The only appropriate word that comes to mind to describe the current tech jobs market would be weird. What’s happening is common knowledge. The demand/supply scales are skewed to a level that the rules of the game have changed entirely. Employers now have no other option but to offer 2x-3x compensation for the same profile. And even this does not guarantee joinings. The demand for the market is high and most of the candidates are offer-shopping and job-hopping at unprecedented levels.
Now, this is not a rant against people not joining or offer shopping. I understand that and to a great extent agree with that as well. Employment, at its core, is a business contract between the employer and the employee. The idea behind this contract, like any other, is that both the parties benefit from the arrangement. So it always makes sense for employers to find the cheapest, best resource and the employees to find the highest paying, best employer. Straight forward. Nothing wrong with that.
This could also be seen as a market correction that was long overdue. Nothing wrong with that as well.
There is a dark side to this as well. The whole process is undergoing severe quality degradation at all levels. Workers used to constantly learn new things and upskill themselves to stay ahead of the “competition” and rise up the career ladder. Now they assume that since there is a demand in the market, they automatically qualify for a rise in their career even if they themselves have not upgraded themselves. I am routinely interviewing people with 10-12+ years of experience who have actual usable knowledge worth less than 2 years. These are the people who are still doing the same work they were doing 10 years back and delivering the product of the same quality as expected from a fresher. And their current compensations reflect this lack of upskilling. But now with this rising tide, this kind of worker has assumed that they too now deserve to be paid equal to their contemporaries who were actually working on themselves. Just because they have the number of physical years to show for themselves.
This is dangerous. For employers as well as candidates. This sets a bad precedence for candidates who will now stop investing in upskilling themselves because they assume that it is no longer needed. Why invest in learning something if career progression can be achieved by frequent job-hopping?
This weirdness in the job market will eventually end. The demand and supply will balance out. This rising tide will go down. What then? A lot of employees will find themselves in this tricky situation where their skill sets are not in proportion with their cost to the organization. They reached where they are by frequent job-hopping and using the desperation of employers to fill seats but never really built themselves to reach that level. They will be out of their depth and it would be clear to everyone.
I don’t really have a solution to this weirdness. But all I can say is that this seems and feels like a bubble that we all hear about in the context of money markets. And bubbles always burst. Sooner or later. Be prepared.
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I have helped many startups in building their products and I would be happy to have a chat with you about your idea. Catch me on twitter at @akhilrex