Sunday, January 29, 2006

Lots of programmers == lots of trouble!

Yesterday I backranted about offshoring, particularly to India. I discussed a number of things that I feel are difficulties for corporations offshoring to India. I forgot a more fundamental difficult for the company wanting to hire India programmers.

If they are intending to hire directly, they will be running into a problem of scale.

For a typical American job opening, a company may get (for example) 100 applications. About 50 will be dropped immediately for various reasons. Around 30 will be dropped at first resume review for insufficient capabilities. From the remaining 20, 10 will be picked as the best qualified, and get phone interviews. The field will be narrowed to 4, and the interviews will pick the best 2 of them to make offers to. When all is done, the company can feel reasonably certain that they have made a good choice in hiring the best qualified candidate.

Now consider this in India - where the number of incoming resumes is an order of magnitude larger. Instead of 100 applications, there are 1000. Assuming a typical bell curve (India may have a lot of good programmers, but statistics says that they will have an equivalent number of bad ones!), 500 of these will be dropped immediately, for the same sort of reasons as the previous example. Another 300 will fail to pass a resume review. This leaves 200, which will be sorted to 100 "best fit" candidates. Now, phone interviews for 100 people will be much less effective at narrowing down the field, compared to interviews for 10 people (assuming that phone interviews are even done in India, in which case this point is even more valid), so it will be a much more random selection out of the final 100 to get the 10 to interview. This boils down to a less-good fit for the selected candidate. And this does not even consider the amount of time to interview the larger number of "final" candidates!

Now, some would suggest that this can be countered by using local firms to do the hiring. I don't think that this will improve the situation much, because if the people hiring are not those who know what the position requires, they will not find people who match the need.

Technorati Tags --
, , ,

No comments: