6 responses to “WTF #18: Offer, Counteroffer”

  1. Sen


    To be honest, I think that what your analog design engineer is doing is natural. After all, how long will that situation last. Get as much as long as the getting is good right? Though I wonder, every time someone is sick or taking a day off, what is really happening.

    As someone who has never worked in the good old days, I am in envy.


  2. Cherish The Scientist

    My guess is that this engineer saw you coming in and was afraid it would mean a lot of changes. I imagine it was caused by the change, not you as an individual. I know that in a lot of places, a new manager coming in can also mean a lot of reorg, which is not usually a fun thing.

  3. Will

    Unfortunately, this appears to be standard practice nowadays. It is also the only recognised mechanism to ensure that your employer keeps up with the market rates for engineering employment. In-house annual raises appear to be slipping back underneath general inflation rates, meaning that if you stay working for the same company, your overall standard of living will suffer.

    It’s a shame, because there are talented, committed and reliable people working in engineering – but because of a lack of investment in people these same engineers are having to choose between their employer and their worth.

    1. Fluxor

      Will, you are bang on with your analysis. The in-house raises are indeed below the rate of inflation. The rate of inflation in China is quite high though. In this particular case, salary wasn’t the main issue (although it’s a close second), but we are trying to move forward with some preemptive salary raises to stem a flood of engineers leaving the company.

      1. ferd

        Sounds like your company has working environment problems. If you’re so behind in keeping up with payroll vs. inflation, it makes me wonder what other humanist issues are lacking. You’ve undoubtedly heard that most people quit their managers, not their jobs. In this case it is the previous management that can take the blame. Will they let you fix anything, or will all of their solutions be reactionary? Prepare for major turnover, even if you try to offer money.

        1. Fluxor

          ferd, thanks for your thoughts on this. I actually think the company treats its Chinese employees quite well. Like I wrote above, it feels a lot like the late 90s in Silicon Valley. Lots of company sponsored sports programs, team building, and even free massage therapists. But on the salary front, this is an industry wide problem. Too many openings; too few qualified engineers. Recent inflation rates have been ~6-8% here per year and it’s quite difficult for multinationals to justify those sort of increases to its shareholders. At the end of the day, it is still force to do it via retention strategies, but giving out 6-8% cost-of-living raises sure ain’t the norm here nor in any other big corporations here.

          As for the employee that wanted to quit, his reason wasn’t management at all. He has personal reasons beyond salary and we’re trying our best to accommodate him. He has decided to stay if those non-financial accommodations are approved by upper management.