During the years of the financial crisis in Greece we have been experiencing a great paradox in the labour market. The latest unemployment figures reported by Eurostat reveal a bleak condition in the Greek society with an unemployment rate of approximately 28%, and with 60% of them being young people under 25 years of age! These figures are truly disappointing and worrying.
At the same time, the average and minimum wages have decreased dramatically during the last few years reaching the levels of 10 years ago.
One would expect that companies such as Linakis Digital, which are at the forefront of technology, offer a great working environment, engage their professionals in the most advanced and interesting web projects in the market, offer competitive salaries and other benefits would have a very easy time attracting young professionals seeking a career in the IT sector.
Unfortunately, this is not the case. And it is not just us having a hard time approaching talented young professionals. No matter which company in our sector we talk to, the situation is the same: Quality professionals are hard to find!
What could be the reasons for this paradox?
I have given it a great amount of though and I have concluded that there are two main reasons which could be the cause of this situation:
It is a fact that a great number of young, talented professionals have left the country in order to seek their future in a more stable and flourishing environment. Companies abroad offer a package which is very compelling to young people who are not tightly bonded yet and are willing to make a substantial change in their lives. The “deal” is also very good for the companies themselves since they have found a very cheap and effective way to attract young and promising professionals and gradually assimilate them in their teams. This has caused a great brain drain in Greece. Who can blame either of them though? It is only natural for something like that to happen. It is also very unfortunate that these professionals have yet to be provided with any substantial motives to return to Greece and continue their career in Greek enterprises.
Anybody living and working in Athens (and other major Greek cities) must have noticed the great increase in “incubation labs”, “networking and collaboration spaces”, “entrepreneurship hubs”, and other similar organizations. There are two ways to look at the contribution of these organizations to the Greek society. The positive way is that they offer a way for young people to better fulfill their dreams. They offer useful guidance, access to expensive equipment and other important resources and funds. In general they help young people explore their entrepreneurial side. The other, not so altruistic aspect of this superfluous offering is that large organizations have found a way to outsource their Research & Development processes to hordes of young, talented people who are willing to work hard, with their dreams as the main reward for their efforts.
No matter what the case is, the fact is that the startup scene has attracted a large number of talented young IT professionals, pulling them away from agencies like Linakis Digital. Some of these young entrepreneurs will succeed and will manage to capitalize on their talent, knowledge and dreams. On the other hand, most of them will unfortunately fail and will return to the process of seeking another career. Based on an article of BusinessInsider.com and statistics of Y Combinator, one of the greatest startup accelerators in Silicon Valley “… a startling 93% of the companies that get accepted by Y Combinator eventually fail”. If you combine this number with the fact that the companies accepted by Y Combinator are only a tiny fraction of the companies that apply (approximately 3-5%), the success percentage seems extremely low!
The process which these professionals have to go through until they find out what the future has in store for them typically lasts a few years and the impact in our search for quality professionals is heavy.
Back to (their) future
I believe that the above reactions to the financial crisis are somewhat hasty and that young professionals should think twice before either leaving their country or venturing for the unknown. There are a number of companies in Greece, such as Linakis Digital, which offer a great career path, financial security and good prospects for the future. So we invite them to think of their future well and seriously consider coming back to it by joining our great team of professionals!