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Cheap skills

I read with amusement today how big Indian outsourcing companies are spreading outsourcing sites over a number of cities, citing “salary inflation” as one reason. The conditions for outsourcers in Bangalore and Mumbai are no longer as favorable as they used to be. :-)

Another reason: “Western clients” want the security of knowing that “the <outsourcing> companies they’re working with will be around in 12 months time….”

Well, isn’t that special? :-)

The same article cites “fantastic technical skills coming out of the former Soviet Union – guys with 20 or 30 years experience….” (I once worked for a company that utilized the lower-priced scientific knowledge and skills of people who “crawled out under the Iron Curtain.”)

The problem is not “salary inflation” but “salary catchup.” There are values associated with these skills, and Western clients are starting to learn what those values are. When you lay off skilled employees with 20-30 years of experience (age discrimination? wage discrimination? who knows? 😉 ) in the United States, for example, and ship their jobs overseas, you don’t get to have the luxury of having the same kind of “security” (Let’s be honest. What they mean is CONTROL.) that you enjoy with employees under your own roof. You also have to deal with the deteriorating economic conditions of the home economy in your OWN country that YOU (by shipping jobs overseas) are helping to destroy.

Outsourcing is not a NEW problem. I wrote about outsourcing  and offshoring shortly after I started this blog, in September of 2007. We all know what the American economy has done since then, and how the world’s economy has followed.

Not only do the Western clients want the skills for “dirt cheap,” they want to work with stable companies. Well, I have a news flash. American taxpayers, many of whom have been laid off (particularly in 2008), who are being asked to bail out just about any company that can wait in the long line, would like to work with “stable companies” too! (“Western clients,” this means YOU!) :-)

Sadly, the “thinking”-judging people who run most companies lack the ability to focus long enough on the problem (without coming to a “snap judgment”) to understand that the above is true. The sad truth is that when you “shoot yourself in the foot,” it hurts.

-Bill at Cheshire Cat Photo™

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