Finding amazing IT talent in Malaysia is seemingly getting harder and harder by the minute. Gone are the days when saturation had the markets filled with great IT talent waiting to be snatched up. Now it seems like most of the good ones have either started their own companies, gone overseas, or are looking for something bigger than what they are doing currently.
But, can it be possible that we have just run out of good IT talent or is there something else at work here?
Well, I set out to search for the answer to this great mystery. The day TribeHired became the first IT talent marketplace in Malaysia was the day I realized that there was a desperate need for good IT talent. I had scoured the internet and read all kinds of books and articles trying to figure out what was the reason behind it. I met with many talent who all echoed the same thing: culture and the environment they work in is very important to them.
So low salary is not to blame?
According to a report by Kelly Services, it doesn’t seem to be salaries that are causing the lack of finding good IT talent in Malaysia. In 2014, most IT talent with 1-3 years of working experience were seen netting between RM4,500 to RM5,000. Which isn’t half bad for someone to live a decent and comfortable life here in Kuala Lumpur.
What this means is that companies are willing to pay accordingly (and sometimes handsomely) to woo talent to join their firms; sometimes even going further by providing them with added benefits like free dental and more paid days of leave. We have had our own clients offer amazing packages and benefits to the talent they hire from TribeHired because they see the value in them and they desperately want them to join their team.
Are companies providing challenges or are they making talent feel like Code Monkeys?
Culture and a challenging environment is key for a lot of the good talent out there. Some of them are truly “geeks of their domain” as I like to put it. They love tinkering with new technologies and always want to find the next big challenge to feed their coding addiction.
They don’t want to be stuck doing the same things over and over again – you know the deal; bug fixes after bug fixes after bug fixes. They suddenly feel like code monkeys, hammering away at the keyboard to fulfill someone else’s vision of the product they wish to build.
You can argue that the company’s needs are far greater than that of the individual; that we have to come together as a team and compromise rather than go rogue and build it our way. But that is not what these talent crave. They crave the same thing every human being craves, which is to leave their mark or legacy in some way or another. They want to be known as “that guy who developed the image recognition algorithm for Facebook” or “that guy who created the engine required to take great photos with Instagram”.
Culture and a challenging environment is so key that it is very surprising more companies don’t fix their broken systems. It isn’t about beanbags and foosball tables, it is about an environment of constant learning and a place where you aren’t told what to do like a 4-year old at a wedding. The idea that you have free-reign on how to implement a certain feature the way you think is the right way (of course you have to justify why your way is better).
So for companies to find great IT talent with the kind of experience they are looking for, sometimes it is not about showering them with cold hard cash or giving them bean bags instead of chairs to work on. It is about taking the talent seriously and heeding their advice, allowing them to build your company for you in the way they know best.