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I'd like to delve a bit deeper into a subject that we discussed on TECHWR-L
last June: referral fees. Joanne Meehl asked whether finder's fees are
commonplace when recruiting technical writers. A few people said that their
company does indeed offer finder's fees. Here are some of the fees that
people mentioned and the number of companies that offer those fees:
$2,500 1 company
$2,000 2 companies
$1,500 4 companies
$500 1 company
Some companies offer additional bonuses. For example, John Garrison said
Integrated Development Enterprise offers a 4-day trip to the Bahamas and a
chance to win a contest with $20,000 in prizes.
It was interesting comparing the various companies' referral fees with
agency fees. John Garrison said agency recruiting fees are 25% to 35% of
the employee's salary. John Posada said agencies pay $2,000 or $3,000 for a
At my company, if a referral has been employed for 90 days, we offer a
$3,000 referral fee for "technical" hires (such as developers) and $1,500
for technical writers, plus a $250 gift certificate to J. Crew. At the end
of the year, employees who have referred other employees have a chance to
win a drawing at the end of the year; the winner receives an
all-expense-paid, one-week trip to an "exotic" location that's determined
at the end of the year.
As you can imagine, I'm not sure why my employer considers technical
writers to be non-technical employees. In this company, technical writers
are part of the Engineering department, are expected to have three to five
years of tech writing experience, and are expected to quickly learn a good
deal of material about Java programming and databases. Considering how
difficult it is to hire experienced tech writers these days, I think the
$3,000 "technical" employee fee is more appropriate.
I'd like to hear more about what the situation is like at your company.
Please let me know the following
a) What is the referral fee for technical writers at your company?
b) Are technical writers considered to be "technical" hires at your company?
I'll compile a list of the responses and send them to the list.
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