WTF #21: Can’t Buy Me Love

WTF #21: Can’t Buy Me Love

Three weeks ago, I offered one of my analog IC designers a 30% raise, hoping to entice him to stay with the company. Unfortunately, he’s still leaving despite our better offer than his soon-to-be new employer. Back in WTF #18, I mentioned that salary wasn’t the only issue and in fact, wasn’t even the main issue. He had other personal reasons to leave and I was trying my best to accommodate him. At the end of the day, I wasn’t able to convince upper management to make that accommodation. Hence, all the leverage I had remaining was money and my charming personality. Apparently, both failed miserably.

Analog IC desginers are hard to come by in China. I’ve recently hired four and they weren’t exactly my top choices. But given market conditions, I’m forced to go with the traditional route of hiring those with good foundations and then developing them in-house. The problem with that approach is the current turnover rate. The effort spent developing raw new hires in-house may not end up being worthwhile if they choose to leave after a short stay, but I’m not left with a lot of choices at the moment.

Hiring aside, all that’s left to do now is to arrange a farewell group lunch. I’m trying to look on the bright side. At least I get a free meal out of this.

What The Flux is a semi-regular feature on that follows the follies and jollies of an engineer in industry, yours truly.

1 comment

Sorry to hear that you’re losing valuable employees. Even sorrier to hear that your superiors might have prevented it, but chose not to. I hope that you’ve listened to that designer’s concerns and are evaluating your work environment accordingly.

If you find that you must train new hires to get the final result you need (which is not unreasonable in today’s quickly changing engineering fields) then you may want to consider training indenture agreements. Employees sign agreements to stay with the company for X amount of time after receiving Y amount of training, else repay the training costs. It won’t heal working environment problems but it can slow turnover, since there would be repercussions to “take advantage of training and run”. Be careful how you offer training with indenture – it can create poor management relations.

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