So a recent article on Ars discusses the increased demand in IT workers. For those of us in the industry, it comes as no surprise that demand for internal staff would eventually bounce back up, BUT there is a downside to the increased demand of which we are all well aware. Once companies start hiring locally, the blame for any screw-up will be put on the newly hired team of insourced IT. Any grand successes will be awarded to the CEO/CTO/Management Team for their “brilliance” in choosing to move away from outsourcing.
That leaves us IT workers (sys admins, developers, designers, etc.) in a precarious position. Our next job may leave a black mark on our resume, bonuses are not guaranteed, and raises will be minimal. Is it then a wonder that the hiring trends (in terms of employee requirements) have shifted to:
- Full-time work rather than contract work.
- Fewer interviews rather than putting up with being grilled (Hey, company X! You aren’t the prom queen!).
- Higher salaries. We aren’t idiots. We know demand is up because of the increased amount of hiring spam we get from recruiters (mine personally has more than tripled in the past year).
You see, IT workers are not idiots and, like most people, are not looking to be burned more than once; especially in this crap economy. A comfortable job, good pay, and long term safety are priorities for those that choose to work in corporate IT. If we wanted exciting highs! Awesome new tech! A chance to become rich! We sure as hell would not be looking to work for established businesses and networking with recruiters. Instead, we’d take our talents to startups and network with VCs.
For the businesses that finally understand that majority outsourcing DOES NOT WORK (some outsourcing is ok, but if you hit majority outsourcing for IT, you are fucked), you better realize that the fallout from betraying former insourced employees has created a enormous expectation gap. It is up to the CEOs, CTOs, Management Team, and HR to find a way to appease those that have been once (or for the unlucky, twice, thrice, etc.) burned. You are also negotiating with people who do critical thinking for their jobs. We know, nay expect, that you will be putting the blame on hiring insourced IT for any management fuck-ups that lead to a worse fiscal year. In fact, I’d be willing to bet that if a company’s revenue doesn’t increase after a two or three years of “investing” in insourced IT, management will draw the incorrect conclusion that insourced IT == outsourced IT. Guess what? Anyone who thinks that is stupid. If your fiscal reports just flatline, that means insourced IT stopped your falling bottom line. We bucked the trend and are in fact contributing greatly to the business. Any expectations for insourced IT to be saviors are unrealistic. Only in startups, innovative companies, and firms that invest heavily in research can IT actually make that type of impact. In most other places, we have no power to decide the direction of a company, the products, or in some cases, the technology we get to use! Doing better requires better decision making up top and for that, who should be blamed? Hmm…