Joining The March Of Jobs Overseas
By Anne Fisher

(FORTUNE Magazine) – "It's a bit amusing to see overseas outsourcing talked about as if it were a new trend, when actually it's been going on for quite some time," writes Tom Manning, who launched recruitment drives for Ernst & Young in China and India in the '90s. Now in charge of Bain & Co.'s technology strategy and IT practice in Asia, Manning adds, "This phenomenon portends a structural change for the world economy, perhaps unlike any we have seen in our careers." Too true, and many of you are bitterly unhappy about it. Of all the topics discussed in this space so far this year, the shipping overseas of American jobs (Jan. 12 and Feb. 23; see has brought the second-biggest outpouring of reader mail. What got your hackles up even more? The dreaded monitoring software that snoops to see which websites employees visit from their desks (March 8). We'll get to that in a minute.

While multitudes of laid-off tech workers are struggling to find a new footing here at home, there is another approach: If you can't beat 'em, join 'em. The Association of Executive Search Consultants ( sent along a new survey that says 34% of American senior executives would take a job in India. Likewise, 34% would move to Russia, and fully half would go to China. Companies trying to expand in those parts of the world are hungry for management talent, says association chief Peter Felix. "Search firms have been flooded with requests" for executives willing to pack their bags, he says. One such is Josh Bornstein, a former Los Angeles investment banker who moved to Bangalore last fall to co-manage business planning for Infosys. "I would highly recommend such a move for new college graduates and people with one to three years' experience," he writes.

Meanwhile, reports from the front lines suggest that the supply of skilled Indians who will work cheap is (surprise!) not unlimited. "I am a geek, and my Indian friends are telling me that referral bonuses are making a big comeback. The price of an Indian programmer is going up even as we speak," writes Daryl Allen. "Companies will have trouble sending thousands more jobs to places where everyone qualified is already working. Someone should warn them, and their investors." Done.

Now, about that software that tracks people's web surfing ... phew! Okay, I get the idea: You think it's really, really stupid. Here's a comment typical of the many hundreds I got on this subject, from a reader named Gary: "If a manager needs to monitor his employees' use of the Internet, that manager should be fired for not doing his job. Happy, productive people spend little time browsing the web. If you have employees who can't be trusted and need to be micromanaged, you have failed as a manager." If you really want to control people's Internet use, other readers wrote, why not go all the way and simply block access to all but work-related sites? That, too, has drawbacks. "Some of that software is so dumb, it can prevent me from reading your articles at," writes Jacques Douge. A pox on it!