RE: job-hunt weirdness

Subject: RE: job-hunt weirdness
From: "McLauchlan, Kevin" <Kevin -dot- McLauchlan -at- safenet-inc -dot- com>
To: Dana Worley <dana -at- campbellsci -dot- com>, Peter Neilson <neilson -at- windstream -dot- net>, "techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Thu, 9 Jul 2009 16:13:25 -0400

> -----Original Message-----
Dana Worley sez:

> On Thursday, July 09, 2009, Peter Neilson wrote:
> > Um, when they describe the exact job you are currently doing, that's
> > not an exact match? Perhaps they had additional but
> unstated criteria.
> > "Must NEVER have used Lisp, Smalltalk, or Ruby." And you've
> mentioned
> > them.
> There's more to being a good fit for a job than being able to
> check all the boxes on the skills list.
> For instance, if you've had 6 jobs in the last 5 years, and
> the job I'm hiring for has a
> substantial learning curve, you'll be tossed into the "no"
> pile.

That probably makes sense, unless those six jobs were simply contracts that ended with their respective projects.

> If you made $100K at your last
> three jobs, and the job I am hiring for is significantly
> less, you'll be tossed into the "no" pile.
> These are just two examples -- there are many red flags that
> warn me you may not be a
> good fit.

So, you toss onto the "no" pile if I don't include my salary at each recent job?

Isn't that usually something that both sides coyly address at the second interview?

Also, in a market like today's, why in the world would you consider it a problem that somebody was previously making more money than you are currently willing to pay? They are either unemployed or employed in a bad enough situation that your place - at that salary - is attractive. If they want to work for you, for what you are currently willing to pay, what's the down-side?

There are plenty of good people who, through no fault of their own, are out on the street, have been for a while (because there are so many _others_ in the same street) that they eventually reach the conclusion that a pay-cut from a job you no longer have is ever-so much better than the zero dollars you are currently pulling down. Especially when the pogie(*) runs out.

(*pogie - Canadian slang for Unemployment Insurance)

Sure, there's the possibility that they might get itchy when the economy improves, but so what?

With (counting on fingers and toes.... ) 11 years at this gig, and previous ones of 7 and 9 years, I'm told I'm very much in the minority on this list. Most, it seems, even in good times, naturally move to a new job every few years.

I would think that somebody like me, skilled and capable, but not corporately ambitious, and getting a little long-of-tooth, would be a coup to snap up at a bargain price. Being a bit older, I'm less likely to be driven-to-advance (and leave you high and dry... or threaten your job...) than I might have been ten or fifteen years ago. There are lots of me out there, except that they're currently unemployed.

When things pick up and the market swings the other way (more positions and fewer good candidates), you'll have somebody who is comfy with you and needs only a raise. Meanwhile, the few good candidates that would escape your "no" pile will be looking for higher starting pay and will have ambitions... The improving economy will push down the skill level that you can buy for a given buck. It'll also push down the age and experience that you can rent for that buck, increasing the likelihood that anyone you _can_ get will be still in the very mobiile stage of their career. In other words, they'll use your company for the skills and resume-padding that they can pick up on their way to someplace not-your-company.

Wouldn't the sensible thing be to give the over-qualified one a chance? If they fit, they fit and you don't need to worry about replacing them for a few years. If they don't fit, .... next.... until you do get one (there are still plenty for the next while).

Just as a related fer-instance, the guy who hired me at my current gig was Veep of Engineering at the time. He left the company about six years ago for "other opportunities". Economy-related stuff happened since then.

He's back, as a manager. A really good manager. If "overqualified" went automatically into the "no" pile, we wouldn't have him. Who hires a former Vice President as a line manager? Apparently, we do.

- Kevin (not currently in need, but thanks for askin' :-)


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Re: job-hunt weirdness: From: Erik Hare
RE: job-hunt weirdness: From: Dana Worley
Re: job-hunt weirdness: From: Peter Neilson
Re: job-hunt weirdness: From: Dana Worley

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