Employees Lose Faith in Dot Coms

Dot coms may have more woes than cash burn to face, with more than half of
Australia’s workforce saying it has no faith in working with a dot-com
company, according to a new survey by MBT.

MBT, a division of global recruitment agency TMP Worldwide, found that on
top of the 52.5 per cent of survey respondent who have no faith working in a
dot com, 32.7 per cent of workers believe that dot coms have had their
day.

The survey indicated that males have less faith in the future of dot com
businesses, with 57.1 per cent saying they would prefer to work in a
“traditional” firm, compared with 48.1 per cent of females expressing this
opinion.

“Even those who work in the information technology/computer job disciplines
were rethinking their strategies,” said MBT director Ian James of the survey
findings. “The older people surveyed were, the more likely they were to
think that dot coms were not a stable employment option, with over 56 per
cent of those over 35 years saying they had no faith in dot coms.”

James said the results from respondents aged 19 to 24 were slightly more
encouraging, with 66.6 per cent of people in this age group reporting they
would be confident about taking a role with a dot com company.

The results, while not offering much sunshine for dot coms, are perhaps not
a great surprise particularly in light of the recent spate of dot com
closures and downsizings that have continued from last year.

The most recent and high profile of these was Channel Ten/Village
entertainment portal Scape, which fired 100 of its 111 staff earlier this
week and went into voluntary administration.

This followed similar recent staff cuts by News Interactive, RushTV, K*Grind
and dot coms such as Realestate.com.au last year. AltaVista and Engage have
also announced global cuts. It is a trend that the combination of cash burn
rates and the downward spiral of many global markets may propel.

The picture has not been much rosier lately across IT to companies that have
made the push onto the Internet, with AOL Time Warner, Compaq, Vignette,
Novell and Motorola among the organisations to have recently announced
global staff cuts.

Interestingly, while the staff further down the organisational ladder are
wary of being stung in a dot com, the MBT survey found that CEOs, directors,
general managers and people at a similar level had by far the greatest
confidence in the dot com sector, with 62.5 per cent believing they offer
security.

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