Tuesday, February 28, 2006

The Good, the Bad and Supriya's View

Supriya e-mailed me in response to my blog and I found her feedback poignant and true! The point of my posting was to play a bit of a devil’s advocate. I constantly hear American media tell the story of outsourcing/jobs from a standpoint of fear. It’s always about American jobs going away and lack of educated talent in the US. I wanted to provide an added point of view or perspective around this. But for every good usually there is a bad. Supriya makes some very compelling points around the down side. I will let you read for yourself.

From: Supriya Venkat
Sent: Tuesday, February 28, 2006 12:01 PM
To: Steve FogartySubject: A comment on your blog entry

Hello Steve,

I occasionally look up your Recruiting Revolution blog (as a PR/Wagged job seeker) and just wanted to share my thoughts on your entry today ("the Emigration Zone") and your closing comment: "If we see an up swing of emigration how does this affect consumption of American products overseas. In a way we are teaching people how to consume like American’s. This may mean more jobs in the grand scheme of things."

I'm originally from India but came to the U.S in the very late 80s to go to grad school. I get the opportunity to go back to India frequently to visit family and I must say that in recent years, I've been stunned at the growing consumerism of middle-class India. A large catalyst for this phemonemon has been the surge in the "returning Indian" population with its significant disposable incomes. And while much has been made in the Western press (including Friedman in his articles about India) about how middle class India is in fact "consuming like Americans" as you state in your blog, I've been disillusioned about how little has been said in the media about the downside and serious pitfalls of "importing" America's vision of "growth" and "prosperity" to a country like India, which is still largely illiterate and a rural-based economy. Sure, a small segment of the 1 billion + population has benefited from the "boom", but try telling that to the maid who cleans my brother's home in the hi-tech mecca of Bangalore for less than $20/month! She (and her daughter) know that the only jobs at their reach --now and in the future--- are the ones they have right now. I know this observation has little to do with recruitment woes in the United States but it's just something that struck me and I thought I'd pass it along...

Happy blogging and best regards!

Supriya Venkat

Supriya—Thanks for your point of view. It’s one thing for us to discuss this from our cubicles behind our computers. It’s a whole other thing to experience it first hand! Your perspective is invaluable.

The Emigration Zone, Lefkow Style....

Lefkow posted an interesting article about America's brand and emmigration on today's ERE: ERE Article.

It would be interesting to look at where emigrants are going. I don’t mean which country but which companies? I have talked to several recruiters who have mentioned an increased number of immigrants who want to work for an organization that will give them the option to work in their home countries in the future. I also still notice a large number of people interested in immigrating to the US. I think there are several simultaneous forces affecting the perception of what’s happening with immigration/emigration. Here are a few more things to think about with regard to this subject….

  • We ran out of H1B’s a few months into this year and congress is working to approve more. This to me means that immigration is still running strong
  • I don’t have the numbers in front of me but I would suspect that H1B’s increased significantly with the advent of the technology boom in the early 80’s
  • My guess is that we are starting to see a cycle occur—as H1B status ends US trained immigrants head back—but I believe many of them stay working for multinational organizations—in some cases it’s the same company they worked for while in the US
  • US companies now have a US trained person working in their home country which helps create better relationships/synergies with their overseas operations
  • US companies also get the caliber of a US trained individual for lower labor costs (If we are talking about China/India etc)—but they are being paid a premium in their home country because they are more valuable to the multi-national; the emigrant now has a better standard of living in their home country

I agree that Dave’s article is good and makes you think. It also makes me wonder how this really positions America in the global economy. If we see an up swing of emigration how does this affect consumption of American products overseas. In a way we are teaching people how to consume like American’s. This may mean more jobs in the grand scheme of things.

Sunday, February 26, 2006

SHOUT IT OUT! WE Named Best Large Agency to Work For!

I get asked what keeps me at Waggener Edstrom by about 90% of the candidates I interview. Below is an e-mail our CEO sent out to our employees last week. This is what keeps me here.

From: Melissa Waggener Zorkin
Sent: Monday, February 20, 2006 10:48 AM
Subject: SHOUT IT OUT! WE Named Best Large Agency to Work For!

Out of ALL the agencies who participate in the (U.S). Holmes survey, WE had the strongest voice. With more than 400 people responding, we outdistanced all other large agencies in our responsiveness and expression about our work. YOU SAID THAT WE IS A GREAT PLACE TO WORK AND YOU SAID IT LOUD AND CLEAR – SO THE #1 HONOR AGAIN BELONGS TO…WE.

“Opportunity. The opportunity for advancement,
the opportunity to work with some of the smartest people around,
the opportunity to learn and grow and the opportunity to make a difference.”
– WE employee, November 2005

When I reached out to over half of the agency last Fall, you said to me that the #1 reason you come to work is the opportunity to make a positive difference. Today you can feel proud because your voice and contribution have definitely made a difference.

Waggener Edstrom Worldwide has this year been ranked No. 1 Best Large Agency to Work For in the (U.S.) Holmes Report’s Best Place to Work survey. That means we have received a top rating in two of the last three years – a significant accomplishment and a great source of pride. This award affirms how far you have helped us come in creating the culture we want at Waggener Edstrom Worldwide. This ranking also gives us a competitive edge in recruiting new talent, marketing our services and attracting new business.

I am not blind to the fact that you also gave ample input on how we can improve, and believe me that input is taken very seriously. We already have a number of new programs (inspired by your input in the last 4 months) that we MUST get into everyone’s hands NOW, and you will hear more about those later this week and at the Agency Business Meetings. From the many voices who took part in this survey, it’s clear that we are a company that likes to BETTER OUR OWN BEST!!

But it’s important to stop along the path to greatness to reflect on just how far we’ve come. And that is what I am asking you to do today – maybe even for this week J!