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If you are having trouble finding staff than you are by definition not paying market rates. If $20/hr gets you crap, then you need to raise your rates. This is capitalism, people don't owe you their labour for what you consider good money.

Indeed. There was a post a month or two ago on HN that captured this fallacy beautifully and I wish I could find it again and/or credit its author:

Q: "We pay salaries competitive with the market average, why can't we find good experienced programmers or engineers?"

A: "So you want top talent for average wages? See the discrepancy here?"

Sometimes you can't find what you need, no matter how much you want to pay. I have enormous difficulty to find good programmers here in São Paulo. Even bad programmers are hard to hire.

I can hire PHP and Java programmers rather easily, but both groups would have a lot to unlearn.

You can always hire people for anywhere, it all depends on your requirements and your compensation. If you can't find them, then you need to change either requirements or compensation.

Have you considered trying to hire from abroad? You may need a high salary by USA standards to hire USA workers to work in São Paulo, but tis doable. You have now found the market rate for programmers in São Paulo

You are right, of course. I guess I'll have to help people unlearn.

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