Large companies sometimes see great opportunities in the market and get into a hiring spree. They fight with the others to get the talent on board. As goes the old adage, there is a collateral damage when a fight breaks out. What happens when a war for talent takes place?
Good news for employees!
We have seen companies in IT and Outsourcing sector on a hiring spree in the early 2000’s. Every other company wanted to grow and needed to recruit. Many new companies started up to leverage this phenomenon. Demand for talent was high while supply was limited. Thus, they offered attractive salaries and benefits to draw more and more applicants towards them. Also, they offered great salary hikes and quick promotions to retain their staff. Employees made hay when the sun was shining.
Just a few days ago, Walmart, Amazon and a few other retailers are spatting over minimum wages they offer to their staff and the taxes that they pay to the Government. We saw similar situations where Ola and Uber competed tooth and nail over getting driver partners on board. Salaries of well-paid software engineers were lesser than what drivers earned during that period. E-commerce players kept expanding their fleet of delivery boys; as a result, manufacturing companies could not get blue collar employees. In many Indian cities, we struggle hard to find domestic help, nurses, drivers, electricians, plumbers, carpenters, and similar such skills in many cities in India.
These phenomena help employees seize upon the opportunity to earn higher. One could see organizations busy dealing with a rise in resignations, making counter-offers and reminding their employees about the career growth opportunities available with them. Does it favour the employees or bring worries to them over rising costs to their companies?
Employees must worry about this!
We witnessed how Indian outsourcing market got overheated and we started losing work in the later part of 2000’s to countries which offered cost advantages. Many people working in the contact centres in India lost their jobs and had to look for other careers. Had the industry acted a bit more responsibly, the cost increases would not have been so dramatic and hence, it could have responded to the market changes with greater agility.
Nature’s processes are slow and steady; whenever something happens suddenly, it leads to a calamity or a disaster like a flood or an earthquake. So, we need to worry when an industry or an organization starts expanding quickly without having the time to prepare well for it. No system can sustain huge increases or drops in a short span of time.
Employees must think twice before they keep jumping jobs in a short span of time and getting salary hikes without any real ability to deliver a bigger impact. If they make such job changes, sooner or later, they will outprice themselves in the talent market and find it hard to stay employed at the same salary level. So, we must worry about sudden changes taking place due to a war for resources.
Biggies fight in the market place to win market share, acquire competitive advantage or seize upon new opportunities. We have to watch out for such developments and use the opportunity to prepare for the future.
When ecommerce was on a high and in the news, many people jumped ship, took new challenges in their stride and catapulted to higher orbits of career. Undoubtedly, this is a great opportunity and one must use this to the best of one’s advantage. However, to keep going on the new orbit, one has to consciously invest on oneself to learn new skills, develop new perspectives and gather new insights.
One can maximize one’s salaries and benefits by making a few career moves in an opportunistic way. However, this is not the best path to follow because this is not a sustainable journey. Rolling stones do not gather moss and hence, one has to focus on the challenges to solve, impact to deliver, knowledge to acquire, capability to build and insights to gather.
In the short term, a war for resources among the biggies works to the advantage of the employees, but it takes a toll on them in the long run.