Thursday, September 5, 2013

Excellent Point Alert

Via Thoreau, we have a comment on Dean Dad's latest post:
I graduated three decades ago with an engineering degree, and in spite of all the talk about the shortage of technical skills, less than 20% of my graduating class got jobs in their field.

I thought then, and I still think now, that "skill shortage" is management-speak for "shortage of skilled people willing to work for what we want to pay them". I also note that the rhetoric about needing to pay enough to attract good people stops as soon as you get below upper management level…

 Thoreau goes further:

Hiring cheap workers on the lower rungs is always, always justified as necessary for the business to survive, as it paying exorbitant salaries to failed managers.
There really is a disconnect here.  It is not necessarily that senior management salaries are wrong.  it is more that it is odd that senior salaries are going up at the same time as other salaries plummet.  Given the cost of managers, they would seem to be the best candidates to outsource -- all things being equal. 

But we have a mystical faith that strong leaders are necessary for a business to prosper but that we can get cheap on the lower levels.  However, there are some organizations (say militaries) with very objective success metrics where the officers are often seen as less important than the non-commissioned officers (Britain would be an example of this).  The NCOs provide the low level guidance required to ensure excellence. 

Are we sure corporations are different? 

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