Ok, no arrows in my back yet. That’s a good sign I hope.
Let’s deconstruct Terence’s problem, and figure out the problems with his argument now.
Just a recap on what he said.
Switching gears, Terence highlighted the second major issue — Startups have difficulty attracting talent in Singapore, and the government may have to shoulder some of the blame. Although they are actively encouraging entrepreneurship in the country to “let a thousand flowers bloom”, the government is also working hard to attract the Googles and LinkedIns of the world to set up shop in Singapore by giving them tax breaks.
Here’s the problem: These companies would come to Singapore to hire, say, 200 engineers, but there simply isn’t enough talent to go around. As a result, they poach staff from startups who can’t afford attractive pay packages.
“It will be better if you tell Google that if they come in, they must bring in 200 of their guys, and let us poach from them. And then you get your ecosystem. Right now they are emptying out the vessel,” Terence said.
First, I’m damn sure that Google Singapore doesn’t have 200 engineers. Why? You think the schools in Singapore can produce that many engineers good enough to work in Google? Really? The last I checked, there was probably 1 or 2 max that were poached to go to the Palo Alto branch of Google a year from NUS. Yes Terence, in case you didn’t realise, the War for Talent is global. Singapore graduates have this option called working overseas. And if the Singapore government does impose a Maximum Wage law so that you can start hiring, these graduates will just go overseas to work. And guess what will happen to Singapore as a result?
Second, Google Singapore is practically a sales team, and even IF they do hire engineers, they hire sales support engineers, which probably shouldn’t be the type of engineers that any high tech startup should be looking at when hiring engineers.
Third, as I mentioned in my previous post, if you already cannot hire any of the imaginary 200 that Google Singapore hires, what makes you think that IF Google brings 200 guys over, you can get them?
The government is not your HR department. Stop whining, and start trying to solve the problem. Yourself.