sense to aim for ~15% and pocket that +5% margin, and if anybody gives me any flack over it I just blame it on the cost of rising wages. (Issues of public balance sheets etc. withstanding; not an accountant so I don't know if this level of visibility is realistic or not, assume it isn't.)
5. The only thing that'll keep those price increases under control is free market competition or the consumer's ability to forego that product/service. In some cases you can do this (movies, streaming services, etc.) and in some cases you can't (electricity, fuel, rent, food, internet, phone, etc.).
So the moral of the story is: competition keeps prices under control, and inflation just breeds more inflation, with as little as possible going to "the little guy" because it's the company's responsibility to increase returns for investors; employees are just an "expendable" means to an end, a necessary fiduciary "evil", so why pay them more unless you have to?
(I don't at all agree with this thinking, but this is how the world works, unfortunately. Capitalism is NOT the problem here, lack of competition is.)
Upper management has given some hints at good merit increases and bonuses this year. I'm not holding my breath though. Their definition of "good" might be wildly different.
They are also making technology fun, hackathons, a lot of greenfield projects and tech refresh every couple of years. Even thought we are not a tech company, our tech org actually makes money, so we get a lot of budget to play with.
Funny thing is, I can make 25% more than what I make here, but I just can't see myself working for a company where WLB is a mess.
what counts as "heavy turnover"? I vaguely rememberthat the average tenure at a company is 1-2 years, which translates into an yearly turnover of 50-100%?
Here is Australia, a group of CTOs met together recently to discuss the topic. They think the skills shortage is related to Banks offloading investment businesses due to some rule changes. They feel like its a temporary bubble. My company is almost refusing to raise their pay rates and is struggling to retain.
My opinion is that the job market has changed forever. I worked remotely before Covid and always though dev jobs could be done remotely.
My multinational non-tech company is doing the following:
* NOT increasing salaries for positions
* NOT replacing people who leave
* NOT giving any pay rises or benefits to current staff
* They move skilled people from team to team on an ad-hoc basis
* They hire in expensive consultants
* They let go of the expensive consultants before handovers can even happen
My employer has been very smart in adapting to the remote-first approach.
We hired a lot of full-remote people during the pandemic, the company is allowing people to switch contract and go full-remote and is allowing non-remote people to work from home until the end of the year.
Starting from 2022 the rumor is that we'll be hitting the office once per week, mostly due to legal reason/constraints. If that's the case, I've proposed such day to be friday and I'll be pushing for all the meetings to be on friday, with the idea being the if I have to go to the office at least let's make it a social event (meetings, meetings with other teams, lunch together etc).
This still has to materialize though, so we'll see :)
Friday is also the most common day for people to leave work early or take off entirely. Just my opinion, but as a non-manager, I would not be happy if my manager made that move.
I know :)
But coming into the office is so 2019.
There are three days in-between Monday and Friday that could also hold a meeting!
>But coming into the office is so 2019.
And I greatly preferred it.
Management wonders why it's so hard to fill jobs now... hello, you had access to remote talent and now that you've axed that you only have access to local talent...