Monday, March 20, 2006

Privacy of riches

-- Are you comfortable with your salary being made public?

-- When you move from one company to another would you like to announce to the world the hike the new firm offered you?

Some say, yes. Because it shows your market value. It shows how much your talent is worth.

No, say others since it is a private matter, which is confined strictly to the employer-employee domain..

The issue is now out in the open with two graduates of IIM Bangalore writing to its director that salary offers during campus recruitments shouldn't made public as it attracts the attention of unscrupulous elements. These students, who bagged the highest salary offers this year, also had lot of unpleasant and embarrassing experiences following the official announcement of salary offers, says a report in today's Times of India, Bangalore, which quotes the email sent by the students to the director.

Salary levels are on the rise. Everyone knows that. With no ban on what an employee can ask for and what an employer can offer, it's a free for all out there. It's a market economy that is at work. The dotcom bust was an example of how high salaries (without an appropriate revenue-generation module) proved suicidal for the industry. Things have evened out, as they usually do.

Indiscriminate public display of payslips and material wealth also has its adverse impact on social fabric. Creation and perpetuation of superiority-inferiority complexes is one of the inevitable fallouts. Motivation is the last thing that is achieved by such revelation of riches.

And rightly, IIM Bangalore director immediately addressed the concern raised by the students saying: "We will not discuss such details in public (from next year)."

High salary offers will continue to flow in for these deserving students, as they should. In fact, they have every right to demand a price for the high quality of services they offer. But hopefully we have seen the last of the bazaar-like competitive throwing of dollars, in full public view, to lure talent.

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