Outsourcing to India: why you should think twice

Even as the world continues to get smaller, there is a sizable cultural difference between the United States and India. Indian culture has some amazing qualities (for instance – deliciously flavorful cuisine), but many of their professional practices fall outside the comfort zone of U.S. companies, even those that are allured by the lower cost of hiring talent in India.

One such cultural norm in India is that employees are expected to give a 90 day notice before departure. Actually, the term used is 90+1 and it basically means that when an employee joins any organization, they agree to give a notice period of 90 days + 1 day. In other words, when an employee finds a new job, from the date of resignation, they will be relieved of all duties after 90 + 1 days (unless their manager agrees to relieve them early.

This is not a law, but it has become commonplace among those in the technology sector. Companies introduced the rule back when the employee turnover was rapid enough to hinder productivity. Indian companies banded together to hold on to departing employees for long enough to train new hires and finish projects that were still in the works. While this may have made sense in theory, it is becoming a very problematic issue for companies looking to make new hires in India.

The issue is that in a high-demand market (as we are in currently) for talent, once a candidate accepts a new offer, they have a grace period of 90 days which makes them eligible to accept other offers. Ideally, they should be focused on finishing up with their current employer and preparing themselves for a new job. However, what happens over the next 90 days is that the candidate is bombarded by countless other job opportunities. Since the candidate already has a job lined up (likely one they are happy to take), they have no risk or disincentive to not shop around to see if they can get a better offer.

The employer that is expecting their new hire to start on a certain date often finds themselves losing that candidate to a higher bidder during the 90 period. This makes it very unreliable to hire people (particularly those with high-demand skills) in India at the moment.

In contrast, geographies in the “West” (to include Eastern Europe – the talent pool used by Murano Software) observe a 2-week notice. This can obviously happen to candidates that give a 2-week notice, but that time period is typically not enough to jeopardize this process and rarely happens.

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