I had the opportunity to catch up with a friend who lives and works in Sydney. Like me he’s in the IT industry so I always like to catch up with him about what is going on in Australia.
In a pretty laid back manner we were discussing a bunch of stuff families and friends and of course work. It became pretty obvious that we shared a couple of views on the year that’s been. Firstly how hard a year its been and secondly how difficult it is to find and recruit staff. He used the comment “we are taking the least worse candidates” currently. Bad England but you get the gist.
He then through out his theory. He believes that recruitment in IT will not only NOT improve, it will get worse and here’s why. The kids of IT professionals are seeing their parents work so hard and long that they are saying “bugga that, I’d rather be a builder”. The allure of the money isn’t enough, its actually not that sexy (geeks n all) and the gratification levels aren't as good (do we actually make a difference). He goes further. In IT companies (all of them that I’ve worked for anyways) they all talk about this thing called ‘work life balance’, in building and plumbing and other industries, they have work life balance.
Gavin’s example was a builder who fits work around his life. Starts at 7, finishes at 3.30 and is surfing by 4pm (he is Australian after all). Whereas in his (and my case) we try to fit life around work, play with the kids after work, go to the gym what ever.
I’m a big believer in individual choice, and I know that this is what I choose. But it Gavin’s point did resonate and the ever declining numbers of graduates doing IT might be a leading indicator that things have got to change.
I know (apparently) the money’s good, but if you worked out your REAL hourly rate, it might shock you some, especially when you factor in travel, late conference calls, etc…